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Historical

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Kathi

Kathi Sterling, VA, United States Member Since 2010

Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

HELPFUL VOTES
1116
ratings
REVIEWS
448
246
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
225
2
  • "Phryne's back--another really fun l..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a delightful series--entertaining characters, perfectly paced, colorful settings & escapades, amusing romantic romps, and oh yes--always a mystery to solve as well. Stephanie Daniel reads these books so well--and along with the peppy accompanying 20's style music--they make the perfect complement to the writing. (In fact, after listening to the first three books in the series, I doubt reading one would be as good!)

    In this book, Phryne is riding with Dot, her companion, on a train--when the entire car is sedated by chloroform being sent through the ventilation system. Phryne practically single-handedly rescues most of the people herself (no surprise, if you know Phryne from past books), and immediately is immersed in the crime (murder of one of the passengers). This leads to all sorts of complications as side issues--including the introduction of two girls whom I presume we will see in future books. (Don't know, since I'm listening to them in order). Agatha Christie would have loved this book, with it's modern style of writing about a crime on a train--taking place in her era :-)

    There is everything to love about this series and this book. The only reason I gave the story 4 stars instead of 5 this time was because it was WAY to easy to finger the culprit early on. However, even if the culprit had been named in the first paragraph, this book would still be a super read/listen. It has a kind of charm to it that simply captivates my imagination. Highly recommend!

    More

    Murder on the Ballarat Train: A Phryne Fisher Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (370)

    In Phryne's third adventure, Phryne is off to Ballarat for a week of fabulousness, but the sedate journey by train turns out to be far from the restful trip she was planning. What was planned as a restful country sojourn turns into the stuff of nightmares: a young girl who can't remember anything, rumours of vile white slavery and the body of an old woman missing her emerald rings.

    Kathi says: "Phryne's back--another really fun listen!"
  • "LOVED IT! Best of the series so far..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have loved every single book in this series about Lady Georgiana Rannoch, an impoverished distant cousin of the queen, whose life is a constant search for finding a secure place somewhere. Her peculiar circumstances, of being a "royal" but without any money or training for a career, has left her open to having to go to new places, where she meets people and gets herself into situations where intrigue and murders occur. Naturally, she is the clever one who winds up solving the mysteries.

    This was the absolute best in the series so far--and the wait was worth it! Katherine Kellgren, the most talented narrator, has outdone herself with the amazing versatility she shows for creating different voices. I have never "read" one of the books in this series (always listened to these recordings of them) but cannot imagine doing so, after listening to Kellgren's delightful readings of them. There are just not enough superlatives available to describe the range of her vocal skills. The stories are loads of fun--they are genuine mysteries, but with a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) mockery of the aristocracy, laugh-out-loud funny much of the time, and genuinely quite addictive! I recall that the first of the series I ever read, I chose with some skepticism, since that does not sound like the typical books I read--but by the end of the first chapter of the first book, I was a confirmed follower of Rhys Bowen's Lady Georgiana series. The author, the narrator and the uncommonly clever writing work together in a way that many recorded books do not.

    In this book, Georgiana goes to a lush mansion with Lady Edwina, a wealthy duchess with great pretensions, to help her teach a long-missing grandson how to behave properly in his new place in society. However, when the young Australian outback, sheep-farming youth meets his royal and very pompous, grandiose grandmother--the outrageous fun begins--along with the murder.

    If you choose to listen to this book--it would be wise (and fun) for you to begin at the beginning of the series. However, it would be fine to begin with this one--I believe it could be a great stand-alone book on its own.

    More

    Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1343)
    Performance
    (1206)
    Story
    (1197)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
  • "Amazing skill from the writer!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In most books, I have to listen for a while to get all the characters and situation in my mind. In this one, I was hooked almost from the first sentence. I'd had this in my library for a while, and passed it by, not feeling inspired by the notion of an amnesiac detective trying to solve a separate, different crime. What astonishment I felt when I realized that this is one of the best-crafted, well thought out, engaging and wonderfully narrated mysteries I've encountered in quite a long time.

    Anne Perry, who wrote this many years ago,has assembled a challenging story of a double mystery (Monk's own identity and that of a murder) in a way that is neither overly complicated to follow nor challenging to one's belief system. I had thought the premise might have been a bit over the top, so avoided this book. Don't do it! This is a great book--one that I find notable for both it's writing style and it's good mystery.

    I believe the beginning, the unfolding of how Monk discovers that he doesn't know who he is, is exceedingly interesting, credible, and works so very well with the story as a whole. His search for his own identity is taking place as a quiet, private matter while he works a very public case for the "Peelers" (newly formed police department in Victorian era London).

    Many people have already written reviews about this--I want to echo the ones that praise it. Perry's weaving of the two plots in and out is very skillful and very rarely strayed into a forced conversation or interaction between characters to get to where she was leading the reader (listener). Just for the actual skill of assembling this book I would give it 5 stars. The narration by the excellent Davina Porter is a plus that just put it over the top for me. I only wished it could have been longer--I didn't want it to end! Highly recommend!

    More

    The Face of a Stranger: A William Monk Novel #1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (536)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (377)

    A tragic accident leaves Inspector Monk with amnesia just moments after he solves the murder of a popular Crimean war hero. Forced to redo his entire investigation, a frustrated Monk faces a desperate murderer who will do anything to keep the inspector from discovering the truth twice.

    connie says: "promising start to the series"
  1. Murder on the Ballarat Tr...
  2. Heirs and Graces: A Royal...
  3. The Face of a Stranger: A...
  4. .

Carol

Carol Massachusetts 10-17-10 Member Since 2010

It is true that I know only what I have read in books. But I have read a great many books. ("Venetia" by Georgette Heyer)

HELPFUL VOTES
660
ratings
REVIEWS
196
90
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
87
6
  • "Fascinating Story, Great Setting"

    15 of 15 helpful votes

    Faulty bridge infrastructure derails a train travelling from Paris to Marseilles in 1919. The resulting 300-foot plunge into a rock-strewn ravine leaves only two survivors--or possibly there was a third--and maybe even a fourth? Three years later, Scotland Yard's Joe Sandilands arrives in Simla, India, high in the Himalaya and the summer capital of the British Raj, to investigate the apparent assassination of a prominent English trading executive. On the steep final approach to Simla--at the exact spot of the first murder--Joe's traveling companion is identically shot and killed. We are now at the end of Chapter 2. It is obvious early on that we are seeing the fruits of a case of identity theft. But the repercussions of the earlier events are many, varied, and surprising, and play out in an exotic locale and with a cast of characters that adds panache. Terry Wale's narration, in the rather flat intonations of a British military officer, becomes entirely part of the action and is totally believable. Highly recommended for those who like their mysteries with color, character, and complexity.

    More

    Ragtime in Simla

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Barbara Cleverly
    • Narrated By Terry Wale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    Simla 1922, and the summer capital of the British Raj is fizzing with the energy of the Jazz Age. Simla is where detective Joe Sandilands is heading as the guest of Sir George Jardine, the Governor of Bengal. But when Joe’s travelling companion, a Russian opera singer, is shot dead at his side in the Governor’s car, he finds himself plunged into a murder investigation. Confronted by the mystery of an identical unsolved killing a year before, Joe realizes that Sir George’s hospitality comes at a high price.

    Carol says: "Fascinating Story, Great Setting"

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    In 1912 Ian Rutledge watched as a man was condemned to hang for the murders of elderly women. Rutledge helped gather the evidence that sent Ben Shaw to the gallows. And when justice was done, Rutledge closed the door on the case. But Shaw was not easily forgotten. Now, seven years later, that grim trial returns in the form of Ben Shaw's widow Nell, bringing Rutledge evidence she is convinced will prove her husband's innocence. It's a belief fraught with peril, threatening both Rutledge's professional stature and his faith in his judgment. But there is a darker reason for Rutledge's reluctance.

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    • By Ruth Downie
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    Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
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    Overall
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    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
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    The Rest Is Silence: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery, Book 9

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    • By James R. Benn
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When an unidentified corpse washes ashore at Slapton Sandson England's southern coast, US army captain Billy Boyle and his partner, Lieutenant Piotr "Kaz" Kazimierz, are assigned to investigate. The Devonshirebeach is the home to Operation Tiger, the top-secret rehearsal for theapproaching D-day invasion of Normandy, and the area is restricted; no one seems to know where the corpse could have come from.

  • Melting Clock: A Toby Peters Mystery (






UNABRIDGED) by Stuart Kaminsky Narrated by Stephen Bowlby

    Melting Clock: A Toby Peters Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stuart Kaminsky
    • Narrated By Stephen Bowlby
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    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    An ax-wielding monk hacks at the door. Toby Peters is on the other side, running as fast as his recently broken leg will allow. Alongside him is Salvador Dalí, dressed in a rabbit suit, insistently muttering "grasshoppers" as they try to make their escape. Dalí insists on being carried across the lawn, so Peters hobbles along with the surrealist in his arms. They get in the car just as the monk chops down the front door. The car doesn't start, and the monk charges silently, the ax in the air.

  • Gallowglass (






UNABRIDGED) by Gordon Ferris Narrated by Angus King

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    • By Gordon Ferris
    • Narrated By Angus King
    Overall
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    He's dead. So says his own newspaper, the Glasgow Gazette: Douglas Brodie, 25 January 1912 - 20 July 1947. Just four weeks before, a senior banker was kidnapped. Brodie delivered the ransom money, but the drop went disastrously wrong. Brodie was coshed in the kidnappers' den. He woke with a gun in his hand next to a very dead banker with a bullet in his head.

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UNABRIDGED) by Bernadette Pajer Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner

    The Edison Effect: Professor Bradshaw Mystery, Book 4

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    • By Bernadette Pajer
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
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    When Thomas Edison asks for information, most feel compelled to give it. Not University of Washington professor Benjamin Bradshaw. Not when the question concerns a device conceived in anger and harnessed for murder. Bradshaw hopes the mysterious invention remains lost in Elliott Bay, eluding the search of deep-sea divers.

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  • Guns in the Desert (






UNABRIDGED) by Lauran Paine Narrated by Jeff Harding

    Guns in the Desert

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lauran Paine
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
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    In the title story of this Western duo, Sheriff Jess Wright must protect Singing Springs from the Wilton gang after their youngest member is killed trying to set fire to the town.

  • The Bandit Trail (






UNABRIDGED) by William MacLeod Raine Narrated by Jeff Harding

    The Bandit Trail

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By William MacLeod Raine
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
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    A story of the Wyoming to Arizona trail, of rustlers and bandits, its secret lairs, and of Jack Lovell, who rode its full, grim, dangerous length.

  • Sharpe's Gold: The Destruction of Almeida, August 1810: The Sharpe Series, Book 9 (






UNABRIDGED) by Bernard Cornwell Narrated by Rupert Farley

    Sharpe's Gold: The Destruction of Almeida, August 1810: The Sharpe Series, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Rupert Farley
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    Captain Sharpe's task is to recover from a feared guerilla leader the gold Wellington so desperately needs.The enemy he faces strikes terror into the hearts of all around - a renegade guerilla band whose leader has a particular loathing for Sharpe, who has stolen his woman. Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage.

  • Uprooted: A Canadian War Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Lynne Reid Banks Narrated by Janice Mackenzie

    Uprooted: A Canadian War Story

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lynne Reid Banks
    • Narrated By Janice Mackenzie
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    From the author of The Indian in the Cupboard and The L-Shaped Room comes a fascinating story of a wartime childhood, heavily influenced by her own experience. In 1940 as war rages across Europe, ten-year-old Lindy, waves goodbye to England and makes the long journey to Saskatoon, Canada, along with her Mother and her cousin Cameron. They may be far from the war but they are also far from home and everyone they know and love. Life in Canada is very different but it is also full of exciting new adventures.