You no longer follow Toby

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Toby

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Toby

Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.

Portsmouth, NH, United States | Member Since 2014

132
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 78 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
10

  • Mystery Man

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Colin Bateman
    • Narrated By Stephen Armstrong
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    He’s the Man With No Name and the owner of No Alibis, a mystery bookshop in Belfast. But when a detective agency next door goes bust, the agency’s clients start calling into his shop asking him to solve their cases. It’s not as if there’s any danger involved. It’s an easy way to sell books to his gullible customers and Alison, the beautiful girl in the jewellery shop across the road, will surely be impressed. Except she’s not – because she can see the bigger picture.

    Toby says: "Mystery, humor & literary nuances - GREAT"
    "Mystery, humor & literary nuances - GREAT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Mystery Man?

    The wry, black humor was enticing as well as the author's knowledge of mysteries in general. I love how unique it was and the witty prose.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That I was never bored and continually entertained.


    What about Stephen Armstrong’s performance did you like?

    He was a most engaging reader and I loved the Irish lilt. Very easy to listen to and the articulation great. He didn't "overdo" it as some readers do. I could listen to him for hours on end.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Murder is the business of this mystery bookshop.


    Any additional comments?

    It is not often one encounters a truly amusing mystery that is contemporary and draws on history. This novel did both. I have bought one of his books before and now shall buy more. The author reminds me a bit of David Lodge and Tom Sharpe. I really applaud this author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ex-Wives

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Deborah Moggach
    • Narrated By Diana Bishop
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Meet Buffy. With three ex-wives, a failing career and only his dog, George, for company, Buffy's bachelorhood is looking worryingly confirmed. Until he meets Celeste. Dazzled by love, Buffy has no idea that Celeste is systematically researching his ex-wives, children, and step-children, and unearthing secrets that will change all their lives.

    Toby says: "Curiously intriguing tale of modern day society"
    "Curiously intriguing tale of modern day society"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would, but would suggest they read this one before the Heartbreak Hotel. I read in reverse order.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ex-Wives?

    Impossible to name just one. I liked the scenes with Poppy in the pharmacy and Buffy looking the window at Harrod;s.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I cannot name just one. This question is annoying.


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

    Again, you expect absolutes. No, I did not cry. Yes, I laughed. Yes, I was nostalgic and melancholy.


    Any additional comments?

    It might be helpful if your review questions were not to one or the other or so black and white. We're talking about literature here, not some stupid TV show with lists, etc. Thank you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our Lady of Pain

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Elena Forbes
    • Narrated By Ric Jerrom
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    ''He saw the body of the naked woman. She was kneeling down in the snow, head bent right over touching the ground. He felt cold just to look at her.' The young woman was Rachel Tenison, a wealthy art dealer, who led what appeared to be a normal, fulfilled life. But as DI Mark Tartaglia and DS Sam Donovan scratch away at the surface, a darker, secret side emerges. Then a tip-off sends their investigation spinning in an entirely different direction.

    Emma says: "Good, solid, mystery"
    "Held my interest all the way until the ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Our Lady of Pain again? Why?

    Yes, I am almost finished with the third one and have bought the next one. Someone in a review compared her to Donna Leon. Yes, in some ways this is true. In others not, but it does not matter. I love a mystery with strong characterization and sense of place.


    What other book might you compare Our Lady of Pain to and why?

    Perhaps a Donna Leon, but I do not like to think this way. It seems artificial and counterproductive.


    What about Ric Jerrom’s performance did you like?

    I mostly like all of it with one tiny complaint. I wish his voice level would not go up so loudly at times and then I must turn the volume down to not wake my spouse and then it goes back to normal and I have to turn it up again. Consistency would be good. This is normal for most USA books, which is why I buy so very few. I haven't found this to be a problem with UK books before now. But, basically, he is really good


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I never answer this question as it is too lame.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope the author continues to write and that I will have more than the four currently now available. I adore the characters and scenes. Modernity with acute social commentary. Such a worthy series that is also a great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Capture the Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dodie Smith
    • Narrated By Jenny Agutter
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (287)

    "I write this sitting at the kitchen sink" is the first line of a novel about love, sibling rivalry, and a bohemian existence in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Cassandra Mortmin's journal records her fadingly glamorous stepmother, her beautiful, wistful older sister, and the man to whom they owe both their isolation and poverty: Father. The author of one experimental novel, and a minor cause celebre, he has since suffered from writer's block and is determined to drag his family down with him.

    Matthew says: "Well, that was a surprise"
    "Charming. Perhaps the original chick lit?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would. I do not care for the term "chick lit" but if we must put it into an elevated grouping, this book would suit nicely. The plot and characterizations are beyond excellent.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The pace, the exquisite prose, the tensions, the little moments. Quite simply, everything. I did not want this book to end.


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

    As I cannot read print due to partial blindness, I cannot say. I did think this reader was exemplary and did a fantastic job with pacing and voices.


    If you could rename I Capture the Castle, what would you call it?

    I would not rename it as the title is perfect. Why would I want to rename it? This is a bit of a silly question, isn't it?


    Any additional comments?

    Probably a one off kind of book as I cannot think of any others that come close. Such a really fine read - meaty yet whimsical. Quite simply, perfect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • C'est Modnifique!: Adventures of an English Grump in Rural France

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ian Moore
    • Narrated By Ian Moore
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    After six years in the idyllic Loire Valley, comedian Ian Moore, his family, and his ever-expanding menagerie are beginning to feel like they're on the cusp of the peace and tranquility they hoped for when they moved from dreary Crawley to la belle France. Their grand project, a writing school called Les Champs Créatifs, is finally complete - only, nobody's signed up.

    Toby says: "Ian Moore writes and read this - so special!"
    "Ian Moore writes and read this - so special!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of C'est Modnifique! to be better than the print version?

    How would I know? I am visually impaired and can only listen to books.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The gentle humor and compassion for animals and human beings. I also loved the details about living in rural France.


    Have you listened to any of Ian Moore’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I have listened to his first book, a La Mod ... that is also very good. I suppose I would say this may be a tad bit better, but again -- who can say? Because I've read the first book and read his blog posts, I feel as if I almost know him and his family.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I do not answer these type of questions as I find it irrelevant. I also almost never, ever go to see a film of a book I have read. They are never good.


    Any additional comments?

    Ian Moore's reading of this book lends it a very special touch. Not many authors can read their own books well. Perhaps because he is a comic, he can do it. It is such an easy and natural reading, that I feel as if I am there with him, nodding and laughing or crying a bit. I love his gently humanity. An intelligent humorist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Want You Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Peter James
    • Narrated By Daniel Weyman
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    In Peter James' Want You Dead, 30-year-old Red Cameron meets handsome, charming and rich 35-year-old Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, and is instantly attracted to him. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past begins to emerge, and with it his dark side. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror. Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life.

    Toby says: "A perfect Roy Grace mystery"
    "A perfect Roy Grace mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Want You Dead the most enjoyable?

    No doubt partly it is because I have read every book in this series. This new one is even better than I had expected. A sure page turner.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Want You Dead?

    I liked Grace's pre-wedding dream and then the wedding itself.
    Also liked the inner conversations of Red.


    Have you listened to any of Daniel Weyman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    If it is the same as earlier Peter James books, then yes. Very good.


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

    I was spell bound and could not figure out what would happen next always, so this is good as in most the plot is too simplistic. Not the case with how James presents the work.


    Any additional comments?

    I especially like that it is set in Brighton. The descriptive prose lives up to my expectations. You do want to get to know these characters more and more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • They Found Him Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Ulli Birvé
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    The sixtieth birthday party of Silas Kane was marred by argument and dissension among his family. And then, the morning after the celebrations, Kane is found dead at the foot of a cliff. The theory that Silas accidentally lost his way in the fog is confirmed when the coroner returns a verdict of death by misadventure. But then Kane's nephew and heir is murdered and threats are made on the next in line to the fortune, throwing a new and sinister light on Kane's death. All clues point to an elderly lady of eighty as the killer.

    Toby says: "Heyer's classic mysteries are ripe & delicious"
    "Heyer's classic mysteries are ripe & delicious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. For any fan of the classic Golden Age mystery, this is great. I am actually rereading them. Witty, clever plot and likable and despicable characters.


    What other book might you compare They Found Him Dead to and why?

    I suppose all of hers are similar in that they follow traditional mystery lines and I like this.


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

    A wonderful reader. Just perfect. Brings the story to life.


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

    It made me laugh as I enjoy truly witty dialogue and plot twists. This book has both.


    Any additional comments?

    A most delightful read. If only the good Ms. Heyer had written more mysteries and less romances. Those are okay, but the mystery books are far superior.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Out of the Past: Miss Silver, Book 23

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Patricia Wentworth
    • Narrated By Diana Bishop
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    James and Carmona Hardwick are spending the summer playing host to numerous friends and relatives in an old Hardwick family residence by the sea. The arrival of Alan Field, a devastatingly handsome though shady figure from Carmona's past, destroys the holiday atmosphere in the old house and replaces it with a mounting tension, culminating in murder. Fortunately, Miss Silver is present to unravel the complex mystery and seek out the murderer amongst them.

    Toby says: "Wentworth classics never disappioint"
    "Wentworth classics never disappioint"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Out of the Past?

    I love most all things in the Wentworth mysteries. Miss Silver, most certainly!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Out of the Past?

    Cannot define just one. Love the interactions between the lovers/friends. Wentworth is an expert at dialogue. A master.


    Have you listened to any of Diana Bishop’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I have listened to Ms. Bishop many times. She is good in that she does not over-act and keep raising her voice. Who wants to hear shouting in an audible book?


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

    Mostly. I read all of Wentworth long ago when I was still able to read a proper, print book, before my eyes went wonky.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd say Wentworth is one of those amazing ladies of the Cozy Mystery/Tea Cake Ladies genre. I wish we had some NOW.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • From Notting Hill with Four Weddings...Actually

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ali McNamara
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Movie addict Scarlett O'Brien is finally living the jet-setting life she's dreamed of - but it all hangs by a shiny, golden thread. Flying between London and New York, running two businesses, planning her wedding to handsome fiancé, Sean, with best friends Oscar and Maddie - life couldn't be better. But then Scarlett meets paparazzi darling, Gabriella Romero, and life suddenly becomes even more extravagant and glamorous.

    Toby says: "Not as enjoyable as the real movies"
    "Not as enjoyable as the real movies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Ali McNamara and/or Finty Williams?

    No, I think not. Yet, I did like the reader. I feel as if McNamara might grow up a bit.


    Would you recommend From Notting Hill with Four Weddings...Actually to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. I finished it because I was hoping for a twist. It is pretty darn shallow.


    What aspect of Finty Williams’s performance would you have changed?

    The reader was pretty good. It is not her fault she was given such lines.


    Could you see From Notting Hill with Four Weddings...Actually being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The premise led one to believe the book would have some depth, but it did not. This would be okay if the book held some huge humor or sardonic commentary or even a message. God forbid! The only reason I finished this book is that I was ill and in bed and had no other options. I thought the characters were beyond believable. Some, in fact, were simply as boring as if I were watching some lame tv show. Which I never do.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Murder on Cue

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jane Dentinger
    • Narrated By Jane Dentinger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In the first book of the Jocelyn O'Roarke series, when a Broadway show’s lead actress is murdered, her understudy must race to find the killer before it’s too late. Struggling actress Jocelyn "Josh" O’Roarke just got a real offer. Well, something resembling a real offer. Her old friend Austin Frost has written a play for Broadway and cast the glamorous Harriet Weldon as the lead. Not wishing to leave his old friend Josh behind, he has invited her to be Harriet’s understudy.

    Toby says: "A welcome entry into the charmed NYC theatre world"
    "A welcome entry into the charmed NYC theatre world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Murder on Cue rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I cannot rank all the books I have listened to, as it would be comparing apples to oranges. In the genre of cozy mysteries, I would rank this quite high.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    As I lived in NYC, in close proximity to the sight of Jocelyn's apartment, this was much about nostalgia. I can attest that her descriptions and sense of place are spot on. Also, I love that Jocelyn is a smart character, not some lame stereotypical woman.


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

    I think she reads her own prose very well. I was engaged and have since purchased two more in the series.


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

    No, not that sort of book. It was a gentle, sweet read. I read it in two days. `


    Any additional comments?

    I am very happy that Audible has made this series from the 80s/early 90s available on audible format. Now, get me Barbara Pym!
    I think that this Jane Dentinger series is pretty much timeless. The author's wit and dry humor resonate. She is a compelling character and good read. Bravo!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shopaholic to the Stars: Shopaholic, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (143)

    Becky and her two-year-old daughter, Minnie, have relocated to L.A. to join her husband, Luke, who is there to handle PR for famous actress Sage Seymour. Becky can't wait to start living the A-list lifestyle, complete with celebrity sightings, yoga retreats, and shopping trips to Rodeo Drive. But she really hopes to become a personal stylist - Sage's personal stylist - if only Luke would set up an introduction.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Cliffhanger!"
    "A generally good read with some laughs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Shopaholic to the Stars?

    I mostly enjoyed this book, but having read all of her previous Shopaholic and other novels was a bit let down by the ending. Not much was resolved and this may have been intentional. Still, it could have been done so with a bit more information.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Becky, I suppose. I would have enjoyed ore of Sooz and the other other characters. Shopaholic and Sister was so ripe with rich characters. This may have spoiled me. However, as satire of Hollywood and american shallowness, this is pretty right on as the characters are exactly that.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    No.


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

    No. I had been overly anticipating the new one. I think this book could have been much better if it had gone on for a few more chapters, "to sort things out a bit more."


    Any additional comments?

    The character of Eleanor was ripe for expanding and this did not happen. Also, Minnie was a bit stereotypical and not particularly lovable. I also felt the reader/presenter was too gushy and the variations in sound level annoying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.