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Tracy

A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!

Canada | Member Since 2010

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 42 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 259 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
5

  • At Bertram's Hotel (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By June Whitfield
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s deceptively mild spinster sleuth, is being treated to a few days’ holiday by her niece, staying at Bertram’s Hotel, a dignified, unostentatious establishment tucked away in a back street of busy Mayfair. Here is a place where sedate upper class ladies, retired military gentlemen and the higher echelons of the clergy can indulge in the comforts of a bygone age. But Miss Marple begins to feel uneasy. Something sinister lurks beneath the polished veneer.

    Tracy says: "Excellent Dramatized Mystery from the BBC"
    "Excellent Dramatized Mystery from the BBC"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I accidentally stumbled upon "dramatised" audio books, and have fallen in love with them. They are short (often less than two hours); and fully acted out. And if it is a BBC production, then you get a full cast of excellent (known!) actors.

    I love Miss Marple, and frequently buy a dramatised production for a quiet, soothing listen. This one was purchased for a similar reason - restless with insomnia, needing a good relaxing listen, I bought At Bertram's Hotel.

    The performance, of course, was superb. June Whitfield, who played Miss Marple in the BBC TV Series, is irreproachable as Miss Marple. The other characters are excellent as well.

    I did have an issue with the plausibility of the story, and the later Miss Marple's are not my favourites - but I did thoroughly enjoy the book (except when the young female (?) began screaming hysterically and disturbed my peace!).

    I will be buying more BBC dramatised books, for certain, as I've barely scratched the surface of the Agatha Christie collection!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Invisible

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By James Patterson, David Ellis
    • Narrated By January LaVoy, Kevin Collins
    Overall
    (600)
    Performance
    (526)
    Story
    (531)

    Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire. Not even Emmy's ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison "Books" Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected.

    Wendelin says: "sensational book from the beginning to the end."
    "Really Enjoyable Page-Turner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a mystery and thriller fiend, and I really enjoyed this fast-paced and fun listen. As some other reviewers said, maybe the story isn't totally believable, but this is fiction, and it was fun.

    There was enough action and twists and intrigue to keep me hooked, and I did not feel disappointed or cheated by the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (1048)
    Performance
    (945)
    Story
    (934)

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
    "Twency-four and a half hours VERY well invested!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the narration, and the very well-organized chronological presentation of these lectures. The history recounted focused on major events and as they affected the daily lives of the people, often mainly middle class. It's not about slavery so much, or the downtrodden, but the lives and lifestyles of the average person throughout history.

    Really an excellent listen, and a book I'll go back to listen to again, choosing out my favourite lectures!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abiding in Mindfulness, Volume 1: The Body

    • ORIGINAL (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Goldstein
    • Narrated By Joseph Goldstein
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (45)

    In the words of the Buddha, the four foundations of mindfulness (the four satipatthanas) are "the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha (suffering) and discontent, for acquiring the true method, for the realization of Nibbana." Within the quintessential discourse called the Satipatthana Sutta, we find the Buddha's seminal teachings about the practice of meditation.

    Moni says: "Life Changing"
    "Peaceful (and informative) Abiding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Abiding in Mindfulness, Volume 1?

    It is, as another reviewer pointed out, not for absolute beginners. It is a series of dharma talks by Joseph Goldstein, a prominent vipassana teacher renowned for his work in the West.


    What other book might you compare Abiding in Mindfulness, Volume 1 to and why?

    Roots of Buddhist Psychology by Jack Kornfield, which is also a series of talks on Buddhism.


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

    A sense of peace, and experience. He is a teacher, and verbal transmission just seems to work better.


    What did you learn from Abiding in Mindfulness, Volume 1 that you would use in your daily life?

    Being aware, being present, being compassionate.


    Any additional comments?

    A few earlier comments indicated that track 6 was out of place - this has been fixed and the audio plays very well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Grave Secret: Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    Overall
    (990)
    Performance
    (515)
    Story
    (523)

    Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface.

    Linda says: "Really liked it!"
    "Wrapping Things Up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - this was a good mystery, a fun listen, and I was able to revisit two characters who I really like.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harper - the female lead and narrator of the story - was my favorite. She's interesting, has super-natural powers, and is actually rather complex for a simple tale.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When they find out the mystery of Harper's sister's disappearance (a mystery that has plagued Harper through the first three books).


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

    Not extreme. This book was good, I recommend it. It had funny parts. It was a fun listen.


    Any additional comments?

    If you liked the first three books, give this one a go - it solves a lingering mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Third Grave Dead Ahead

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (1889)
    Performance
    (1709)
    Story
    (1713)

    Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back in Darynda Jones' Third Grave Dead Ahead! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the parthuman, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on.

    Stephanie says: "Best book yet."
    "Pee-Your-Pants Funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Third Grave Dead Ahead in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious. Sexy. Action-packed.


    What other book might you compare Third Grave Dead Ahead to and why?

    This Grave series (Charley Davidson series) reminds me a lot of Victoria Laurie's Psychic Eye series: both are really fun, both have a strong but odd female lead who also has "extra" powers (Laurie's character is psychic; Jones' character is The Grim Reaper and talks to dead people), and a fun male lead, and both are mystery-solvers!


    Which character – as performed by Lorelei King – was your favorite?

    Of course, Charley was my favorite! And Lorelei King has to be one of the best narrators EVER.


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

    This book made me laugh out loud in public places! I had been in a down mood when I found this book, and it was just what I needed.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fun super-natural romantic mystery novel that kept me smiling. I have read or listening to the first four books in the series. I have number five ready, and am excited that number six has just been released!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fatal Frost

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By James Henry
    • Narrated By Stephen Thorne
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (31)

    May, 1982. Britain celebrates the sinking of the Belgrano, Jimmy Savile has the run of the airwaves and Denton Police Division welcomes its first black policeman, DC Waters -- recently relocated from Bethnal Green. While the force is busy dealing with a spate of local burglaries, the body of fifteen-year-old Samantha Evans is discovered in woodland next to the nearby railway track. Then a fifteen-year-old boy is found dead on Denton's golf course, his organs removed.

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Frosty Relationships..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you enjoy the original Frost books by R.D. Wingfield, you will probably really enjoy this book. The narrator is excellent (the same as for the original books, I think), Frost is his usual disorganized and yet brilliant self, and the writing is very well-done.

    In this book - the second written by Wingfield's successor, James Henry - we see Frost's conflicted relationship with his wife and with PC Clarke; we see the friction between him and Mullet; and we see the good rapport Frost seems to have with most unlikely people - felons and coppers alike.

    This was a fun listen, with parts that made me laugh, and did not get too sappy or emotional, so it stayed pretty light.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye: Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Victoria Laurie
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Michaels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1478)
    Performance
    (1146)
    Story
    (1141)

    Abby Cooper is a P.I., psychic intuitive. But her insight failed her when she didn't foresee the death of one of her clients - or that the lead investigator for the case is the gorgeous blind date she just met. Now, with the police suspicious of her abilities and a killer on the loose, Abby's future looks more uncertain than ever.

    Roger says: "review of Abby Cooper series"
    "Really fun listen, hilarious!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye again? Why?

    I hadn't heard of Victoria Laurie before listening to this, the first in the Psychic Eye series, and it was such a gem to find.

    Since this book, I've listened to a lot more in the series, or read them in ebook format. Love this series, but this, the first, is my favourite!


    What other book might you compare Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye to and why?

    The Charley Davidson "Grave" series by Darynda Jones - like the Psychic Eye, these books have a funny female investigator with supernatural or special powers.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Michaels – was your favorite?

    Abby, for sure - but this is probably because she is the first-person narrator of the book.


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

    It was so funny, and very light, and entertaining. It was just what I needed to pick me up at that time.


    Any additional comments?

    If you feel like a nice, light listen, with a funny narrator who has a knack for sticky situations, and a sexy potential love interest in the FBI, and if you don't mind laughing out loud when listening in public, get this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gianrico Carofiglio
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (754)
    Performance
    (661)
    Story
    (662)

    A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.

    dumbclub says: "Excellence"
    "Feeling Cheated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story was not what I expected, I suppose, and so I feel cheated because it did not have the resolution of a real mystery or suspense novel. I don't want to give any spoilers but, well, unlike other legal thrillers, this one does not provide an investigation and capture of the real criminal....

    This book was good in other ways, though. First, it provides a look into the Italian judicial system, which is especially interesting now in light of the Amanda Knox case. It's a system that seems bizarre to North Americans, I am sure.

    Second, and best, was the narration. Sean Barrett (the narrator) did an amazing job conveying the personality of the novel's protagonist and narrator, the lawyer, Guido. He also was amazing at capturing different voices throughout the novel, and especially good at the Senegalese accent of the accused.

    So, it wasn't an awful book, but I felt very cheated without a proper solving of the case. The story is really just about Guido coming to terms with his life situation, dragging himself back into life, taking on a very challenging case, and defending his client.

    I bought this book as a Deal of the Day, so I don't feel too peeved. But I would have been very annoyed, indeed, if I had used a credit or paid more than $3 for it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Close to Home

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Peter Robinson
    • Narrated By Ron Keith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (38)

    Peter Robinson is the critically acclaimed New York Times and London Sunday Times best-selling author of the Inspector Alan Banks series, as well as a winner of the 2001 Anthony and 2001 Ellis Awards. Close to Home traverses the difficult landscapes of a painful past, and an uncertain future for Inspector Banks. Two 15-year-old boys are lost, and the circumstances of their disappearances seem oddly parallel save one detail. The first boy disappeared and was presumed dead 35 years ago.

    Kev says: "Golden Age of Mystery"
    "Good Story, Poor Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read several Peter Robinson's DCI Banks books, and have enjoyed them all. In this novel, there are two mysteries which unravel side by side - the 35 year old disappearance of Banks` friend, and the current disappearance and murder of a teenage boy. This one was not my favourite, but it was definitely a well-crafted story, and introduced a new female detective - Michelle Hart - who works with Banks as he delves into his past.


    This is the first Banks novel that I listened to (the others I read on my Kindle), and while the story was good, the narrator was dreadful, and it took me half the book to get past the bad narrator and enjoy the tale.

    Why is Ron Keith a poor narrator? Let me list the ways :

    -he sounds, throughout the novel, like he is telling a joke, and working up to the punchline. It feels like he is repressing laughter. So annoying.

    -At several points, he just doesn't get the tone right. For example, in one part, the narrator says something like, "It wasn't me" in a loud voice, then says, "he whispered". Well - then whisper it!!!!

    -Another problem is the accents. Nobody seems to have a different accent at all, and yet Banks says to Michelle, "I thought that's where you were from by your accent". Well, what accent, I wonder?? Hers and everyone else in the book speaks the same.

    One thing, though - the narrator did do okay differentiating between the characters. So, that's good.

    I was able to mostly get past the narrator and enjoy the story, but I'm sure I would have enjoyed it much more with a better narrator. I will make sure to never listen to another book narrated by Ron Keith.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cross and Burn

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Val McDermid
    • Narrated By Gerald Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (83)

    Internationally best-selling crime writer Val McDermid' s work speaks for itself: her books have sold millions of copies worldwide, won numerous accolades, and attracted a devoted following of readers around the globe.

    adrienne says: "Picking up the pieces..."
    "They're Back!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Cross and Burn in three words, what would they be?

    Fast-paced and complex.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How the series characters, especially Tony and Carol, develop a little more. And I really, really liked the story, too. The only reason I gave it four stars and not five is that I'd like more men in the stories, too.


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

    I don't think I've heard Doyle's other performances, but I will definitely keep an eye out for him. I thought he did an excellent job narrating Cross and Burn, capturing accent, mood and voice superbly.


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

    Once I got started, yes, I could have kept listening. In fact, I listened to the last half of the book straight through one long night when I had insomnia. Very engaging.


    Any additional comments?

    The crimes in this book, like others of McDermid's novels, are harsh, but, in my opinion, this book is a bit less gruesome, a bit more gentle, than the other books in the series. And I liked that. It was far less harrowing than The Retribution (that preceded Cross and Burn), and had a solid storyline, a really good mystery and British detective/police procedural.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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