The Circular Staircase


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4 stars; 108 reviews)

Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958) was a prolific American writer of popular mysteries. The Circular Staircase was originally published in 1908 and includes all the elements of the classic whodunit – mysterious events, ghostly apparitions, things that go bump in the night and murder. (Summary by J. M. Smallheer)

(7 hr 40 min)

Chapters

I TAKE A COUNTRY HOUSE 14:29 Read by J. M. Smallheer
A LINK CUFF-BUTTON 14:06 Read by Laurie Anne Walden
MR. JOHN BAILEY APPEARS 9:23 Read by Laurie Anne Walden
WHERE IS HALSEY? 10:10 Read by J. M. Smallheer
GERTRUDE'S ENGAGEMENT 10:35 Read by RedToby
IN THE EAST CORRIDOR 11:30 Read by Jason Oakley
A SPRAINED ANKLE 11:26 Read by RedToby
THE OTHER HALF OF THE LINE 17:43 Read by Ian Skillen
JUST LIKE A GIRL 15:10 Read by Ian Skillen
THE TRADERS BANK 16:43 Read by Lucy Burgoyne (1950 - 2014)
HALSEY MAKES A CAPTURE 11:05 Read by Lucy Burgoyne (1950 - 2014)
ONE MYSTERY FOR ANOTHER 16:44 Read by Wina Hathaway
LOUISE 23:57 Read by Wina Hathaway
AN EGG-NOG AND A TELEGRAM 12:30 Read by Wina Hathaway
LIDDY GIVES THE ALARM 10:49 Read by Ana Simão
IN THE EARLY MORNING 10:05 Read by Ana Simão
A HINT OF SCANDAL 14:31 Read by Ana Simão
A HOLE IN THE WALL 12:10 Read by Wina Hathaway
CONCERNING THOMAS 10:24 Read by Ana Simão
DOCTOR WALKER'S WARNING 12:39 Read by Ana Simão
FOURTEEN ELM STREET 21:23 Read by Ana Simão
A LADDER OUT OF PLACE 9:24 Read by Ana Simão
WHILE THE STABLES BURNED 10:43 Read by Andrew Shumate
FLINDERS 10:27 Read by Ian Skillen
A VISIT FROM LOUISE 15:49 Read by Alok Karulkar
HALSEY'S DISAPPEARANCE 18:25 Read by Wina Hathaway
WHO IS NINA CARRINGTON? 12:11 Read by Wina Hathaway
A TRAMP AND THE TOOTHACHE 12:14 Read by J. M. Smallheer
A SCRAP OF PAPER 17:34 Read by Ana Simão
WHEN CHURCHYARDS YAWN 11:52 Read by Ana Simão
BETWEEN TWO FIREPLACES 10:14 Read by Ana Simão
ANNE WATSON'S STORY 11:26 Read by Ian Skillen
AT THE FOOT OF THE STAIRS 20:09 Read by Laurie Anne Walden
THE ODDS AND ENDS 12:02 Read by J. M. Smallheer

Reviews

Light Mystery

(2 stars)

Just the light slightly cheesy murder mystery I was in the mood for. I think fans of Agatha Christie may enjoy. You know... a wealthy old spinster, her sassy relationship with a long serving servant, spooky country mansion, her kinda spoiled children, lots of names and convoluted relationships between characters, death. No suspense or chills if that's what you're after. This is my first librivox audio book. I enjoy the fact real people are reading and you get everyone's accent, etc, that's just the nature of the beast. That being said, and I realize these are volunteers so I feel crappy complaining, but some people are just not effective narrators. Ana Simão, who reads SO MANY chapters, is very distracting to listen to. It got to the point where when I heard it was her again I wanted to turn it off. It's not her accent in general (I enjoyed the diversity in accents) but it seems whatever her native language is maybe they don't pronounce "g" or vowels the same way, or maybe her tongue was swollen. The cadence was also strange. I found it was difficult to just listen and visualize the action in my mind, instead I had to actively pay attention to the words and translate what a mispronounciation was supposed to have been and felt like I was always running a couple words behind - and character names, oh dear. She also sometimes just totally skipped over connector words like on and of. Luckily this is not a masterpiece of literature so there's only so much damage to be done but it still kind of ruined the book for me. I would gladly volunteer to reread her chapters (in fact this has made me want to volunteer anyway). I'll try more librivox recordings, though tempering my expectations that the project is really more about the readers enjoyment than the listeners enjoyment. And steering clear of any others she participated in.

A Decent Story

(3.5 stars)

I don't understand why having multiple readers is a big deal to some. One of them, Ana, wasn't 100% understandable some times when I was listening casually (when cleaning, for example). When this happens I wait to listen when I can pay attention completely & use my ear buds. When I did this I could understand her better & keep up. When this isn't the result (if an accent is heavy, words are often mispronounced, the wrong tone is used, or a proper pace/speed isn't used) I believe the reader shouldn't be a Librivox volunteer. I don't feel this way here. As far as the story goes, I enjoyed it. Like another reviewer pointed out, it has a few similarities to The Bat. However, I suggest you listen to this one 1st because it's not as good. You may have a harder time enjoying it if you don't.

The Circular Staircase

(1.5 stars)

I really can't comment on the book itself because I simply could not understand the readers.

good story

(4 stars)

I enjoy Mary Roberts Rinehart's stories very much, and this was another great one. I just don't like having so many different readers. the heavily accented ones in which I have to really concentrate on what's going on are a challenge, thou the one endeared me.to her with her attwmpts to speak in a southern drawl one time. one reader seemed to be readinglike it was a race to the end. other than that, a good story and many thanks to the readers for making it possible.

(5 stars)

The story itself is great... but there is one reader for Portugal who is barely understandable and makes you want to scream. She kept referring to the "leather" and it wasn't until I looked at the chapter title I realized it was "ladder"... she also does not read/say any definite articles which is maddening. I stuck with it through her readings because the story is so good.... Story gets 100%, the rest of the readers were just fine.. it's just the Portuguese lady.. omg...

(5 stars)

A great story. Has a lot of twists and turns, but still very enjoyable. I had to listen to some of the chapters a time or two bc of the heavy accents of some of the readers who did a good job of reading but you can tell English is not there first language. I’m not a avid mystery reader but I do like most of the stories by this author.

Good story made mediocre by bad reader

(3.5 stars)

Great story, but Portuguese reader’s thick accent and mispronunciations of words and especially the characters’ names (Jertrude instead of Gertrude for example) made the many chapters she read difficult to understand and detracted considerably from enjoying the story. I appreciate her effort, but she should stick to reading stories in her own language.

Great story

(5 stars)

There has been some criticism of the readers that are hard to understand. It is true that some of the readers have a heavy accent but I am thankful for their dedication to reading the story and providing a free audio book. This book is light reading, the plot is easy to guess But thoroughly enjoyable.