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Bella McGuire

Canada | Member Since 2012

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
9

  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2863)
    Performance
    (2648)
    Story
    (2651)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Bella McGuire says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen King has penned his first hard crime novel in Joyland, the tale of a serial killer in a amusement park. College student Devin Jones takes a job at a amusement park one summer. It will be a summer he won't forget as he recovers from a broken heart, learns what life is like as a "carny" and tries to solve a murder.

    I'm a big mystery reader. I have a whole bookcase dedicated to the greats and the more recent releases. So when I heard Stephen King was writing a mystery I was intrigued. I have loved everything King has written and I was really interested in seeing if he could pull off a mystery, without it turning into a horror "slash-em" novel. Well let me reassure die hard King fans - he can!!

    For me Joyland was more than just a murder mystery. It was a cold case murder mystery combined with a coming-of-age story that was possibly the sweetest coming-of-age story I've ever read. Well if you take away the creepy-serial killer-at-a-amusement-park thing!

    I really enjoyed the story from Devin's point of view. He is young, in love, and later nurses a broken heart. His year at Joyland was the year that he grew up and learnt so much, and this comes across so clearly in both King's writing and Michael Kelly's narration. It's a story of heartbreak, sorrow and death. It was a story that I am so glad I read, and one I will never forget.

    Joyland is a intriguing mystery and a coming-of-age story all rolled into one. I highly recommend it to both King fans and mystery fans alike. Michael Kelly's narration was fantastic, as he tells of the highs and lows of the summer.

    37 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • The New World: Prequel to the Chaos Walking Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (47 mins)
    • By Patrick Ness
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (170)

    The New World tells of Viola's journey to the New World, brilliantly capturing the hope and fear of settlers in search of a new life. Patrick Ness says that he wrote it "as a huge and deeply-felt thank you to readers. I've had so many questions about Viola and what her life was like before that I couldn't resist the opportunity to reveal just a little bit extra.

    CRISTY says: "Great start.."
    "Makes Me Want to Listen to the Rest of the Books!!"
    Overall
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    Story

    I enjoy science fiction, and in the last few years I've been reading more than my fair share of YA science fiction. Beth Revis' series starting with Across the Universe was one of my favourites. I picked up The New World a couple of years ago on Audible and didn't think to listen. That was until this week, when I was waiting for a new book to come out and thought I'd listen to The New World while I wait. Well The New World blew me away and I can't believe I haven't listened before now.

    The New World is a prequel and tells the story of Viola and her family, who are the landing party sent out to settle on a new world and report back. The new world isn't what Viola or her family expects.

    This story was a great teaser. It made me want to race out and grab the first book in this series. I plan to listen to the rest of the series right away!! It was narrated by Angela Dawe and I liked her narration of Viola, and how she portrayed Viola's doubts about the new world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance: An Agatha Raisin Mystery, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Penelope Keith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    Can the feisty Agatha Raisin cut it as a private investigator? She soon learns that running her own detective agency in the Cotswolds is not quite like starring in a Raymond Chandler movie. But then in walks wealthy divorcée Catherine Laggat-Brown, and presents Agatha with her first real case. Death threats, blackmail, and worse quickly follow, and once again Agatha is off scouring the countryside for clues and showing friends and enemies alike what Raisin Investigations can do!

    Bella McGuire says: "Agatha is back and causing more trouble!"
    "Agatha is back and causing more trouble!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Agatha Raisin, amateur sleuth extraordinaire, has decided to start up her own detective agency. At first things are slow going with lost cats. However soon she hires her new neighbour, Emma Comfrey, as her secretary and her friend, Sir Charles, refers a case to her. A Mrs Laggart-Brown wants her to investigate the death threats her daughter has received. As Agatha and her detectives investigate they discover a tangle of relationships and murder, as they try to get to the bottom of it.

    I’m smitten with Agatha Raisin. She’s sassy, funny and I love that she is now a detective – officially! Cozy mystery series with their amateur detectives poking their nose into things can sometimes get very long-winded, so it’s refreshing to see a series that has gone from amateur to official detective and thus gives Agatha a reason to poke her nose into things!!

    I enjoyed the mystery a lot, but perhaps what I enjoyed more was Sir Charles Fraith being around, and James Lacey not. James Lacey is Agatha’s ex-husband, who went off to be a monk and then disappeared. He’s barely even mentioned in Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance and as I’m firmly on Team Charles I was completely fine with this! I have a feeling that M.C. Beaton will be making him pop up sooner or later though.

    Penelope Keith is the voice of Agatha Raisin for me. I really enjoyed Penelope’s acting career, being such a big fan of british tv, and I’m glad she’s voicing these audiobooks. I love the voices she provides, especially the caring tones she puts in her voice for Mrs Bloxby, who is perhaps Agatha’s greatest friend. I hope Penelope Keith continues to provide the voice for these audiobooks for many years to come, because both Penelope and Agatha herself are the reason I keep coming back to listen to more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: Dead Air

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 12 mins)
    • By James Goss
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (918)
    Performance
    (759)
    Story
    (756)

    This is an exclusive, original adventure for the 10th Doctor, read by David Tennant. Featuring additional music and effects, Doctor Who: Dead Air has never been previously published. Hot on the heels of a creature that exists through sound, the Doctor lands on a pirate radio station boat in the late 1960s. The creature has already killed some of the DJs, and the Doctor befriends the survivors. But then the lights go out, and a desperate race for survival begins.

    Paul says: "Brilliant story and well crafted audiobook"
    "Really Enjoyable for Doctor Who fans!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dead Air by James Goss is a story featuring the tenth Doctor, as portrayed by David Tennant. It seems the Doctor going back to the 60s to track down a creature that could take over (and destroy) the world through the radios. The Doctor lands on a ship, where a radio station is broadcasting from, and tries to find a way to defeat the creature.

    I'm a huge Doctor Who fan and since the show is on a break I've been listening to a lot of the stories on audiobook. Of the new Doctors my favourite was David Tennant and I love seeing how many of these stories he's narrated. It's great to hear his voice and go on a new adventure. As I'm also a mystery I love trying to figure out parts of the story and see if I can clue in to how the Doctor will defeat the monster. This story threw me a big curveball at the end that I didn't see coming - thankfully for humanity the Doctor did!!

    I really enjoyed this one and I loved David Tennant's narration. Since he played the part of the Doctor he was perfect to narrate. He also provided really good voices to the other characters. I definitely plan to listen to more Doctor Who stories on audiobook format.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tarnished and Torn: Witchcraft Mysteries, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Juliet Blackwell
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (213)

    When Lily arrives at an antique jewelry fair, her bargain sensors go off left and right - but she also picks up a faint vibration of magic. Could the hard-bargaining merchant Griselda be a fellow practitioner? It certainly seems that way when a sudden fire sends panic through the crowd, and Lily discovers Griselda murdered in a way that nods to an old-fashioned witch hunt. A crime that hits close to home turns into an unwelcome flash from the past when the police bring in their lead suspect - Lily's estranged father.

    Bella McGuire says: "Outstanding!"
    "Outstanding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lily Ivory is a witch and owner of a vintage store called Aunt Cora’s Closet. In her time in San Francisco she’s gotten into plenty of trouble. However trouble is heading her way like never before. This time in the form of her father and what could likely be a fire demon!! It all starts innocently enough when she goes to a fair and meets a German lady selling antique jewellery. She’s interested in what she has to offer and suspects that she might also be a witch. Her suspicions are confirmed when the lady turns up dead, pressed between wood with cinder blocks on top. The “pressing” is a old form of torture against witches, which Lily has only heard of. Due to the nature of her death, Detective Carlos calls on Lily to help out and this starts one adventure that Lily nor her friends will forget in a hurry.

    I fell in love with this series when I first read Secondhand Spirits. I love Lily as she not just tries to solve mysteries, but also learns what it is like to live in San Francisco and have friends nearby. She was shunned from her own mother and her hometown for being a witch. However her life in San Francisco is pretty great… well except for the murders and the fact that her one-time lover, Sailor, has disappeared.

    What I love the most about Tarnished and Torn and this series as a whole, is it is never dull and boring. There is always a lot happening but Juliet Blackwell doesn’t leave readers lost and unable to connect the dots. It is more than just a cozy mystery, with the paranormal elements and more-than-meets-the-eye characters. In Tarnished and Torn we finally meet Lily’s father, who abandoned her as a baby. We discover more about their relationship (or lack there of) and perhaps more about how Aidan feels about Lily. Fans of this series will definitely enjoy some of the sub-plots that have continued on from the previous books.

    For me, Xe Sands is the voice of this series. Her portrayal of the characters is beyond amazing. I particularly love the depth she gives to Lily’s familiar, Oscar. Oscar is part gargoyle, part goblin and appears a pot-bellied pig. His suggestion on how to solve the case was to hire Miss Marple, and is aghast to find out that she doesn’t exist and is made up! This scene alone had my laughing until I cried!! After having experienced the previous books as audiobooks I know I will definitely be continuing on with the series in audiobook format only. I wouldn’t hesitate recommend this series to mystery fans and also paranormal fans. It’s not one to be missed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In a Witch's Wardrobe: Witchcraft Mysteries, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Juliet Blackwell
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (230)

    Taking a night off from running her successful San Francisco clothing store, Lily attends a local art deco ball where vintage fashions steal the show. But when a young woman at the event falls under a mysterious sleeping sickness, Lily senses that a curse was placed on the woman's corsage. Before Lily can solve the woman's magical ailment, she's asked to assist in investigating a string of poisonings in the Bay Area witchcraft community.

    Beatrice says: "Loving this series"
    "Fantastic Series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Witch and vintage clothing store owner, Lily, has a knack for getting herself into "interesting situations". For what starts out as a lovely evening out with fellow witch, Aidan Rhodes, ends up in a mystery when a lady at the Art Deco Ball collpases and Lily thinks foul witchy play is involved!! When Detective Carlos asks for Lily's help with the death of a witch, Tarregan Dark Moon "Tara", Lily thinks the two may be connected. As she delves further into another coven she discovers some very evil magic at play.

    I like the Witchcraft mysteries because they are always unexpected!! Lily's life is never boring. Besides the main mystery there is always a lot going on and I never finish reading one of these and think it was dull. For all the things that Lily is, she certainly isn't dull. In this one Lily gets to go to a fancy ball, try to untangle a murder case and help Miriam, who collapsed at the ball and is in a coma!! If that isn't enough there is also her love life. Definitely not dull.

    Lily is a interesting character. She was chased out of her hometown by witch hunters and hasn't gotten close to anyone. Even her own mother doesn't like that she's a witch. But she's settling into a good life now, with her vintage clothing store and making friends with fellow witches. I like watching her life evolve, as she becomes happier with herself and her place in San Francisco.
    The Witchcraft Mysteries are truly magical. They are everything I love about magical cozy mysteries are more than just a murder mystery! I'm excited to start the next one.

    I listened to In a Witch's Wardrobe with the narration by Xe Sands and I can only use one word to describe her narration... flawless. She is the voice of Oscar, Lily's familiar, to me and her narration is part of the reason I love this series so much. If you like audiobooks I suggest trying this series on audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Fantastic: Discworld #2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1509)
    Performance
    (623)
    Story
    (629)

    Carl Cravens says: "Great story, enjoyable British humour."
    "Even Better Than I Imagined!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a huge fan of Terry Pratchett's writing, in particular his Discworld series. I've re-read many of the books multiple times and I've decided to listen to them as audiobooks for the first time. The first one up is The Light Fantastic, which follows the adventures of Rincewind, the Wizard, and Twoflower, the tourist, in Ankh-Morpork. Part of this adventure starts in The Color Magic and continues on in The Light Fantastic. It's high adventure for Rincewind, as he has a history of running away from trouble, but it seems trouble is chasing him!

    There is so much to love about the Discworld, and especially the first two books in this series. I love Twoflower for many reasons. One is that my career is the same as his - he sells insurance (or in-sewer-ants as he describes it to Rincewind). He's definitely a glass-is-half-full kind of guy and a perfect match for Rincewind, who is sure the glass is pretty empty. It's fun when these two get together, especially with their invincible Luggage along for the ride, and Conan the Barbarian, who is almost reaching 90!

    I really enjoyed this on audio. I have only listened to one other Discworld on audio (Raising Steam) and I'm glad that Nigel Planer's narration lived up to my expectation. His voice for Death is just perfect, as was the scene where Twoflower teaches Death and several gods to play cards! After imagining all these voices in my head for the last two decades of reading these novels, I'm glad to discover that the audiobooks are just as fantastic. I plan to listen to more on audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mentats of Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (137)

    In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Mentats of Dune, the thinking machines have been defeated but the struggle for humanity’s future continues. Gilbertus Albans has founded the Mentat School, a place where humans can learn the efficient techniques of thinking machines. But Gilbertus walks an uneasy line between his own convictions and compromises in order to survive the Butlerian fanatics, led by the madman Manford Torondo and his Swordmaster Anari Idaho.

    Cliff says: "Ok story, but very flawed."
    "Those Humans Never Learn!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a longtime fan of the Dune series and even though I have started with the House trilogy (written by Kevin J Anderson & Brian Herbert) I have read the original Dune books (many, many times) and I continue to read/listen to new books as they come available.

    Mentats of Dune follows Sisterhood of Dune, and the mayhem that is flooding the new empire until the rule of Salvatore Corrino. He ordered the Sisterhood to disband and now they are split into two factions, the Harkonnens are still trying to unleash their fury at the Atreides and at the Mentat school, the headmaster is holding onto a very dangerous secret. There is a lot going on and forever Arrakis stays the same as Venport Holdings retrieve the spice and have their expanded fleet travel across the Empire.

    This is not the original Dune and I don't know if this is how Frank Herbert would've written it. I feel like even though humans never learn from their mistakes, I wonder if they would've made this many mistakes. It will be interesting to see how all of this unravels in Navigators of Dune.

    The original Dune book is an amazing novel of political intrigue and ecological debate. This new series tends to focus more on the houses and the schools and less on Arrakis. They are vastly different, with the same characters. While I like that Kevin J Anderson & Brian Herbert have continued on with the series, I will still love the original books more. Having said that I will continue to read/listen because I'm curious to see how it all plays out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener: Agatha Raisin, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Penelope Keith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (63)

    When Agatha returns home after a sojourn in the capital, she finds a new woman ensconced in the affections of her attractive bachelor neighbor, James Lacey. The newcomer, Mary Fortune, is superior to Agatha in every way, especially when it comes to gardening. With Carsely Open Day approaching, Agatha longs for some fascinating crime to remind James of her genius for investigation and to distract him from Mary. Soon a series of assaults on the finest gardens is followed by murder when Mary herself is discovered buried upside down in a terracotta pot....

    Bella McGuire says: "I can't get enough of Agatha Raisin!"
    "I can't get enough of Agatha Raisin!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a very fickle reader. I rarely read more than a couple of books in a series before moving onto another series. I switch my series a lot. However, I've now listened to three Agatha Raisin books almost back-to-back. This is a clear indicator that I'm loving this series so much!

    In the third book in the series Agatha Raisin has returned from a holiday abroad to find that her neighbour, James Lacey, is dating newcomber, Mary Fortune. Mary seems to be perfect - a great baker, a fantastic gardener and everyone is talking about her. Not only has she stolen James from her (even though James and Agatha have not dated - yet!) and she is now the center of attention from all the villagers in Carsely. However, when Mary turns up dead it would seem that not everyone is Mary's biggest fan. James and Agatha join forces again to try and solve the mystery.

    Agatha, Agatha, Agatha! She talks her mind, and has no problem swearing and saying "crap". Her emotions certainly go through through the ringer in this book. She has such strong affections for James and it breaks my heart that he doesn't return her affections. Instead he almost flaunts Mary in her face. Poor Agatha!! Because of his relationship with Mary, I almost despised James in this book. He wants Agatha as a friend, Mary as a lover and yet he seems excited by the fact that he knows that Agatha adores him. It will be interesting to see whether I like James in the next book.

    This series is so perfect for me. There is village gossip, murder and the fabulous Agatha and I absolutely can't get enough of her!

    I was so thrilled that Penelope Keith was back to narrate in this third book. She is by far the best narrator of this series. Her delivery is flawless and I can't ever imagine anyone else voicing the impetuous Agatha. I absolutely can't wait for the next book in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet: Agatha Raisin, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Diana Bishop
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (83)

    In the delightful Cotswold village of Carsely, the air is heady with romance. Agatha Raisin is convinced that the new vet has taken a shine to her. But before she can get anywhere, handsome Dr. Paul Bladen is accidentally killed while attending to Lord Pendlebury’s horse. So was it really an accident? All the evidence points that way, but the circumstances are decidedly suspicious....

    Bella McGuire says: "Good Book, Disappointing Narrator"
    "Good Book, Disappointing Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Agatha Raisin is back in the village of Carsely, after spending a holiday abroad. She's determined to snag the heart of neighbor, James Lacey. However when James doesn't return her advances, Agatha catches the eye of the new vet, Paul Bladen. However before a romance can truly begin, Paul Bladen, turns up dead. Despite it being ruled as an accident, Agatha is certain that it is murder, and drags James Lacey along to help investigate. Agatha hopes to not only make James fall in love with her, but solve the murder too!

    Oh Agatha, how I love thee! You are spunky, speak your mind and are behaving like a boy-crazy middled aged woman! It's impossible not to like Agatha with her zest for life. This time she has romance on the mind as she chases vet, Paul Bladen, and retired Colonel, James Lacey. Of course when it doesn't go her way she stamps her feet and becomes more determined.

    This series has such a great colorful cast of characters, and it was great to see many of them returning in the second book. I would have liked to have seen more of the Carsely Ladies Society, but I'm sure they will be popping up in the next book too.

    This audiobook flew by in a torrent of enjoyable goings on in the village, as Agatha and James try to solve the murder. Before I knew it the murder was solved and the audio was finished, leaving me wanting to grab the next one.

    The first book in this series was narrated by Penelope Keith, and this second one was narrated by Diana Bishop. I really wished they hadn't changed narrators. Where Penelope was great and expressed all the color of the characters of Carsely, Diana fell flat for me. At times I had a hard time distinguishing the voices and it was really the story that pulled me through to the end of the book, with no help from the narrator. If you are a cozy mystery fan, this is a such a great series and I intend to continue on. The next in the series is narrated by Penelope Keith, and I can't wait!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monster: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    Overall
    (482)
    Performance
    (405)
    Story
    (403)

    Meet Monster. Meet Judy. Two humans who don't like each other much, but together must fight dragons, fire-breathing felines, trolls, Inuit walrus dogs, and a crazy cat lady - for the future of the universe.

    Michael says: "A Fantastic Ride!"
    "Funny Monsters!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been a big fan of A Lee Martinez when I discovered Gil's All Fright Diner back in 2007. It was funny and it appealed in the same way that I love Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Robert Asprin. Comic science fiction-fantasy is just awesome, and I'm glad to add A Lee Martinez to my list of favorites.

    Monster is a funny human, that changes color every day, and runs a pest control agency. He captures cryptobiologicals, ie. trolls, ogres, yetis, monsters, and has his fair share of domestic troubles with his girlfriend, who is literally from hell. However when Monster answers a call to capture a yeti, he doesn't realise that his life is going to get a lot more complicated when he meets Judy, who seems to have the knack for attracking cryptos.

    I liked Monster. The action hits early on, and the laughs are plentiful. The combination of Monster, and his paper gnome sidekick, Chester, are hilarious. Add in Judy, who can't stand the sight of Monster, and it was definitely a amusing adventure. My only disappointment was that I thought Monster might have had a different ending with regard to Monster's love life. Romantic optimism on my part? Yes, most definitely. I doubt there is a sequel in the works, and since I enjoyed every other part of this book it didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of the story.

    I started the paperback of Monster, and then 3/4 of the way through switched to the audio. I'm finding that I just don't enjoy paperbacks anymore, and this will likely be the last time I attempt a paperback. It's audio all the way for me from now on. The narration is done by Eric Michael Summerer and for the little that I listened I really enjoyed it. I plan to listen to more books narrated by Eric Michael Summerer to see if I will enjoy his style more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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