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Murder at Avedon Hill

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Lord Avedon has a problem. Generations of Avedons have watched over Avedon Hill and controlled the only pass through the Lantis Mountains. Traditions are important to the Avedon family, but one tradition has tragically come to an end. Gretta Platt, Housemistress of Avedon Manor, has been murdered. A member of the Platt family has always served the Avedons as Housemistress. until now. Only a handful of people live at Avedon Hill, and most are suspects. Arames Kragen, retired Aarronic Advisor and scholar of prophecy, arrives at the gates of Avedon Hill, hoping to gain access to the mountain pass. Lord Avedon is not in a giving mood, however.

This is the story of Arames Kragen and his attempt not only to discover who killed Gretta Platt, but also to uncover the truth about a town that apparently has more secrets than inhabitants.

The Land of Caern: It is a world where the gods, the Children of Az, can choose to be born as mortals to directly affect events in the world, and often do. It is a world where the Priests of Caern frantically search for the mortal incarnations of any of the Children, in order prevent the Prophecies of Iberian from coming to pass.

Welcome to The Land of Caern... Welcome... to Murder at Avedon Hill, the podcast novel by P.G. Holyfield.

344 pages, Podiobook

First published January 1, 2008

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About the author

P.G. Holyfield

6 books74 followers
While attending the University of Virginia I majored in Religious Studies, focusing on the belief systems of the Eastern world. During that time I also had the opportunity to read the works of Joseph Campbell. My love of gaming and for mythology led to the creation of a fantasy setting I named The Land of Caern.

It is a world where the gods can choose to be born into the world as mortals, and often do. It is a world where the conflict between religious faith and arcane magic has reached a breaking point. It is a world where demons have periodically crossed over through tears in the fabric caused during the ancient wars between the Children.

My first novel, Murder at Avedon Hill, was released by Dragon Moon Press in May of 2010. I am currently working on two novels: the sequel to Murder at Avedon Hill, and a historical fantasy novel.

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5 stars
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62 (16%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 39 reviews
Profile Image for Shaft.
552 reviews2 followers
June 20, 2010
I came to this as a result of Podiobooks I had been going to it for awhile before I noticed this particular story. What brought me to it because of my love of that style of story and the world in which it was set. If you like the writings of Tolkien and Eddings then you will love this. However it does not stop there with the normal sword and staff stuff but instead treats us to a intricate mystery seemingly more suited to Agatha Christie. The blend of fantasy and mystery is something I have not met before in books but I think it should definitely be tried again considering how utterly successful it is shown to be here.

Another plus point for those of you out there that like to listen to your books sometimes (I find my favourite part of the week sometimes is sitting in the local laundromat listening to whatever book I have on my mp3 player at the moment.) is the guest voices that appear in this podcast. Basically everyone who is anyone in the world of free audiobook publications is featured and if you are a veteran of podiobooks you will likely recognise a voice or two or at least a name when checking out the chapters.

In short I can't recommend this book enough and I eagerly look forward to future work from the author.
Profile Image for DivaDiane.
974 reviews94 followers
August 5, 2009
This was a great story with a depth of background that is just astounding. A mystery that keeps you on your toes and plenty of magic and magical creatures. The production values of the Podcast novel are exceptionally high, including a wonderful voice cast and fantastic music by Shira Kammen (from http://magnatune.com). You can listen to the story including chit-chat about the on-going production (which is now finished) directly from P.G. Holyfield's website or just the story itself at http://podiobooks.com

I highly recommend this entertaining book.
Profile Image for kelley.
332 reviews32 followers
June 7, 2010
I loaded a free sample of this book onto my kindle--read the first chapter and was sucked into the story immediately.

The story begins with a murder of the house mistress, Gretta Platt, of Avedon Manor. The story is a murder mystery but the setting is the Land of Caern and involves such creatures as God's, Priests, Royalty, Sorcerers, Vampires, Moon Beasts, Orcs and other fantastical creatures. The story is both original and creative. I loved following the protagonist Arames Kragen and his student Arrin through the process of solving the mystery, discovering each clue as they did and trying to fit the pieces together. After finishing the book I turned once again to the Prologue and read the murder sequence again just to see how events occurred after gathering all the facts.

I did visit the author's website where I learned that this book began as a multiple ending computer game that wasn't picked up and after some encouragement from his wife he began writing the story into a novel that he released chapter by chapter as a podcast. The Novel was released just this past month.

If you like fantasy, if you like a good murder mystery . . . having the two genre's combined is an excellent experience. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Natalie.
Author 8 books7 followers
September 4, 2008
A masterful blend of fantasy and mystery, the story centers around the strange murder of Gretta Platt, Housemistress of Avedon Manor. When Arames and his young student, Arrin, find pass at Avedon Hill barred, they agree to help Lord Avedon investigate the mystery of Gretta's death in return for gaining access to the pass. In the process, the two outsiders stumble upon a growing list of mysteries surrounding the town of Avedon Hill including vampires, moon beasts, and magic. This is a must listen for the fantasy and/or mystery story enthusiast. It's intriguing as any Sherlock Holmes story with plenty of action and blended masterfully in a well developed fantasy setting. P.G. has done a wonderful job crafting this story, weaving the two genres together flawlessly. As those that have purchased the print version of the book will discover, P.G. Holyfield's writing keeps you eager for more all the way up to the spectacular conclusion. The brilliant ending neatly ties Avedon Hill's secrets together, leaving the reader with warm contentment (and yearning for a sequal). This full bodied production includes music and features excellent guest voices for some of the characters.
Profile Image for Ron.
40 reviews5 followers
July 16, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I’ve always had a thing for mystery stories as a child. This story is part mystery and fantasy. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author did a wonderful job with the characters. After listening to a fair share of podcast stories, this is one of the best I’ve listened to. I enjoyed the voices and sounds of the podcast as well.
Profile Image for David.
172 reviews1 follower
May 19, 2017
There are a number of things to recommend this project. Holyfield obviously put a lot of effort into the production. The characters are generally well formed, and the plot is well constructed, along with the world he's built. The concept of a murder mystery in a fantasy setting is interesting, and not one you see often. And he keeps the reader guessing (though, admittedly, I'm pretty easy to fool with a mystery).
I found it hard to finish, though. The writing itself is clunky, wordy, and overly descriptive (EX: He used his legs to rise from his chair. | The prince moved back and up into a crouch...), it frequently stumbles over word repetition throwing off the cadence and flow of the text (EX: *Light* emanated from a *room* at the end of the hallway. There were multiple entrances to *rooms* between them and the *lighted* *room*. | Doppin pulled up his *legs* to sit cross-*legged*.), and the author does POV shifts mid-scene without warning. I noted a few examples, but all of these issues are pervasive throughout the work.
The author did close the book well, in dramatic fashion. But still, the issues with the writing throughout made it difficult to get there.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Melissa Hayden.
857 reviews116 followers
March 2, 2014
Wow! Murder mystery in a fantasy world with moon beasts, vampires, and magics. What a story! I am now going in search of anything and all set in this world.

Arames and his student, Arrin Perti, come to the city of Avedon Hill, the city all had to go through to get to the mountain pass because there is no other way around, as they were heading to a conference. Arames's cousin tells him he can't get him granted passage, there's been a murder and the city is closed. Lord Avedon won't let anyone leave until the murder of the Housemistress of the Avedon Manor is solved. Arames offers to solve the murder to open the pass on the opposite side. The secrets Arames unveils on his investigation could prove to be very dangerous to him and Arrin. Secrets worth killing for...

I listened to the audiobook version, and LOVED it! All the voices to many different characters and the background to go with the happenings. I would love to have read this book as well. I know there are a few sections about the gods here that I would have re-read a few times. I know there is a lot of information that goes with the building here and my sticky notes would have been loved so. And I could easily go back to my notes and see about figuring out the mystery too. ;) I did have times where visualizing in my minds eye was a bit hard with the gods information. I think reading would have helped me in these small sections. The beginning of each chapter kind of confused me at times too, these were short phrases about the worlds gods. However, in Chapter 14 P.G. Holyfield explains these are religious text from in the world and will be read by another to lessen confusion. This change helps greatly in listening to the book, in reading it probably won't affect you.

A murder mystery to solve in a fantasy world! Who done it? I like mystery shows/movies but usually struggle with the reads (I love my fantasy and usually not set in a fantasy world). P.G. Holyfield blends all I love here! Yes! Thank you for writing my kind of mystery! And in investigating the murder and along with wanting to know who did it, I became exceedingly curious of the secrets people were hiding. I wanted to know it ALL! And in the end, I do...mostly. ;)

We start in the prologue with being in Gretta's head. Then she is attacked and murdered. We got a glimpse at the killer's thoughts as well. There is a connection here, and I'm curious as to what it is. Then we are with Arames and Arrin, venturing the investigation through both their eyes. The powers Arames and Arrin have are amazing, and they are strong fighters.

As the story goes I become increasingly invested in the secrets Arames and Arrin find along with my growing curiosity as to who and why kill Gretta. What we learn along the way with the gods of this world, as mentioned in the description (they do choose to be born into the world), draws me to the vast world here. We have a vast fantasy world here. There are elves, dwarves, vampires, moon beasts (werewolves), and much magic in different specialties. All of which attract my attention. And then there are the gods and their stories.

We are graced with many stunning happenings in this world. Murder mystery. Secrets of those at Avedon Hill. Action. Supernatural. Magic. And fantasy. I never knew for sure what Arames and Arrin would come across in they investigation, and I looked forward to it! I'm now on the search for anything and all set in this world.

P.G. Holyfield has caught my attention with this world and his writing style along with an amazing mystery story. But in the end, he cinched the deal making me curious of Arrin Perti and the Perti family as a whole. There is more to come, and I WILL be around to see what it is.
Profile Image for Jason Banks.
13 reviews3 followers
December 7, 2012
This was an absolute delight to read or listen to in the case of the podcast. Why you may ask? well I will tell you. I am a absolute nerd one of my favorite things is to play D&D(Dungeons and Dragons for those who don't know) a table top RPG and my favorite class is Monk. I said that to explain that the main character in this novel is well a Monk, so I was down from word one. In true Monk fashion our main character Arames Kragen wields the martial weapons and semi supernatural abilities, even some psychic abilities. So already I am speeding down a path of stats and dice rolls that no normal reader should even attempt to venture toward because it would lead to all kinds of nerdy debauchery.

The story of this novel that plays out around Arames is there has been a murder(obviously) of a women that was a key figure in the town of Avedon Hill and rumors abound about the manner of her death thus the town is closed and Arames and his companion Aaron are stuck in town when all they wanted was passage through the mountains Thus the story kicks off into a whirlwind of characters, monsters, and intrigue. I could go on and on about the characters in this story but P.G. does that enough in the story, which does run on a bit long it feels but he does a good job giving you actiony bits and some comedic scenes to break it up.
As an RPG'er the thing that absolutely blind sided me in this story is the lore. Oh my goodness does P.G. build a world full of color, flavor and texture that scream to be explored. In the podcasts first episode P.G. explains this is a story that simply happens in one small part of this very large and flushed out world, which is the absolute truth. One of the things that will strike you is the Tales of the children referred to at the beginning of every chapter and through the story. These children are the deities of this world and fill it will myths and legends of all sorts.

A problem I had with the world P.G. built was that some of its parts were a bit more interesting that the happenings going on in the story at some points. Also this wonderfully built world tended to over shadow some characters mainly Aaron, Arames' companion who you find out through the progress of the story is a very important person but is very subdued to the plot even though he is a key figure in workings of the world. Aaron is also used a big ol' sequel sign at the end of the book. I felt this was rather blatant and was an unneeded cliff hanger when the revelations in the meat of the story did this rather brilliantly.

As this is a murder mystery of an epic fantasy proportion a lot of dialogue is needed which can drag down the story at points. I felt that some of the back tracking the characters had to do was a bit over done to play of the mystery element of the story. along with some avenues that felt should have been obviously explored took a bit to get to, though the web crafted to make the mystery was good it was still out shined by the world it took place in. Over all I am chomping at the bit for more from this universe, and more on the travels of Arames Kragen and his companion Aaron. If you love the fantasy genre, and a good mystery to boot then Murder at Avedon Hill is just for you.
Profile Image for Doc.
Author 12 books40 followers
December 21, 2011
In Murder at Avedon Hill, P.G. Holyfield sets us a murder mystery against the fantasy backdrop that is the incredibly detailed Land of Caern. The setting is filled with depth and history and begs the reader to dig a little deeper to uncover the mysteries hidden in a world where the gods choose to live out mortal lives in order to shape events. Where the allies of one generation may be the enemies of the next.

But this isn't that story. This is the story of Arames Kragen, an aging monk of the Aaronic Order, and his young student, Prince Aarin Perti, traveling incognito from one land to the next. Their travels take them to Avedon Hill, a small town noted only for its access to the Olvaran Pass, a tunnel through the mountains. But when they arrive they find the town is closed, due to the recent murder of Gretta Platt, the Housemistress of Avedon Hill.

Trying to solve the murder to gain their passage, Arames and Aarin find themselves swept up into the intrigues and secrets of a small town with something to hide. But each secret uncovered seems to point to two more, and none of them seem to point to a killer. Can they solve the case before they become the killer's next victims?

Murder at Avedon Hill is an engaging book and a well told story, but I can't help but feel that it could be a bit better. The pace drags a bit in places, and some of the minor characters seem to be lacking in depth. Having read the book and listened to the podcast version of the story, I find that some parts are easier to follow in the podcast version. And I was somewhat disappointed that the symbols of the various Children of Az that were described in the podcast didn't seem to make it into the printed version.

I still want to see more from P.G. about the Land of Caern and its history, and the petty plots of the Children of Az. And I hope that he plans to pick up one or two of the dangling plot threads left at the end of the book. Overall, this book is well worth the time and money to give it a read.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Hite.
Author 12 books8 followers
December 10, 2010
This book combines elements of the best that the murder mystery and fantasy genre have to offer. PG Holyfield is a master story teller who keeps the story, not to mention the suspense going right up to the end.
The twists and turns in this book kept me guessing all the way through. The characters are are full and rich, providing more than a backdrop for the drama going on, but also bringing the story alive making you are really there in the story with them.
The story keeps a good solid pg rating only delving in pg-13 territory near the end, and so a good book for younger readers as well as adults looking for a great book. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys either a good mystery, a good fantasy or both.
Profile Image for Juliana Veale.
276 reviews7 followers
September 6, 2018
This is more like 4.7 stars, but since Goodreads doesn't allow for fractions in reviews, 5 stars it is. The murder mystery part is really good. The mystery kept me almost to the very end guessing. The majority of the characters are well developed although I question the characterization of Lord Avedon. What's amazing, is the rich mythology of the world of Caern. It ties up into the murder mystery, but the amount of mythology is somewhat confusing that by the time it starts to make sense in the story I was at the end of the book.
It's clearly written to be continued, but alas the author had passed away some time ago. I hope someone will be appointed to continue what looks to be a rich legacy.
Profile Image for Nutty.
40 reviews4 followers
September 9, 2010
I loved this book, it was one of the titles I had been "meaning to read" for a long time, I kept looking at it knowing I wanted to read it but other things got in the way. When I FINALLY sat down and read it I couldn't put it down. I had to know just what happened to Gretta Plat. It was engaging with side stories and tales and leads you to want to read more in the wold that Mr Hollyfield has created. It is a perfect present for anyone interested in fantasy and just the right kind of book to make you demand more.
9 reviews
October 12, 2010
I've listened to the podcast and absolutely loved the richness of the world P.G. created. The religious and magical systems he created had tremendous depth and really added to my visit to the land of Caern.

I cannot wait until P.G. takes us there again. I'd love to know more about Arames Kragen. The hints at his past are delicious and must be explored further.

During my period of impatience while waiting for another book in this world, I'm reading the published version.
Profile Image for DDog.
398 reviews21 followers
January 12, 2011
This book is a treat. The characters are varied and the mysteries intense. The world is vibrant even though we never see any of it because the book is set in one insular town, coming alive through the stories of Arames Kragen. The audio cast is stellar and I can listen to P.G. Holyfield's voice for hours.
Profile Image for Blair Herzig.
36 reviews
July 3, 2010
I listened to this book on podiobooks.com and totally loved it. Great traditional mystery plot outline with non-traditional characters. I liked it so much I ordered the book off of amazon. I am perfectly happy to support "new media" podcasting as a form of art.
Profile Image for Jodi.
309 reviews4 followers
May 16, 2009
This podcast is really well written, read and produced. I just hate the wait for the next installment to come.
Great story! I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy/mystery.
1 review
January 31, 2009
Am listening to this as a podcast. I am new to podcasts and am really enjoying it. It is well produced and great to listen to.
well done PG Holyfield
Profile Image for Charlie.
3 reviews
June 12, 2009
This a compelling 'closed room' mystery set in a richly detailed and well realized fantasy world. Highly recommended.
1 review
February 9, 2009
Great podcast - PG is a master at cliff hangers! This is one of those mysteries that you think you have figured how who did it only to find out you were wrong, over and over.
1 review
March 17, 2011
This is the first podio books I've tried. A great "read" or listen. The production value was great and I enjoyed the story.
45 reviews
May 1, 2013
Excellent blend of fantasy/mystery. I listened to the free audio version of the book and it really made me look forward to my commute every day.
Profile Image for Joy Clayton.
23 reviews3 followers
January 9, 2014
Just finished this book. I thought is slow at first but wow what a story it turned out to be. I loved it! Great writing!
Profile Image for A.
56 reviews20 followers
July 23, 2017
Had some potential but the writer never achieved it. This is like the first book a writer writes for practice, but doesn't publish.
Profile Image for Will Hudson.
229 reviews1 follower
November 16, 2010
P.G. Holyfield knocks it out of the park. A complete home run. I can't wait for more.
43 reviews
December 1, 2019
Listened to the podio-book.

A wizened monk-wizard-type man wanders with his disguised royal protege, but after finding the pass through a local town closed due to a recent murder, stays to help solve it.

Great world-building. I was sad to find out there are no more books with these characters, as there were many possibilities. Vampires, moon beasts, magical powers, & competing religious orders... Otherwise, the plot was ok & it’s hard to judge the writing apart from the voice acting. Maybe simplistic?
208 reviews1 follower
March 28, 2020
The podcast version of this features the author and various voices from the early world of podcasting. Some of the sound effects are a bit cheesy but overall it's a fun listening experience, if a touch hard to follow in parts. The whodunnit features elements that Agatha Christie could never include and is a bit confusing again for me. It did keep me wanting to know what happened next.
24 reviews
March 13, 2023
I listened to the audiodrama version and loved it so much. I think it will definitely be a repeat listen.
Profile Image for A.F. Grappin.
Author 18 books4 followers
October 11, 2014
I was pulled into Murder at Avedon Hill from word one. Holyfield’s characters are true to their own personalities and natures from start to finish. His dialogue is very real, although I do think Arames tended to say, “Just one more question,” a few too many times. But that could just be his nature, and if so, he was definitely true to that. There’s plenty to uncover in Avedon Hill, and the growth of the more prominent characters is admirable. Holyfielod manages to subtly take away layers of details to reveal more and more intrigue in this little town. As a whole, it is beautifully done.

For the audio (through podiobooks.com), a great cast lined up to voice the characters themselves. That definitely helped with the audio version. Even though the cast isn’t huge, the separate voices really made a difference for me in keeping track of who was who and what their stories and alibis were. I’ll admit, there was one character toward the end that came sort of out of left field for me, but I think I can chalk that up to my own overlooking him rather than it being a failing in the audio or the writing. I got a few of the very minor characters mixed up, but it didn’t really detract too much from my enjoying of the end of the novel.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 39 reviews

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