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Malena

2boysMOM

United States | Member Since 2011

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Hot Seat: Creme de la Crime

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Simon Wood
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Things are looking good for Aidy Westlake. He’s Pit Lane magazine’s Young Driver of the Year, which has earned him a drive in the European Saloon Car Championship. But his good fortune ends at a race car show when he discovers Jason Gates, a mechanic from a rival team, with his throat cut. The murder sets off a disturbing chain reaction - someone is breaking the rules in the ranks of saloon car racing, on and off the track.

    Malena says: "Excellent series"
    "Excellent series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book Two in the Aidy Westlake series of racing mysteries. I'd recommend listening to book One first because it's simply great, but you can start with this one, just as well.
    As I said in my review of Did Not Finish, you do not need to be a racing fan to enjoy Hot Seat. It's a well-written seat-of-your-pants sort of mystery that keeps the reader guessing the whole way through.

    There is a lot of intense action in this book, but it's never over the top with sex, swearing or violence. Only what's needed to carry the story forward.

    I never like to give away plots, but suffice it to say that Aidy, his grandfather, Steve and his best friend, Dylan get themselves into and out of plenty of pickles. Pay attention, because things are not always what they seem in these books. That's half the fun of them.

    I like this narrator, he brings a lot of depth to the characters and makes them easy to differentiate.

    Can't wait for the next book in this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Ice Princess

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Camilla Läckberg, Steven T. Murray (translator)
    • Narrated By David Thorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (242)

    Returning to her hometown after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life. Erica conceives a memoir about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their lost friendship. While her interest grows to an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case.

    Paul says: "A Frozen Mystery"
    "Well-written story, great characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book. I read a lot of Scandinavian mysteries and this one just seems to stand out. The characters are exceptionally well-rounded and believable and the story has enough twists to keep your interest. Of course, it's got a lot of cold atmosphere, being set in the dead of winter and that adds to the suspense.
    Once I finished listening to this one I immediately downloaded the next.
    I like this narrator. He's good with the voices and seems to understand the humor.
    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Show

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Simon Wood
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    Terry lands at San Francisco International Airport ready to start his new life with Sarah, the American journalist he married after a transatlantic love affair. But Sarah’s a no show. Convinced something terrible has happened, Terry reports Sarah’s disappearance to the sheriff, who shrugs it off as a case of a new bride with cold feet. But then dead women start turning up, all with two things in common: each victim had exposed a scandal just before her death...and all of their names appear on a list written by Sarah.

    Malena says: "Great story"
    "Great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like Simon Wood's previous books you are sure to like this one. I think he is an
    author who gets better and better with each book.
    This story has a fairly simple premise, but Wood gets so much plot out of it, I was quite impressed. Terry is a likable character and you can't help but root for him the whole time. He may not always make the right choices, but his heart is in the right place.
    The plot has many twists and turn and surprising moments. I kept thinking I had it figured out, but never quite did.
    My only complaint is that this narrator had a sort of nebulous English accent for Terry. Sometimes he even sounded Australian. But other than that his reading was good.
    There is mystery, intrigue and suspense in No Show. I recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mind's Eye: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Håkan Nesser, Laurie Thompson (translator)
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    Chief Inspector Van Veeteren knew that murder cases were never as open-and-shut as this one: Janek Mitter woke one morning with a brutal hangover and discovered his wife of three months lying facedown in the bathtub, dead. With only the flimsiest excuse as his defense, he is found guilty of a drunken crime of passion and imprisoned in a mental institution.

    Amazon Customer says: "Just okay"
    "Good start to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of those audio books I couldn't put down. Listened to it in just two sittings. I enjoyed the story, but wish the setting had come a bit more into play in this book.

    The main character, Inspector Von Veeteren, is a bit of a curmudgeon, but being a huge Morse fan, I can't complain about that. I wonder what his toothpick budget is on top of the cigarettes.

    Anyway, the story is what sells this book and the characters of the victims and the suspects more than the police. The plot is definitely different to most standard mystery novels. Complex, but not overly complicated. I can't wait to listen to another book by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Artists in Crime

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ngaio Marsh
    • Narrated By Benedict Cumberbatch
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (83)

    It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen. It's a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be above suspicion.

    Charles says: "Aii! Abridged"
    "That voice!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am probably not the most reliable reviewer for this book as I would pay good money to listen to Benedict Cumberbatch reading from the Hoboken telephone directory. He just has a wonderful voice and uses it to great advantage voicing all sorts of characters in this classic mystery.
    Yes, it is abridged, but a little Ben is better than none at all.
    The story is well-plotted and full of interesting and eccentric arty types. This is the book where Alleyn first meets Troy, so it has that to recommend it, as well.
    Thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Did Not Finish: An Aidy Westlake Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Simon Wood
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The first book in the Aidy Westlake mystery series set in the high-octane world of motor racing... When Derek Deacon threatens to kill Alex Fanning, his championship rival, rookie driver Aidy Westlake doesn’t put much stock in it - it’s typical of the intense competitiveness and aggression in their world. But when Fanning dies after making contact with Deacon’s car during a race, a conspiracy ensues: The TV coverage is edited and the police wind up the investigation without interviewing witnesses. Compelled to prove Deacon is the murderer, Aidy pushes for the truth and is drawn into a world of fraud, organized crime and murder.

    Su Co says: "For fans of F-1, GP3, Indi car racing"
    "Loved this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read several of Simon Wood's books in the past and enjoyed them. But, I'm not especially into cars or car racing, so it took me by surprise just how much I loved this book. The insider look at the racing world was fascinating. The characters were believable. The plot may seem pretty straight forward at first, but watch out for those twists and turns!

    I don't want to give away too many details, but there is a scene near the end, where our heroes are in peril, that it so well-written, I was almost crying for them. And it was probably made more intense by hearing it verses just reading it. I kept thinking, "There is no way they can escape from this," but, well, you'll have to listen to find out if and how they do.

    I think it says a lot about a series if you finish one book and immediately want to pick up the next one. I'm on my way to download book two, Hot Seat, as soon as I'm done with this review.

    I also liked the narrator, who did a good job of distinguishing the characters and inhabiting Aidy's persona.

    I would say if you like car racing, listen to this book. But even if you don't, it's a great story and well-worth checking out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelve Clues of Christmas: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1785)
    Performance
    (1582)
    Story
    (1572)

    On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

    Amazon Customer says: "It was a great Christmas Who-Done-It!"
    "Tradition English Christmas gone haywire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once again, Lady Georgie is stuck at Castle Rannock with her miserly sister-in-law, Fig, making her life miserable and Christmas is just around the corner. So, why not take a job on a country estate in Devon, make a little money and get far, far away from Scotland? All is fine until local people start dying. But are these deaths accidents or murder?
    Once again, Darcy is on hand to lend his simmering sensuality to mix and he does distract Georgie quite a bit as she goes about trying to figure out what's going on.
    This is one of my favorites in the series. I just love Lady G's spunk and how wonderfully English these books always are. And there are always several laugh out loud incidents in any of the Royal Spyness books.
    I loved this reader's ability to capture personalities so well with her intonations.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Vanishing Point: Sharon McCone #23

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Marcia Muller
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Sharon McCone has chosen a guy who respects her as a professional and shares her passions. But living together in her beloved little house on Church Street may be another matter entirely. The looming crisis of who will compromise first is delayed when Hy heads out of town on business and McCone dives into one of her most baffling cases yet - the disappearance of Laurel Greenwood, who vanished twenty-two years before without a trace.

    Malena says: "Great book in the long-running series"
    "Great book in the long-running series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like Marcia Muller you will like this book. I have read only a few of her books and I don't remember liking those as much as I liked this one. Sharon McCone, the story's main P.I., is an enjoyable character. She is tough and smart, but very human, as well. There is quite a lot of her personal life in the book, but that didn't bother me or digress too much from the mystery.
    I loved the mystery of what happened to the missing woman all those years ago. It kept me listening on and on, well past my bedtime.
    If you don't know Marcia Muller's work, I think this would be a good introduction into the series. Just don't worry too much about all the family and friends you are introduced to in the beginning and you'll do fine.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Cotswold Killing

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Rebecca Tope
    • Narrated By Caroline Lennon
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    Nestled in the hills of the Cotswolds, the village of Duntisbourne Abbots is a well-kept secret. When Joel Jennison is found slaughtered in the same field where his brother’s corpse had lain ten weeks previously, a whole community falls under suspicion. Was it a family feud? An act of revenge?

    Sara says: "Armchair travel with a crime solved"
    "Pleasant Cozy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like hard-boiled, gritty, fast-paced, violent thrillers, DO NOT buy this book. It is a traditional English cozy set in the Cotswolds and full of both typical and quirky English characters. Just the sort of book I love to read or listen to.
    I liked the main character and amateur sleuth, Thea Osbourne, right from the start. Her adventure begins when she takes on a house-sitting job complete with dogs and sheep to look after. Following an unexpected scream in the night, an even more unexpected body turns up in the little pond on the property.
    There were several scenes that were laugh out loud funny for me, including all the rules the owner writes down for poor Thea to follow.
    The reading was well done.
    I recommend this book and this reading to anyone who loves a more laid-back and less in your face mystery.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1496)
    Performance
    (966)
    Story
    (966)

    It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

    Midi says: "Terrific story...spot-on narration"
    "Not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a huge bestseller, so I wanted to listen to it and I'm glad I did. There are a lot of things to recommend it including the time period, which is 1950 England, and a rather intriguing mystery.
    What I didn't like was the protagonist. She is obviously supposed to be a delightfully precocious 11-year-old, but to me she was just a self-centered know-it-all. And as she is the narrator, the reader (or listener) is stuck with this girl for the whole story.
    One of my friends said that she approached the book as a fantasy, since no 11-year-old could know or do the things that Flavia does. Once I heard that, I could enjoy the book more. Let go of reality and go along with it, the way you would with a Harry Potter book.
    Obviously there are other people (quite a lot of them) who really enjoyed this book and I'm glad they did. Not every book is for every one.
    I thought this reader did a very good job of capturing Flavia's personality. I just wish it had been a nicer more believable personality to capture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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