The Darling Dahlias are back with a new mystery ... with more than one mystery, as it turns out. In the previous two Dahlia books, Miss Rogers is just the prim and proper spinster librarian who insists that all of the plants be referred to by their proper Latin names. In Confederate Rose, we learn more about Miss Rogers and her past -- a past that not even she knows much about. In the meantime, shenanigans are up in local government, and the Dahlias must band together to save one of their own.
Susan Wittig Albert once again delivers a charming story about folks who are doing the best they can with what they've got during the heart of the Depression. The stories of the Dahlias' friendships, as well as what neighbors do to help neighbors, make the Darling Dahlias series a pleasure.
If you loved the James Herriot series that began with "All Creatures Great and Small," it will be next-to-impossible not to recognize the similarities in this first of the "An Irish Country Doctor" series. Young doctor with a newly minted degree travels to the wilds of Ireland to work for the irascible local country doctor that the community loves...and meets, perhaps, the love of his life. You may also feel ripples of "Ballykissangel" if you are/were a fan of that BBC series. While this is an enjoyable book, and John Keating does a great job with the narration, this novel fell short of "All Creatures..." and "Ballykissangel" for me. It has charm, but lacks the warmth.
This book should come with a warning. If you are traveling with children, you may want to choose another story. The "F bomb" is dropped regularly throughout the story, and in some places very liberally.
All of that being said, I'll buy the next in the series to see if Mr. Taylor warms up to his characters.
Treat yourself to this first in the Royal Spyness series. Lady Georgiana has an independent spirit combined with the spunk that ladies of her day weren't supposed to possess ... and if they did, they were supposed to curb it.
Fun and well-written, Katherine Kellgren's narration is spot on. You won't find your mind wandering and having to back up to relisten to what you missed. I hope you have credits saved, because after your first dose of Royal Spyness, you're going to want more ... and quickly!
As most reviewers, I was sorry to see this series come to an end. Susan Wittig Albert did an excellent job crafting these stories of of the life of Beatrix Potter, blending real events from Ms. Potter's life into the charming mystery tales of Near and Far Sawrey in England's Lake District.
The animals -- farm, wild and fantasy -- are a big part of each Cottage Tale. For the most part I enjoyed that perspective, but there were a couple of times that we seemed to be spending more time with the animals than we were with the people.
Virginia Leishman does an excellent job with the narration. I've looked for other books she has narrated and there are several I will be adding to my library.
Save up your credits! After you listen to Book 1, The Tale of Hilltop Farm, you're going to want the next Tale and the next and the next...
I have been a fan of P.D. James for years, and even enjoyed her stories on the PBS series, "Mystery." I have also been a Jane Austen fan forever, taking a summer to re-read her novels every three or four years. One would think P.D. James carrying on the story of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy would be a riveting tale of murder combined with a heartwarming romance.
Not so much.
At best this story is contrived. The characters are all there, but many of them are not behaving like their old selves. Elizabeth is a side note. Mr. Darcy has lost his strength of character. The investigation is plodding with no clues revealed to the reader. When all is finally revealed at the end of the story, there is no way that even the most dedicated reader of murder mysteries could have figured it out, which is no fun at all.
The narrator, Rosalyn Landor, is easy to listen to, and does a good job with characterizations. Unfortunately, with this particular novel, she didn't have much to work with.
I have to agree with other reviewers: save your credits.
Susan Wittig Albert has a wonderful series going with the Darling Dahlias. Darling, Alabama, could be just about any small town in the U.S., even ones that don't have a local garden club. The Dahlias are easy reads -- or perhaps I should say"listens" in this forum. That doesn't mean, though, that you'll find your mind wandering as you listen. There's always something going on! Peggity Price does an excellent job continuing the Dahlias' story. Her accent and characterization are spot on, while still be easy to understand.
There was one part that I found unrealistic. I won't spoil the story, but it seemed to me that a great deal of information was gained easily with a single phone call to a stranger. It would have been better had the information not come quite so easily.
If you're a lover of the cozy, Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies won't disappoint!
The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree ranks in the upper third of the audiobooks I've listened to so far. I'm happy to see that the second book in the series, The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies, has been added to Audible.
The Darling Dahlias is a cozy series. Although the time period is different, it reminds me of the Laura Childs series, or getting back to the era of The Great Depression, the Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness mystery series, with regard to the tone. They are easy to read and very entertaining. The goal is not to shock the reader with violence and gore, but rather to entertain within a setting of personal interest (scrapbooking, tea, The Depression Era, etc.).
Peggity Price is an excellent reader. She has a good voice that is pleasant to listen to and easy to understand. She gives "character" to the characters!
Not necessarily "moved me," but the mental image of the ladies in the boarding house watching the ghost in the yard of the Dahlias new clubhouse, and the landlord getting out her late daddy's shotgun, is priceless!
If you're looking for social significance or a story with graphic descriptions of violent acts, then cozies are not your cup of tea ... and The Darling Dahlias won't satisfy. If you're looking for a light, fun, entertaining read that incorporates your passion for gardening, The Darling Dahlias will leave you ready for more.
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