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Kathi

Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!

Member Since 2010

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  • 230 reviews
  • 432 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 200 purchased in 2014
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  • Death on Deadline: A Nero Wolfe Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Robert Goldsborough
    • Narrated By L J Ganser
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    To save his favorite newspaper, Wolfe steps into the crossfire of a tabloid war. Scottish newspaper magnate Ian MacLaren plans to gut the paper and turn it into a sex-filled conservative rag. Standing in his way is the company’s chief shareholder, Gazette heir Harriet Haverhill. But when the aged Ms. Haverhill dies in an apparent suicide, no one remains to resist the Scot’s advances except Wolfe. MacLaren may be fierce, but when the cause is just, Nero Wolfe knows how to play dirty, too.

    Kathi says: "Superb job! Nero and Archie are back!"
    "Superb job! Nero and Archie are back!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Death on Deadline?

    Robert Goldsborough has done something very difficult: picked up characters and continued a series after the death of the original author. Not the first to do so, but by far one of the best I've ever read so far! I have read all of the original Nero Wolfe mysteries (multiple times) and I am here to say, that it was very hard to tell "who" had done the writing during most of this book.

    I should think that of all the series to have taken on, Nero Wolfe might have been a huge challenge because of all the very distinctive kinds of vocabulary, mannerisms, stylistic elements and so on that were the trademarks of the original series. Being off by just a little would have been very noticeable.

    He has taken on the unimaginable task of re-creating the characters from the long Nero Wolfe mystery series--with all the same wonderful people (Nero, Archie, Fritz, Cramer and the rest...) and managed somehow to keep the same energy, atmosphere, subtle sense of humor, and framework in which the mystery is laid out--it's all there, and pitch perfect!

    In this story, Archie and Nero work to solve the mystery of the suicide (which of course, only Nero recognizes as a murder) of a wealthy female newspaper owner. They go through almost the exactly predictable sort of interviewing of everyone in Wolfe's office (he will never leave his house)--with the same kind of grumbling, resistance--yet ultimately somehow cooperation--of everyone toward unmasking the murderer in the classic NW style ending. Wolfe spends lots of time with his orchids, Fritz cooks wonderful meals and Archie does all the footwork toward the resolution of the crime.

    If I had the smallest thing to comment on that was sort of a negative for me, it would be that Goldsborough had understandably (I suppose) updated this book to a more recent time than the original Archie and Nero series. Hearing (only a few) references to a computer, "turning off the phones" and the like (I think it was written in the 80's--but sounded as though it might have been intended to have been late 70"s?--just my guess) was a little bit of a turn off, since the original series was (largely--but not entirely) written during the 40's, 50's and some still into the 60's.

    Because of that, Goldsborough couldn't quite capture the feel of the original era in which these were (mostly) written. Nor did he try--since he constructed it as a book that would have been placed in the logical order of next in the series, coming after all that RS wrote. I don't know whether it would even have made sense to have tried to write this as something in the middle of the long stretch of time during which Rex Stout wrote all his books anyway. So that is really the most minor of things. And did not detract from the book--simply made me occasionally aware that this is "new," not one of the old, classic RS mysteries.

    L. J. Ganser was a wonderful narrator. He so captured the essence of how (I think) Nero Wolfe should sound that it was just delightful to listen to him. He had the crisp-sounding, distinct clarity and intonation of his voice, one could almost hear the punctuation marks in his speech (just the way I think Wolfe would have sounded). I wish he might not have carried that crispness to other characters quite so much--since I believe that Archie and the others might have been a little more casual in their manner of speaking. However, as a listener--it was a bonus, because every word was clearly spoken.

    All in all, this book was just a delightful surprise. A future listener should not hesitate to try it with a worry that the differences in writers might be too obvious. Where there are *slightly* noticeable differences, they won't detract from the overall feeling of having magically been brought back to the old brownstone with Nero and the rest.

    I think that Goldsborough and Lanser have made a solid contribution to those who love the NW mysteries. Somewhere, I can't help thinking, Rex Stout is smiling and saying, "Satisfactory!"


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet: A Rabbi Small Mystery, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Harry Kemelman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    One of the world’s most unusual sleuths, Rabbi David Small captivates mystery fans with his chutzpah and unparalleled logic. When he investigates some non-kosher behavior by his congregation, he finds himself in water way over his head. While a destructive hurricane pummels Barnard’s Crossing, an elderly temple member dies suddenly after taking his newly-prescribed antibiotic. Soon one member of the Jewish community after another falls under suspicion for drug tampering.

    Kathi says: "Kemelman's wonderful series--brilliantly narrated!"
    "Kemelman's wonderful series--brilliantly narrated!"
    Overall
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    Story

    This is one of the delightful series written in the '70's by Harry Kemelman that focuses on David Small, the rabbi of a conservative congregation in Barnard's Crossing, Massachusetts. Sometimes I hesitate before getting old books--but because I read all these in paper form "back in the day," I could recall how interesting they were.

    In this book, Hurricane Betsy is in the background while one of the temple congregants is very ill, a pharmacist and his son have previously had a bitter dispute--leading to the son leaving home, and there are people who want to do some interesting real estate deals. All of these components are parts of the intrigue that arises out of what appears at first to be a patient taking medications for a treatable infection--and leads to murder. Several people are suspect, one in particular that Rabbi Small wants to help (as only he can do, using his particular knowledge of Talmudic law).

    This series has a very good mix of personal and logical--with development of characters like Rabbi Small and his wife and son and the local chief of police as on-going characters. There tend to be different townspeople and temple congregants and boards of directors featured. But one thing that never changes is that the books are a wonderful combination of good story, intriguing mysteries, and fascinating look into the Jewish culture. I have always loved them--but finding that the incomparable George Guidall is narrating them brings them fresh life. Highly recommend!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Death of a Policeman

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (53)

    Local police stations all over the Scottish Highlands are being threatened with closure. This presents the perfect opportunity for Detective Chief Inspector Blair, who would love nothing more than to get rid of Sergeant Hamish Macbeth. Blair suggests that Cyril Sessions, a keen young police officer, visit the town of Lochdubh to monitor exactly what Macbeth does every day. Macbeth hears about Blair's plan and is prepared to insure that Cyril returns back to headquarters with a full report. But Cyril is soon found dead and Hamish quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder.

    Kathi says: "The narrator brings this book to life!"
    "The narrator brings this book to life!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Graeme Malcolm's narration carries the story in this episode of the Highland policeman who wants nothing more than to be left on his own turf, to take care of matters as only he can do best. However CI Blair has always been jealous of Hamish, and thinks up a plot he hopes will get rid of him at last. Since there is a movement to down-size the police force, Blair gets Cyril Sessions, a young policeman, to secretly follow Hamish, take pictures and document that he and his partner really do not do any work, in the hope that this evidence will get MacBeth removed from the force. Unfortunately, this will lead to a murder instead.

    The fun of Hamish Macbeth books is always the characters more than the mystery (although that part is good, too). Hamish is a life-loving man, who doesn't take himself too seriously, does his job quite well in fact, but has little interest in doing anything that would take him up the ladder of promotions, because that might mean leaving his beloved town of Lochdubh. He loves the Highlands, the townspeople, his cat and dog, and wants nothing more than to do what he does best, where he is. That lack of ambition puzzles some and infuriates others, which is where much of the tension in the stories comes in.

    This book is typical of most in the series, but it lacked a bit of the usual pizzazz, and I don't really know why. I love the narration of Graeme Malcolm, and that compensated for what I think is one of the weaker stories in the series. It is still good--I haven't read a bad Hamish MacBeth book ever. But would not call this Beaton's best. I would still recommend it to any faithful Hamish fan!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Cards on the Table: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (56)

    Mr. Shaitana is famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he is a man of whom everybody is a little afraid. So when he boasts to Hercule Poirot that he considers murder an art form, the detective has some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana's "private collection". Indeed, what begins as an absorbing evening of bridge is to turn into a more dangerous game altogether.

    Calliope says: "this is a great Christie mystery"
    "Poirot according to Hoyle"
    Overall
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    Story

    In my own mind, I kind of think of Agatha Christie mysteries as being sort of "A list" and "B list." To me, this book is on the "B list," but not because it is bad; only because it is not quite as wonderful as some others (I don't personally think there are any bad AC novels).

    In this one, Poirot (along with Supt Battle, Col. Race and Ariadne Oliver--a mystery writer who one senses is created by Agatha in her own image) must solve an odd murder. Mr. Shaitana, a man who has boasted he can pick up on clues to people who have committed murder, invites the four sleuths, along with four other people, to play two tables of Bridge. Alas, the man who believed he could figure out who was a murderer quickly becomes the murder victim. And the hunt begins. Poirot cleverly uses the score sheets from the bridge game to ascertain who was playing the game at various times. But there are many more twists and turns till the murderer is revealed in the end.

    I think High Fraser does a good job with the narration, and it is all the more fun since he played Captain Hastings in the Poirot TV series. This is a fun read. Agatha Christie is always a winner, and even though I read them all many years ago, I'm having a lot of fun listening to them again. Recommend!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Henry Huggins

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Beverly Cleary
    • Narrated By Neil Patrick Harris
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Genuinely funny books for children are few and far between. So, when a story like Henry Huggins comes along, it comes to stay. Children everywhere see themselves in this irresistible boy's adventures.

    J. Walker says: "Wonderful!"
    "Excellent--just excellent!"
    Overall
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    Story

    I don't typically review kids' books. But we are just back from a vacation with our 5 & 7 year old grandkids--and we listened to this book, as well as "Henry & Beezus" and "Henry & the Clubhouse". They were all wonderful!

    I'm so used to serious lit and adult mysteries, that it was a pleasant surprise and change of pace to listen to these. My husband and I found them as charming as our grandsons did. The kids never uttered a whimper of protest or "when are we going to get there?" during a fairly long car trip because they were just fascinated by the various adventures of Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy. There is also a lot of interaction with Beezus and Ramona Quinby (from the "Ramona the Pest" series).

    These were originally published in the 1950's I think--and believe me when I say--they have lost none of their charm since then. Our kids read them a generation ago, and now our grandchildren are listening to them. There is something totally timeless about the way Beverly Cleary touches so perfectly on the behaviors and feelings and behavioral strategies of elementary school-aged kids.

    Charming. Delightful. Amusing. Perceptive. Clever. Fun. Captivating stories. And here is a shout out to Neil Patrick Harris who narrated them all. If you want something for kids of this age range, you can't go wrong with the Beverly Cleary series. And this narration is simply wonderful! Though I don't read or listen to too many kids' stories these days--I highly recommend this series! Kids can totally relate to the situations that are described, despite the span of years since originally published.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unsolicited: A Booklover's Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Julie Kaewert
    • Narrated By William Neenan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    From best seller to death-dealer, London's Plumtree Press has a world-class best seller of a novel. And the sequel is earmarked to get this old family firm out of the red. But its anonymous author, known to Plumtree only as "Arthur", has apparently vanished, leaving the crucial last five chapters undelivered. Alex already knows they reveal the identity of the characters who smuggled British children to America during World War II. But, of course, this is fiction. So when a lead critic previews the book as a nonfiction exposé, Alex is shocked.

    Kathi says: "Pretty good, but gets tedious in places"
    "Pretty good, but gets tedious in places"
    Overall
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    Story

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Presumed Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1128)
    Performance
    (576)
    Story
    (582)

    Presumed Innocent brings to life our worst nightmare: that of an ordinary citizen facing conviction for the most terrible of crimes. Prosecutor Rusty Sabich is transformed from accuser to accused when he is handed an explosive case - that of the brutal murder of a woman who happens to be his former lover.

    Glen says: "Excellent Book, Gripping Entertainment!"
    "Great courtroom thriller; really great narration!"
    Overall
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    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Edward Marston
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    When fire destroys their London theatre, Lord Westfield’s players must seek out humbler venues in the countryside. But company manager Nicholas Bracewell is distracted by a shocking tragedy: a mysterious messenger from his native Devon is murdered by poison. Though the messenger is silenced, Nicholas understands what he must do: Return to his birthplace and reconcile some unfinished business of the past.

    Kathi says: "Trickery, treachery, murder, thieves, plague..."
    "Trickery, treachery, murder, thieves, plague..."
    Overall
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    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Locomotive Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Edward Marston
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    An exquisite silver coffee-pot in the shape of a locomotive is on its way to Cardiff in the care of silversmith, Hugh Kellow. When the coffee-pot is stolen and a murder is committed, Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are called in to investigate.

    Kathi says: "Fun when you need a light read with good mystery"
    "Fun when you need a light read with good mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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. :-)

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Someone Else's Skin: Detective Inspector Marnie Rome, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Sarah Hilary
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    DI Marnie Rome knows this better than most. Five years ago, her family home was the scene of a shocking and bloody crime that left her parents dead and her foster brother in prison. Marnie doesn't talk much about her personal life - not even her partner, DS Noah Jake, knows much about Marnie's past. Now Marnie and Noah are tackling a case of domestic violence and a different brand of victim. Hope Proctor stabbed her husband in desperate self-defense. A crowd of witnesses in the domestic violence shelter where she's staying saw it happen, but none of them are telling quite the same story.

    Kathi says: "Well-written book about disturbing social crimes"
    "Well-written book about disturbing social crimes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Prisoner's Base

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Rex Stout
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    When Priscilla Eads, heiress to the fortune of a cotton towel company, implores Nero Wolfe to sort through a case buried in dirty laundry, Wolfe says no. But hours later, Mrs. Eads and her maid get strangled, and the stories of the suspects don't quite wash. To the dismay of a greedy board of directors and Mrs. Eads' gold-digging ex-husband, the astute Wolfe decides to scrub away the stain of murder.

    Kathi says: "Classic Nero Wolfe--always a fun read!"
    "Classic Nero Wolfe--always a fun read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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