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Tracey

I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)

Danville, AR, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
1068
REVIEWS
72
FOLLOWING
51
FOLLOWERS
91
HELPFUL VOTES
569

  • A Deeper Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Dana Stabenow
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (57)

    In A Deeper Sleep, P.I. Kate Shugak has been working on a case for the Anchorage D.A. involving the murder of a woman by the woman's husband. Louis Deem has been the subject of investigations before, and he's never been convicted. But Kate and state trooper Jim Chopin are convinced that, this time, he'll be punished for his actions. When he's found not guilty, Kate and Jim and the rest of Nilniltna, Alaska, are certain that a man has gotten away with murder.

    Tracey says: "You will be WIDE AWAKE during "A Deeper Sleep""
    "You will be WIDE AWAKE during "A Deeper Sleep""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It must be very difficult for Stabenow to write a bad mystery book, as she doesn't disappoint here. This book is a bit more sombre fare than some of the earlier Kate Shugak stories, perhaps because we get flashbacks to earlier deaths from the point of view of the victims. The setting is the Park, so we get further development of the Park Rats we have come to know through the previous volumes and we become invested in learning the outcome of the events. I recommend reading as many of the previous books as possible to get more out of this story.

    Dunne did a good job with the narration; however, those who have become acclimated to Marguerite Gavin's narration of Stabenow's universe (both the Kate Shugak and Liam Campbell series) may be distracted by Dunne's rendition of the voices. I am fan of Dunne's other narrations (particularly of "The Sharing Knife" series), so I wasn't off put by her narration, although it did take an adjustment at the beginning of the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Paw and Order: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (92)

    In the seventh book in the brilliant New York Times best-selling mystery series, canine narrator Chet and P.I. Bernie journey to Washington, DC, and the dog-eat-dog world of our nation’s capital. Stephen King has called Chet "a canine Sam Spade full of joie de vivre". Robert B. Parker dubbed Spencer Quinn’s writing "major-league prose". Now the beloved team returns in another suspenseful novel that finds Chet sniffing around the capital city and using his street smarts to uncover a devilish plot.

    Tracey says: "The Guinea Pig Did It!!"
    "The Guinea Pig Did It!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are new to the world of Bernie Little (Hawaiian-shirt wearing Arizona P.I.) and his intrepid partner, K-9 flunkee (there was a cat involved, enough said) Chet (the Jet), I urge you to give this book a try. Although it is the 7th of the series (and Chet often refers to past cases in his mental soliloquies), you can easily start with this book.

    Spencer Quinn is as reliable a writer as David Rosenfelt -- I always know what to expect and am never left wanting, saddened only in knowing I will need to wait for my next Chet and Bernie adventure.

    The books are told from the point of view of Chet, which can be puerile or overly sentimental in the hands of less skilled writers. Quinn gets Chet just right, "plain and simple." If you have ever looked into your dog's eyes and wondered what he was thinking, this book is for you! Could your sleeping dog's whimpering be caused by a nightmare of a javelina with buzzsaw tusks? I just love Chet!

    The mystery isn't overly complex, so if you are looking for twist and turns and surprising denouements, you can skip this one. If you are looking for a delightfully fun romp in the world of Chet and Bernie (this time in the mean streets of Washington, D.C, where Bernie's girlfriend Suzie Sanchez is working as a reporter), give this one a try -- it is worth a credit.

    The narrator, Jim Frangione, IS the voice of Chet and does well with Bernie's vocalizations. However, his delivery of some of the accents (two of the British characters don't sound very British) is subpar. But, he is so perfect as Chet, the few shortcomings did not detract from the overall delivery.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Murder in Retribution: Scotland Yard, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Anne Cleeland
    • Narrated By Marcella Riordan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Despite their investigative prowess, Scotland Yard's Chief Inspector Michael Sinclair, Lord Acton, and rookie detective Kathleen Doyle stir more than a few feathers at CID Headquarters when their relationship comes to light. But office politics quickly become trivial when a rash of underworld murders shatters London's normally austere façade. With a growing list of successfully solved cases to her name, the ever-dauntless Doyle shakes off the gossip and sets out to investigate the escalating turf war.

    Tracey says: "Heavy on drama, light on mystery"
    "Heavy on drama, light on mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the 1st in the series and anxiously awaited this sophomore effort. However, as a mystery lover, I felt this book fell a bit flat. The mystery was tertiary in the book, following the relationship drama of the newlywed protagonists, Acton and Doyle, and the internal politics at the police station. Cleeland makes up for the thin mystery with wonderful writing (although Doyle has a few too many internal monologues, I found those to be the most amusing bits in the book.)
    Overall, I enjoyed this book and loved "visiting" again with these characters, but I hope we see more police procedural in the 3rd entry in this series and less family drama.
    Marcella Riordan is FABULOUS. She handles a range of voices, male and female, with aplomb. I plan to see out other books she has narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Month

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ed Lin
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    August is Ghost Month in Taiwan - a time to commemorate the dead: Burn incense, visit shrines, honor ancestors, and avoid unlucky situations, large purchases, and bodies of water. Jing-nan, a young man who runs a food stand in a bustling Taipei night market, doesn't consider himself superstitious, but this August is going to haunt him no matter what he does. He is shocked to the core when he learns his ex-girlfriend from high school has been murdered.

    Tracey says: "Stinky Tofu Anyone???"
    "Stinky Tofu Anyone???"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Interesting novel set in Taiwan. The protagonist, Jing-naan, runs a food stand in Shilin Night Market in Taipei but once had aspirations for more. He attended UCLA briefly until his returns to Taiwan to fulfill family obligations. After the death of his girlfriend, Julia, whom he had not seen for years, he becomes an unlikely detective, pursuing justice at the bequest of the Julia's parents.

    The best part of this novel is the description of the Taiwan, especially of the night market -- the culture, the sights, smells and the FOOD. Even when Jing-naan travels outside the market, the food descriptors follow him (most memorable -- "clouds the color of rancid, fatty meat".)

    I enjoyed hearing the expositions on the history of Taiwan and its people, but there was too much, which slowed down the story and made the mystery seem secondary (or tertiary.) There were episodes of good suspense, clever writing and humorous dialogue, though and the characters in the night market were interesting, although they seemed like caricatures.

    This was enjoyable, but mostly due to the descriptions of the setting and its history. If you are looking for a riveting mystery, you might want to skip this one.

    Feodor Chin, the narrator does fine job, especially with the protagonist and other male characters.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2764)
    Performance
    (2567)
    Story
    (2562)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Made Alligator Alley fly by"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started this book the day before a business trip to Florida and found it hard to put down outside of business hours. I was so happy to have this well-crafted mystery to help the miles melt beneath my wheels; otherwise the hours I spent on the road wouldn't have been so pleasant (although, I learned one needs cruise control with such an involving tome, otherwise the speedometer frequently tips 80.)

    "The Silkworm" (Rowling's 2nd mystery under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith), continues with the character development begun in "Cuckoo's Calling" of Cormoran Strike (war hero, illegitimate son of a rock star and struggling PI with one prosthetic leg, courtesy of the Afghan theater) and Robin, Cormoran's temp secretary turned Girl Friday/Dr. Watson.
    I love that Galbraith/Rowling makes Cormoran a bit misanthropic and surly and not some unrealistic, noble hero. His imperfections make him all the more likable.
    And the icing on the cake -- a twisty mystery with multiple plot arcs, replete with engaging characters.
    Rowling proved to the world that she can write YA fantasy -- well, she has proven to me she can write mysteries irrespective of which name appears on the cover.
    And the narrator, Robert Glenister -- PERFECTION! His range is incredible despite is deep voice, he manages not to make the women sound campy (like some male narrators do.) I plan to search for books narrated by him so I do not have to wait until the next Robert Galbraith novel appears.
    The worst part is I have started and stopped several books since I finished "The Silkworm" -- it is a tough act to follow.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Where Monsters Dwell

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jørgen Brekke
    • Narrated By David Menkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    A murder at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, bears a close resemblance to one in Trondheim, Norway. The corpse of the museum curator in Virginia is found flayed in his office by the cleaning staff; the corpse of an archivist at the library in Norway is found inside a locked vault used to store delicate and rare books. Richmond homicide detective Felicia Stone and Trondheim police inspector Odd Singsaker find themselves working on similar murder cases, committed the same way, but half a world away.

    Tracey says: "This isn't Texas"
    "This isn't Texas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brekke has done an excellent job (and kudos to translator) in this police procedural. It was sometimes difficult (especially at the beginning) to remain engaged in the transitioning narrative (from 1500's Europe, to 21st century Norway and Virginia) and I didn't find the story in Virigina (outside the Poe Museum, that is) as engaging as the other 2 narratives, but by the middle, I was hooked -- and missing sleep.
    Best moments occur after the 2 police detectives unite in Norway (and my favorite line "This isn't Texas" from Odd Singsaker, the Norwegian detective). It was a bit redolent of those buddy cop films, but I loved the interaction between the characters (and styles.)
    I especially loved the inclusion (however indirectly) of Poe trivia into the plot.
    The characters were well-developed and the plotting intriciate.
    If you are a fan of Nesbo or Fossum (or other Scandinavian mystery writers), you will not be disappointed with this book.
    David Menken does an excellent job with the narration, especially well with the Virginian accents, which can easily be overdone. I liked that the only other accents were when speakers were not speaking their native langauges (I find it baffling when narrators give people speaking their native languages -- albeit, translated for the "readers" -- foreign accents.) Odd does not pick up his endearing accent until he needs to speak English with his new "partner", Felicia Stone (the Richmond detective.)

    I am looking forward to many more novels from Brekke!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Cozen Protocol

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Mitchell Nevin
    • Narrated By George Kuch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Mitchell Nevin is a master at developing characters, listeners will empathize with, even the bad guys. Nothing is as it seems - listen to find out, who's good, who's bad, who's dead, and who survives. The Cozen Protocol is an intricately woven story, perfect for any crime lover. Take a ride in the front seat with Milwaukee's finest and view the world as you have never seen it before; by walking-a-mile in the shoes of everyday street cops as they carefully balance the ebb-and-flow of justice and politics.

    Tracey says: "Well Crafted Police Procedural"
    "Well Crafted Police Procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book hooked me from the opening scene, and was difficult to put down.

    In retrospect I wished I had purchased the kindle version of this as well, as there are so many characters and interrelated plots, I found myself wanting to refer to a flow chart. I felt mollified when I did a search for this book on Amazon to find there is a Kindle "Cliff's Notes" type summary of this book available for purchase.

    Nevin has a great facility with character AND plot development, while keeping the lingo amount the police characters quite realistic.

    George Kuch does an excellent job with the narration, especially helpful with the constantly shifting scenes and characters.

    I rarely listen to books twice, but this is one I will probably listen to again -- it's that good.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Cambridge Blue: DC Goodhew, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alison Bruce
    • Narrated By Jonathan Broadbent
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (39)

    DC Gary Goodhew is intelligent, intuitive, and the youngest detective at Cambridge's Parkside Station. He is the first on the scene when the body of a young woman is discovered on Midsummer Common and for the first time in his career is given the chance to work on a murder investigation. Soon there is an identity for the victim: Lorna Spence. Richard Moran, her boyfriend and employer, has reported her missing and is distraught to discover that she has been killed.

    Tracey says: "Tense British police procedural"
    "Tense British police procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent police procedural set in Cambridge, UK featuring 25-year old DC Gary Goodhew, a new detective, who is viewed with mistrust and envy due to his quick rise to the DC role.

    The book follows the stories of suspects, victims and police, showing the varying point of views (POVs) as we seek to unravel this complex mystery.

    DC Gary Goodhew is a bit of a maverick at the station, following his own methodologies and uncanny hunches, much to the chagrin of his boss, DI Marks who is determined to make Goodhew a team player or let him go.

    I loved the writing, especially how well all of the characters were fleshed out and the intricate relationships between the families and the co-workers.

    Jonathan Broadbent did an excellent job with the narration, although his pacing can be a bit "off-putting" at first.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Murder in Thrall

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Anne Cleeland
    • Narrated By Marcella Riordan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    First-year detective Kathleen Doyle is a plucky Irish redhead of humble origins and modest means. Chief Inspector Michael Acton is her antithesis: a British lord turned cop. He's tall, handsome, and enigmatic - to a fault. He also has a knack for solving London's most high-profile crimes. Acton selects Doyle out of the newbie squad to partner with him on a series of investigations because she always knows when someone is lying - a trait that comes in handy when interviewing suspects and witnesses.

    Tracey says: "Great new entry into British mysteries"
    "Great new entry into British mysteries"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found it difficult to truly classify this book and found that to be a positive aspect of this unique new voice to British mysteries. This is part police procedural, part romance (with a slightly creepy bent) and part quasi-paranormal.

    Newly promoted DC Kathleen Doyle, with her lilting Irish accent and the fey ability to "read" the truth in people becomes the protégé of DCI Michael Sinclair, an English lord called Holmes behind his back for his uncanny ability to solve the most complex of mysteries.

    The mystery is moderately complex, but the true joy in this book is the unique voice of the protagonist. I look forward to reading more of Cleeland's novels, as she begins to make her mysteries more taut, because her characters are already "spot on."

    Marcella Riordan's narration is superb, especially her delivery of Doyle's Irish voice!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Cut Short: Geraldine Steel Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Leigh Russell
    • Narrated By Lucy Price-Lewis
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    When DI Geraldine Steel relocates to the quiet rural town of Woolsmarsh, she expects to find her new home to be somewhere where nothing much ever happens; a space where she can battle her demons in private. But when she finds herself pitted against a twisted killer preying on local young women, she quickly discovers how wrong she is....

    Tracey says: "Decent debut British Police Procedural"
    "Decent debut British Police Procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From the blurb, I thought I would love this novel, as I am a big fan of British mysteries, especially police procedurals. However, I never really related to any of the characters and there was no "mystery," as we are introduced to the villain's point of view (POV) early on. The shifting POV was a bit jarring occasionally (from victim to police to villain to witness and back to police) and the narrative voices seemed a bit unrealistic at times.

    Despite the choppy writing and the underdeveloped characters, I would probably purchase the next book in this series, as I believe the writer will continue to improve her product.

    Lucy Price-Lewis, the narrator, did a good job of differentiating the many characters.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lambs to the Slaughter: DCI Monika Paniatowski, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Sally Spencer
    • Narrated By Penelope Freeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The colliery village of Bellingsworth is already divided over an impending strike, so the last thing it needs is a murder - but that's exactly what it gets, when a retired miner called Len Hopkins is found battered to death in his outside lavatory. Detective Chief Inspector Monika Paniatowski, called in to track down the killer with all possible speed, finds herself working in an atmosphere as thick with suspicion and distrust as the mine is with coal dust.

    Tracey says: "Spencer scores again!"
    "Spencer scores again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With some serials, the output diminishes over time, with the writing becoming formulaic and staid. However, Sally Spencer (nom de guerre of Alan Rustage) continues to deliver taut, suspenseful police procedurals.

    "Lambs to the Slaughter" is the 5th entry in the series (25th if you consider the 20 books in which DCI Charlie Woodend is the primary protagonist and Paniatowski is his protégé) , set in 1970's Northern England. This book revolves around a potential coal strike and a murder in the town of Bellingsworth.

    The mystery itself is complex. However, the hallmark of this series is the continued development of the police team. I look forward to many more books in this wonderful series and anticipate more intricate mysteries and more windows into the characters.

    Another great joy is the brilliant delivery of Penelope Freeman. She captures wonderfully the accents and characters of the book, male and female.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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