I really enjoy the Maggie Hope stories, but this narrator is just awful. Yelling at full blast is her only way of expressing anger, tension or excitement. Truly irritating.
The Maggie Hope series offers archtypically "cozy" stories, so one doesn't expect much above 3 stars. The plots are strained, the characters are trimmed to fit and the author's understanding of the inner workings of the military and civil institutions into which she's placed those characters seems shallow. However, bringing back Donada Peters for the second and subsequent books would have enhanced the "star" value.
The first book, Mr Churchill's Secretary, was a pleasant accompaniment to a long trip across the flat plains of Texas and Oklahoma. Sadly, I could not finish even the fourth chapter of the second book.
The narration suffers from two major deficiencies. - First, the narrative, story-telling segments are delivered in an unnatural rhythm and tone, with five- or six-word phrases not related to the text content, and a rise-and-fall pattern that is more suited to the nursery. - Second, someone decided to have the German characters speak to each other in German accents. Really cheesy accents.
I'm continuing to read Princess Elizabeth's Spy in the Kindle edition. We'll have to wait a few more chapters to see if it the book is worth finishing.
Yes because I love the story
Maggie and Hugh
Would rather have the narrator of the first book back
Queen Elizabeth as a 14 yr old girl during WW II as heroine in her story. With aid off mi5 agent Maggie Hope placed in Westminster as a math teacher to princess.
This was disappointing.
I truly enjoyed the first book in this series and I was looking forward to this one. The story was no more than just okay. What bothered me more was the narration. I've enjoyed Duerden's work before but her Maggie Hope was way too "breathless." All the men sounded very angry. It was difficult to listen to.
Some of the dialogue was downright silly and some of the terminology was definitely American and not British. I could understand if this was Maggie's dialogue but the use of the word "flashlight" in place of "torch" was out of place. There were a few more but they escape me now.
I've already downloaded the next book; otherwise I may have reconsidered the audio version.
I love the story and the writing, do not at all like the narrator. Much prefer the narrator for the first book and wish they would bring her back.
The story is intriguing, if a little stretched. It is worth reading, once one get used to the reader's irritating cadence.
A number of reviewers have noted the poor narration and I thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt. But boy am I sorry I did. The narrator is utterly appalling. There is no sense that she's reading a story at all with her strange lilt and pattern of speech. It's not only contrived, it makes the story sounds superficial and boring. It sounds like she's reading an advertisement or a menu, and very badly at that. I wonder why the producers passed this reading and worse used the same narrator in subsequent books! Did they not listen to the performance before releasing it or do they not know what a reading should sound like? Really does make you wonder. I've only heard a few hours of this story and already the performance makes the experience painful and grating. I am an avid listener but I will not be buying anymore books read by this narrator. Pity because I do like the series.
Story was entertaining but the narrator really got on my nerves. Her up speak at the end of each sentence reminded me of Robin Leech's voice on the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous show . Just irritating,
The narrator's performance improves over the course of the book. I didn't appreciate that she voiced every German as a mustache-twisting villain, but she adds subtlety to every character as the book goes on so I rated her as a 4 instead of a 3.
Great story, and a little suspension of disbelief is required, but a wonderful escape on my daily commutes.