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budsmom

Mystery Maven

Baltimore, MD | Member Since 2013

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 50 ratings
  • 114 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jennifer Chiaverini
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (223)

    In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.

    Ronna says: "A different , authentic view of history!!"
    "New point of view"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker the most enjoyable?

    The narrator did a great job with all the different character's, both male and female. Cadance and rhythm of voice was even and easy to listen to. The book itself is very well written with great detail and visual information, making you feel as if you were there.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker?

    I hate to state the obvious, but the assassination of Mr. Lincoln. Not the shooting itself but the reaction of Mrs. Lincoln for weeks/months after. It was very sad to witness her grief through Mrs. Keckley's eyes and point of view.


    Which character – as performed by Christina Moore – was your favorite?

    Although Mrs. Keckley is the narrator of the story, I found Mrs. Lincoln fascinating. It didn't depict her as "crazy" as we usually hear but as a very insecure, lonely character who deeply loved her husband and who had already lost 2 of her sons before her husband. Her best and only friend was Mrs. Keckley, her freed African American dressmaker. I got the impression that she trusted very few people and would push others away before she could get hurt. That explained a lot of her manic/depressive behavior.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not extreme. I just enjoyed it and found I missed hearing it after it was over. I was surprised by the ending. I also was very surprised how the entire country turned their back on Mrs. Lincoln after her husband's death. That was sad too.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book-story, narrator, delivery.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2465)
    Performance
    (2243)
    Story
    (2237)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "No Woman Was Free"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Invention of Wings to be better than the print version?

    probably because of the tones/voices etc.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

    when it became clear that a white woman in the south had no more rights than the slaves. just didn't get treated like an animal. They had very few choices open to them as far as education, career, etc.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    dialect and feeling. There were places where my heart hurt!


    If you could take any character from The Invention of Wings out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    i would take Charlotte out-so brave and full of stories and i admired her guts to do what she wanted regardless of the consequences.


    Any additional comments?

    this book is now one of my top 5 favorites of all time

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Midwife's Confession

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Diane Chamberlain
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe, Cassandra Campbell, Abby Craden, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry. The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle - her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family - described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn't know. With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives.

    Kathryn says: "Such a Soap Opera"
    "take notes when you read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Midwife's Confession in three words, what would they be?

    interesting, confusing, suprising


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Midwife's Confession?

    the ending, don't want to give away


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    don't know


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Grace and her mother at the end


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a good read, a little long, but i think because of many intricate twists and turns with each character. I felt myself getting confused as to whose baby was whose and that was a distraction. Overall, I did enjoy the book-sort of a mystery too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Inquisitor's Key: A Body Farm Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jefferson Bass
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (39)

    Miranda Lovelady, Dr. Bill Brockton's protégé, is spending the summer helping excavate a newly discovered chamber beneath the spectacular Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France. There she discovers a stone chest inscribed with a stunning claim: Inside lie the bones of none other than Jesus of Nazareth. Faced with a case of unimaginable proportions, Miranda summons Brockton for help proving or refuting the claim. Both scientists are skeptical but evidence for authenticity soon grows stronger.

    Norma says: "You go a long way before a story"
    "Wow!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Inquisitor's Key rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Towards the top. Couldn't stop listening.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Absolutely!


    Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I think he does the Body Farm books, if not he sounds like the original guy-so he's good.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Mystery of the Shroud.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. I really like all his books but this one was so interesting and edge-of-your-seat from the first chapter. I had a difficult time not listening to it constantly. It stayed with me for a couple of days after too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thankless in Death: In Death, Book 37

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Lieutenant Eve Dallas has plenty to be grateful for this season. Hosting Roarke’s big Irish family for the holiday may be challenging, but it’s a joyful improvement on her own dark childhood. Other couples aren’t as lucky as Eve and Roarke. The Reinholds, for example, are lying in their home stabbed and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. Those who knew them are stunned - and heartbroken by the evidence that they were murdered by their own son. Jerry hadn’t made a great impression on the bosses who fired him or the girlfriend who dumped him - but they didn’t think he was capable of this.

    budsmom says: "One of her best!"
    "One of her best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Thankless in Death rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks high. I think it is the best of the "In Death" series so far and I've read all of them.


    What does Susan Ericksen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She does an excellent job with the accents and different moods that need to be conveyed through the story. She did an especially great job with the voice/tone/mood of the antagonist in this story. It gave me the chills to listen to "him" talk.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was one of, if not the best Robb has done with this series. The characters were so real. The antagonist was one of the most dangerous, mean, spiteful and all around evil characters yet. There were parts that were gruesome to hear-I skipped a little. But the plot and ideas, cat and mouse situations were just superb. I also liked that Roark's family was in it and softened Dallas even more as a person. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes a good mystery,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wedding Dress

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Rachel Hauck
    • Narrated By Eleni Pappageorge
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (170)

    Charlotte owns a Birmingham bridal boutique. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress - or feel certain she should marry Tim? Then Charlotte purchases a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new, shimmering with pearls and satin, hand stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Charlotte’s search for the gown’s history begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress.

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "God Directs Who Wears the Gown Next"
    "Interesting Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Wedding Dress again? Why?

    No, but it was very good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Emily-strong willed and strong minded in a day when women had little say over their lives


    What about Eleni Pappageorge’s performance did you like?

    Switching voices was smooth and believable


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I just really enjoyed it. Never really knew what was going to happen next.


    Any additional comments?

    Well written and a great plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • W Is for Wasted: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1062)
    Performance
    (938)
    Story
    (932)

    Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue. The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

    karen says: "Well worth waiting for...."
    "Good story, just too wordy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, because the author describes everything in minute detail, most of it is unnecessary. I don't need to know what color bow tie someone is wearing or what color his sweater is!
    I've read all of her books and it seems the more she writes, the more filler she uses.


    Would you recommend W Is for Wasted to your friends? Why or why not?

    Maybe. The plot was good and I liked how two different stories melded together at the end.


    Could you see W Is for Wasted being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    As long as you have plenty of time to listen, go for it. It was worth it but got on my nerves with all the descriptions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sex Club: Wade Jackson Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By L. J. Sellers
    • Narrated By Damon Abdallah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    A pipe bomb explodes at a birth control clinic, then a young client turns up dead in a dumpster. Kera, the clinic nurse, discovers that the girl’s Bible group is sharing more than the Good News. Confidentiality keeps her from telling the police, so she digs for the truth on her own—becoming the bomber’s new target. Meanwhile, Detective Jackson races to find the killer, fearing that his own daughter could be next.

    C says: "surprisingly good"
    "Couldn't put it down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it was a really good mystery and it kept you guessing until the very end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sex Club?

    Some of the inforamation Kayla found online about the "Bible Group"


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Done a better job with changing into another character. It took a few beats before you noticed the change.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I just really liked it. I'm a mystery nut and this was a really good one as I wasn't able to figure out who done it until it was quite obvious until the end. I had many guesses but they would never pan out.


    Any additional comments?

    The title is a little scary but unfortunately it is a good one. There is no explicit sex acts written in this book which I liked. Only what evidence they found on a body would let you guess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 9th Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (457)
    Story
    (468)

    On a frigid New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis, a young woman’s brutalized body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Questions as to whether she was alive or dead when she hit the icy pavement result in her macabre nickname, Zombie Doe. Unidentified and unidentifiable, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year, and homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are charged with the task of not only finding out who Zombie Doe is but who in her life hated her enough to destroy her. Was it personal? Or could it just have been a crime of opportunity?

    Sires says: "Not Fond of Narrator, Characters Sterotypical"
    "Teenage Behavior 101"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The 9th Girl in three words, what would they be?

    Great character study


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The 9th Girl?

    One of the poems the deceased wrote was heartbreaking


    Which scene was your favorite?

    At the auditorium


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Bullying at its Best (Or Worse)!


    Any additional comments?

    I am a middle and high school teacher and would love for all parents and teens to read this book. I've never seen such accurate, spot on descriptions of teen behaviors WITH reasons why, as I've read in this book. Ms Hoag gets right inside their heads and hearts of kids today. Although this was a good mystery with twists and turns that kept it interesting, I really was impressed with her teen characters and their behaviors and reasons for them. Bullying, secrets, being different, trying to fit in-all struggles for kids today. I liked it because it was a good mystery but I think mothers and fathers of teens would learn something from it too-namely what is going on in their child's world today which is far different than theirs! (By the way, schools would never use this book because of "gasp" some sexual content inferred, but never described)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2668)
    Performance
    (2448)
    Story
    (2457)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
    "Could a book be more confusing?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from F. Scott Fitzgerald and/or Jake Gyllenhaal?

    I have read some of Fitzgerald's other works and they were good.


    What could F. Scott Fitzgerald have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Make it less confusing, especially with the characters. I read this in high school-confusing. I saw the original movie with Mia Farrow - still confusing. Read as an adult-ugh!! I give up!


    How could the performance have been better?

    Performance was fine.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I know it's a classic and I think at the time of publication, the plot would have shocked most people. Today, the plot is predictable.


    Any additional comments?

    Sorry I wasted a money on this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1155)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (531)

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"
    "Fascinating read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, very interesting, historical information and easy to understand.


    What other book might you compare The Great Influenza to and why?

    The Demon Under the Microscope because of the medical history they contain.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't know.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but too long to do so.


    Any additional comments?

    A fascinating book about the history and spread of the influenza during World War One.
    It was unbelievable how stupid the doctors were, no idea how disease spread nor were there any drugs to control it. It traces the pandemic's spread around the world with anecdotal stories of real people who were involved. Needless to say, the US Military was largely responsible for the pandemic that killed an unbelievable amount of people due to their ignorance and buearocratic policies and denial of anything wrong.
    The ending talks about how another pandemic could occur at any time. Kind of scary here!
    I loved this book and couldn't put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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