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Audio Book Review


Ladies of Letters
Go Crackers


Read: Prunella Scales and Anne Reid
BBC Audio
RRP: £9.25
ISBN: 978 1 4084 6714 5
Available 06 January 2011

Prunella Scales and Anne Reid star in this fractious festive series of the popular BBC Radio 4 comedy.

It's Christmas and the Ladies of Letters are busy stuffing home made turkey sausages, adding hot pepper to their mulled wine and giving each other totally unsuitable Christmas presents. Vera has just returned from a festive trip to the Holy Land, where she has purchased Mary Mother of Jesus Jam and realised that the only universal religion is shopping. Then she and her family face homelessness when a heartless Bank buys up The Bothy for redevelopment. Irene, meanwhile, is inundated with family visiting for the Festive Season and is annoyed that Vera seems too caught up in her own concerns to consider hers.

But Irene has to hold back on her grievances when Vera's daughter Karen finds a lump - not as Vera originally thought, in her Nigella-style Christmas gravy - but in her breast. As family descend on them both, pressure mounts and Christmas chaos inevitably ensues in this eleventh series of the radio comedy.

Even though this is the eleventh volume in the series, it's not difficult for newcomers to get into it. The casual delivery of the letters by Prunella Scales and Anne Reid makes this an easy series to get caught up in.

One thing I did want to point out is the awful CD packaging employed by the BBC for this release. Here they use an old jewel case with incredibly fragile clear spindles to keep the disc in place. However, most of these had been shattered in transit (something that seems to happen all to frequently with this style of CD packaging) which meant the CD was rattling around in the case.

Overall, yet another entertaining offering from the ladies of letters.


Nick Smithson

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