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Joan

Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 124 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • The Paper Moon: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Andrea Camilleri
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (43)

    With their dark sophistication and dry humor, Andrea Camilleri’s classic crime novels continue to win more and more fans in America. The latest installment of the popular mystery series finds the moody Inspector Montalbano further beset by the existential questions that have been plaguing him of late. But he doesn’t have much time to wax philosophical before the gruesome murder of a man—shot at point-blank range in the face with his pants down—commands his attention.

    Joan says: "Italian gumshoe"
    "Italian gumshoe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't my favorite series, but it was an okay listen. It is written in an old "gumshoe" style, which is not my preference when I choose a mystery. A little more interesting, however, is that it is Italian. The performance was generally passable, but some accents quite odd: including one character made to sound New York/New Jersey. That was weird and a bit distracting when he had "dialogue". If you like gumshoe, you might like this better than I did. The "mystery" of it was competent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7067)
    Performance
    (5016)
    Story
    (5005)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Couldn't stop talking about it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very interesting story filled with a variety of characters who generate an array of emotional reactions in the listener. Characters are not clearly good or bad, which made them all the more human. Because of this, I was never certain how things would turn out, but kept listening with an eagerness to find out. Such intense reactions were generated by the storytelling that I would, at times, comment aloud about the actions, or inactions, of a character. I have a colleague who wanted a daily update on the progress of the story, through to its end. This isn't the usual genre of books for me, but I certainly liked this one a lot! Having a good tale to tell, the performers brought it all the more to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (773)
    Story
    (774)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "Unexpected Charmer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read On the Beach years ago, I was uncertain about this Shute novel. I wasn't in the mood for serious and depressing. Turns out that this is a highly engaging, sweet and satisfying novel about an improbable quest made believable. I had trouble putting this one down between listens! The performance really brought it to life, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

    • UNABRIDGED (47 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    Overall
    (5688)
    Performance
    (4882)
    Story
    (4891)

    The season of gift-giving is here, and this year we've got something special for our members: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Yuletide whodunit "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle". In this holiday-themed short story, Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, follow the trail of a lost hat and a Christmas goose through the streets of London and into a rapidly expanding mystery.

    Katheryne says: "Superb! Love Alan Cumming"
    "Fun Sherlock"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a charming Christmas tale made all the more entertaining by Alan Cumming's performance. It is classic Conan Doyle, but a bit lighter than are some of his narratives. Thank you, Audible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Criminal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1756)
    Performance
    (1479)
    Story
    (1484)

    Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and he is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda's motivation, until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before - when Will's father was imprisoned for murder - this was his home....

    Melinda says: "Heart Pounding, Gripping Thriller"
    "Explains a lot!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For Karin Slaughter fans, this book provides the "backstory" for critical recurring characters, including revelation of the links that are implied in previous books, but not defined. This particular tale, bouncing back and forth from past to present, does a wonderful job of more fully developing the players we thought we knew. And, of course, the reader also is hooked into following the search, through time, for a heinous killer. Narration is excellent. I like to finish the "listening" and, in talking about the book to others, can't remember whether it was one I read or enjoyed on Audible! This book does not disappoint.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Yard

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Alex Grecian
    • Narrated By Toby Leonard Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (732)
    Performance
    (640)
    Story
    (639)

    Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only 12 detectives - known as “The Murder Squad” - to investigate thousands of murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. When Walter Day, the squad’s newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley.

    Debra says: "Enjoyable annoying book"
    "Nonstop Thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard to believe this is a first novel! The story starts fast and doesn't slow down. It's a "mystery" true to the Victorian Scotland Yard genre, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. That's pretty amazing since the reader knows "who done it" pretty much from the beginning. Usually a listener only while driving, I did more gardening and cooking just so that I would have a good excuse to strap on my iPhone and keep listening. Some reviewers complained of the slow reading by the narrator. I think that his performance was just fine! With the fast pace of the action, had he also rushed his reading, or been overly dramatic, I would have been worn out! I hope this isn't Alex Grecian's last tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naked

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris, Amy Sedaris
    Overall
    (1196)
    Performance
    (511)
    Story
    (511)

    Welcome to the hilarious, strange, elegiac, outrageous world of David Sedaris. In Naked, Sedaris turns the current mania for the memoir on its proverbial ear, mining the exceedingly rich terrain of his life, his family, and his unique worldview, a sensibility at once take-no-prisoners sharp and deeply charitable.

    Christine says: "My Favorite Sedaris"
    "Satisfying Sedaris Essays, but Fewer Belly Laughs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Naked again? Why?

    No. Good listen once, but more serious material than usual.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The interweaving of dialogue as performed by Sedaris and his sister.


    What about David Sedaris and Amy Sedaris ’s performance did you like?

    I usually prefer listening to David solo, but use of Amy's voice really enhanced these essays.


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

    Don't want to be a spoiler, but there more bittersweet moments in these tales than David generally delivers.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Scott Holst
    Overall
    (6882)
    Performance
    (5250)
    Story
    (5332)

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Haden says: "My friends thought I was crazy."
    "Clever and Entertaining--Don't Miss It!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in three words, what would they be?

    Abe kicks butt.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Grahame-Smith creatively weaves fact and outrageous fiction into an engaging, suspenseful and amusing story. He really--uh--brings Abraham Lincoln to life!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    This book is chock-full of scene after scene of almost nonstop action, so choosing just one as a "favorite" is not possible! What I liked best was how the author used fantasy to re-interpret and "explain" history.


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

    YES!


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it. Can't you tell?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crewel World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Monica Ferris
    • Narrated By Susan Boyce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (270)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (224)

    When Betsy Devonshire arrived in Excelsior, Minnesota, all she wanted was to visit her sister Margot and get her life in order. She never dreamed her sister would give her a place to stay and a job at her needlecraft shop. In fact, things had never looked so good - until Margot was murdered. In a town this friendly, it's hard to imagine who could have committed such a horrible act, but Betsy has a few ideas. There's an ex-employee who wants to start her own needlework store. And there's the landlord who wanted Margot out. Now Betsy's putting together a list of motives and suspects....

    Sara says: "British style mystery set in America"
    "Pleasant Enough: Satisfaction, No Intrigue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Monica Ferris and/or Susan Boyce?

    The characters were likeable and the story engaging enough to hold my interest, so I might try another book by Monica Ferris in the future when I run out of books in my favorite series or by my more preferred authors.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting: it is set in a yarn shop.
    Least interesting: it is set in a yarn shop.


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

    Susan Boyce read well enough, but I thought she made some of the characters sound much older than they were described. I'm in my 50s and I don't think I sound like an old woman!


    Do you think Crewel World needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    This book is the first of the Needlecraft series. I love the clever titles.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is worth a try. I liked it well enough to consider listening to more of the series in the future. I didn't like it well enough to immediately work my way through all of them right now, one after the other.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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