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Murder at Lowry House

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When mystery novelist Hazel Martin receives a secretive letter from an old friend who suspects her relatives have murderous intentions, she packs her bags and heads to the country. Tampered medications, symptoms of poisoning and suspicious accidents all add up to attempted murder and it’s up to Hazel and her siamese cat Dickens to sniff out the clues. But with a house ful When mystery novelist Hazel Martin receives a secretive letter from an old friend who suspects her relatives have murderous intentions, she packs her bags and heads to the country. Tampered medications, symptoms of poisoning and suspicious accidents all add up to attempted murder and it’s up to Hazel and her siamese cat Dickens to sniff out the clues. But with a house full of relatives who all have a motive, will Hazel be able to unmask the culprit before things turn deadly? USA Today Bestselling Author Leighann Dobbs brings back the spirit of the Golden Age of mysteries in this classic whodunit set in the 1920s.


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When mystery novelist Hazel Martin receives a secretive letter from an old friend who suspects her relatives have murderous intentions, she packs her bags and heads to the country. Tampered medications, symptoms of poisoning and suspicious accidents all add up to attempted murder and it’s up to Hazel and her siamese cat Dickens to sniff out the clues. But with a house ful When mystery novelist Hazel Martin receives a secretive letter from an old friend who suspects her relatives have murderous intentions, she packs her bags and heads to the country. Tampered medications, symptoms of poisoning and suspicious accidents all add up to attempted murder and it’s up to Hazel and her siamese cat Dickens to sniff out the clues. But with a house full of relatives who all have a motive, will Hazel be able to unmask the culprit before things turn deadly? USA Today Bestselling Author Leighann Dobbs brings back the spirit of the Golden Age of mysteries in this classic whodunit set in the 1920s.

30 review for Murder at Lowry House

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josue

    My favorite escapist reading is historical mystery. Particularly historical mystery set in the UK in the first half of the 20th century, and particularly if it's set among the upstairs downstairs world of the landed gentry and grand manor estates. So this would appear tailor-made for me. But alas alack. Aside from the mystery being paper thin and fairly obvious - which I honestly don't mind so much, I'm here for the milieu not the murder - what really brings this story down is the lack of attent My favorite escapist reading is historical mystery. Particularly historical mystery set in the UK in the first half of the 20th century, and particularly if it's set among the upstairs downstairs world of the landed gentry and grand manor estates. So this would appear tailor-made for me. But alas alack. Aside from the mystery being paper thin and fairly obvious - which I honestly don't mind so much, I'm here for the milieu not the murder - what really brings this story down is the lack of attention to detail. I was never sure exactly when this story was supposed to be set, and I'm afraid neither did the author. I thought sometime in the 20s but at other times I thought before WW1. At still other times, I was just totally baffled. The narrator talks of how there were hardly any horse and carriages in town anymore, which would suggest before the war but the fairly young characters never seem to make mention of having been involved in any war. She refers to a table and a sofa as "Edwardian" which suggests some time later. They talk of calling the police, so I assume a telephone exists, but then she can only communicate with her own home by way of notes passed along by servants. And then there are the ceaseless Americanisms that slip into the narrative. The manner of talking seems totally out of place but also I got the impression the author was sometimes thinking of a Southern plantation or something akin as her basis for "aristocrats." Of a stone cottage on the estate - which would likely be at least a century old or more - she talks of a "screen door" slamming. At dinner a character "slathered butter on a biscuit." She talks of her maid baking "cookies;" she hopes someone will "run interference" (a football derived term that didn't come into parlance until mid century) and so on. These are just the ones I remember offhand. When people talk of self published works needing an editor, they are usually referring to typos, misspellings and bad grammar. None of that exists here, but it is in definite need of an editor who would have kept the historical accuracy on point - among other things (does the cat have to meow in the dialogue quite so often?). The bones are there and it had potential but as it stands now it reads like somebody who just watched a lot of Downton Abbey and decided to wing it. If you want to sell us historical fiction, just a little research wouldn't go amiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John

    On the comedy series "Are You Being Served" an exasperated Mrs. Slocum was known to shout: "Weak as water!" Well, that's how I felt about this story. I had thought it set in present day at first, with the only real clue coming later about horse-drawn vehicles giving way to cars. Since I never cared much for any of the charcaters, especially the protagonist, revelation of the murderer was not a big deal; I just wanted it to be over. Rather than a cute hook, the cat was just annoying. Wasn't real On the comedy series "Are You Being Served" an exasperated Mrs. Slocum was known to shout: "Weak as water!" Well, that's how I felt about this story. I had thought it set in present day at first, with the only real clue coming later about horse-drawn vehicles giving way to cars. Since I never cared much for any of the charcaters, especially the protagonist, revelation of the murderer was not a big deal; I just wanted it to be over. Rather than a cute hook, the cat was just annoying. Wasn't real fond of the way Hazel treated the cop either, but he seemed to wise up that she was using him. Audio narration seemed to fit the text, which meant that the reader didn't do much to elevate things; if anything, she made them sillier. This is one future series I'd be sure to skip.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I really waffled on how to review this book. I felt like it had a lot of potential, but ultimately just did not deliver. Mystery author Hazel Martin is trying to work her way through her writer's block when she receives a mysterious letter from her friend, Myrtle. On the cusp of her 80th birthday, Myrtle feels she has been the victim of attempted murder and begs Hazel to investigate. Although Hazel toddles off to Myrtle's house and tries to sort out the puzzle, this story is so slow moving. A mur I really waffled on how to review this book. I felt like it had a lot of potential, but ultimately just did not deliver. Mystery author Hazel Martin is trying to work her way through her writer's block when she receives a mysterious letter from her friend, Myrtle. On the cusp of her 80th birthday, Myrtle feels she has been the victim of attempted murder and begs Hazel to investigate. Although Hazel toddles off to Myrtle's house and tries to sort out the puzzle, this story is so slow moving. A murder doesn't occur until well over halfway through the book. Hazel also has a constant back and forth narrative with herself that just gets old. I'll give the next book in the series a try in hopes that Hazel gets her act together!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    Good start but would like more period detail. Guilty party was pretty obvious I thought.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    A quick, easy read like most of Leighann Dobbs' books. The timescale is a bit different - late-1920s at a guess although it isn't too clear. I liked the main character, but I was a bit annoyed with the Americanisms in the speech when it's obviously set in England and the characters are supposed to be English.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melli

    I listening to this book on audio from my library and it is the first book the this authors pen name. I have read her other works. I think this is a great start to the series. Definitely a good weekend read and or listen.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dharia Scarab

    Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 sta Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 stars... I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be on the look out to pick up more from the series/author. 5 stars... I loved this book! It has earned a permanent home in my collection and I'll be picking up the rest of the series and other books from the author ASAP.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Celest

    I'm never disappointed by Leighann Dobbs Leighann Dobbs is one of my favorite authors and she never fails to come up with an excellent story. There were well developed characters, but I did want to spend more time with Hazel's staff. This is probably something that I can look forward to in the next book. I will say that I was surprised by the murder victim, sometimes you just can't guess what the author has in store for us. Just part of the fun and I do love the cozy mysteries for a few hours to I'm never disappointed by Leighann Dobbs Leighann Dobbs is one of my favorite authors and she never fails to come up with an excellent story. There were well developed characters, but I did want to spend more time with Hazel's staff. This is probably something that I can look forward to in the next book. I will say that I was surprised by the murder victim, sometimes you just can't guess what the author has in store for us. Just part of the fun and I do love the cozy mysteries for a few hours to escape into another world. Very entertaining, don't miss this one. There may be some romance coming in future books and a lot more fun from Dickens.

  9. 5 out of 5

    D. Barretta

    Good little cozy I chose this book because I enjoy period pieces and the 1920s was such an interesting time. Hazel is a good main character. Her background was not poor little rich girl. She's a widow, missing her husband, who writes mysteries. I've read another series by thus author but I definitely related more to Hazel. Also, she's an amateur sleuth who makes mistakes. I like that you get to watch her grow and discover her skills. If you like genuine characters, this book is worth the read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Raven

    Despite the abundance of favorable ratings, I didn't find this book very interesting. The characters were not well developed and none were particularly likable. Dickens the cat spent most of the book in a bedroom and added little interest to the story. For a good portion of the book, the sleuth, Hazel Martin, keeps reviewing clues and coming up with reasons why each suspect could be the guilty party. Nothing compels me to continue with this series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    Overall, the book gave the impression that the author hadn't conducted much historical research beyond a few interesting sidebars on pens and typewriters. The plot featured a lot of anachronisms in the way characters spoke, interacted, and lived their daily lives that made the entire novel feel a bit silly and unbelievable. Those anachronisms also had the jarring effect of keeping me from becoming immersed in the world or the story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Madelyn Flammia

    Although I found the main character likeable and the overall concept enjoyable, the novel lacked detail and development. The production quality was very poor.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I never felt a connection with the characters. I felt it was hard to follow because my mind wanders a lot. It just did not keep my attention

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I think the best way to describe this book is to imagine a cross between Lilian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who series and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books. Charming, simple, and enjoyable. If it were easier for me to get a hold of, I’d continue on with the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angelina Kerner

    Book Title: Murder at Lowry House Book Author: Leighann Dobbs Source: Downloaded from Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Rating: 5 stars So this is my first time venturing out into Leighann's other series. It was interesting and fun to read, especially about Hazel's feline companion. Hazel received a letter about someone thinking that she was being targeted for death. Being a mystery author and having insight into how cops work from past experiences, she decided to follow up on the letter by going to the Lowr Book Title: Murder at Lowry House Book Author: Leighann Dobbs Source: Downloaded from Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Rating: 5 stars So this is my first time venturing out into Leighann's other series. It was interesting and fun to read, especially about Hazel's feline companion. Hazel received a letter about someone thinking that she was being targeted for death. Being a mystery author and having insight into how cops work from past experiences, she decided to follow up on the letter by going to the Lowry House. Things took a turn after she got there, especially with her buying a new dress. ;) What I liked about Hazel was her not so perfect nature. She made assumptions and things were bad from those assumptions. Though, she could write a great mystery novel, in reality, it was a different experience where things were more complicated. While being at the house, she did start and finish her next novel and the real life experience really did help her to get out of the funk and she learned something about herself in the process. It's a fast read, a little travel of going to the past for the reader, but interesting nonetheless.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Grey853

    Hazel Martin has received a letter from an old friend who needs her help. She feels there's a threat on her life and would like Hazel to find how what's going on. So, Hazel goes off to the country estate with her cat Dickens to visit and solve the mystery. As others have pointed out, this story has potential. Sadly, it's not really developed that much. There's a whole houseful of potential suspects, none of them very likeable, and Hazel's friend Myrtle seems off somehow, like she's losing her mem Hazel Martin has received a letter from an old friend who needs her help. She feels there's a threat on her life and would like Hazel to find how what's going on. So, Hazel goes off to the country estate with her cat Dickens to visit and solve the mystery. As others have pointed out, this story has potential. Sadly, it's not really developed that much. There's a whole houseful of potential suspects, none of them very likeable, and Hazel's friend Myrtle seems off somehow, like she's losing her memory. The actual killer seems pretty obvious from the beginning. There are whole sections of the book where Hazel's just sitting in her room going over clues with her cat. While I like the cat, the book would be better served for Hazel to have a human companion and/or partner. There also needs to be more tension, more drama, something to keep the story from dragging as Hazel's investigation moves slowly along. Overall, I just found it hard to stay interested because of the pacing and lack of drama.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I was completely bored. None of the characters were engaging. We seem to be dropped in the middle of this woman’s life and are expected to feel a certain way about her life and relationships because the author tells us; not because she’s given us a chance to get to know the characters. I couldn’t care less about whether or not Hazel gets together with the police inspector. I don’t know either of them and I didn’t feel like I knew them by the end either. This felt like it was trying to be another I was completely bored. None of the characters were engaging. We seem to be dropped in the middle of this woman’s life and are expected to feel a certain way about her life and relationships because the author tells us; not because she’s given us a chance to get to know the characters. I couldn’t care less about whether or not Hazel gets together with the police inspector. I don’t know either of them and I didn’t feel like I knew them by the end either. This felt like it was trying to be another Miss Fisher’s Mysteries or maybe even Agatha Christie’s style of mystery, but instead it read very unpolished and half-baked. There was little to no character development. The mystery was incredibly clunky and read like a middle schooler had plotted it. And Hazel was, quite honestly, too stupid to live. Other than apparently wanting to sleep with her, I don’t know why the police inspector would want to include her on any investigation. I didn’t even care who had committed the crime in the end.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    This is a 1920's era manor house mystery. Hazel Martin is a successful mystery novelist, as a member of the upper class. She's a widow, still mourning her police detective husband after three years, whose only family is the staff at her inherited manor house. Hazel is summoned by an elderly family friend who fears that someone is trying to kill her. The attempts, if that is what they were, could fall in the realm of accidents or coincident. In the first half of the book, Hazel is sorting out clu This is a 1920's era manor house mystery. Hazel Martin is a successful mystery novelist, as a member of the upper class. She's a widow, still mourning her police detective husband after three years, whose only family is the staff at her inherited manor house. Hazel is summoned by an elderly family friend who fears that someone is trying to kill her. The attempts, if that is what they were, could fall in the realm of accidents or coincident. In the first half of the book, Hazel is sorting out clues, uncovering resentments, and hatred within this supposedly close-knit family. The murder doesn't occur until the second half of the book, and the murderer is revealed after unraveling an extremely tangled knot of motives, misdirections, and petty crimes. This was a fun read. Very short audio book....just over 4 hours.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    The mystery was easy to figure out, even for me. I usually am surprised at the solution. Too many times the main character's thoughts about possible suspects led to nothing. There were frequent jarring expressions used that I had to look at the book description to find out that it was set in the 1920's. Did anyone in that era speak about "vibes"? To top it off, the narrator of the audiobook had an annoying voice.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Evelyn

    This book was clearly neglected in the editing process. Things were stated and restated. Then concluded. The time period was amorphous, with characters having (poorly written) modern dialogue and attitudes. I forgive quite a few anachronisms for an enjoyable mystery. Sadly this was not that either.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lavanya

    Anachronistic language and too many Americanisms I would recommend the author make some effort to write the way people spoke in that time period in that place. To have modern language and Americanisms pop up everywhere is very jarring.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    When she receives a letter from a friend who believes her life to be in danger, Hazel rushes to her aid. Because she is a mystery writer, people expect quirky behavior from Hazel, so she can snoop without raising suspicions. She finds her friend, Myrtle, to be a bit confused, but on the eve of her 80th birthday maybe that's to be expected. In fact, Hazel isn't entirely convinced that Myrtle's life is in danger at all, but if she is, the culprit is certainly one of her relatives. Although this bo When she receives a letter from a friend who believes her life to be in danger, Hazel rushes to her aid. Because she is a mystery writer, people expect quirky behavior from Hazel, so she can snoop without raising suspicions. She finds her friend, Myrtle, to be a bit confused, but on the eve of her 80th birthday maybe that's to be expected. In fact, Hazel isn't entirely convinced that Myrtle's life is in danger at all, but if she is, the culprit is certainly one of her relatives. Although this book is meant to take place in the 1920's there isn't much in the story that gives a great sense of time or place other than some comments about fashion. Also, Hazel seems to be a woman of means from a family of means, yet there's little discussion of the classism that was so rampant at that time. There were a suitable number of red herrings, but it was really easy to identify the potential murderer long before the end. I didn't find Hazel incredibly compelling, but I would try others in the series to see if she develops.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    A lot of folks disliked this book as it wasn't "historical" enough. I don't generally gravitate to historial mysteries, so this did not distract me so much, although I could see how the time period was a bit vague. Despite the description of fashion, what period is it when a mystery author has "millions" of readers? I did like the initial premise of the story; nice to have a mystery that was 'pending' in a way - with the MC trying to prevent a crime, rather than just trying to solve a murder. I A lot of folks disliked this book as it wasn't "historical" enough. I don't generally gravitate to historial mysteries, so this did not distract me so much, although I could see how the time period was a bit vague. Despite the description of fashion, what period is it when a mystery author has "millions" of readers? I did like the initial premise of the story; nice to have a mystery that was 'pending' in a way - with the MC trying to prevent a crime, rather than just trying to solve a murder. I was hooked at the start, but found myself starting to fade as the book became an overwhelming barrage of rhetorical questions from the MC. A lot of suppostion, with the repetitive mulling over of ideas and not a lot of actual clue hunting or crime solving. Albeit expected, enjoyed the little twist at the end. Many readers hated the cat element, but I did not object to it as distinctly as others. I may continue this series. I must say I enjoyed the reader of the audiobook - I may not have enjoyed the book as much without her.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tony Hisgett

    I was quite optimistic after reading the opening scene with Hazel talking to her cook about how to disguise the taste of poison in the breakfast marmalade, but from then on the book went downhill. I usually enjoy an historical mystery, but I didn’t really get a feeling for the historical period with this story. It felt like an element of the book was missing. As for Hazel, initially I quite liked her, but she did spend too much time deliberating over every fact and possible culprit. At times it fe I was quite optimistic after reading the opening scene with Hazel talking to her cook about how to disguise the taste of poison in the breakfast marmalade, but from then on the book went downhill. I usually enjoy an historical mystery, but I didn’t really get a feeling for the historical period with this story. It felt like an element of the book was missing. As for Hazel, initially I quite liked her, but she did spend too much time deliberating over every fact and possible culprit. At times it felt like the investigation was going around in circles. Also it didn’t help that the cast of characters was so pallid, there was very little for Hazel to ‘bounce off’. Once the murder happened I hoped the story would ‘perk up’, unfortunately at this point the author tried to introduce the possibility of some romance. This wasn’t a bad ‘cozy mystery’ but there was nothing special about it, or Hazel. Overall it was a bit boring and I won’t be reading book two.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    I was a little apprehensive about this book based on all the poor reviews but it turns out those people are just a bunch of Negative Nellies. This book was well written. Hazel does exactly as a good friend should when asked to help investigate who might want to kill the letter-writer. She rushes over to help her friend who seems confused about all that is happening in her life as she approaches her 80th birthday. Her family is there and some strange things have been happening to her friend Myrtl I was a little apprehensive about this book based on all the poor reviews but it turns out those people are just a bunch of Negative Nellies. This book was well written. Hazel does exactly as a good friend should when asked to help investigate who might want to kill the letter-writer. She rushes over to help her friend who seems confused about all that is happening in her life as she approaches her 80th birthday. Her family is there and some strange things have been happening to her friend Myrtle. Hazel sets about to discover what is going on looking at the loose paving stones, the mixed pills, the arrant arrow - all things that point out that someone is indeed trying to do in Myrtle. But things are not as they seem! And it takes Hazel's cat to point that out just in time. I enjoyed the first book in this series and look forward to reading the second book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    2 1/2 stars. It is an average mystery. It has potential with the setting and a clever heroine and I'm a sucker for a cat in a mystery. There are also some problems: 1. it is hard to pin point the time period and it could use some more historical research; 2. the main character spends too much time weighing potential suspects opportunity and motive throughout the book. I liked that Hazel wasn't perfect. She was having trouble writing her first novel on her own since her husband died. She also kep 2 1/2 stars. It is an average mystery. It has potential with the setting and a clever heroine and I'm a sucker for a cat in a mystery. There are also some problems: 1. it is hard to pin point the time period and it could use some more historical research; 2. the main character spends too much time weighing potential suspects opportunity and motive throughout the book. I liked that Hazel wasn't perfect. She was having trouble writing her first novel on her own since her husband died. She also kept on making assumptions that she took as fact until someone pointed it out or she rethought the clues she had. But she did learn from her mistakes. The book has an engaging heroine and a great time period, plus a cat. A little more development will make it a great series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Argum

    Doesn't read like a first novel - felt like I was missing something many times. Recalls previous cases solved or habits like the reader knows about them. Also problem solving clue finding animals annoy me. This was mild not the key to everything like some but enough to bug me. ALso I have not really a clue of when this took place - possibly the 30s but nothing seems quite right. Single women not spinsters, but lots of staff, mention of drugs like normal issue, but typewriters and nibbed ink pens Doesn't read like a first novel - felt like I was missing something many times. Recalls previous cases solved or habits like the reader knows about them. Also problem solving clue finding animals annoy me. This was mild not the key to everything like some but enough to bug me. ALso I have not really a clue of when this took place - possibly the 30s but nothing seems quite right. Single women not spinsters, but lots of staff, mention of drugs like normal issue, but typewriters and nibbed ink pens, really no idea how to combine this into a time period. Mystery was pretty good and Hazel is likeable just kind of confusing.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hollyberye

    I enjoyed this very much, as an Audible narration (beautifully read), especially the interweaving of Hazel's own efforts to write a mystery while actively engaged in solving one. I loved the descriptions of the kitchen in her own home, her guest room at the manor, and so on. Yes, perhaps some anachronisms but as I am well-steeped in British literature, I could think of exceptions to the normal use of words like "cookies" and give the author a pass. (There is such a thing as a cookie in the UK.) I enjoyed this very much, as an Audible narration (beautifully read), especially the interweaving of Hazel's own efforts to write a mystery while actively engaged in solving one. I loved the descriptions of the kitchen in her own home, her guest room at the manor, and so on. Yes, perhaps some anachronisms but as I am well-steeped in British literature, I could think of exceptions to the normal use of words like "cookies" and give the author a pass. (There is such a thing as a cookie in the UK.) I enjoyed every aspect of the novel and will read the sequel. Very cozy and charming British mystery!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Hazel Martin Mysteries I'm a fan of Leeann Dobbs. Have read several of her series. This one is set England during the 1920's. Hazel Martin is a widow whose husband was a Scotland Yard inspector. As an author of a successful mystery series, Hazel has a gift for solving mysteries. She helped her husband on many of his cases. Now she is learning to make her way without him. This was a good first book but it was repetitive in places. I liked the characters and will definitely continue with the serie Hazel Martin Mysteries I'm a fan of Leeann Dobbs. Have read several of her series. This one is set England during the 1920's. Hazel Martin is a widow whose husband was a Scotland Yard inspector. As an author of a successful mystery series, Hazel has a gift for solving mysteries. She helped her husband on many of his cases. Now she is learning to make her way without him. This was a good first book but it was repetitive in places. I liked the characters and will definitely continue with the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    This is a great weekend at the country house mystery. I'm looking forward to the next book in the Hazel Martin series. Too many "cozy" mysteries are being mislabeled, but this one is a great deal of fun without violence and smut. See? It is possible. There are multiple mentions of her late husband and doubt that she can carry on her literary career without him, which is understandable, but they bring down the mood a bit. Otherwise, it's a great story.

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