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Anna

Member Since 2010

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 203 ratings
  • 402 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Ragtime in Simla

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Barbara Cleverly
    • Narrated By Terry Wale
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Simla 1922, and the summer capital of the British Raj is fizzing with the energy of the Jazz Age. Simla is where detective Joe Sandilands is heading as the guest of Sir George Jardine, the Governor of Bengal. But when Joe’s travelling companion, a Russian opera singer, is shot dead at his side in the Governor’s car, he finds himself plunged into a murder investigation. Confronted by the mystery of an identical unsolved killing a year before, Joe realizes that Sir George’s hospitality comes at a high price.

    Carol says: "Fascinating Story, Great Setting"
    "Good historical mystery"
    Overall

    The story was interesting and complex enough to hold my attention even through the sometimes clumsy or lengthy descriptions of the surroundings. I was at first put off by the archaic narrator and although I soon became accustomed to it, I can't help help but think the story would have been improved by a different voice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blotto, Twinks and the Riddle of the Sphinx

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Simon Brett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    The Dowager Duchess has decided to sell off the less important family possessions. Blotto and Twinks are dispatched to help the valuer. He spies some Egyptian artifacts and in some excitement rushes back to London, leaving Blotto and Twinks alone in the attic, where they are drawn to a sarchophagus decorated with hieroglyphs. Twinks starts to translate: "Anyone who desecrates this shrine will be visited by the Pharoah's curse..." - just as Blotto prises the lid off.

    Anna says: "Verry funny"
    "Verry funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loved this book but after reading some of the reviews on goodreads I though I'd make it clear - it's a comedy, not a murder mystery, if you don't like parodies where everyone refers to each other as "me old banana sandwich" etc you won't like the book.
    In short; listen to the preview as the book is more of the same - funny characters, inventive dialog, solid (if simple) plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • China Basin: The Cyrus Skeen Series

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Edward Cline
    • Narrated By Aaron E. Tucker
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Cyrus Skeen, private detective, scours 1928 San Francisco in search of the man who stole a priceless medieval artifact. The thief, who is also a pathological killer, is not Skeen's only obstacle. The exquisite Frenchwoman and retured British colonel who are searching for the artifact also prove to be obstructions. Helping him in his search is his loyal and adoring secretary, Dilys Jones. Complicating the search are two Yale classmates, one of whom has penned a hit play that is headed for Broadway, but who has a secret about its true authorship. This is the other side of Sam Spade's San Francisco.

    Anna says: "A Great Read!"
    "A Great Read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A perfect example of the hardboiled detective novel that will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. The characters are real and interesting each with their own agendas and the story is intriguing right up to the last page. Although a serious novel it is not so gritty that lovers of the cosy mysteries cannot enjoy.
    The reader is good but mispronounces words so often, hence the four stars. However he is such a perfect choice for the voice Cyrus Skeen it becomes a minor gripe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Is Trouble: Sequel to The Girl Is Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathryn Miller Haines
    • Narrated By Rachel Botchan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Critically acclaimed author Kathryn Miller Haines' debut YA novel The Girl Is Murder received an Edgar Award nomination. Its sequel, The Girl Is Trouble, uses the same exciting blend of mystery and historical detail to keep listeners on the edge of their seats. Iris Anderson is allowed to work at her pop's detective agency as long as she does things his way and learns his method. Yet when she discovers information about her mother's supposed suicide, Iris is thrown headfirst into the most personal case of her life.

    Anna says: "Loved it"
    "Loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a YA mystery and I would normally go near YA books (I don't know why I was expecting otherwise considering the protagonist is a teenage girl but for some reason I did) but glad I made that mistake. I felt for the characters, it was a great depiction of the period, the narrator was a perfect choice for the character and the mystery kept you guessing.

    There are some definite YA characteristics however such as the main characters tendency to make assumptions and leap to hasty conclusions, some high school drama etc - in other words she acts like a typical teenager so no surprises there, but I still managed to like her.

    Recommend to anyone who likes cosy mystery series or period mysteries.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By P. D. Smith
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    For the first time in the history of our planet, more than half the population - 3.3 billion people - is now living in cities. City is the ultimate guidebook to our urban centers - the signature unit of human civilization. With erudite prose, this unique work of metatourism explores what cities are and how they work. It covers history, customs and language, districts, transport, money, work, shops and markets, and tourist sites, creating a fantastically detailed portrait of the city through history and into the future.

    Anna says: "Commuters companion"
    "Commuters companion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before buying this book I saw a review describing this book as a "coffee table book" and I cannot think of a better way of describing it. It is no historical thesis; it jumps from topic to topic in time and place - but as long as that's what your expecting it is enjoyable. It is filled with interesting historical and anthropological facts and is an excellent commuters companion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Anatomist’s Apprentice: The Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Tessa Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (184)

    The death of Lord Edward Crick has unleashed a torrent of gossip through the seedy taverns and elegant ballrooms of Oxfordshire. Few mourn the dissolute young man - except his sister, the beautiful Lady Lydia Farrell. When her husband comes under suspicion of murder, she seeks expert help from Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young anatomist from Philadelphia. Thomas arrived in England to study under its foremost surgeon, where his unconventional methods only add to his outsider status. Against his better judgment, he agrees to examine Lord Edward’s corpse.

    Sires says: "Gruesome but Deftly Plotted"
    "Myster Genre Fail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of the genre but hesitated to pick up this book because of the bad reviews on goodreads - and they were unfortunately correct.

    Each small piece of the puzzle was revealed to the audience long before the main character slowly and agonizingly groped his way to the truth. The characters lacked any kind of chemistry, in fact the romance was so forced it was nearly unbearable, making it all the more perplexing since it was completely unnecessary to the story unless it was a failed attempt by the author to raise the stakes. The depiction of the period was nonexistent, where it not for the occasional reference to a tricorn hat I would have forgotten where and when the book was set.

    The narrator was good overall except for some instances where the main female character actually showed some backbone - "spoken through her teeth" somehow translated to annoying whine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dust to Dust

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Ken McClure
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    John Motram has the chance of a lifetime. A cell biologist convinced that the Black Death was not caused by bubonic plague but by an unknown virus, he is asked to examine preserved bodies buried under the ancient abbey at Dryburgh. However, Motram’s excavations end up in disaster when he first becomes violent and then dangerously ill after entering the secret tomb.

    Anna says: "Misleading premise"
    "Misleading premise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is number 8 in the Dr Steven Dunbar series, this is absolutely not an archeological mystery (as I had thought when buying this book) nor does the book focus on history at all.

    Despite being mislead by the premise I did end up liking the series which is about a specialist detective who investigates science-related crimes usually involving a conspiracy or two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (624)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (256)

    "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" So goes the signature introduction of New York Herald star journalist Henry Morton Stanley to renowned explorer Dr. David Livingstone, who had been missing for six years in the wilds of Africa. Into Africa ushers us into the meeting of these remarkable men. In 1866, when Livingstone journeyed into the heart of the African continent in search of the Nile's source, the land was rough, unknown to Europeans, and inhabited by man-eating tribes.

    Gene says: "Riveting"
    "Spasmodic Narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A good book for anyone intrigued by Livingstone and his travels, it gives in-depth account of Livingstone's last journey which uses sources from the period including Livingstone and Stanley's journal entries. However the book does have some significant negatives.

    The main negative for me was the spasmodic layout of the narrative - the story jumps jumps back and forth unnecessarily in the timeline and characters appear abruptly, are flooded with backstory and then drop out of the narrative only to reappear at random.

    The narrator was good overall but manages to over-annunciate every single word which eventually drove me slightly insane.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Silent Night: A Lady Julia Christmas Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 54 mins)
    • By Deanna Raybourn
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (77)

    After a year of marriage - and numerous adventures - Lady Julia and Brisbane hope for a quiet, intimate Christmas together - until they find themselves at her father's ancestral estate, Bellmont Abbey, with her eccentric family and a menagerie of animals. Nevertheless, Julia looks forward to a lively family gathering - but amongst the celebrations, a mystery stirs. There are missing jewels, new faces at the Abbey, and a prowling ghost that brings back unwelcome memories from a previous holiday - one that turned deadly. Is a new culprit recreating crimes of the past? And will Brisbane let Julia investigate?

    Mary says: "christmasy, but enjoyable year round"
    "Recommended for fans of the series only"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nice little story if you are familiar with the characters but would not be a good introduction for anyone hoping to get a taste before delving into the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Spectacle of Corruption

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By David Liss
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    While inquiring into some threatening notes sent to a Church of England priest, Benjamin Weaver is arrested for the murder of a dockworker. After his conviction, engineered by a crooked judge who has blatantly instructed the jury to disregard the truth, Weaver escapes from prison, intent upon proving his innocence.

    karen says: "Far from David Liss's best...."
    "So-so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An excellent narrator, compelling plot, a interesting depiction of the period, a good mystery - but for all that the story still falls short. Firstly one piece of advice I wish I had known before reading is not to get too distracted by the political backdrop - you will absorb the important points as the plot unfolds.

    As to the story itself; the author would have done better to allow the main character (who is supposedly retelling this story many years after the events) a bit of introspection and analysis given that he has the benefit of being far removed from the action. Instead this is more of a straight up re-telling of events which is a pity as the plot lends itself to humor, if only the character had a sense of humor. It also posed many moral questions, but never addressed them - in fact the character merely blunders through the story never questioning his actions or growing in any meaningful way.

    It was an interesting plot but a bland retelling. I don't think I'll bother with the rest of the series unless boredom moves me to give it a second chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By M. Louisa Locke
    • Narrated By Cynthia Wallace
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (43)

    It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide, and to pay off a debt, one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns. Annie also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of her clients has died. The police believe his death was suicide, but Annie believes he was murdered.

    KarenB says: "Enjoyable story, annoying narration"
    "Worth it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been waiting for this series to become available on audible for a long time and it was worth the wait. A light hearted mystery series with typically modern female protagonist in a historical setting.
    The story keeps you guessing until the end and if you are a fan of the historical mystery genre this is definitely a must and I'll be waiting again for the next in the series to be released by audible (Uneasy Spirits - available now only in print).
    I would have given this 4 stars if it wasn't for the tired formula of a mystery with a Darcy/Elizabeth romance - he wants to protect her and she is torn between her love for him and her yearning for independence - (Lady Julia, Lady Emily, The Parasol Protectorate - to name a few) a tired blueprint but I can't fault the author considering it works every time.
    The narrator was good overall but not great or consistent with accents and probably wasn't given enough time to develop the main characters voice, was a bit breathy and off-pitch to be endearing - I really do think these faults are due to a lack of direction though, rather than talent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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