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Librarian

Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.

OK, USA

ratings
167
REVIEWS
58
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
22
HELPFUL VOTES
92

  • Death of a Chimney Sweep

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (324)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (216)

    In the isolated villages in the north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the chimney sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until the day that Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager's fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn't believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder.

    Susan says: "Hamish, Anderson and Blair -- As Usual"
    "A clean & easy murder mystery with local color."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Death of a Chimney Sweep again? Why?

    Yes, after awhile I may listen again. It is only 5 hours, pleasant narrator voice, & set in the Scottish Highlands.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a good story told without gore or heavy sex. It is set in one of my favorite regions (Scottish Highlands) & peopled with clever villagers & Police Constable Hamish Macbeth.


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

    Malcolm is a great voice for Hamish Macbeth and manages the different accents and genders as a pro.


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

    In several places I did laugh out loud. The book evokes pleasant memories of traveling in Scotland.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Brutal Telling: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1433)
    Performance
    (996)
    Story
    (994)

    As autumn descends upon Three Pines, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store at the center of town. No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. What past did he leave behind, and why has he buried himself in this tiny village?

    Marie says: "Satisfying but sad"
    "A true life lesson wrapped in a Canadian mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Louise Penny is a master storyteller & I save her books like boxes of chocolate to be opened & consumed at special times. This mystery was worth the special attention I reserved for it. The pace, the voice of Ralph Cosham, the characters, & the atmospheric settings & climates are all perfect. The revealing of the meaning of the title & the life lesson is memorable. The conclusion is shocking.

    This is another A+ for Penny & another beautiful symbolic box of chocolates for us. I hope you enjoy it too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1381)
    Performance
    (1006)
    Story
    (990)

    It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees, and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright.

    Sara says: "Spring in Three Pines"
    "A brilliant, thoughtful, & provoking classic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another carefully crafted mystery full of observations of life's loves, relationships, & friendships. It has been said that Penny's books follow the seasons. The "cruelest month" is April, & the mystery is set around Easter. This being the third book after "Still Life" set in autumn & "A Fatal Grace" a mystery in winter, I do believe there is a pattern. This is another small illustration of the importance of reading the books inorder. I of course haven't done this yet have enjoyed every book.

    The characters grow & develope, they become more complicated & the readers gain wisdom & insight if not weight from the mouthwatering descriptions of food served up in Three Pines. Ham sandwiches on fresh bread, steaming bowls of cafe au lait, & Brie cheese served up with the sub-plots. All this perfectly narrated by Ralph Cosham. I savor each & every Penny mystery as I did Agatha Christie's.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Rule against Murder: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1260)
    Performance
    (909)
    Story
    (904)

    When wealthy, cultured Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer for a memorial for her late husband, the staff springs into action. But as a heat wave gathers strength, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface. And the morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The family now has another member to mourn.

    Sara says: "A Summer Mystery"
    "Penny just gets better & better !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Rule against Murder rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    So far all of Penny's books that I have read/listened to have ranked in my top 10%! I've reviewed her books before & am trying to pace myself, saving and savoring each as long as I can.


    What other book might you compare A Rule against Murder to and why?

    P D James' books come to mind. Both authors are favorites and don't disappoint. Of course the comparison with the classic writers Agatha Christie and Nagio Marsh is possible. Classic & classy Penny's books surely are.


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

    Cosham is chief inspector Gramache. His voice is perfect for Gramache and the other characters, male & female.


    Any additional comments?

    I learn something with all of the Penny books. I love how she ties in the plot and the titles and how the characters grow and flesh-out in a smooth and inconspicuous fashion. This is less a mystery in Three Pines than one with some characters we met in the Canadian village of Three Pines. Give yourself a present of a Louise Penny mystery.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Cocaine Blues

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (830)
    Performance
    (598)
    Story
    (602)

    It's the end of the roaring twenties, and the exuberant and Honourable Phryne Fisher is dancing and gaming with gay abandon. But she becomes bored with London and the endless round of parties. In search of excitement, she sets her sights on a spot of detective work in Melbourne, Australia. And so mystery and the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse, appear in her life. From then on it's all cocaine and communism until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "A series that just gets better"
    "A sassy 1920's English female detective!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you be willing to try another book from Kerry Greenwood? Why or why not?

    My first and first in the series of Phryne Fisher mysteries was a lighthearted romp through 1920s "Mod" Melbourne, Australia. I already have another Kerry Greenwood book in my library, "Unnatural Habits", book 19. It was on sale. I think the quick wit, and fast pace of fashion, drugs, and flapper politics make a nice break from the sometimes rich & heady reads I have like Phil Rickman, Tana French, & Peter Lovesey.

    Evidently there was an "ABC" TV series I missed, but the narrator & the author's craftsmanship made up for the visual of a TV series. Besides I have seen Lord Peter Whimsey & Poirot mysteries on "Mystery", I can imagine. Catch one of these sassy stories for yourself.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Painting the Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Robert Goddard
    • Narrated By Michael Kitchen
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (177)

    On a mild autumn afternoon in 1882, William Trenchard sits smoking his pipe in the garden of his comfortable family home. When the creak of the garden gate heralds the arrival of an unexpected stranger, he is puzzled but not alarmed. He cannot know the destruction this man will wreak on all he holds most dear.

    Janice says: "Skeletons in every closet"
    "One of the best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What does Michael Kitchen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I picked Painting the Darkness because it was narrated by Michael Kitchen, loving his voice I thought he could not choose a bad book to narrate, I was correct.

    This is the first Robert Goddard book I have listened to, in fact I had not heard of him until I did some research. He is one of the Sunday Times top 10 Best Selling authors in the UK. Where have I been?

    This is a great mystery thriller in a historical setting. It has fabulous descriptions of settings in London, country houses, period manners, and true to life characters. The words and phrasings are great. The plot has many twists and turns and seems convoluted but It is a simple story of manipulation, conspiracy, betrayal, and greed. It could very well happen today. I will be on the lookout for my next Goddard book, hope you enjoy yours.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Taste for Death

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By P. D. James
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (106)

    When two men are discovered, with their throats cut, in the vestry of St Matthew’s Church, the police are faced with an intriguing challenge for one of the victims was ex-Government minister Sir Paul Berowne, the other, Harry Mack, a local tramp and alcoholic.

    connie says: "one of her best"
    "A classic and just keeps getting better!"
    Overall
    Performance
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    Would you consider the audio edition of A Taste for Death to be better than the print version?

    I enjoy listening to books more now than I do reading them. Maybe it's my age/eyesight or my lifestyle but I can listen and do other things. A Taste for Death and other PD James's books that I have listened to are intriguing enough and complex enough that I am interested enough to listen.

    This book was published in 1991, times have changed in England; the class distinctions, security systems, communications, etc. but people's motivations, life cycles & responsibilities continue to be the same. For my listening taste there is nothing gruesome, trashy, and nasty to have to listen to or fast forward through. I save authors like PD James, Louise Penny, Ruth Rendell, & Simon Brett for times I want good writing, good stories and clean listening. The narration is spot on especially for the character Adam Dalgliesh.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3338)
    Performance
    (1504)
    Story
    (1506)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Good stories remind one of other good stories!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in three words, what would they be?

    Letters from the past. (four words, but I cheat, sorry)


    What other book might you compare The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to and why?

    Happily I have a ready answer to this question, as all through this story the book "84 Charing Cross Road" kept coming to my mind. Memorably it ("84 Charing Cross... ") later was a movie staring Ann Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, & Judi Dench. I guess because it also was based on letters between characters after WW II and I enjoyed them both very much.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The characters had their own voices and as there were so many it was important in keep them separate. All narrators were competent and enjoyable.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved the title! Loved the beginning of the book, the first half seems better conceptualized. I loved that the Islanders started to write to Juliet individually. I did find a few of the later characters a little one dimensional.

    I am looking forward to the movie if it ever really does come out. I understand that Ms Shaffer passed away in 2008, which is sad. I am glad that she left this inspiring story of courage in adversity for us to enjoy. It was co-authored by her capable neice Ms Barrows.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Crossing Places

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated By Jane McDowell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (292)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (224)

    When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.

    Sara says: "An atmospheric creepy mystery set in Saltmarsh"
    "An archeologist heroine & a tough northern copper"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book! I liked the story, atmospheric Northern Saltmarsh location, the believable characters, and the human frailties. It is modern with some modern moral dilemmas. I don't necessarily agree with all of Ruth Galloway's life decisions just like I don't agree with all of my friends. But they are still my friends. Griffiths books are still my "friends". The references to Iron Age bones, Druid practices, and mysticism are fascinating. The suspense keeps building even though one can see some of the bad stuff coming. I am definitely hooked on this series & will be listening to more of Griffiths books and in order.

    Jane McDowell is now the voice of Ruth Galloway in my mind & is excellent.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (255)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (216)

    When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in.

    Jen says: "Beloved Bess"
    "Clean, historical, romantic mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about A Bitter Truth? What did you like least?

    It is a clever & more romantic period mystery attempting to stay true to the "Great War" (WWI) period in Great Britain. A period when we know women had few options & lived within strict boundaries. Men also had obligations & limitations. This is an easy introduction to the time.

    Written by the same American mother & son team who author the Inspector Rutledge series I enjoy so much, I thought I'd try their hand at a female lead character. I did not enjoy the Bess Crawford character so much. This being #3 in the series may have affected my reaction. A nurse in the war and yet I did not find her all that strong, more a goody two shoes, a pushover, & without strong family ties. I can't imagine not going to visit one's own family on a few precious days leave from the war! So from the first scene on I was suspicious of Bess's character. I did not have to admire Bess to enjoy the story & the goings on. It is a mystery after all.


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

    Landor has a full range of voices. She also narrates another of my favorite romantic historical mysteries, "The Winter Sea". She has that sort of voice.


    Do you think A Bitter Truth needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I may try another Bess Crawford book but borrow it from the public library. Whereas, Inspector Rutledge series I will definitely add to my library. The first Rutledge book I listened to was from the public library, "A Matter of Justice" #11, very good. Reading other reviews, it appears readers/listeners fall into 2 camps over these 2 series. I seem to enjoy the darker themes of Rutledge stories.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • An Irish Country Doctor: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Patrick Taylor
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (425)

    Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice.

    Lavonne says: "Delightful Entertainment"
    "A medical Irish "All creatures great & small"!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I am recommending it to you!

    It is a happy, heartwarming, village tale that brings to my mind Herriot's "All Creatures Great & Small". Some readers might not agree with the comparison but I think it is inevitable. The new (Laverty) & old (O'Reilly) doctors are human medical doctors, in a village (Ballybucklebo) in Ireland, in the 60's. Views of our drives across Ireland came to my mind mixed with scenes from PBS TV series "All Creatures Great and Small". I loved that show.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I enjoyed both the young and the more experienced doctors. I think Patrick Taylor likes both too, maybe puts a little of himself into them. They reflect his medical knowledge & confidence. This harkens to a time we are all nostalgic for when we felt a personal connection with our own doctor (if it did ever exist).

    Keating did an excellent job with the voices of the educated doctors, the villagers, the women, & the children.

    Listen to this gentle series. You will feel rewarded!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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