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Stone Barrington #36

Scandalous Behavior

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After a series of nonstop adventures, Stone Barrington is eager for some peace and quiet in a rustic British setting. But no sooner does he land in England than he’s beset by an outrageous demand from a beautiful lady, and an offer he can’t refuse.

Unfortunately, Stone quickly learns that his new acquisition comes with some undesired strings attached -- namely, a deadly mystery involving the complex relationships of the local gentry, and a relentless adversary who raises the stakes with every encounter. Stone’s restful country vacation is looking like yet another troublesome situation, but with his tireless aplomb -- and the help of a few friends -- he is more than up to the challenge.

7 pages, Audio CD

First published January 5, 2016

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About the author

Stuart Woods

306 books2,840 followers
Stuart Woods was the author the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington series and Holly Barker series. He was an avid private pilot, flying his own jet on book tours.

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5 stars
1,810 (29%)
4 stars
2,092 (34%)
3 stars
1,573 (25%)
2 stars
419 (6%)
1 star
198 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 431 reviews
Profile Image for BJ.
1,088 reviews11 followers
January 15, 2016
Okay, yes, I've read another Stone Barrington book and I won't apologize for it. I realize that certain people feel that there is no "literary value" to this type of story, but at the end of an 8 hour day spent trying to make sense out of medical charts dictated by foreign doctors who are unable to speak English clearly or Americans who don't care enough to speak clearly, I want to read something that I enjoy, that takes away the stress, something that I don't have to think about or evaluate every word, every sentence. Stone and his friends do that for me. In this installment, Stone is in England, buying yet another mansion with yet another threat to his and his son's lives. Enjoyable read.
2 reviews
January 29, 2016
Maybe it is because my first read of Stuart Woods was book #36 but I found it awful. The protagonist Stone Barrington is probably more interesting than the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world. In other words he is as fake as any character ever created in literature (literature is used loosely for this trash). Stone knows everyone including the Director of the FBI, the POTUS, Jesus Christ (whom is not quite the man Stone is), and not only does he know the director of MI6 he also inserts his 16 inches into her whenever he wants. She loves it so much she gives him all the secrets he wants. That is between bedding every fine woman in the world. The character is fake and unbelievable. When you screw with him or his kids law officers all the world over stop everything they are doing to help him get even. I bought this book because I like a good mystery. This is pure trash with sloppy prose and you already know how it ends. Stone Barrington saves the world and impregnates Kate Middleton with her third child after doing so. If your looking for a good mystery pass this up and get a Hillerman novel or something similar. Even the Hardy Boys books are more entertaining than this drivel. It worries me greatly that this made it to bestseller status. Its for the mystery lover who likes to solve the case after page 50. Its so easy to see what will happen it is like watching episodes of Matlock. Only Matlock is better written.
January 16, 2016
Scandalous Behavior is a entertaining quick read as many of the Stone Barrington series are. However, the last 6 or so books haven't been very deep in the way of plot or action. Since Arrington's death the books have been about a wealthy guy spending his money and coming into a few scrapes along the way, while he flies his new jet to a new location. It's as if the author is in a funk of putting out fluff books to meet contract obligations. I'd like them to be deeper and full of action the way his earlier novels were.

I guess what I'm saying is I want more and the books aren't living up to his earlier works. Sorry for the rant, but I had higher expectations for this novel and character.
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,401 reviews762 followers
January 25, 2016
At this point - having read too many books in the Stone Barrington series to count ( I've reviewed 11 here on Goodreads) - I think I've finally come to terms with the things that started to bother me a few years back when the books got noticeably shorter and more boring (to the point that I began referring to the filthy rich New York lawyer as Stone Yawnington). In fact, I've rather enjoyed the last three, as I did this one. Where else will you find someone who, after just one look, buys an English mansion for 10-1/2 million pounds, then heads to an auto dealership to snap up a new Bentley and a new Porsche?

In this case, Stone buys the house (which he loves) from the dying owner to keep it out of the hands of his unloved kids. Meanwhile, Stone's son Peter and his friend Ben, who are in the movie-making business, have released their latest effort - a story about a shady cult leader. The film is wildly successful (of course, since everything Stone and his offspring do is touched with gold); but a dangerous real-life "religious" leader is quite unhappy, insisting that the movie is based on him. He's mad as hell and isn't going to take it any more, but how far will he go to retaliate?

Early on, a dead body turns up as well, supposedly a suicide. But here, too, there's more to the story than meets the eye. Could his death really have been murder? And if so, who did it and why? Leave it to Stone and his close-knit group of friends (one of whom has the FBI director on speed-dial) to get to the bottom of it - in between making a deal on another huge property and spending a good portion of time on the back of a horse (in proper attire, of course).

All these questions and more are answered here, and was happy to end the book with no cliffhanger. As has been the practice of late, the book is quite short (311 pages). And at this point, I do suggest that readers interested in this series should begin with an earlier book. This one stands alone well enough, but it seems to me my enjoyment was enriched by my previous knowledge of the backgrounds of the major characters.
Profile Image for Susan.
155 reviews1 follower
January 25, 2016
Another episode of " Life of the rich and famous" featuring Stone Barrington. Why do I continue to read these books?
Profile Image for Kym Moore.
Author 3 books31 followers
May 30, 2021
This is my first time reading one of the Stone Barrington series by Stuart Woods (the 36th novel to be exact). Perhaps because I have never read any of the previous novels, I may not be able to give a fair assessment and review for this book. Quite honestly, it was too scandalous and there reallly wasn't something substantive in the storyline that I could personally connect to. Overall, I found the story rather stuffy, with spoiled wealthy characters, which I would define as casually snobby and formally stuffy. It seemed a little too pretentious and predictable, without great mystery.

First of all, Dame Felicity Devonshire suggested that Stone Barrington buy the estate of Sir Charles Bourne who is terminally ill. Charles is estranged from his children. He will soon marry a younger woman despite his poor health condition. He feels that since his ex-wife, the mother of his children left his kids pretty well off, he didn't bother leaving anything in his will for them.

There appeared to be a murder on Stone's newly acquired property (Sir Richard Curtis). Who killed Sir Richard Curtis? His head was almost severed. They suspected Wilfred Burns, retired Brigadier General, who was their resident hermit. Detective Holmes later informed Stone that Wilfred Burns, their Brigadier General took his own life and allegedly confessed to killing Curtis by leaving a note in his prison cell. This was bogus.

Peter (Stone's son) and his friend Ben made a movie (Hell's Bells) that was apparently a threat to people whose real-life is closely depicted in the movie, and wants to kill them. Dr. Don Beverly Calhoun, the cult leader who has taken offense at the movie "Hell's Bells, is believed to be scamming his followers out of their mortgages. The storyline in the movie hits close to home and Calhoun hires a hitman to find Stone Barrington and his son to take them out. Ironically, the hitman Calhoun hired ended up killing him and his wife.

I suppose this was to be a thriller, but the flow of the dialogue was not quite what I expected. I expected much more drama, mystery, or friction between the characters than what was presented. It was intended to be scandalous but not quite the adventure I anticipated it to be. Yet, it was entertaining.
133 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2016
Two and one half stars...

... rather than two. But that option is not available. Stuart Woods has worn out the Stone Barrington brand. If Barrington were any more perfect, any more wealthy, any more frequently laid, or had any more perfect taste or any more perfect children it would only make him MORE ludicrous.

This is pretty much it for me and Stone Barrington. He's so
bloody perfect he's dull. The mansions he buys are dull. The women he beds are dull. Dino has become dull. Even the antagonist in this novel is dull. He's stupid rich with a dull wife and himself has mansions all over and private aircraft in every port.

Nope. I'm done. Stone Barrington used to be fun. Now he's overbearing and dull and WAY too privileged to be believable. I'm assuming that is reflective of Mr. Woods himself. To Read his note to we readers, he couldn't be bothered hearing from any of us.

Enough, Stuart. You had your run. Thanks for the first few novels. It was fun. Now it's just... well... over.
Profile Image for Bob Battle.
52 reviews
June 14, 2017
Stone Barrington, the person who "The Most Interesting Man in the World" hero worships.
After his last adventure Stone contacts his friend and occasional sleeping partner Felicia who is head of MI6. BTW he also has head of FBI, head of NYPD and a former POTUS on his speed dial.
He is looking for a country retreat in Britain.
Day 1 Buys $10M estate
Day 2 Buys a Bentley and after some hesitation buys a Porsche to go with it. Then hits Saville Row for his British wardrobe.
If you are looking for a mystery its not there
If you are looking for adventure its not there
If you are looking for compelling writing look elsewhere
What amazes me is that about 50% gave this five stars!!!! Will never, ever trust ratings again.
145 reviews1 follower
March 23, 2017
At their best, Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington novels are the sort of light fodder best read in airport lounges and long, sleepless, jet-lagged nights in foreign hotels. At their very worst, and this book is that, they come across as insipid and uninspired drivel. This is only made worse when "read" via books on CD, where you can actually feel your brain shrinking as you listen. I was forced to grab the paper version after two or three chapters in the vain hope that things might improve, but found myself skim reading the remainder. Were I freezing to death in a library with a fireplace and a book of matches, this would be the first book (and hopefully the only one) I would burn.
30 reviews
June 18, 2017
This was a quick read and enjoyable to read as you wind down your day. This is the first Stuart Wood book I have read. It wasn't what I expected but I did enjoy it. The story begins with Stone Barrington buying an English estate where shortly after the purchase there is a murder on the grounds. this murder is quickly solved and isn't mentioned again until the end of the book. Meanwhile, Stone's son Peter ruffles the feathers of a nefarious cult leader. Papa Bear Stone gets involved trying to protect his son from the cult leader and soon Stone and the cult leader are at odds. it was enjoyable reading about the hilarious antics of the cult leader as Stone and friends work at taking him down. A good story about how karma bites the cult leader in the tush! I enjoyed the story and will add this author to my reading list.
Profile Image for Skip.
3,288 reviews395 followers
January 25, 2016
Head of MI-6 and occasional lover Dame Felicity Devonshire, convinces Stone to buy a gorgeous Georgian mansion in England near her country house from its dying owner, just in time for a neighbor's murder. Of course, he has to buy a Bentley, Porsche and new wardrobe (by page 30.) Back in the U.S., a religious cult leader has declared a vendetta against his filmmaker son alleging slander. Teddy Fay convinces Stone to move his son and friends to the new house. Stone and the decorator get all horizontal naturally, and the basic plot is the usual stuff between the cult leader and Stone. As usual, with Stone's help, the decorator
Profile Image for Mysteryfan.
1,588 reviews19 followers
December 18, 2015
I received an ARC for this book. Sometimes I think I ought to class these under fantasy. Stone is able to buy two English country estates on a whim, shop at Turnbull & Ascott, buy airplanes, and otherwise live the deluxe life. They are fun to read but not deep. The usual cast of characters appears. Stone buys the first country house as a favor to Dame Felicity, so I'm expecting it will turn up in a future story.
Profile Image for Tinao.
24 reviews
June 29, 2016
Why do I keep reading these books? No character development, thin plot line, you could speed read read through this. Stone Barrington is every guys fantasy, rich, lucky and I guess good looking. The fact that he sleeps around with so many women and hasn't picked up an STD is amazing. What's also amazing is that he manages to find all these women who don't mind him sleeping around and actually encourage him to do it! No more.
Profile Image for Annette.
84 reviews11 followers
January 15, 2016
Stone Barrington! Flew his new jet! Bought another multimillion dollar house! With staff! Bought another Bentley! Bought another Porsche! Rode a horse! With his son! Wore a tux! Discovered the real killer by a fluke! Billy Bentley saved the day!

This is the first boring Stone Barrington book I have read.
Profile Image for Tim.
2,131 reviews200 followers
February 10, 2016
This novel gets a supreme rating due to its excellent story line and perfect ending. 10 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Mike French.
430 reviews92 followers
April 27, 2016
Another entertaining and enjoyable book in the Stone Barrington series!
Profile Image for Joanne Liddy-mctavish.
47 reviews3 followers
April 26, 2018
Well that was sort of silly and sort of fun. This was my first Stuart Woods (and Stone Barrington) book. If you are looking for a non stressful read full of escapism this is it! I will definitely look into reading more. This book was # 36 in its series - lol.
Profile Image for John Olson.
179 reviews2 followers
May 9, 2019
Ah, Stone Barrington buys another residence. A bargain of sorts. Felicity, the MI6 leader lives near there that being the reason to have Stone acquire the wooded mansion. TV evangelist Dr Don , leads a church whose parish turns over their property to him. Murder and mayhem leads to more murders by the former owner. It’s a 3 1/2 stars for me but so I rounded up.
Profile Image for Kathy LeJeune.
184 reviews6 followers
March 9, 2018
I love Stuart Woods books, especially read by Tony Roberts. This was one of my favorites. I love all the characters. Stuart Woods makes my drive in Atlanta traffic fun! If I am listening to his books, I forget it takes me 2 hours to drive 21 miles!
Profile Image for Nancy Klarich.
26 reviews1 follower
January 20, 2023
I have read other books by this author that I really enjoyed but this one fell to meet those. Story line just never really seemed to take off.
83 reviews
February 8, 2019
Could almost have enjoyed this book, except for the author's need to use obscene language in some places.
Profile Image for Judy.
Author 15 books22 followers
September 4, 2017
I enjoyed reading Stuart Woods many years ago. I have changed, and perhaps Mr. Woods has too. This is a story in the Stone Barrington series that mostly involves rich people with too many toys, and Barrington heads the list. As the novel opens, he lands his plane in Southampton, England, where he is met by the head of M16 (Britain's equivalent of the CIA). She whisks him off to a country estate where he whips out his checkbook and purchases the property for a ridiculous amount of money. He is then introduced to a young woman. Fortunately, his most recent girlfriend marched out on him at the end of the previous instalment, so Barrington is available. They soon hook up, and conveniently she also is the designer/decorator for Barrington's new acquisition. Then there is his son, who directs films in Hollywood. And the next door neighbor, whose throat is slit in the front yard of the estate. (The hermit confesses, though he probably didn't do it dontcha know?)

Oh, there also is a religious cult leader who has it in for Barrington's son, who made a movie about a religious cult. The movie is released, and is a tremendous box-office success. Everyone rushes to New York to attend the opening. The cult leader is now out to get the entire family. But they have such wonderful ideas to foil him...midst all the sex and eating and drinking fine Burgundies and property transactions....

I swear to God! I listened to this thing on cd. Maybe it would have been bearable as a book with pages, but hearing the words read aloud produced gag reflexes in yours truly a significant number of times. The rich are very boring when all they talk about is money and buying more things and getting richer. The "thriller" ascpects of this book were entirely incidental. There was not one unpredictable happening in the entire book. Not one funny line. Not one moment of genuine tension. And nobody behaved scandalously--a sincere disappointment. There was not one funny line in the entire book.

I persevered. The book did not get better, but it beat listening to the news this past week. I cannot remember when I have read anything worse.
Profile Image for Carol.
2,411 reviews74 followers
April 6, 2016
Scandalous Behavior by Stuart woods
Stone Barrington series Book #36

From The Book:
After a series of nonstop adventures, Stone Barrington is eager for some peace and quiet in a rustic British setting. But no sooner does he land in England than he’s beset by an outrageous demand from a beautiful lady, and an offer he can’t refuse. Unfortunately, Stone quickly learns that his new acquisition comes with some undesired strings attached—namely, a deadly mystery involving the complex relationships of the local gentry, and a relentless adversary who raises the stakes with every encounter. Stone’s restful country vacation is looking like yet another troublesome situation, but with his tireless aplomb—and the help of a few friends—he is more than up to the challenge.

My Thoughts:

One thing that has brought me through 36 books in the Stone Barrington series is that Stuart Woods never wastes space with unnecessary words or descriptions and that he has brought Stone from a New York police detective to one of the most successful and richest men in the world...a man that has the ear of the United States President as well as European royalty...yet Stone has remained honest and humble through it all. The books don't have the blood and grit that I prefer in most mysteries but there is just something about the personalities that Woods has created with these characters that keep you turning pages to see where the situation is going to lead. For several previous books it seemed that Woods had gone around the bend making Stone into a rich playboy, sleeping with everything that walked...but even though the ladies are still very much willing and available...the sex has been toned down considerably and our Stone has become respectable again. I am so glad for the return of Billy Barnett (aka Teddy Fay), who was missing for the last few books. I wish Stuart Woods would develop a series around Billy, as he is one interesting character- a perfect mix of good and evil. Also happy to see that I can again give a decent star rating to this series.
Profile Image for Shannon Upton.
Author 9 books78 followers
August 1, 2016
OK, this is the thirty-sixth Stone Barrington novel, and I will confess that I've only read one (at most two) of the others. So, it's possible I could be missing something here. There are probably great depths of backstory that I'm missing, and characters that I'm supposed to have great feelings for that I do not. I got this book almost on accident, and though I remembered not totally loving Stone Barrington from my first venture into his world, I figured I'd read it anyway.

That was a mistake. This book was a three-hundred page description of what rich people do: how they fly here and there (whenever the mood strikes them, as none of them have plans for the next day), purchase whatever they want (instantly), improve and renovate what they just purchased (also instantly, with the help of nonexistent hop-to-it building contractors, and even movie studios), and eat (without gaining weight). The "mystery" here was a non-event, never actively pursued and solved almost as a side note at the end. The "relentless adversary" was a thinly drawn idiot of a character with a stereotype shell of a wife. This books was painful to read and I can't believe I finished it, searching for the reason Stone has thirty-six books. I want my hours back.

If you're a Stone Barrington fan, and this is how Wood's books are, I'm afraid I don't get it. If you haven't read Stone Barrington books and would like to try (I mean, there has to be something good in there somewhere, right?), definitely go back to the beginning when he was still a investigator trying to solve something, rather than an impossibly rich person with nothing to do but spend the money and bore his readers.
Profile Image for Nathan Flamank.
Author 45 books40 followers
February 4, 2016
ZERO STARS for this load of absolute trash. It, along with the last twenty books put out by Woods' team of industrious monkeys, was given to me for free and its "Freeness" is the only reason I continue to read what can only be described as "toilet paper". Another novel filled with convenient coincidences that has NO story, NO characterisation, NO depth and NO soul. SB is without a doubt the worst novel I have read since, well, since the last Woods' monstrosity. The story (what little there is) is set mainly here in the UK and here the author really shows that his monkeys have no idea what they're typing out. Anyone even remotely familiar with how things work here in the UK will discover mistakes so monumentally stupid that you'll soon be laughing out loud - there are too many mistakes to number and I wonder if Woods' monkeys have been introduced to Google. Truly awful from start to finish - luckily it only took a couple of hours to wade through. My biggest hope concerning Woods and his band of merry Monkeys is that they're all struck down with some debilitating-writing-related but non-life threatening disease and the books stop coming.
Profile Image for Bob.
1,982 reviews16 followers
February 10, 2016
Stone Barrington is back and this time he has been invited to England by his Friend in the British government who has a surprise for him. One of her neighbors has a "Stately Georgian home up for sale and the locals do not want just anybody to move in. Stone is eventually convinced to buy, and now is the owner of a moderate estate with servants, a resident hermit and an interior decorator who has been working on updating the mansion. Naturally she and Stone make a connection as she completes her work. Stone's son Peter and his Hollywood film makers have a potential hit on their hands and also the threat of a law suit from a California Cult leader who is claiming the movie is about him and his group and their unsavory reputation. Eventually the several characters all meet in England and Stone and his Hotel partnership end up buying the adjacent property to keep the Cult from setting up a base their. Tricks and turns, danger and Stones short lived romps and the expenditure of lots of money, light simple and a fast read.
Profile Image for Donna.
1,847 reviews
January 26, 2016
Stone Barrington returns to start off 2106 in England. Old flame Dame Felicity Devonshire talks Stone into buying a house in the country from a dying neighbor. Soon we have a murder of another neighbor and a homeless fellow living on the estate is blamed and he hangs himself in prison. Stone's son makes a movie loosely based on a religious cult led by Dr Don Beverly Calhoun. Dr Don doesn't appreciate his portrayal in the movie and makes his displeasure known. Stone whisks his son over to England where Dr Don again tries to create havoc by buying into the neighborhood but Stone thwarts him by buying the place himself. Since Dr Don is being a pain, Stone shows him what it means to cause trouble.

This book was totally a different subject from the Stone Barrington book of 3 months ago. I'm glad it had a different feel and I liked it. However, you can still expect Stone to have a new lady, as usual.
Profile Image for Montessahall Montessahall.
377 reviews39 followers
February 6, 2016
Predictable like all the other books in this series. In addition to the usual: planes, food, sex, liquor, cars and name dropping, the author now includes English country estates. I will concede there are segments of the story that dealt with the villain are very funny. The writing and pace of the story is better than previous books in this series. Still, the author needs to inject a dose of reality for the main character. Stone is as virile as he was in book one. How old is this character anyway? With a grown, married son and the timeframe of previous books, he would be in his mid to upper 70's. Yet, he bed hops like a 20 year old and never pops a "little blue pill." Only in fiction I guess...
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