A good 1st novel for experienced MI6 operative Matthew Dunn. He writes his super-hero spy with "can-do all" attitude & physical abilities that leads the reader to suspect that the boundaries of reality should be expanded. At the beginning, I thought the writer intended to write a super-action hero spy novel then towards the middle I caught a change in tone toward more serious espionage/terrorism.
Before the novel was published in Britain (as "Spartan") it had to be approved by MI6. During an interview, Matthew Dunn says his intention was never to reveal or jeopardize Western espionage operations nor its capabilities. This is a fair goal. With this goal in mind, Dunn told a good story of today's Islamic extremists vs Western values, past atrocities, & human frailties. A easy rating of PG-14 with violence but little graphic details.
The narrator matched the charactors' voices & did a good job.
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.
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.
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.
Cosham is chief inspector Gramache. His voice is perfect for Gramache and the other characters, male & female.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Letters from the past. (four words, but I cheat, sorry)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Yes. I need to listen again to catch all the nuances of Fossum's finely crafted storylines and characters. Her story is peopled with people I recognize. The couple with the baby who were shocked out of their complacency live in my small town. As the crimes build in complexity so does the evolvement of the very formal and shrewd Inspector Sejer.
Fossum may be described as Norway's Queen of Dark but I find her stories less "dark" than thoughtful. She tells a cautionary mystery without dipping to modern explicitness or grossness.
I read "Don't Look Back" and prefer the excellent voice of David Rintoul.
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