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Marie

Member Since 2011

340
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 121 reviews
  • 199 ratings
  • 514 titles in library
  • 63 purchased in 2014
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34

  • Rise of Empire: Riyria Revelations, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4057)
    Performance
    (3708)
    Story
    (3732)

    Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.

    Ron says: "The second book delivers"
    "Not to be missed trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review covers both Rise of Empire and Heir of Novron, the second and third books in the Theft of Swards trilogy. Any series of books that can hold my attention for 70+ hours and leave me wanting more is a winner. On top of discovering one of my new favorite narrators, I found the books amusing, swashbuckling, and a romp of a fantasy.

    The author is not afraid to left Royce, Hadrian and Arista experience both victory and pain. Recurrent characters pop up throughout the trilogy and add continuity and bind the stories together. Originally written as six stand alone books, the trilogy is wisely packaged in three volumes. The main characters and their joint and individual stories are well developed. I felt I knew them and I missed them when it was over.

    I am giving the story only four out of five stars because the author leaves subtle but essential clues throughout the books that are hard to remember after such a long narration. He is a bit too clever for his own good at times. When listening, remember, nothing is irrelevant. I was confused by the ending of Heir of Novron. Luckily, I had purchased both the audio and Kindle version and I was able to do a search of the Kindle text to find the answer. It annoyed me I had to resort to looking back.

    I had a couple other quibbles with the excessive details in Rise of Empire about every type of mast or sail on a ship and how to operate it in various types of weather. As a reader, I wanted to story to move on and it almost sank. The search for the lost city was puzzling when it turned out that many people knew where it was.

    Those quibbles aside, I highly recommend the Theft of Swords trilogy. It is so much better than others series I have tried, such as The Elvenbane (uneven and disjointed) and The Kingkiller Chronicles (so boring I returned the first book and won't revisit).

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 'Crooked House' & 'Endless Night'

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (69)

    Two standalone novels from the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie. From the sprawling Leonide family to dark moors, no one can spin a mystery quite like she can. In Crooked House, the Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection....

    Thomas says: "Typical VS Unexpected"
    "Not to be missed Agatha Christie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed both books immensely. They are so different from Christie's Piorot and Marple books. Endless Night is so unexpected, with twists and an ending that will surprise most readers. It is on of Christie's later books, published in 1967. Crooked House is a bit more of a romp, though still a whodunit.

    I have been listening to a number of Christie books lately and noted that her first person narrator, even in the Marple books, is always a man. Miss Marple sometimes appears very little in her books. I wonder if there are any Christie books with a first person female narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First Horseman: Thomas Treviot, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By D. K. Wilson
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Before dawn on a misty November morning in 1536, prominent mercer Robert Packington was gunned down as he crossed Cheapside on his way to early morning mass. It was the first assassination by handgun in the history of the capital and subsequently shook the city to its core.The identity of his assassin has remained a mystery. the first of a new series investigating real unsolved Tudor crimes, D.K. Wilson brings the streets of Tudor London to spectacular life as Thomas Treviot faces a fight to bring the truth to light.

    Marie says: "Interesting but flat story"
    "Interesting but flat story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the book from a historical fiction point of view because it looked at religious events under Henry VIII from a new angle, the common man rather than palace. The information about the Tindale bible was fascination. The story concerns an actual unsolved crime from 1536. Unfortunately, the main character is flat and a bit thick. He sees violence all around him yet is confused when his actions set off reactions. He seems so naive at times. The book is missing the drama and intensity of the Matthew Shardlake books by C.J. Sansom.

    The narrator does an excellent job. I would listen to other books narrated by David Thorpe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death at the President's Lodging: An Inspector Appleby Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Michael Innes
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the president has been murdered in his lodging. Scandal abounds when it becomes clear that the only people with any motive to murder him are the only people who had the opportunity - because the President's Lodging opens off Orchard Ground, which is locked at night, and only the Fellows of the College have keys.

    connie says: "must love brit academe 'tween the wars"
    "Tedious and odd"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listen to audio books before I go to sleep. This one put me to sleep rapidly. It was all talking heads. Almost nothing happens. There was almost no setting are description. The characters were flat. And there was not one single woman in the entire book.

    The narrator was excellent. I only gave him four stars because he didn't have any women's voices to to do so I can't tell if he would be good at them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shooting in the Shop

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Simon Brett
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    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
    (57)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (53)

    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
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    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
    (34)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (44)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (43)

    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
    (35)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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