The reader is frantic and harried and is not enjoyable - character is pushed. I made the huge error of assuming it would be in the vein of book 1 which was a pleasure and failed to listen to the sample. That said I wanted to hear book 2.
I love the Maisie Dobbs series! It is extremely interesting and well written. I wish this story did not go back and explain her back story so much, though I understand that it might be necessary when a reader/listener who is new to the series starts with this book. The narrator did an excellent job distinguishing all of the characters
I've read the first three Maisie Dobbs books and so far they're all similar story quality. If you liked the first one, you'll like this one. I wanted to comment on the narrator because I almost didn't buy it based on the bad reviews. Re: the speaking speed -- this narrator interpreted Maisie as a very no-nonsense, get-it-done sort of person and the pace of her speech IS fast. I didn't have any trouble with it. In fact, in other similar situations I've found it confusing, but the narrator takes a long pause when switching from character, or when there is an emotional pause, or silence needed for emphasis. Overall, I think it was a good reading. I was a little disappointed that the same narrator wasn't used for the third book, but after a while I got used to a "slow" Maisie again.