I must remember that Elly Griffiths likes to write in the present tense and I dont like listening to stories written in the present tense. Whilst the story was interesting enough I found that the tense grated on me and I spent more time listening for that than I did for the plotlines. Shame, the premise is good, the locations mean something to me but I wont be getting any more.
I am working through this series back to front. Normally, I would never do such a thing, but the series came to my attention with book 8 and since there were a number of complaints in the comments stating that book 8 wasn't as good as previous books, I thought I'd start there and if it caught my attention I'd work backward and the books should theoretically get better. I've actually enjoyed that approach, in part because while the reader of the first few books takes over again for book 8, the books in the middle of the series are read by a different reader, Clare Corbett. I admit that she does not do a good job with Nelson's actual voice, however I think her voices for the other male characters are fine, and I deeply prefer her voicing of both Cathbad and Kate in particular, who are two of my favorite characters. Also, though the voicing of Nelson is poor, his accent is much better than that provided by Jane McDowell (the reader of the first four books, as well as book 8). In fact all the accents are much better as voiced by Corbet. Additionally, her voice is much more pleasant to listen to to me, as she doesn't have a tendency to become shrill when indicating high emotion. So, overall, I felt that someone should write a defense of Corbet as a reader for this series, since there is a lot of complaining about her in the review here.
Other people have written good reviews of the story, so I'll just stop with my defense of Corbet.
A nice addition to the series--I love the main character, Ruth--and the location, which is another "character" in the stories.
However the narration has been consistently horrid. Jane McDowell's strident, grating voice would leave me clenching my teeth after only a few moments of listening. However, Clare Corbett is worse--but in a different way. She has a pleasant enough voice, easy to listen to, until she attempts to do a male voice. At first I thought I was hallucinating--no WAY her clownish male characterizations would have been permitted. Wrong.
C'mon people--will somebody please just LISTEN to these performances before inflicting them on the paying customers?
No. I generally don't listen to books again for quite some time but this would not be one. The narrator, especially the very uneven volume levels, the screaming Kate and the overloud Sandy completely spoiled my enjoyment of the book. Books should be read, not considered a 'performance'
Very disappointing and contrived.
Jane McDowell read the early Galloway and she was excellent. I won't buy any more as long as Clare Corbett is the reader
For goodness sake read the book and don't do the accents.
On the whole, I enjoyed this but not as much as the earlier books in the series. Make voices were pretty awful, especially Nelson and Sandy, and that was a big negative. Also, the solution to the mystery seemed contrived and didn't hang together that well. The reader did well with female voices and general narrative tough and I enjoy the characters. May have to read the next book, as not sure I can listen to the same narrator again.
I hate to say this -- I resist saying this as often as possible - but the narration here for any character other than Ruth is horrible. Children should not necessarily be depicted as cartoon characters and worse, men should not be voiced as childrens' teddy bears in a fake gruff voice. Every scene including a male character is ruined.
Please see above.
I still enjoyed this book in the series, but I agree with other reviewers that stated that the narration was distracting. I was so disappointed in the sonorous, droning tone bestowed on Cathbad, who in previous versions was an Irishman, that I almost couldn't follow the story at first.
Also, when performing the children's voices the narrator because loud and piercing in order to maker her voice sound 'childlike.'
By the next book in this series that is read by the same narrator I became a bit more used to it, but still missed the other narrator.
I've loved listening to this series, but I was dismayed to hear the new narrator. Jane McDowell was FAR superior. Clare Corbett's female characters are fine, but her male characters sound more like caricatures of what "men" sound like. Ugh. If I didn't love the series so much, I'd stop listening to this one.