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Lynn

Writer, painter and unabashed romantic with passion for history and mystery.

tarpon springs, FL, United States | Member Since 2010

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 278 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • Watching the Dark: An Inspector Banks Novel, Book 20

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Peter Robinson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (116)

    A decorated detective inspector is murdered on the tranquil grounds of the St. Peter’s Police Treatment Centre, shot through the heart with a crossbow arrow, and compromising photographs are discovered in his room. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is well aware that he must handle the highly sensitive - and dangerously explosive - investigation with the utmost discretion. Because the case may involve police corruption, an officer from Professional Standards, Inspector Joanna Passero, has arrived to work with Banks and his team.

    Lynn says: "Banks, Annie and Simon Prebble All In Top Form"
    "Banks, Annie and Simon Prebble All In Top Form"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Could not stop listening to this and almost stayed up all night. I've been a dedicated fan of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series from the beginning. About three books back, I sensed that perhaps Robinson (and Banks) were losing their way a bit. I am glad to see that in this book Robinson returns to tight plotting, great detective work and perserverence separately by Banks and Annie, interesting secondary characters, fascinating locations, contemporary and believable crimes, nasty as well as conflicted villains, and wonderful, chilling location vignettes. Add to this the always superb Simon Prebble as narrator and it's hard not to overdo the superlatives.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Normans: From Raiders to Kings

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lars Brownworth
    • Narrated By James C. Lewis
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In The Normans, Lars Brownworth follows their story, from the first shock of a Viking raid on an Irish monastery to the exile of the last Norman Prince of Antioch. In the process, he brings to vivid life the Norman tapestry's rich cast of characters: figures like Rollo the Walker, William Iron-Arm, Tancred the Monkey King, and Robert Guiscard. The Normans presents a fascinating glimpse of a time when a group of restless adventurers had the world at their fingertips.

    Lynn says: "Far From Hastings (aka the OTHER Normans)"
    "Far From Hastings (aka the OTHER Normans)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Surprise! This book is a history of the Normans who headed south - FAR south, into the Mediterranean region. I found it difficult to decide after listening whether they were bad news or good news in the long run for the countries and peoples they conquered and ruled. They appear to have implemented semi benevolent policies for their victims/subjects. However, they shared a fatal disposition to fight amongst themselves which caused great misery for everyone in their orbits. I purchased the book thinking it was about William the Conqueror's forefathers and foremothers. While I was startled to find little about that subject, I was entertained and enlightened by learning about something I had not intended to, and about which I knew nothing. I gave the "story" only three stars because I found patches of the narrative confusing and disjointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2580)
    Performance
    (2217)
    Story
    (2205)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    barbara says: "Stunned"
    "Tedious, obvious and poorly read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So disappointed. I've liked the previous books in this series. This one, however, is full of extraneous characters, overdramatic writing, and an obvious plot. To make things worse, the narrator does a good job of speaking the first person voice of the book. However, he makes every other character sound strident, shrill, and/or fraught with hidden meaning that isn't there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Who Came in from the Cold: A Corduroy Mansions Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (193)

    Literary agent Barbara Ragg has agreed to represent a man writing a book about his experiences hanging out with the Abominable Snowman. Terence Moongrove’s residence has become the target of New Age cosmologists. And pint-sized terrier Freddie de la Hay is being recruited by MI6 to infiltrate a Russian spy ring.

    Robert says: "Comfort food"
    "Doggone Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Funny, touching, exciting even. A not so shaggy dog satire (albeit a fond satire) of the British spy genre. Superb narration by Simon Prebble whose voice conveys just the right humorous note when called for. Prebble is a master with accents as well, a much needed skill to carry off this brilliantly written work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By William Roberts
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens - as he later put it, "It was clear my people needed me." They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item.

    Lynn says: "How strange! Not as recently written as described."
    "How strange! Not as recently written as described."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bryson fans and strangers to Bryson alike may be misled as I was by the advertised description of these pieces as recent. Depends on how you define recent! Do not expect pithy observations on this century's catastrophes, elections, current TSA procedures, celebrity culture, and/or texting, tweeting, FBing. For instance, he writes with wonder of such artifacts as microwave pancakes. Brilliant and au courant not. Microwave pancakes are hardly a new invention. Having been to England myself this century I know High Street food shops and the big chains there sell them and have for years. A quibble? No. As it turns out, these pieces were written some time ago - decades ago? However, Bryson still amuses and William Roberts captures the quirky tone of Bill Bryson's ambling style well. Old Bryson is better than no Bryson.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (181)

    Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His former team doesn't trust the leadership of their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, but Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer's hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden and possibly attractive vulnerability.

    Rebecca says: "Interesting Mix for Elizabeth George Fans"
    "Good on first listen, superb on second"
    Overall

    The first time I listened to this book, the plot gripped me, I thought the narrator created compelling voices, and I liked everything about the book except the way Lynley and his new (female, temporary) boss interacted. Since their evolving acquaintance provides much of the non-criminal tension, that seemed a major distraction. However, on second listen several months later, I saw both characters in a different light, while the plot seemed even more masterfully spun and resolved. For listeners new to the Lynley series, there is just enough detail provided about the continuing characters so that you probably won't feel lost. In other words, don’t let the fact that this is the most recent of a long series stand in your way of a great listen. And for those of us who have had to face and accept the sometimes tragic changes recently in the characters and their relationships, I think some of the jarring elements of the last three books are starting to wear off. In sum, this is a rich and gripping mystery narrative peopled by a huge range of lively, although not all likeable, characters. George also evokes England during a recent blistering summer with great realism and sensuousness, giving the greed and the stark and brutal failures of love and compassion that drive the crimes a hot depth unusual in any novels set in Britain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Portobello: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ruth Rendell
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Walking to the shops one day, 50-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction - and his own good intentions - Wren hatches a plan to find the moneys rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners - people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs.

    Lynn says: "Portobello's Lovely Mean Streets"
    "Portobello's Lovely Mean Streets"
    Overall

    Poignant, funny, human and sardonic, a spellbinding evocation by Ruth Rendell of a time - 2007 - and a place - the Portobello neighborhood of London - both distinct and universal. Rendell's rich and sensuous narrative draws us into the complicated and vivid lives of upper middle class, lower middle class, criminal, and slacker Londoners as if met on a stroll through Portobello. Each wants something elusive - security, sanity, love, food, or simply human contact - and we feel their longings as we wonder what will happen next in the convoluted, Dickensian plot driven by conflicting desires and obsessions. Tim Curry's narration splendidly summons the beauty and ugliness of the characters and their deeds.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Shooting in the Shop

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Simon Brett
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    Carole Seddon hates Christmas – it all seems rather a waste of time. So when her best friend, Jude, drags her along to go shopping at a local store called Gallimaufry, she can feel her inner-Scrooge knocking. Then Gallimaufry is burnt down and a body is discovered. It seems like a tragic accident, but it’s not natural causes when a gun is involved.

    Lynn says: "Tops in plot, people & narrator"
    "Tops in plot, people & narrator"
    Overall

    Fans of Brett and his tart and savvy Fethering heroines of a certain age, Carolyn and Jude, will savor this well plotted mystery. As an added bonus, vetern actor Brett reads his own tale with high style. The voices come alive and vividly capture the personalities of a wildly diverse cast.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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