Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!
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!
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.
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!
I have read most of Todd's Inspector Rutledge series and have enjoyed listening to the story lines featuring the conflicted inspector. So when the new series began featuring Army nurse Bess Crawford, I was happy to try out this new point of view. I love the stories and am becoming "attached" to these new characters.
My only reservation is Landor's reading. All of the men sound the same, and it can sometimes get very confusing for me as a listener. The only man I can sometimes differentiate is Simon, who seems to get a little softer treatment from Landor. Other than that difficulty, I highly recommend this new World War I series from the mother-and-son writing team that is Charles Todd.