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Natalie

I like mysteries, classics, and good non-fiction. Much of my audible listening takes place when I am working out and sweaty, so I like good plot-driven thrillers.

Columbus, OH, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
34
REVIEWS
19
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • Just Desserts: Savannah Reid, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By G. A. McKevett
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (193)

    Finding herself in over her head with a case involving a politician's infidelities, Memphis-born karate expert Detective Sergeant Savannah Reid is told that she must turn in her badge because she is overweight.

    S. Droski says: "Confusing title for a great book"
    "Rather Predictable mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I think that the narrator's southern drawl was a bit much for me. I also think that the series set-up is not that promising. The mystery itself and the various side-plots are a bit predictable.


    What could G. A. McKevett have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I think it's just not that complicated enough to please me. I like cozy mysteries and police procedurals but I think that I would give my gold stars to Louise Penny and Donna Leon and some of the thrillers I have heard on Audible. This is a good light mystery.


    What three words best describe Dina Pearlman’s performance?

    Southern, cloying, annoying


    Could you see Just Desserts being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I don't think so. That woman who is on Mike and Molly perhaps.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't think I will pursue this series. I think it tries a little too hard to be cute. Oh, and did I mention cleavage? How many times are we treated to a description of ample cleavage? I'd rather hear about personality traits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Millionaires

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (570)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (209)

    Charlie and Oliver Caruso are brothers who work at Greene & Greene, a private bank so exclusive you need two million dollars just to be a client. But when the door of success slams in their faces, they're faced with an offer they can't refuse: three million dollars in an abandoned account. No one knows it exists, and even better, it doesn't belong to anyone.

    Glenn says: "EASILY as good as Grisham"
    "Fun caper"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Millionaires again? Why?

    Yes, I enjoyed the book. I might not listen to it a second time because I recall the plot, but I would read other books by the same author.


    If you’ve listened to books by Brad Meltzer before, how does this one compare?

    n/a


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    I liked both Charlie and Oliver.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was amused, but not extremely so.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fun romp/caper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Advance First Chapter of The Malice of Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (42 mins)
    • By Michael Ennis
    • Narrated By Adrian Paul, Carlotta Montanari, John Lee, and others
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (36)

    Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come together to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we learn the secret history behind one of the most controversial works in the western canon, The Prince. Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil - and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.

    Robin in Vermont says: "Grabs you by the throat!"
    "Terribly difficult narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The female narrator elides her words so that they are extremely difficult to understand. For example the word "Balconies" sounds like "bakkanies" I had to give up after 15 minutes of tortured attempts to comprehend.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Ennis again?

    Maybe but I would need to sample the narration first.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Listening to her words meant that I could not follow the plot line. I guess I cannot comprehend and listen at the same time!


    Any additional comments?

    Please avoid this unless you are fluent in navigating thick Italian accents. The book might be superb, but we cannot get around the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Whodunnit?: Murder in Mystery Manor

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Anthony Zuiker
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1365)
    Performance
    (1255)
    Story
    (1251)

    Ten excited guests arrive at the Westlake Estate, expecting a lavish retreat. They are the winners of a sweepstakes to "Live Like a Billionaire for a Week." But what was supposed to be a promising escape soon turns into a horrific nightmare. Within hours of arrival, the guests sit down for an extravagant dinner. When they pull their party poppers as instructed, a loud chorus of bangs resounds, followed by earsplitting screams as the guest seated at the head of the table bursts into flames and slumps to the floor.

    Judy says: "Creepy in a bad way"
    "No motive, means, or explanation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Whodunnit?: Murder in Mystery Manor better?

    I wish that an explanation had been provided. It is heinous to listen to a mystery for several hours and then have the murderer be revealed with not one single word as to motive, means, or opportunity.


    Has Whodunnit?: Murder in Mystery Manor turned you off from other books in this genre?

    It has made me very wary of listening to free books.

    The narrator, however, was quite good.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the very first one---the set-up because I was oblivious to the face that the denouement would be such a let-down!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was a good traditional murder mystery in a time-honored genre---there was simply no mention of any motivation or means.


    Any additional comments?

    I was terribly disappointed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By G. M. Malliet
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (273)

    Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play.

    Madge says: "Burnt out antiterrorist/priest deals with murder"
    "Homage to Miss Marple and her village?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Wicked Autumn again? Why?

    Yes, I would. It is a good story with a great narrator and a complex mystery is woven. The tone is a bit breezy and tongue-in-cheek, which makes it a good listen for lighter moments.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wicked Autumn?

    Learning about the background of Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent turned Anglican priest in the small village of Nether Monkslip.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?

    Max Tudor although other characters, who are less developed are memorable. I hope that some of them continue on in the series.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found it gripping and I enjoyed the homage to the traditional Golden Age of the British cozy mystery and the small town. I could imagine Miss Marple set down here. I like the town shops and the fair. On the other hand, I suspect that the author is am American because there are some non-Britishisms that I caught here and there, (but do not recollect).


    Any additional comments?

    I plan to continue with the series. It is the equivalent of "comfort food" for me. I hope that the minor characters will return and be better developed. Some readers might not be entirely comfortable with all aspects of this book--it is very contemporary despite the fact that I kept thinking it was the 1930's. Mentions of google or the internet sometimes seem jarring in contrast with the Olde Tyme Englishe Fayre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bent Road

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lori Roy
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    For 20 years, Celia Scott has watched her husband, Arthur, hide from the secrets surrounding his sister Eve’s death. As a young man, Arthur fled his small Kansas hometown, moved to Detroit, married Celia, and never looked back. But when the 1967 riots frighten him even more than his past, he convinces Celia to pack up their family and return to the road he grew up on, Bent Road, and that same small town where Eve mysteriously died.

    Ronna says: "Great writing--not great story!!"
    "Boring Road--not much of a mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Lori Roy and/or Marguerite Gavin?

    Not from Lori Roy. Marguerite Gavin seems to be a fine narrator. I cannot believe that this book won an Edgar!


    What was most disappointing about Lori Roy’s story?

    The title, "Bent Road" is a misnomer. It should be straight and tedious road. It's very slow and tedious, plodding and repetitious, and the characters do not stand out in any way.


    What does Marguerite Gavin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I liked her voice and she did as well as she could with the narration. In the end, however, if the words are ploddingly tedious, the best narrator cannot make a book come alive.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was disappointed---even angry---because this book has won an Edgar Award for best first novel. I suppose it looks atmospherically at dysfunctional families in Kansas, but the view is too claustrophobic for the listener.


    Any additional comments?

    I have decided to abandon listening after slightly over 2 hours. I don't care about this book or the characters. I listen to books because I like to be gripped and curious and eager to return. When I dread the "listen" it means it's time to toss the book. If the first two hours do not pull me in, why continue with a purgatorial listen?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Down Home Murder: Laura Fleming, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Toni L. P. Kelner
    • Narrated By Gayle Hendrix
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (282)

    When a tragic family accident brings Laura Fleming back home to Byerly, North Carolina, the sleuth discovers that her beloved grampaw's fatal fall from a ladder in the old mill was not an accident.

    U. Gruber says: "Surprisingly offensive"
    "My favorite cousin is a nice young boy in the KKK!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Down Home Murder?

    It was a listing of terribly unhealthy fast food consumed by a very large family. The narrator felt so very sympathetic towards her cousin, a new member of the KKK.


    What was most disappointing about Toni L. P. Kelner’s story?

    I will never fall for a "deal of the day" again without doing much more investigation. This "mystery" was a disaster for me. None of the characters had any character except a love for fast food. The narrator cum "detective" is mainly memorable because she loved sausage biscuits. Having moved to Boston, she evidently could find nary a sausage nor a biscuit. Is this book an advertisement for Hardee's and McDonald's?


    What didn’t you like about Gayle Hendrix’s performance?

    Too much Southern, too much lightness--I really did not like her drawls and wondered seriously if the speed on my iPod was off. It was not.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was angry and disappointed. I did not like the trite treatment of race; I did not like the huge cast of greedy characters who cared more about the menu than the death among them.


    Any additional comments?

    I won't be fooled again. This is most certainly the worst "read" I have had on audible.com.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Catch Me: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2221)
    Performance
    (1841)
    Story
    (1851)

    Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes that she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston’s top detective to handle her death investigation. It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle. Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

    Vanessa says: "OK but not her best by a long shot"
    "Excellent mystery thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Catch Me rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was an intricate mystery that captured and sustained my interest. It was sufficiently plausible that I did not feel that the author cut corners or courted incredulity.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Catch Me?

    I think that the idea that it seems inevitable that you will die on a certain date -- by murder -- is intriguing. How does one cope? How does one gain credibility with the police?


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    She has a very effective voice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It enthralled me.


    Any additional comments?

    I plan to listen to the other books in this series; this is the first one I heard but it's not the first in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Professor

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Cathy Perkins
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Someone is murdering women on college campuses. Agent Mick O'Shaughnessy's mission is simple: stop the killer. Following every lead, he meets Meg, the faculty advisor for one of the victims, who can help him track the killer through her campus connections.

    Jeanneais says: "This is a great book"
    "The professor has a member..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Cathy Perkins and/or Dina Pearlman?

    No, I don't think so. Dina Pearlman is a good reader and I would try something she's narrating by another author.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Cathy Perkins again?

    Probably not.


    What does Dina Pearlman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She has a clear, nuanced voice that conveys emotional range.


    What character would you cut from The Professor?

    The professor's member! I am not a prude but this little character had an enormous role. The author has lovingly described all of his throbbing, trembling, tumescence, his turgid tumidity and his tingling thumps of titillation.


    Any additional comments?

    At points, this narrative simply became ludicrous and I almost enjoyed its crazy predictability and cliches. But it's too juvenile to please a quasi-serious listener.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Peter Lovesey
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Widowed van driver Bob Naylor is prodded into joining the Chichester Writers' Circle by his teenage daughter. Bob writes limericks and jingles, and fears he will be out of his class amongst the literati. But the members of the circle come from all walks of life and practice many forms of writing, from fantasy to household hints. There seems to be nothing about any of them to incite a serial killer. However, there is an arsonist in their midst, burning his victims to death, and Bob becomes a suspect.

    June says: "Interesting plot"
    "Nice mystery--witty and a bit old-fashioned."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Circle?

    I liked the dry, sardonic wit with which Lovesey writes. His characters may sometimes be caricatures but rather deliciously so. Bob Naylor, one of the primary characters, is particularly effective.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Circle?

    I liked the illustration of aspiring authors and their sad franticness.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    He has an excellent voice--I love British accents.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I carefully allocate my Audible reads to when I am working out at the gym. This one motivated me to work out longer, which is always a plus.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a rather old-fashioned lover of the Golden Age of Mystery novels. I believe that Lovesey writes in that style. I will be buying more of his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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