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Sires

I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.

Chesapeake, OH, United States | Member Since 2012

445
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 97 reviews
  • 176 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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38

  • Among Others

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (801)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (694)

    Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

    Eoin says: "Subtle Character Piece"
    "A Love Poem to Books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I rated the performance higher than the story because I thought that the narrator brought a special depth to this story. While the action of the book covers a relatively short period of time, from September 5, 1979 to February 29, 1980 the narrator does this interesting thing with the first person point of view character's accent. It moves from an educated Welsh accent to boarding school English as she spends time at the expensive English boarding school that her English aunts send her to, then slips back a little more toward the Welsh when she is again with her mother's family, but not as strongly marked.

    Probably a pretty obvious progression, but it kind of crept up on me as I listened this book and some narrators/producers might not have bothered. I've tried a couple of Audible books recently that I did not buy because I sampled them and thought the narrator was sub par.

    This is probably a love it or hate it book. I found it easy to identify with the main character who used books as a comfort and guide. I can see where others might find the references, not just to science fiction and fantasy stories, but to historical fiction, Victorian children's fiction, and Plato to be tiresome, but for me they enriched the narrative.

    I don't know if this is book I could recommend unless I knew you very well, but I liked the audible version very much for some reasons that had nothing to do with just enjoying the story.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Johannes Cabal the Detective

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jonathan L. Howard
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (213)

    In this genre-twisting novel, infamous necromancer Johannes Cabal, after beating the Devil and being reunited with his soul, leads us on another raucous journey in a little-known corner of the world. This time he’s on the run from the local government.

    Ambrose says: "A Decent Successor to the First"
    "Steampunk, Mystery and Dark Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Second in the Johannes Cabal series. This is a new narrator, the previous one who made Johannes Cabal Necromancer a five star listen, unfortunately died of septicemia. However, I cannot find anything to criticize about Robin Sachs, the new narrator.

    The book opens with Cabal, the Necromancer, the prisoner in a dungeon. Everyone, including Johannes Cabal, is expecting his execution, but instead, his captors have another plan.

    Those who know Cabal know that he will not take execution lying down, and so he sets out to throw a spanner in the political works and then take off on the maiden voyage of the Princess Hortense. Shortly into the voyage a fellow passenger disappears. Then a murder occurs in a locked room. Cabal who does not have a great deal of patience with his fellow passengers, finds himself, much against his worse judgment, pulled into an investigation of what is happening on board.

    Darkly funny, I enjoyed Cabal's machinations almost as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jigsaw Man

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Elena Forbes
    • Narrated By Ric Jerrom
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    DI Mark Tartaglia spends a night in a west London hotel with a woman he has just met. When he is called out to the same hotel the next morning to investigate a murder, he realises it must have taken place while he was there. If things weren't already complicated enough, the investigation takes a new and horrifying turn when he recognises the young female victim.

    Sires says: "Not As Well Plotted As I Expected"
    "Not As Well Plotted As I Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to the three prior DI Mark Tartaglia books. I think the last one was released in 2011. I immediately bought the current book when I saw it listed on Audible. However, I was a bit disappointed in this police procedural.

    DI Mark Tartaglia is awoken by the news that there was a murder in a upscale hotel, a hotel where he has just engaged in a one night stand. I'm not sure why that is even brought into the book because it shortly becomes clear that his sexual escapade has nothing to do with the murder.

    Complications though ensure that Tartaglia's group instead are set to investigate the body of a man found in a burning car rather than the body at the hotel.

    My frustration with this book had a lot to do with the plotting. Someone would be interrogating a witness and then would stop one question short-- the question that would have arose naturally from the previous responses. I might have forgiven this once, but it began to look like the author's method of sustaining suspense. Instead it points the reader toward the resolution.

    I'm also not particularly fond of the narrator. He has read all of the Elena Forbes books and while I don't think his performance detracts from the books, I don't think it contributes to it either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jane Casey
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (41)

    Their job is to investigate crime - not become the victims... A killer is terrorising London but this time the police are the targets. Urgently re-assigned to investigate a series of brutal attacks on fellow officers, Maeve Kerrigan and her boss Josh Derwent have little idea what motivates the killer's fury against the force. But they know it will only be a matter of time before the killer strikes again.

    Sires says: "Not What I Was Expecting in the 5th Kerrigan Novel"
    "Not What I Was Expecting in the 5th Kerrigan Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually put this book down in the middle because I had convinced myself that I knew What was going to happen. I picked it up again because it was just the right length for a cold winter's drive. I was wrong. Casey came up with an interesting plot that I enjoyed listening to.

    Cops are being killed. The unit that Maeve Kerrigan works in is brought in to deal with this unthinkable series of deaths.

    I don't want to give anything away except to say expect the unexpected.

    The narrator as usual is excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mean Spirit

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Will Kingdom
    • Narrated By Seán Barrett
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Who is stalking Seffi Callard, the world’s most fashionable spiritualist medium – now a paranoid recluse at her father’s Cotswold home? Her old mentor Marcus Bacton, editor of an ailing journal of the paranormal, sends his assistant Grayle Underhill to try to establish the truth, unaware that he’s thrusting them both into a nightmare.

    Sires says: "Not Rickman's Best But Still Very Good"
    "Not Rickman's Best But Still Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second of the books in this series, I'm tempted to call it the Bobby Maiden series but the most interesting character in my opinion is Cindy Mars-Lewis, the cross dressing shaman who played a significant part in Cold Calling and will, according to the advance publicity, have a role in Night After Night.

    Cindy is now working as a host on a national lottery show is snarky about the winners and makes some off the cuff comments about the fates of the winners that appear to come true. This brings him under media fire-- no light thing in the UK.

    Meanwhile DI Bobby Maiden is being considered for promotion since his old boss was forced in retirement. But it appears that he is being framed for the death of a low level criminal. Grayle Underhill reappears as a reporter for, a magazine for those interested in occult experiences run by a grumpy retired school teacher.

    Sean Barrett does the narration and he has thankfully toned down the New Jersey accent he gave Grayle in the first book-- seriously, she had been raised as the daughter of an academic with an international reputation who had lived and worked in New York before coming to England in search of her missing archaeologist sister. When he is on his own ground though with Welsh and English accents he is excellent and as the best narrators do, adds to the experience of the listener.

    I've bought this book in paperback and Kindle so I knew what to expect when I started listening to it, but it kept me enthralled for most of New Years Day.

    So, anyone who is listening, can we now have The Man in the Moss by Rickman in audio form soon please?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Morgue Drawer: Do Not Enter!: Morgue Drawer Series, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jutta Profijt, Erik J. Macki (translator)
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Pascha, the snarky ghost of a deceased 25-year-old, finds himself stuck between this world and the next with no one to talk to aside from Martin, a coroner with the dubious gift of being able to hear the dead. Since Martin prefers his girlfriend's company to Pascha’s, Pascha is stuck haunting hospital rooms and accident sites hoping to meet a spirit who will stay a while and keep him company.

    Kim says: "love the series"
    "Pascha Ends Up Coping with Four Young Souls"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pascha, the ghost of a deceased car thief who did not quite make it to the age of 25 before he was murdered, finds himself involved in another case. A young teacher has been kidnapped, the four children in her charge left in comas and Pascha seems to be the only one who cares. Martin, the coroner, is involved with his personal life leaving Pascha in a bit of a bind because he is the only living person that Pascha can communicate with directly.

    Not quite the best but still good enough to be quite entertaining. Actually I picked up a copy of the paperback through Vine, then I bought the Kindle download and ended up listening to the Audio version, which I recommend as the best version. Read by MacLeod Andrews who as far as I am concerned is the voice of Pascha, it has good production values and and a nice snarky edge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger You Know

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jane Casey
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    He meets women. He gains their trust. He kills them. That's all London police detective Maeve Kerrigan knows about the man she is hunting. Three women have been strangled in their homes, and it appears to be the work of the same sadistic killer. With no sign of break-ins, every indication shows that the women let their attacker in willingly. The victims' neighbors and friends don't seem to remember anything unusual or suspicious, and Maeve is almost at a loss about how to move forward with the investigation.

    Sires says: "Casey Is Getting Better and Better"
    "Casey Is Getting Better and Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beginning of this book is the 20 year old cold case of the first girlfriend of DC Maeve Kerrigan's obnoxious superior,DI Josh Derwent. Maeve is a character I know well from the previous three books, but Josh is given an interesting background. These characters are all wonderfully tough and interesting. I wouldn't want to work with them but I certainly enjoy reading about them.

    Two women have been murdered in their apartments. There were similarities between the murders which suggested that one man was involved, a man that they voluntarily allowed into their homes. Maeve becomes involved into the investigation into the murders, trapped between her charismatic, brilliant boss, the surprisingly sympathetic (at times) Dewent and the abrasive female DI, who is Dewent's senior.

    I was almost becoming afraid that Audible was not picking up this type of police procedural, so it was with relief that I found myself so wrapped up in listening to this one. It did not keep me up all night, but I did become annoyed when I had to shut my audio off and attend to someone else.

    High marks for the narrator as well. All in all an enjoyable package for those who enjoy a bit of grit with their suspense.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1482)
    Performance
    (1321)
    Story
    (1343)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Jacqueline says: "A M A Z I N G"
    "Somewhat Confused But Ultimately Engrossing Horror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Scott McGarth, a journalist on the downside of his career, becomes obsessed with the death of the daughter of a cult film maker, Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn't been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    This is a book with wheels within wheels. Information frequently is proven to be unreliable. Characters are not what they seem. McGarth's own life spins out of control. I really had a hard time putting the book down.

    It probably could have been tightened up, it's a bit long and saggy in the final quarter, but I think it is still worth the read. I think the narrator added to the experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Murder as a Fine Art

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By David Morrell
    • Narrated By Matthew Wolf
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (135)

    Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater", is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London 43 years earlier. The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts". Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter, Emily, and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.

    Amy says: "Historical Fact + Fiction = Gothic Mystery"
    "Thomas De Quincey & Daughter Detectives"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thomas De Quincey, the author of essays Confessions of an English Opium Eater and On Murder Considered As One of the Fine Arts (among others), is one of the main characters in this historical mystery. His youngest daughter, Emily, is another. Late in his career De Quincey and his daughter are living in Edinburgh. He is impecunious and trying to recoup his fortunes by coming to London and doing what is essentially a book tour in which he would go to bookstores and sign copies of his latest book.

    Meanwhile a murder has occurred-- in fact several murders. And they appear to be copycats of the famous1811 Ratcliff Highway Murders. These particularly bloody murders inspired De Quincey's essay on Murder. And it seems that De Quincey is being framed for these latter murders.

    The author has done quite a good job in recreating the feel of the mid Victorian era. The plot was a bit sloppy in places, but I still thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. The narrator was quite good as well. I particularly enjoyed the character of Emily De Quincey.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Cherie Priest
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker, Roger Wayne
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place.

    William says: "The lengthy build up is worth the mystery."
    "Good Book Could Have Used Better Narrators"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you know anything about the life of Lisbet Borden after the conclusion of her famous trial, forget it. The chronology of events in this book (set in 1894) is about 10 years off and, yes, that really bugged me. However the events as reimagined by Cherie Priest including Lovecraft's Cthulu Mythos in part, fit well into the overall facts..

    Maplecroft is the name of the house that Lisbet and Emma Borden moved to after the younger sister was acquitted of the murder of their father and step-mother. It is a fact that they both were very concerned about their personal safety. There's nothing really startling in this novel although Priest does provide some descriptive details. There is very good use made of Lizzy Borden's axe.

    I do regret having listened to this on audio though instead of reading it. I don't think that Johanna Parker's voice (which worked very well in my opinion in her reading of the Sookie Stackhouse books) was particularly affective in this book. Her accent sounded "off" for the time and place. Roger Wayne's voice also seemed a little too light and young for the characters he was reading. Some more character in his voice would have been improved things a great deal, especially in reading the parts attributed to the 60ish year old Dr Seabury.

    If you are inclined that way and know a bit about the Weird Tales background, the book does provide some fun hunt-the-reference moments.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Someone Else's Skin: Detective Inspector Marnie Rome, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Sarah Hilary
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    DI Marnie Rome knows this better than most. Five years ago, her family home was the scene of a shocking and bloody crime that left her parents dead and her foster brother in prison. Marnie doesn't talk much about her personal life - not even her partner, DS Noah Jake, knows much about Marnie's past. Now Marnie and Noah are tackling a case of domestic violence and a different brand of victim. Hope Proctor stabbed her husband in desperate self-defense. A crowd of witnesses in the domestic violence shelter where she's staying saw it happen, but none of them are telling quite the same story.

    Sires says: "Lost Interest in the Middle"
    "Lost Interest in the Middle"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator, Justine Eyre, uses an odd sort of breathy voice style that did very little for me in terms of overcoming the faults of the book, but I did not find it prevented me from listening to the book.

    A man is stabbed in the chest when he enters a women's shelter where his wife is staying. One of the two detectives who arrive shortly after on an unrelated case is able to save the man's life and he is taken to the hospital for further treatment. His wife, who stabbed him, is also transported to the same hospital for treatment.

    In this book the detectives are asked to examine their assumptions about abusers and their victims. It's interesting at the start and at the end, but in the middle there is an episode of torture that was essentially tedious. It could have been powerful, but just went on too long. Sometimes less is more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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