Member Since 2010
Probably. I have not read the print version.
Well, since this is a lot of jolly good fun, hard to say edge of my seat. But it was still a good mystery. I did not guess the "who-dunnit" part.
She's always perfect.
Yes. I laugh a lot.
This whole series is just delightful. Though actual mysteries, there is an element of comedy, a bit of good- natured poking of fun at British aristocracy/royalty, and even a smidgen of romance. I so look forward to each new book. Hold onto it till I'm ready for something completely special. Close to a perfect series. High on my list of favorites I've listened to. And I'm not sure I'd like the written book as much as the narrated one, and only THIS narrator. Nobody else could do it as well.
I took a chance on getting this (first book) in a series, after having previously read a later one out of order, and thinking maybe I found it kind of lackluster was because I didn't have the background the first books would have provided. So it turns out that that was sort of correct--I liked this one considerably better than the other one, but it still had a quality of seeming like an over-long listen.
Alex Plumtree is desperate to keep his publishing house going, and is depending upon a mystery writer whom he knows as "Arthur" to provide him with the remainder of a best selling novel about kidnapped children. Except there is beginning to be suspicion that this might not be fictional, but true. Furthermore, where is Arthur? He, and the missing end of the manuscript have disappeared. So it is a really good setup for a book. Dangerous things begin to occur and Alex is beginning to wonder who is trustworthy?
I think two things kept this book from being more interesting (to me). For one thing, it seemed longer than necessary, but more importantly, I didn't feel as if the characters (however well drawn they were) were that interesting (some more than others). The other concern was that Alex is portrayed as a rather young man, someone who is physically fit and has love interest, but my ears heard the narration making him sound more like an older man in the part, which left a disconnect in my listening experience somehow. But that is only my own opinion, others may not hear it that way. The premise of the book is interesting, and it has lots of places that are interesting, but it just seemed to be a little too stretched out somehow. Could have used a bit more editing. Better than I had expected, less engaging than I had hoped for. And I did like it better than the other one in the series I read previously.
This is Scott Turow's first book in what I understand will become a long line of good legal mysteries. Can't think what to say about this book that hasn't already been said by everyone else. It's old now (written in 1987) but I am just getting started on his books, which I had always heard were wonderful thrillers but somehow missed reading or seeing the films. This did not disappoint in any way, and didn't lack anything for being slightly ahead of cell phones and electronics, which have revolutionized mystery books forever. In fact, I rather prefer the books that are still pre-computerized and rely on old fashioned ingenuity.
Rusty Sabich is a prosecutor in a mid-west state who is also working to try to get his boss re-elected. When that doesn't happen, and Nico Della Guardia wins the election, he realizes that things will change. But he had not banked on a colleague getting murdered, and himself getting charged with it. A great deal of the book takes place during the trial, and is quite interesting with lots of twists, turns and surprises. The story moves well, and even though I had assumed some things about the ending, I actually had not figured it out.
This book has similarities to the exciting page-turner John Grishom style of writing, but I believe it preceded those, so this may be the trend-setter here for a lot more subsequently done in similar style. I must say a little about the narrator. I found his ability to do voices to be superb! He shifted back and forth between a lot of different people and it was always clear who was speaking. He did a particularly good job with the voice of Sandy Stern, very light, gentle, yet assertive in the courtroom. If you are like me, one of the dozen or so people on the planet who missed the book or movie of "Presumed Innocent," I can strongly recommend this book. I really enjoyed listening to it!
Villains galore in this historically interesting, though kind of light and fun reading, in Edward Marsten's book, "The Silent Woman." To my dismay, thinking I'd try something outside of his 19th century Railroad mystery series, I accidentally began with the 6th book in his series about Elizabethan actors. I say dismay, only because I prefer starting series from the beginning. I think it worked out okay, as the characters are well-drawn, and it didn't seem that the author assumed the reader knew who they all were.
That said, this was a romp through the apparently perilous times of approximately 16th century England as a troupe of actors, displaced by fire in their regular theater, seek audiences elsewhere. Along the way, Nicholas Bracewell realizes that someone bringing him a message from his past in Devon has been killed. So he decides to go there to face some of his own history. As they travel together, the group meets everything short of a plague of locusts (though they do run into the Plague, the illness, in Oxford).
One man does not want Bracewell to get to Devon, and so all the cloak and dagger exploits begin. In a run of almost unending mishaps, where each side tries to outsmart the other, every device the author can think of is employed to create what almost has the feel of melodrama, so predictable does the string of setbacks and dangerous escapades occur. I liked it, but I think it is written in a way that would also appeal to young people. The narrator uses a slightly exaggerated voice in places, suitable to the dramatic atmosphere being created.
In theory, the episodes of Nicholas and the men moving toward Devon vs those trying to stop them could have continued forever. While fun, they felt a little as though they were meant to keep the story going longer and longer and occasionally just felt a bit silly. But this is a neat book to listen to if you want something that has historical interest, action every step of the way, intrigue and villainy throughout, and a well-written book. Just don't try to take it too seriously. Recommend.
Edward Marston has written several series of historical books. This series takes place in Victorian 1850's, with the early British Railway system as the background. If you are looking for a deep, intense read, look elsewhere. But I love listening to these as something like a fun palate cleanser after listening to heavier, more intense books. They are predictable, almost "melodrama-light," but always a pleasure to listen to! Especially the marvelous and unique narration of Sam Dastor.
Inspector Colbeck and Sgt Leeming are called from England to Cardiff, Wales, to investigate the murder of a young silversmith's assistant, who has carried a strange, specially commissioned silver coffeepot in the shape of a locomotive to Wales. On the train, he meets people from a theatre who talk him into showing it to them. Will they be the culprits?
There are also some entertaining local characters of some social standing who are less than likable. Should we suspect them of the murder? Clifford Tompkins and his greedy wife (who had ordered the silver pot) are amusing, even funny, in their total lack of sensitivity. It is in reading these two characters that Sam Dastor's Indian background peeks through, and I love it (even if it doesn't fully fit the characters). Oh, did I mention? Sam Dastor is one of my very favorite narrators! There is also the love interest for Inspector Colbeck--his beloved, Madeleine Andrews, and things get interesting there, also.
If you want a crime novel with a lot of vivid violence and filled with language you need to cover you eyes/ears to read/hear--look elsewhere. But if you, like myself, occasionally need a change of pace to take a break from heavier stuff, then give this whole series a try. It is fun, meant to be taken lightly, and well-written with creative characters and information about the time and place, and good mysteries to figure out. Oh yes, and as I mentioned above, read by my *favorite*--Sam Dastor--with his wonderful and incomparable reading voice. :-)
Sarah Hilary has written a book that deals with difficult to hear about topics of domestic abuse. Detective Marnie Rome & her partner Noah Jake have come to an abused shelter to interview a woman about an incident she was involved in--but upon their arrival, another crime is occurring there they must respond to. What starts out as an ordinary attempt to do an interview blows up into a story that leads into unexpected and dark places.
This book is a challenge to read/hear, in one way, because the author has taken on issues of domestic abuse from a variety of perspectives, and made it clear that this is a social issue people should pay more attention to. There is no doubt that any of the events of the book could actually happen. Being involved in this investigation also leads Marnie to have to confront some horrible ghosts of her own past.
The writing is very good, but the reason I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5, is that the various threads of the book seem to be unrelenting chases after the criminals, with almost no other, lighter story that might bring some relief to the reader/listener at times. Even when the story does shift to Marnie as she is developed as a character, it remains very intense. This entire book is a reminder of the depths of pain and abuse humans can inflict upon each other. Don't get this wrong--this book needed to be written; people need to be aware of what can take place behind closed doors anywhere. But I felt it was intense from beginning to end--with almost no let-up.
I only gave 4 stars to Justine Eyre's narration because her voice is very soft. I listen on my tablet, and could scarcely hear it--I finally had to hook it up to an external speaker. So this might not be a problem for everybody, but it was for me. I'm not sure why the editing didn't correct for this before it was released. This is truly a very good book--I just wanted to explain why I didn't give it all 5 stars (which it probably deserves in many ways--the writing, itself, is excellent, but I found it hard to listen to constant, unending situations of violence).
There is no such thing as a "bad" Nero Wolfe, the originals, as written by Rex Stout. But given there is a very long list of books covering about 35 years, some are better than others. This kind of falls into the "Others" category. I still loved it, as I love them all, but this just isn't quite as great as some. It's still good, though :-)
A young woman comes to the brownstone and asks to stay there for a week. Archie would, in fact, let her do that. But then after speaking with an attorney who explains to Wolfe why he wants her found, Wolfe decides it is not a good idea to give her asylum or get involved in any of it. After that, things go south, murder happens. Wolfe does not want to get mixed in it, but Archie feels some personal concern for all that happens. So he goes out on his own. Only his arrest finally brings Wolfe back into the case and things proceed as usual (with Wolfe solving the case in the traditional way of bringing everyone into his office together.)
I like that it holds to Stout's formulaic process that is itself part of the Nero Wolfe mysteries, and leaves readers happily able to predict the way the thing will play itself out (though not the murderer). I thought the part about Wolfe's initial refusal to take the case was a bit odd, since it was the kind he would typically have taken (but it had to be that way, for subsequent events to take place). The thing that was the most disconcerting was the production itself. The narrator is okay, but the editing or sound quality is not up to the usual standards of most Audible books. There were places where it was obvious that there had been voice patching, because suddenly the narrator's voice would be lower, or deeper, or louder for a paragraph or two, then back to the flow again. And it was not always easy to discern one voice from another.
In most series books, it can get wearisome for the author to hold to a tight pattern of the way things will play out. But there are several writers (Agatha Christie and Rex Stout come to mind) where the reader enjoys having the pattern be predictable, though not the killer! If you love Nero and Archie, you will enjoy this book.
This is (I think the first book) in a series I have not read before. I don't know--others might like it much better than I do. Reading the blurb about it--I was sure it was going to be really exciting. It has all the ingredients--intrigue, murder, exotic orient setting, Inspector Tay--who (as he is described and as he behaves in the book) is the best part of the book.
Yet, I'm about 4 hours into the book, and have felt nothing but boredom. Not sure how that is--can't fault the narration, but even with all the pieces that should be making this a truly fascinating story, I'm not fascinated--I'm having trouble even keeping my attention on the book. I think the story is just so stretched out, that I keep waiting for something new and interesting to occur, but there is just so much filler that it's a long wait.
Guess I'm going to just cut my losses on this one. I think it's kind of cheating to write a review without finishing a whole book. I understand that some books take this long to get set up. But this has not seemed like the establishment of the basics--it just drags. I'm sorry. Bought it during this great sale going on, and now I pretty much wish I hadn't. HOPEFULLY other people will love this book. But I don't.
Robert Goldsborough has done a pretty good job re-creating The Nero Wolfe mystery series. I've truly enjoyed reading them. Mainly, the only thing that gives a slight discomfort is that Goldsborough has brought them out of the 1940-1960 time frame they were originally in to a more modern time (not sure when, exactly, but they now use computers). This would make them both be retirement age, or beyond, but Archie is still his eternally young self, and Nero never changes anyway. Suppose he actually is timeless :-)
In this book, Wolfe is originally approached by someone from a huge mega-church who is seeking help in finding someone who is anonymously putting warning notes into the collection bag that threaten the minister, Barnaby Bay. Because of Wolfe's general antipathy toward organized religion he simply refuses to take on the case. So Archie suggests that one of the men who does investigations for them, Fred Durkin, be employed for the job instead. Unfortunately, someone gets shot with Fred Durkin's gun after he dares to suggest that the notes are an inside job, and he is arrested. This, finally, gets Wolfe motivated to take the job because he won't let anything happen to those he cares about.
I have enjoyed listening to this series. In general Goldsborough has done a surprisingly good job of pulling Wolfe and Goodwin onto fresh pages. He has kept the original cast of characters, and in general, the same formula for the books that worked so well for Rex Stout. And I've read all the originals several times, so I think I'm a good critic. Generally, I have also enjoyed LJ Ganser's performance of them. This book is not, in my opinion, quite as good in either writing or narration as the others I have listened to, though still good. Wish I could have given 4 & 1/2 stars to each.
Kali O'Brien is an attorney who has come to her hometown, following her father's death. She remains there for a while, planning to deal with the house and estate and his dog. However, almost as quickly as she reunites with old friends, one of them gets murdered, and his wife, Kali's best friend growing up, is under suspicion for his death. So she gets involved in the case, in spite of her own reservations.
The story is good, the characters pretty well drawn, but there were very few unexpected moments. I guess it might fit into the category of cozy, and it was an easy read (listen). I could listen to another in the series, but I wouldn't expect it to be overly exciting (at least, this one wasn't). That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you're looking for an edge of your seat page-turner, this isn't it.
The best part about it is probably the interpersonal parts--the relationships that get re-established and/or created were fun. And clearly Jonnie Jacobs is setting it all up for a longer series. The only thing I was not crazy about was the narration. Not bad, but the narrator read in a way that made these adults sound terribly young, and she read rather slowly.
This is a pretty good story. Robin is a tv personality who has also written a best seller book. Things seem to be going so well for her, until she starts receiving unsettling, even dangerous warnings from an anonymous person who clearly wants her out of the way.
What's really great about this book, is that there are many suspects to choose from, lots of twists and turns. I kept changing my mind all through it about the "whodunit" part. I love that in a good mystery. What was harder for me was being able to relate to the protagonist. I viewed her as not very likable for some reason, and the entire setting of the tv industry, well-known and wealthy people with their lifestyle of fame and competitiveness is not part of my own worldview. So that's just me, and I still liked the book a great deal, especially as it moved more deeply into the story. I think the narration is also very good--works well for this book. Kept me guessing pretty much of the book!
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