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Extended Audio Sample Trent’s Last Case Audiobook, by E. C. Bentley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (597 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: E. C. Bentley, Simon Vance Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781400180813
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On Wall Street, the mere mention of the name Sigsbee Manderson is enough to send a stock soaring—or bring it tumbling back to earth. Feared but not loved, Manderson has no one to mourn him when the gardener at his British country estate finds him facedown in the dirt, a bullet buried in his brain. There are bruises on his wrist and blood on his clothes, but no clue that will lead the police to the murderer. It will take an amateur to—inadvertently—show them the way.

Cheerful, charming, and always eager for a mystery, portrait artist and gentleman sleuth Philip Trent leaps into the Manderson affair with all the passion of the autodidact. Simply by reading the newspapers, he discovers overlooked details of the crime. Not all of his reasoning is sound, and his romantic interests are suspect, to say the least, but Trent’s dedication to the art of detection soon uncovers what no one expected him to find: the truth. Delightfully irreverent yet ingeniously plotted, Trent’s Last Case is widely regarded as a masterwork of the mystery genre.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marti | 1/2/2014

    " Two main thoughts upon finishing this novel. One, the murderer, motive, and mysteries were much more complex than I guessed at when I was only a third of the way through. Two, if this is how people spoke at that point in time, the English language has undergone a sad sad diminishing. Enjoyed it, but it's filled with poetical references and "high falutin'" language, so it's not an easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scilla | 12/7/2013

    " Artist Trent was called in by Sir James of the Sun to investigate the death of Sigsbee Manderson, famous American financier. He talks with his friend Mr. Cupples, who is the uncle of Manderson's wife. Manderson had been found shot through his eye by a shed dressed, but not well, and without his false teeth. Marlowe, one of his secretaries had gone for the night on an errand. It appeared that Manderson had gone part way with Marlowe and then walked home and gone to bed. Trent manages to get some finger prints and things he has found the murderer, but meanwhile he has fallen in love with Manderson's wife. He writes up his conclusions and gives them to the wife and then leaves. A year later, Trent finally meets Mrs. Manderson at the opera. She convinces him that Marlowe is innocent and Trent and Cupples meet with Marlowe, who describes the night of Manderson's death. There is a big surprise at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nikki | 9/20/2013

    " Considered a bit of a breakthrough in the detective story because the sleuth is a bit of a bumbler, not the omniscient genius in the Sherlock Holmes mode. The classical education of the early twentieth-century British writer shows in the lengthy, but well-punctuated and readable, sentences. Although the somewhat florid writing would not pass muster with today's editors, it does not detract overmuch from the story. Trent, the detective, may have influenced Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey as he has the same propensity to "talk piffle," scattering allusions here and there. I more or less figured out the solution, but partly that's because the Dover edition I got from the library had a spoiler on the back cover! At the very end there is a distressing bit of that nearly unconscious racism that white writers were so prone to in those days (1913). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ange | 7/31/2013

    " Didn't record all the neat parts of this book. Of course, I recommend it highly. P.D. James was right about this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy | 6/30/2013

    " Very enjoyable. He wrote well and created believable characters, so you don't really mind the preposterous plot. The circumstances of its genesis are interesting - just as well he didn't intend a whole series, it's a one-off if ever I read one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/23/2013

    " British murder mystery set in the early 20th century. Not your typical book, and of course, there is a suprise ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Petersen | 6/10/2012

    " This is surely one of the most convoluted, twisted, and clever mysteries I have encountered, to say nothing of being superbly written. No wonder at all that Trent's Last Case is on many a Best list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lizzie | 8/1/2011

    " For once the blurbs were right - a great, classic mystery. It has an adorable detective and a twisted yet totally believeable plot. The fact that it was written in 1913 or so means it's written in a charmingly old fashion way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 5/26/2011

    " Who did it was a complete surprise to me! However, I found Trent to be a bit too "precious" for me and as a result found the story dragged in several places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonna | 5/15/2011

    " Fun finding the book deemed to be the first modern mystery novel. Light and entertaining read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Harris | 4/3/2011

    " A very decent mystery novel, with only a measure of predictability. Bentley is a good author who is able to draw his characters together in a web that is disentangled by his protagonist. The characters themselves are interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail Park | 10/31/2010

    " Well written, compelling, and an unanticipated ending. What could be better? LIstened to this audio book while on our vacation in England, so the British accents of the audio were an added bonus. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 3/19/2010

    " Well written, compelling, and an unanticipated ending. What could be better? LIstened to this audio book while on our vacation in England, so the British accents of the audio were an added bonus. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 12/30/2008

    " Extremely entertaining English murder mystery. I discovered this book while reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran". This is one of the books that Azar Nafisi purchased in Tehran before they closed the English book stores. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lizzie | 8/20/2008

    " For once the blurbs were right - a great, classic mystery. It has an adorable detective and a twisted yet totally believeable plot. The fact that it was written in 1913 or so means it's written in a charmingly old fashion way. "

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About the Author

Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875–1956) was a journalist, novelist, and author of light verse. He wrote first for the Daily News and then for the Daily Telegraph, where he was leader writer and then chief literary critic. Bentley earned a minor place in literary history by his invention of the light-verse form known as the clerihew, and is also known for his contribution to detective fiction. Trent’s Last Case was intended as a satire of detective stories, but was quickly hailed as a classic of the genre.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.