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Marie

Member Since 2011

323
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 118 reviews
  • 192 ratings
  • 494 titles in library
  • 51 purchased in 2014
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35

  • Viriconium

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By M. John Harrison
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (118)

    Available to American readers for the first time, this landmark collection gathers four groundbreaking fantasy classics from the acclaimed author of Light. Set in the imagined city of Viriconium, here are the masterworks that revolutionized a genre and enthralled a generation of readers: The Pastel City, A Storm of Wings, In Viriconium, and Viriconium Nights. Back in print after a long absence, these singular tales of a timeless realm and its enigmatic inhabitants are now reborn and compiled to captivate a whole new generation.

    Max says: "Virocon, Virocon, still the ancient name rings on"
    "Only the first story makes any sense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will admit at the start that I have not finished listening to this book. I haven't been able to finish the third novella, In Viriconium, because I see no point to the story. In the second novella, A Storm of Wings, I don't think I can tell you what actually happened or why. The language is beautiful and haunting but it smothers a story that may or may not make any sense. I only listened to the second and third novellas because I did enjoy the first story, The Pastel City. It made sense, something actually happened, and plot took precedents over language.

    Simon Vance is wonderful. He is one of the reasons I selected this book. The main reason, however, was because Neil Gaiman recommended it. I really don't understand why.There is a difference between writing beautiful evocative language that takes the reader no where and a story that takes the reader into beautifully drawn places.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Shooting in the Shop

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Simon Brett
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    Carole Seddon hates Christmas – it all seems rather a waste of time. So when her best friend, Jude, drags her along to go shopping at a local store called Gallimaufry, she can feel her inner-Scrooge knocking. Then Gallimaufry is burnt down and a body is discovered. It seems like a tragic accident, but it’s not natural causes when a gun is involved.

    Lynn says: "Tops in plot, people & narrator"
    "Enjoyable characters, week story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the two main characters, Carol and Jude, and will definitely give the author another chance. I felt the story ended abruptly and could have had more depth. I was also perplexed about the epilogue which disclosed what the future held for many of the secondary characters. I am on the fence about whether I liked that feature or not.

    Simon Brett is a wonderful narrator. He knows his characters well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faro's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Laura Paton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    Fiery, strong-willed Deb Grantham, who presides over a gaming house with her aunt, is hardly the perfect wife for the young and naive Lord Mablethorpe. His lordship's family are scandalized that he proposes to marry one of 'faro's daughters', and his cousin the proud, wealthy Max Ravenscar - decides to take the matter in hand. Ravenscar always gets his way, but as he and Miss Grantham lock horns, they become increasingly drawn to each other. Amidst all the misunderstandings and entanglements, has Ravenscar finally met his match?

    Nanellen says: "Georgette Heyer is all the better when heard"
    "Narrator's male voices are awful, read it instead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of my favorite Heyer novels but I just couldn't listen to it. The narrators male voices, especially for the main character (Ravenscar) is awful. Sadly, I am going to return this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser, Simon Vance, Isla Blair
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    A grand treasure for fans of the grande dame of mystery, The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories brings together nine rare and brilliant Christie tales of murder and detection that span nearly half a century of her storytelling genius. In "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest," Hercule Poirot unravels the psychological conundrums that motivate a killer.... In "The Actress," a great star's shady past becomes the plaything of a blackmailer.... In "The Harlequin Tea Set," Mr. Harley Quin helps a man save his loved ones from the greedy hand of murder.

    Die Falknerin says: "Three great narrators, nine classic stories"
    "A Revelation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Harlequin Tea Set, a collection of short mysteries, was a revelation to me. I knew Agatha Christie was a great story teller, but was unprepared for the quality of these short stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Eighth Veil: A Jerusalem Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Frederick Ramsay
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    A murdered servant girl is found in the palace of King Herod Antipas. The prefect, Pontius Pilate, is in attendance. The populace has already been buzzing over the brutal death of one of their prophets, John, known familiarly as the Baptizer, and scandal is in the air.

    Marie says: "Terrible narration and awful dialgue"
    "Terrible narration and awful dialgue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am returning this book. The narrator's voice is awful which makes the bland dialogue and weak story even worse. I couldn't get past the first few chapters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Queen of England: Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Steve Robinson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    While on a visit to London, American genealogist Jefferson Tayte’s old friend and colleague dies in his arms. Before long, Tayte and a truth-seeking historian, Professor Jean Summer, find themselves following a corpse-ridden trail that takes them to the Royal Society of London, circa 1708.

    Doreen says: "Non-stop engaging story"
    "Assassination Overload"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the genealogical aspects of this book. The the first in the series, it is what maintained my interest enough to finish the book. Unlink the first book ( To The Grave) however, there is no second story to keep the reader interested.

    The main character (Jefferson Tayte, an American genealogist) is flat and typecast. The assassin appears very early on and the reason for a string of assassinations is over the top. It might have been more interesting if there was more variety in the way people died. Like To the Grave it is all guns, guns, guns. The problem started for me when the bodies started mounting all over London.

    The lackluster response of law enforcement was unrealistic in this day of terrorist threats and realities. British Intelligence does get involved in the case but are clueless. Why don't they take Tayte off the street after the two agents escorting him are shot? They let him wander and reveal case details to the public.

    The problems from the first book show up again here. Tayte repeatedly mentions he is searching for his birth parents and that he has a weight problem. But that's all we know. Why is his weight an issue? How heavy is he? Does he have health issues. Or is it just an impression the author has of Americans? Doesn't Tayte have any relatives who know he was adopted? Were his birth parents British? It seems that is why he is so interested in British genealogy. But how does he know this? And Tayte must own stock in a tan suit manufacturing company. He seems to have a never ending stock.

    The narrator, Simon Vance, is one of my favorites and he does a good job with Tayte's American English accent and pronunciation. There are instances, however, where Tatye uses a British pronunciation when he just wouldn't have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moving Finger: A Miss Marple Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Richard E. Grant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (38)

    Lymstock is a town with more than its share of shameful secrets - a town where even a sudden outbreak of anonymous hate mail causes only a minor stir. But all that changes when one of the recipients, Mrs. Symmington, commits suicide. Her final note says "I can’t go on", but Miss Marple questions the coroner's verdict of suicide. Soon nobody is sure of anyone - as secrets stop being shameful and start becoming deadly.

    Calliope says: "great characterizations with a little mystery"
    "Miss Marple is Mostly Missing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listen to this book if for no other reason that Richard E. Grant is the perfect narrator.

    I think this was my first Miss Marple mystery in book form. And it is so different from the Joan Hickson variety TV movie. Mainly because the book is written from the first person point of view of another character. And at least in this instance, Miss Marple is hardly part of the story. In fact, she doesn't show up until well into the narrative. She is used mostly to reveal the killer and motive.

    The story revolves around anonymous letters plaguing a small village. The narrator is pilot recovering from injuries in a flying accident. He and his sister are renting a home in Lymstock while he recovers. The rest of the cast are local recipients of the hateful letters. There's a bit of romance, a bit of intrigue, and lots of local color. A pleasant diversion for a summer's day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To the Grave: Jefferson Tayte Genealogical, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steve Robinson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    A curiously dated child’s suitcase arrives, unannounced and unexplained, in a modern-day Washington suburb. A week later, American genealogist Jefferson Tayte is sitting in an English hotel room, staring at the wrong end of a loaded gun. In his latest journey into the past, Tayte lands in wartime Leicestershire, England. The genealogist had hoped simply to reunite his client with the birth mother she had never met, having no idea she had been adopted.

    Doreen says: "Worthwhile listen!"
    "Great Story Until the Shooting Starts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I waivered between 3 and 4 stars for this book. I finally decided to go with 4 stars based on the strengths of Mina's WWII story.

    The book, which alternates between 1944 and present day, is intriguing. The genealogical aspects of the search for Mina are the fascinating and move the story forward. The characters in the 1944 story are well rounded and bring the story to life. I cared about Mina and what happened to her. And when the past and the present merge, the story is first rate. The author should have stopped with Mina's story and edited out the thriller aspects-it would have been a better book.

    The present day characters, including the main character (Jefferson Tayte, an American genealogist) are flat and typecast. So is the killer. No secret there, we meet the killer very early on. The bad guy(s) are transparent and the reason for a string of assassinations is over the top. It might have been more interesting if there was more variety in the way people died. The problem started for me when the bodies started mounting. The lackluster response of law enforcement was puzzling.

    Tayte repeatedly mentions he is searching for his birth parents and that he has a weight problem. But that's all we know. Why is his weight an issue? How heavy is he? Does he have health issues. Or is it just an impression the author has of Americans? Doesn't Tayte have any relatives who know he was adopted? Were his birth parents British? It seems that is why he is so interested in British genealogy. But how does he know this?

    A few of the details in the American scenes didn't work. When present-day Tayte has coffee with his American client, she serves the coffee from a percolator. I don't know if you can even buy percolators any more. And Tayte wears tan linen suits. And he seems to have a steady supply on hand. This is a minor problem, though. I'm sure British readers feel the same about details that American authors put in books set in the U.K.

    The narrator, Simon Vance, is one of my favorites and he does a good job with Tayte's American English accent and pronunciation. There are instances, however, where Tatye uses a British pronunciation when he just wouldn't have.

    Note: This is the second in a series of three books. I have not listened to the first because it was lower rated. I am just finishing the third and will not be recommending it. Too many bodies and another mean assassin. I will write a review soon.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hollow Kingdom: THe Hollow Kingdom, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Clare Dunkle
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In 19th-century England, Kate and her sister Emily return to the family estate after their father dies. There, under the guardianship of a distant uncle, they live in a small lodge with two great-aunts. One evening while out late and unable to find their way home, they encounter a nest of goblins. Clare Dunkle unites the human realm and the underworld of the goblin in a fascinating and exciting tale.

    Amazon Customer says: "Decent, but narrator leaves much to be desired."
    "Charming and Inventive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Life changes when you have to go underground.

    I loved this book. I can't wait for the next volume. It is well written, the characters are well developed. The dialogue is great. There are funny moments and awful moments. It is a perfect YA book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Danger Point: Miss Silver Mysteries, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Patricia Wentworth
    • Narrated By Diana Bishop
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    Miss Silver is returning from holiday when a distraught young woman enters her carriage. Beautiful society heiress Lisle Jerningham confides that she believes her husband, Dale, is trying to kill her. An overheard conversation and a near-tragic accident have convinced her that her life is in danger. Lisle returns to Tanfield Court, unsettled by her suspicions and then by another accident. But it’s when a young woman from the local village is found dead at the bottom of a cliff that she really begins to fear for her life.

    Coffee Lover says: "Always love Miss Silver"
    "My Least Favorite Miss Silver"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is nothing like a good British cozy and I usually enjoy a Miss Silver Mystery, even if they are formulaic. Diana Bishop, the narrator, may have a bit to do with that. I disliked The Danger Point. The main female character (Lisle) was insipid and not very bright. It was one of those times I wished the killer had succeeded. The murderer was never in doubt. Miss Silver hardly appears and feels like an afterthought. Maybe I need to take a break from Miss Silver. I have listened to three in the last month, and it really brought home how similar they really are.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mangle Street Murders: The Gower Street Detectives, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By M. R. C. Kasasian
    • Narrated By Lindy Nettleton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (38)

    After her father dies, March Middleton has to move to London to live with her guardian, Sidney Grice, the country's most famous private detective. It is 1882, and London is at its murkiest yet most vibrant, wealthiest yet most poverty-stricken. No sooner does March arrive than a case presents itself: A young woman has been brutally murdered, and her husband is the only suspect.

    Kathi says: "Witty and clever British mystery"
    "Weak story and underwhelming narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book might be better read than listened to but I'm not sure it will make a difference.

    I was confused to say the least by March Middleton, at once both a girl who had never been kissed and a woman who had been engaged to a soldier in India. It was as if she had a split personality but the reader never got to see where they overlapped. I was also perplexed by the side story involving a woman March meets on a train in the opening scene and the women's club March joins. The only point of the subplot seemed to be to emphasize that March was a modern woman who liked to smoke and drink. Yet for being so modern, she meekly stood by while all the male characters in the book, even some minor ones, told her how unattractive she was. Her lack of emotional response to such attacks was disturbing. I was not surprised to find out the author is a man-a man who doesn't appear to understand women. Maybe doesn't even like women much. All the female characters are flat. Actually, I think March will discover in a future volume that the main male character, Sidney Grice, is actually a cross dresser. The author has already thrown out a few hints.

    I didn't like the narrator and doubt I would listen to other books she reads.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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