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I Say No: Classic Mystery Novel (FREE AUDIO BOOK DOWNLOAD & Annotated)

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This 1884 novel features a young orphan, Emily Brown, who is courted by two eligible bachelors: Alban Morris, the drawing master at her school, and a clergyman, Miles Mirabel. Both claim to love her, but only one is telling the truth . . . and the other may be implicated in the suspicious death of her father.


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This 1884 novel features a young orphan, Emily Brown, who is courted by two eligible bachelors: Alban Morris, the drawing master at her school, and a clergyman, Miles Mirabel. Both claim to love her, but only one is telling the truth . . . and the other may be implicated in the suspicious death of her father.

30 review for I Say No: Classic Mystery Novel (FREE AUDIO BOOK DOWNLOAD & Annotated)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    I agree with the title. I like Wilkie Collins, he writes well, and the writing was not the problem - it was the thin-as-to-be-transparent plot. As a mystery, it could have been solved in the first chapter. Miss Marple would have taken one good look at Mrs. Rook, cast off a row of knitting, and rolled her eyes. (That wasn't a spoiler.) However, this is only Wilkie on a bad day. "No Name" was a very good day. I agree with the title. I like Wilkie Collins, he writes well, and the writing was not the problem - it was the thin-as-to-be-transparent plot. As a mystery, it could have been solved in the first chapter. Miss Marple would have taken one good look at Mrs. Rook, cast off a row of knitting, and rolled her eyes. (That wasn't a spoiler.) However, this is only Wilkie on a bad day. "No Name" was a very good day.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mela

    I am not sure what a genre it was. There was (at the beginning) an amusing atmosphere of a school for young girls. Then, a mystery appeared. Despite questions without answers, people had to live on, so we were meeting them in their (more or less) normal life (and learnt a bit about those times). Somewhere between we saw love. And in the end, we ask: is it right to say 'no' sometimes? Most reviewers wrote it is one of the worse novels by Wilkie Collins. Because it was my first, I am thrilled how I I am not sure what a genre it was. There was (at the beginning) an amusing atmosphere of a school for young girls. Then, a mystery appeared. Despite questions without answers, people had to live on, so we were meeting them in their (more or less) normal life (and learnt a bit about those times). Somewhere between we saw love. And in the end, we ask: is it right to say 'no' sometimes? Most reviewers wrote it is one of the worse novels by Wilkie Collins. Because it was my first, I am thrilled how I will enjoy his other books. I have been listening to a splendid reading by Sandra G from LibriVox. She made the story more enjoyable. (3.5 rounding up thanks to Sandra G)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carla Remy

    I read a lot of Wilkie Collins a good decade ago, but haven't in recent years. "I Say No" I'd never read before. I loved it, and it reminded me of everything cool about Collins: his observations that seems so sharp for the 19th century, his fascination with weirdos and the handicapped, his proto-feminism. I read a lot of Wilkie Collins a good decade ago, but haven't in recent years. "I Say No" I'd never read before. I loved it, and it reminded me of everything cool about Collins: his observations that seems so sharp for the 19th century, his fascination with weirdos and the handicapped, his proto-feminism.

  4. 5 out of 5

    CA

    Tiene partes muy lentas y aburridas, pero como me gustan las historias de esa época, pude disfrutar incluso esas partes. El misterio...no es lo mejor, sin duda la Dama de blanco sigue siendo su mejor libro para mi,pero si a sido muy interesante en ciertas partes (a pesar de lo predecible). ---------- Ok tengo que ser sincera, este libro es 1 o 2 estrellas como máximo, mi lista de quejas sobre la historia y los personajes es infinita SIN EMBARGO no lo odio,de hecho me gusta y no sé explicar por qué Tiene partes muy lentas y aburridas, pero como me gustan las historias de esa época, pude disfrutar incluso esas partes. El misterio...no es lo mejor, sin duda la Dama de blanco sigue siendo su mejor libro para mi,pero si a sido muy interesante en ciertas partes (a pesar de lo predecible). ---------- Ok tengo que ser sincera, este libro es 1 o 2 estrellas como máximo, mi lista de quejas sobre la historia y los personajes es infinita SIN EMBARGO no lo odio,de hecho me gusta y no sé explicar por qué. Bueno, la verdad es que si puedo explicar el por qué, es porque mi gusto en libros es una mierda Principales quejas: - Inconsistencias en los personajes: Emily era una chica manipuladora,autoritaria y con el ego más grande que una casa y yo estaba lista para amarla y odiarla al mismo tiempo, así que díganme por qué es que en el segundo en el que se va del internado se vuelve una mujer débil, que se deja pisotear por todos y que no se defiende. Y no, no se trata de ningún desarrollo como personaje en que aprende humildad o cualquier otra tontería, ella cambia de personalidad del día a la noche sin explicación alguna. No solo ella sino Alban? la chica nueva del internado a la que ya olvide el nombre? Todos cambian de personalidad simplemente porque al autor se le dio la gana.Es como si el internado fuera un mundo paralelo y el segundo en el que los personajes salieran de ahí, sus verdaderas personalidades surgieran. - Alban: Yo odiando al interés amoroso que novedad, pero en este caso siento que estoy justificada porque a pesar de los intentos del libro por hacerlo ver como una persona noble, el tipo es simplemente un acosador.Se metía constantemente en los asuntos de Emily incluso cuando ella le dijo claramente que no lo necesitaba...cuantas veces te tienen que decir que no es tu maldito asunto para que lo entiendas. -El misterio: O para ser mas precisa la falta de misterio, reto a cualquier persona incluso si es mala adivinando finales a no ver venir este porque es tan obvio, sabes el final desde el principio, lo sigues sabiendo en el desarrollo y solo lo confirmas al final. No hay especulaciones, ni otras alternativas LO SABES. Y si, hay cosas interesantes en la trama, pero en ningún momento te hacen dudar del objetivo final del libro que es saber quien diablos asesinó al padre de Emily.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matteo Fulghéri

    Pretty cheesy, and overly long.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Yibbie

    This is, by far, my favorite of the Wilkie Collins books I’ve read. The characters were for the most part believable. Their course of action not so much, but without those crazy decisions there wouldn’t really be a story, so in the end, they worked. Oh, it’s a bit melodramatic at points, but not too bad for a romantic mystery. If you are in the mood for a sweet little story, about three school companions, their suitors, their fortunes, deception, and murder, this book is for you. You will like This is, by far, my favorite of the Wilkie Collins books I’ve read. The characters were for the most part believable. Their course of action not so much, but without those crazy decisions there wouldn’t really be a story, so in the end, they worked. Oh, it’s a bit melodramatic at points, but not too bad for a romantic mystery. If you are in the mood for a sweet little story, about three school companions, their suitors, their fortunes, deception, and murder, this book is for you. You will like some of the characters, despise others, mistrust many, and cheer others. It’s just a very enjoyable book. The plot was completely mystifying. I was sure of the solution, then I changed my mind, then I changed it again, and again; only to be completely surprised and a little displeased at the end. (view spoiler)[ THIS GIVES AWAY THE SOLUTION TO THE MYSTERY Displeased because I so disliked the supposed villain, and was so sure that he was a murder with totally selfish designs that it was almost too jarring when he is revealed only an innocent coward. The false trails were laid down really well. I never suspected what was about to happen. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Another fun mystery story by Collins. I enjoy being able to settle into the era he writes about. No texting or phone calls allowed, just be sure you have a servant or young lad who can run across town and wait for a reply. It seems every chapter has someone checking the train schedule so they can rush off to talk to another witness. I find it interesting that these people are always able to read their companions' emotions by the flush of color or paleness that passes across their face. Not as ma Another fun mystery story by Collins. I enjoy being able to settle into the era he writes about. No texting or phone calls allowed, just be sure you have a servant or young lad who can run across town and wait for a reply. It seems every chapter has someone checking the train schedule so they can rush off to talk to another witness. I find it interesting that these people are always able to read their companions' emotions by the flush of color or paleness that passes across their face. Not as many damsels fainting when they are startled by bad news, but this story has an eloquent young man, a popular preacher, fascinating to women, with a head of thick, wavy hair down to his waist who manages to faint at one point. Romance. Plot twists. Villains. Murder. Family secrets. Sweet young things. Honor. I listened to this as a free audiobook from Librivox.org.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    This is probably his least good book. Plot seems to shift from a semi-supernatural one to a rather dull conventional one. No suspsense, really. Characters are not up to his usual standard.

  9. 5 out of 5

    James Uscroft

    Other *Novels by this author have tested my patience, but this one has insulted my intelligence! To specifically state that it's medically impossible for the solution to be 'X' and then reveal at the end that "Well actually, 'X' was the solution after all and the Doctor was simply wrong" is writing of the worst and lowest kind. And indeed, looking back upon two of his other 'Mystery' novels that frustrated and annoyed me, specifically "The Dead Secret" and "The Law & The Lady," I now realise just Other *Novels by this author have tested my patience, but this one has insulted my intelligence! To specifically state that it's medically impossible for the solution to be 'X' and then reveal at the end that "Well actually, 'X' was the solution after all and the Doctor was simply wrong" is writing of the worst and lowest kind. And indeed, looking back upon two of his other 'Mystery' novels that frustrated and annoyed me, specifically "The Dead Secret" and "The Law & The Lady," I now realise just how much of a hack Wilkie Collins actually was! Because I now realise that the 'Mystery' in all three stories is utterly dependent on people being too afraid or ashamed to reveal the truth. And that therefore, there is literally no reason for the story to exist and the chain of events is nothing but a meaningless waste of time! In fact, I actually rolled my eyes at one point when, towards the end, one character lamented how utterly unnecessary all of the pointless suffering caused by investigating the mystery had been. And to add insult to injury, yet again, this entire God Forsaken plot boils down to nothing but an excuse for another God Forsaken love triangle and 'Will They, Won't They' romantic drama! Dx This time of course, the protagonist is a woman, so Stephanie Myers can at least rest assured she isn't solely responsible for the plague of young female characters feeling torn between two men who adore them in modern YA novels. Instead, this trope is apparently more than a century old. But when you've read as many Wilkie Collins novels as I have, it inevitably becomes a game of 'Bingo' as you spot the clichés and formulas that he endlessly recycled and repackaged to churn out a new book to sell. Most commonly, the entire conflict of the book being built upon whether the protagonist will realise that 'A' is the love of their life and will make them happy. With, in this case, the role of 'B' (as best defined in "Armadale" and "The Legacy Of Cain") being split between two characters, just as it was in "The Evil Genius." I, e, with one innocent character just happening to fall in love with someone who is fated by the author to end up with someone else and another person being the evil, heartless manipulator who seeks to keep them apart and/or marry them (either literally or figuratively) for profit, property, revenge or out of spite. As a matter of fact, having been thoroughly engaged and drawn in by the mystery in the first part of the novel, when I realised the second part was nothing but 'Love Triangle' drama, my estimation of the book plummeted like a lead balloon. And when, as I've already mentioned, the final revelation was a slap in the face, (even though a part of me was expecting it, because as I say, I've read enough Wilkie Collins to know what I was in for,) I was still offended and outraged all the same. To be honest though, I can't even complain about the padding in this *Novel, because as I've already mentioned, the entire 'STORY' is padding! If that one character had simply spoken out at the very beginning, then there would have been no mystery, no novel and I wouldn't have wasted so many hours of my life that I will never get back. Although the final revelation would have been more palatable in the short story which (like 90% of Collins' work,) this was obviously supposed to be, as always, the mercenary hack had to drag it out into a full novel, building up a mystery that doesn't exist and pulling the rug out from under us because it paid more. And to top it all off, the decomposing cherry on this increasingly rancid sundae is that in the end, one of the characters joins a convent for no other reason than to prove Collins was only bigoted against Jesuits, not 'ALL' Catholics. And for some bizarre reason that makes no rational sense, that final, trivial point is the final straw. Because the more of his work I read, the more I condemn it as a crime that a man who was able to create such realistic, relatable and 3 dimensional characters squandered almost every one of them in such pathetic, formulaic and insulting literary junk food. -_-

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lora

    Not my favorite Collins. Chapter after chapter, characters talk to one another, ask a lot of questions, dodge questions, worry themselves sick, and then hold further conferences with other characters. Oh, and they write a lot of letters which they then carry around showing to others and discussing in depth. The pace picks up as this continual conversational method of plot advancement and clue reveal builds in intensity. I was almost bored enough to quit for two-thirds of the book. I also was in Not my favorite Collins. Chapter after chapter, characters talk to one another, ask a lot of questions, dodge questions, worry themselves sick, and then hold further conferences with other characters. Oh, and they write a lot of letters which they then carry around showing to others and discussing in depth. The pace picks up as this continual conversational method of plot advancement and clue reveal builds in intensity. I was almost bored enough to quit for two-thirds of the book. I also was in agony over Collins' multiple excessively annoying characters- I felt like I was trapped at a party or something. He did a good job of capturing the character of the kinds of people I avoid, so encountering several in one book was a bit of a physical experience for me, to say the least. I appreciate his ability but beg him, dead as he is, never to do that to me again. Back to the book. A mild mystery, in its way. Collins is a great writer, even when his book is one of his weaker ones. I had the opportunity to gossip with my daughter about fictional characters, which we love to do over lunch between classes. There were a lot of characters to gossip about! So while I hated that, I also enjoyed complaining about it to my sympathetic fellow Collins fan. Not a bad time was had by all.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Still love Wilkie Collins and his gift at making Victorian literature entertaining for me. I just didn't enjoy this as much as others I've read because there was a bit too much of coincidental happenings to make this truly plausible. The heroine Emily Brown is at a girls' school that just happens to employ her father's former love and her new job brings into contact with the inn proprietors where her father died. Also, her best friend happens to unknowingly invite the suspected murderer to a hou Still love Wilkie Collins and his gift at making Victorian literature entertaining for me. I just didn't enjoy this as much as others I've read because there was a bit too much of coincidental happenings to make this truly plausible. The heroine Emily Brown is at a girls' school that just happens to employ her father's former love and her new job brings into contact with the inn proprietors where her father died. Also, her best friend happens to unknowingly invite the suspected murderer to a house party where he meets Emily and falls in love. Despite all these coincidences, I enjoyed the story as Emily worked to figure out the truth behind her father's death. I was pleased that everyone got what they deserved- a happy ending for Emily and her art master and that conniving Miss De Sor shunned by everyone including her family.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julio Barradas Rodriguez

    Un libro que no me gusto tanto. Es un poco predecible, aunque el como se efectúan los sucesos, no me lo esperaba. No sentí personajes buenos ni malos, solo personajes que actuaron acuerdo a la circunstancias en las que se encontraban, punto que me gusto. Algo como no me convenció fue, como es posible que todos sientan un interés por el personaje, que todo mundo quede encantado con ella -_-. Esta es una obra menor de Wilkie, si entretiene, hay misterio, y siempre te preguntas porque hacen eso, o que Un libro que no me gusto tanto. Es un poco predecible, aunque el como se efectúan los sucesos, no me lo esperaba. No sentí personajes buenos ni malos, solo personajes que actuaron acuerdo a la circunstancias en las que se encontraban, punto que me gusto. Algo como no me convenció fue, como es posible que todos sientan un interés por el personaje, que todo mundo quede encantado con ella -_-. Esta es una obra menor de Wilkie, si entretiene, hay misterio, y siempre te preguntas porque hacen eso, o que esconden cada uno de los personajes, cumple el propósito de entretener y solo eso.

  13. 5 out of 5

    meghan

    I listened to this as an audio recording; the recording was excellent and added to my enjoyment of the text (Librivox recording, Sandra). The mystery was interesting and the hero is female, but I didn't anticipate the many -isms in this novel (though perhaps I should've since it was published in 1884) and they naturally soured my opinion of the book. I listened to this as an audio recording; the recording was excellent and added to my enjoyment of the text (Librivox recording, Sandra). The mystery was interesting and the hero is female, but I didn't anticipate the many -isms in this novel (though perhaps I should've since it was published in 1884) and they naturally soured my opinion of the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    CarrieLyn

    I think the reason Wilkie Collins was so prolific is that the writing is so similar from novel to novel. I kept thinking this was a book I'd already read. Somewhat compelling, but I think I've had my fill of this genre for a while (part of an Anthology of 20 Must Read Classic British Mystery Novels). I think the reason Wilkie Collins was so prolific is that the writing is so similar from novel to novel. I kept thinking this was a book I'd already read. Somewhat compelling, but I think I've had my fill of this genre for a while (part of an Anthology of 20 Must Read Classic British Mystery Novels).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Padilla

    Good mystery. The cast of teenage girls and, in particular, the machinations of one of them made this feel, at times, as if it were a young adult soap opera. That wasn’t what I expected! I enjoyed the audiobook by Sandra G a lot.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I'm a huge Wilkie Collins fan but this is a bit of a mess, frankly. The plot doesn't hang together and the characters seem to change their natures at random. I do like the food-obsessed beauty, though, and Mirabel was a good Wilkie-esque weakling. I'm a huge Wilkie Collins fan but this is a bit of a mess, frankly. The plot doesn't hang together and the characters seem to change their natures at random. I do like the food-obsessed beauty, though, and Mirabel was a good Wilkie-esque weakling.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    DNF after the disturbing declaration of love from the drawing master. Maybe that was what romance was like in the late 1800s, but now it is CREEEPY

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    Not Wilkie Collins' strongest work, but I definitely did not guess the ending. Not Wilkie Collins' strongest work, but I definitely did not guess the ending.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    Ero indecisa se assegnare a questo romanzo 2 o 3 stelle... Collins scrive benissimo come sempre e quindi meritava sicuramente di più. Anche la trama pare avvincente: c'è una ragazza, Emily Brown, il cui padre è morto in circostanze misteriose. Quasi tutti quelli che la circondano ne sono al corrente, ma per risparmiarle un dolore glielo tengono nascosto. Tuttavia Emily inizierà ad indagare e scoprirà la verità. Purtroppo la vicenda non è sviluppata nel migliore dei modi e i personaggi non conquis Ero indecisa se assegnare a questo romanzo 2 o 3 stelle... Collins scrive benissimo come sempre e quindi meritava sicuramente di più. Anche la trama pare avvincente: c'è una ragazza, Emily Brown, il cui padre è morto in circostanze misteriose. Quasi tutti quelli che la circondano ne sono al corrente, ma per risparmiarle un dolore glielo tengono nascosto. Tuttavia Emily inizierà ad indagare e scoprirà la verità. Purtroppo la vicenda non è sviluppata nel migliore dei modi e i personaggi non conquistano il lettore. Leggibile, ma nulla più.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Moonshadow

    Excellent book. Wilkie Collins at his finest. Great story and writing. The characters leap off the page!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Cregor

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wilkie Collins always tells a good tale. Having read so many of his books, I can now see commonalities in his characters, settings, and themes, which lends a type of comfort as I read, allowing the narrative to unfold. At the end of the book, I found myself thinking, Hm. Hm. Hm. Hm. I felt there were some inconsistencies presented in the beginning of the story, which made the ending fall a bit flat. Still, the heroine got her man and lived happily ever after, so that goes a long way for this clo Wilkie Collins always tells a good tale. Having read so many of his books, I can now see commonalities in his characters, settings, and themes, which lends a type of comfort as I read, allowing the narrative to unfold. At the end of the book, I found myself thinking, Hm. Hm. Hm. Hm. I felt there were some inconsistencies presented in the beginning of the story, which made the ending fall a bit flat. Still, the heroine got her man and lived happily ever after, so that goes a long way for this closet romantic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert Hepple

    This 1884 murder mystery is of interest mainly because murder mysteries were still a new genre at the time. It has many of the other ingredients of Collins Victorian domestic melodramas as well. It has flaws – many characters withhold key information for the flimsiest of reasons, leading you to guess that they are just excuses to prolong the story, to add to the various red herrings, and the heroine Emily Brown acting as dim as dishwater from time to time. The result is a 300+ page novel that a This 1884 murder mystery is of interest mainly because murder mysteries were still a new genre at the time. It has many of the other ingredients of Collins Victorian domestic melodramas as well. It has flaws – many characters withhold key information for the flimsiest of reasons, leading you to guess that they are just excuses to prolong the story, to add to the various red herrings, and the heroine Emily Brown acting as dim as dishwater from time to time. The result is a 300+ page novel that a well-disciplined editor would have trimmed down into a well-paced novella. Added to which we have another example of Collins terrible titles. If you are interested in early mysteries, then this is a passable read, but it doesn’t set the world alight.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Williams

    Wilkie Collins is an amazing author and a favourite of mine, with a knack for spinning the happiest possible endings from his dark and integrating murder plots. This book will have you suspecting everything but the truth and smiling by the end. It is well written true to form and as usual for Mr Collins has some kind and loveable servants to round out the the sad stories. I didn't even have the heart to give it 4 stars as he is such an amazing author. Wilkie Collins is an amazing author and a favourite of mine, with a knack for spinning the happiest possible endings from his dark and integrating murder plots. This book will have you suspecting everything but the truth and smiling by the end. It is well written true to form and as usual for Mr Collins has some kind and loveable servants to round out the the sad stories. I didn't even have the heart to give it 4 stars as he is such an amazing author.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Ab

    OMG. I have finished the audiobook out of my laziness of uploading new audiobooks to my mp3 reader. The usual boring Victorian “thriller” but in this case I think it was also written for girls. The main character is a nineteen year old girl, then there is her aunt, the murder of his father who was hidden to her by her aunt…. and bla bla bla…. Boring to death….

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trudy Pomerantz

    Fun read. I read this as part of my endeavor to read early (pre-20th century) detective and mystery novels.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Abbott

    this is only volume 1. if you want to know answer to the the mystery, you will have to suffer through volume 2.

  27. 4 out of 5

    JoAnn

    Another Collins' mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. Another Collins' mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim Sutherley

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eve Hogan

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