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Aaron P. Lazar

mystery writer

Geneseo, New York, United States | Member Since 2010

32
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 63 ratings
  • 196 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Proof

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Dick Francis
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    With this New York Times best seller, Dick Francis creates an intoxicating blend of the good life, fast horses, and nail-biting suspense. After a shattering accident plunges a society soiree into chaos, an unassuming wine merchant is left with the bitter aftertaste of suspicion and fear. While catering an outdoor party for a prominent horse trainer, Tony Beach hears rumors of inferior whisky being sold under premium labels.

    Jane says: "Typical formulaic mystery. I wasn’t pulled in."
    "A poignant, thrilling, lovely British mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I already have! Just wrote a blog piece about how incredibly wonderful these Simon Prebble narrations of Dick Francis's books are! I am so in love, or should I say, falling in love all over again with these stories. I have been totally entranced, and often want to prolong my morning walk so I can listen further. ;o)


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the whole background them of wine and whiskey, but what completely captivated me was Francis's well-drawn character of Tony Beech, who suffered deeply for many terrible reasons, but who put on a brave face in spite of his losses and insecurities. I found Prebble's interpretation of this character's most inner thoughts to be masterful. I'm still sad that it's all over...


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Tony Beech - by far. Francis portrayed him subtly - yet it was so poignant, and so nicely meshed with the mystery that there was no distraction from suspense or feeling of "why are we going here?" The revelations - beautifully done - were spaced perfectly within the action/mystery.


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

    When Tony Beech, British wine merchant, witnesses a tragic accident during a high-society garden party, he is drawn into a world of treachery and danger with enough twists and turns to satisfy the most gourmet mystery fan.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I could shake Mr. Prebble's hand. He is simply brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Comfort

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ellis Vidler
    • Narrated By April Grace Lowe
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    After she's dumped by her faithless fiancee, Claire Spencer abandons her dreams of a family of her own. Instead, she plots her solo course and settles for a quiet life as an independent Williamsburg shop owner. So how does she become a killer's target? Sometime security consultant Riley, burned out, stung by his ex-wife, and haunted by a young girl he couldn't save, vows never to work with women again. But when a thug tries to kill Claire and she winds up in Riley's arms, his plans go all to hell. Knowing she's in danger, his protective instincts won't let him walk away.

    Monty says: "Thrilling story, gripping narration"
    "A Non-Stop Thrill Ride!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Cold Comfort again? Why?

    I'm saving it in my library and will probably come back to listen to all of Ellis Vidler's book in the future. They are great books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really loved Ben Riley, a man's man. The guy was complex, strong as a bull, and smart. Claire was a good protagonist, but she kept making me mad at her. LOL. She seemed to want to run head long into trouble without thinking about her safety, and I could see why Riley would get frustrated with that. I also loved some of the minor characters like the old geezer who let them come into his cabin (and share his moonshine) after the swamp scene, and even the Senator in the end. All of the characters stood out as very unique and special - I never got confused as to who was who!


    What does April Grace Lowe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    April did a good job differentiating the characters. I liked her male voices, but I felt her female voice was a little too "wobbly" in places. I mean that she made Claire sound afraid more than I would have liked - does that make sense? Overall, though, a great job. (there were several chapters in the end where the edits weren't done correctly - chairs scraping, etc. but I think this was probably an uploading error - wrong chapters? That's why I gave the performance a 4 instead of a 5)


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

    I loved the tense action scenes - and the constant twists and turns. I couldn't wait to get back to the story, especially when things were heating up like crazy in the end of the story! That swamp scene will stay with me for a long time. Wonderful imagery!


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the step by step unraveling of Claire's past life - each revelation was more and more surprising, and I kept rooting for her to find her roots and family. It was a great mystery, great suspense, great thriller, and romance. All in one! Wonderful job, Ms. Vidler!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Haunting Refrain: The McGuire Women

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ellis Vidler
    • Narrated By Jodie Bentley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Suspense, a little romance, a touch of paranormal…Photographer Kate McGuire hopes for a little fun in her life when she joins a parapsychology experiment - visions of murder aren't part of the plan. Then her eccentric friend Venice, a complication all by herself, leaks the story to a reporter, and Kate's life turns upside down. The police don't take her seriously, but the murderer does. Kate's distrust of the press causes her to clash with the one person who can help her - the skeptical reporter who got her into trouble in the first place.

    Aaron P. Lazar says: "Lovely blend of mystery, paranormal, and suspense!"
    "Lovely blend of mystery, paranormal, and suspense!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Haunting Refrain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitely among the top and most entertaining!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Haunting Refrain?

    I love the visions that Kate lived through - very realistic, yet spooky. The element of water/trees was revealed very nicely in the end when the body was found, in a unique and fascinating way. I also loved the scene when she broke into the villain's house, there were some very tense moments!


    Which character – as performed by Jodie Bentley – was your favorite?

    Jodie was outstanding - all of her voices were so unique. I think I particularly loved her Venice voice - that character was written beautifully and she played her well. Kudos to both author and narrator!


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

    Absolutely! But then again, I wanted to savor it, to make it last. So that made it perfect to listen to on morning walks and driving to and from work. Delightful!


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Vidler is a very talented writer, whose prose flows smoothly and whose dialog feels natural and real. I kept wanting the main character, Kate, to get "with it" and use digital photography, since she still developed film in the darkroom, but I thought perhaps the book was written before digital was widely available. I'll forgive Kate that! LOL. But I really enjoyed the tension, the suspense, the local color, the wonderful characters, and the satisfying ending. Thank you, Ms. Vidler, for another great listen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Apart from Love

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Uvi Poznansky
    • Narrated By David Kudler, Heather Jane Hogan
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Secrets, passion, betrayal… Written with passionate conviction, this story is being recorded by two of its characters: Ben, a twenty-seven years old student, and Anita, a plain-spoken, spunky, uneducated redhead, freshly married to Lenny, his aging father. Behind his back, Ben and Anita find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. They take turns using an old tape recorder to express their most intimate thoughts, not realizing at first that their voices are being captured by him.

    Christian Ashley says: "The characters truly come to life"
    "A Literary Masterpiece!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I already have, several times actually. This book is totally out of my usual genre (mysteries/thrillers) and probably falls most squarely in the literary fiction category, but I was completely blown away by its beauty and pathos. The quality of the writing is absolutely top notch, and when that is coupled with two supremely talented narrators, the combination is riveting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the current tense in which the vignettes were told, alternating between Anita and Ben, and the immediacy of the sensations one experiences when listening. The voices are so authentic, the dialog just perfect. I am so in awe of David Kudler's ability to interpret the written word. He is astoundingly good. And Heather Jane Hogan is equally as talented - her Southern accent was impeccable! I've become instant fans of both narrators.


    Which character – as performed by David Kudler and Heather Jane Hogan – was your favorite?

    That's really tough, because I loved Anita, Ben, Lenny, and the three aunts. But I guess if I was forced to choose, I'd pick Anita. She was so honest and real, no pretenses. She'd been through so much. My heart broke for her in many scenes.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    So many moments... but I think one of the most moving was when Ben went to visit his mother in the nursing home. So sad, so heartfelt...


    Any additional comments?

    I really loved this book, and I think it should win lots of literary fiction awards. It's just so powerful. But I didn't like the ending! Too much was left open, and I didn't get that warm, fuzzy feeling I crave. (Okay, so I'm a happy ending kind of guy). I think it could have ended shortly after Ben was kicked out of the house - this might have been a good point if there was not to be a happy ending! Aside from being disappointed that I didn't get to see the characters living happily at the end of the story, this book, its amazing narrators, and the beautiful scenes will stay with me for many years to come.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Time of Death: The McGuire Women, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ellis Vidler
    • Narrated By Teri Schnaubelt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    When artist Alex Jenrette experiences a series of terrifying events, from a near-fatal car crash to a savage abduction, when her drawings implicate her in a brutal murder...will revealing her psychic ability get her deeper in trouble?

    Aaron P. Lazar says: "An Intriguing Suspense You Won't Want to Put Down!"
    "An Intriguing Suspense You Won't Want to Put Down!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Time of Death again? Why?

    Yes, I would. In addition to the great action and suspense, I really loved some of these characters and would like to see them (listen to them) again! Of course I loved the main characters, Alex and Connor, and I was enamored with Isobel, but most of all I loved two minor characters, Jelly Biggs and Jax, the dog. They were just outstanding. Jelly reminded me of an innocent, gentle giant. I really loved him.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Time of Death?

    There were many nail-biting scenes, and all of the villains provided great fodder for lots of chasing and running and heart pounding action. But most of all I loved the scenes between Jelly and Alex - he was just so endearing, in spite of his bumbling ways. ;o) I liked the scene in the dark cottage when Connor and Alex were sitting under the blanket and eating shrimp. There is a very strong "sense of place" in this book, which I always enjoy. ;o) Excellent romantic tension, too.


    What about Teri Schnaubelt’s performance did you like?

    I really liked Teri's performance's on the whole. A few of the voices seemed a tiny bit overplayed, but I sure could never do such a great job differentiating the voices. I loved her Southern accents, especially Isobel's.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The last scene where Alex sat beside Jelly's hospital bed and defended him to the lady detective - loved that. ;o)


    Any additional comments?

    I'm off to listen to more books by Ellis Vidler! Kudos on a job well done.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Favorite Son

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs)
    • By Uvi Poznansky
    • Narrated By David Kudler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    This story is a present day twist on the biblical story of Jacob and his mother Rebecca plotting together against the elderly father Isaac, who is lying on his deathbed, in order to get their hands on the inheritance, and on the power in the family. This is no old fairy tale. Its power is here and now, in each one of us. Listening to Yankle telling his take on events, we understand the bitter rivalry between him and his brother.

    James Dibenedetto says: "Beautiful and Haunting"
    "A Unique and Fascinating Listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Favorite Son rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's very hard for me to place this among my other audio books, which are all either mystery, suspense, or thriller. This is a totally different style of book, so it would have to be looked at as a standalone. That said, this is a superbly produced, high quality piece of work. The story is beautifully written and the narration is top notch.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Although this type of parable-style story set in distant desert lands was completely out of my usual genre, I found it fascinating, and was disappointed when it was over.


    What about David Kudler’s performance did you like?

    I loved the narrator's amazing array of voices. His accents were so well done, I was blown away by his interpretation and acting skills. I will be looking him up to see what else he does in "real life," for he sounded as though he could have done a one man show on Broadway, he was "that" good.


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

    No, but it piqued my curiosity constantly. I loved the twists and turns and symbolic nature of the story and objects highlighted within.


    Any additional comments?

    A surprising gem among books - take a listen!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ring of Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Victoria Howard
    • Narrated By Michelle Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When English accountant Daniel Elliott dies in a car accident one rainy night, his widow, Grace, is overcome with grief... and panic. Daniel was controlling and their marriage loveless, but he always took care of the sheltered Grace. Or so she thought. She soon discovers Daniel kept secrets: an alias, mob ties, a list of numbers, a mysterious beach house in Florida... and a girlfriend who looks like Grace. Swallowing her fear, she flies to Miami to claim the house Daniel left her. But the price of her curiosity is peril.

    Aaron P. Lazar says: "Suspenseful and Riveting!"
    "Suspenseful and Riveting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Ring of Lies?

    The scene painting was outstanding. I felt like I was "in" the scene at all times. I loved the suspense and page turning nature of the story, as well as the characters. Realistic, natural dialog!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ring of Lies?

    The chase in the swamp really grabbed me. Jack and Grace were first driving, then running, through swampy land in a bad storm. Fantastic sense of place, heart-pounding suspense, and a very tender moment between the two.


    What about Michelle Ford’s performance did you like?

    Not only did I fall madly in love with Michelle Ford's voice (English accent), but I loved this poor woman who struggled so hard to believe that all she'd ever known to be truth was a ring of lies. (great title, by the way!) I wanted to protect her and help her, like FBI agent Jack West did!


    Who was the most memorable character of Ring of Lies and why?

    Why, of course, Grace! Or maybe that wonderful couple who helped raise Jack when he was a boy, they ran an inn - I loved them, too. They were folksy and full of charm!


    Any additional comments?

    This book was an easy and enjoyable listen. I didn't want to stop once I started.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets and Lies: A Cassie Scot Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Christine Amsden
    • Narrated By Melissa Reizian Frank
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents' betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn't letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them. To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Book 2 in the Cassie Scot series.

    K. April Holgate says: "Gimmie the next book, ASAP!!!"
    "This Unrequited Love is Killing Me!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Secrets and Lies the most enjoyable?

    While the mystery and action scenes are most enjoyable in this second book of the series, Ms. Amsden has a unique talent for painting relationships, especially for describing those in turmoil. I must say, there was a great deal of arguing and so much misunderstanding, sometimes I just wanted to knock some sense into Cassie and her dark, mysterious love, Evan. In spite of my impatience with their constant friction and lack of communication, it probably reflects today's society more than I'd like to admit. After all, these are just kids (21). I yelled at them frequently, trying to get them to talk to each other.

    And what's with the big family feud between their parents? What really happened in the hospital in that 24 hour period when Cassie and Even were born only one day apart? Could it be true? (no spoilers here)

    I also loved the twists and turns and new mysteries that were revealed throughout the story and was VERY relieved with one outcome about two victims who I was really upset about initially, but then Ms. Amsden redeemed herself (just kidding about the redemption, but I'm trying not to spoil the story line here, and when you read or listen to it, you'll know exactly what I mean!).

    The fire in the barn was too realistic, made me shudder! Very well done! And the scenes in the haunted cabin felt real/creepy to this listener. Great fun.

    Most of all, I felt impatient with Cassie for not forgiving her mother when she was in the hospital. She should have dropped that darned attitude, forgotten about past problems, and just run to her mom's side! (See? I was totally pulled in and the story seemed so real, once again I was yelling at Cassie! LOL) Thankfully, she finally did the right thing and that was most satisfying, especially the scene where she learned more about her mom's history than we'd ever expected!

    I was very unhappy with the ending, though, because I am a happy ending guy who wants everything resolved NOW. I guess we will just have to follow these two kids onto books three and four and see if they can finally get together! (can't wait for the next book, seriously)

    All in all this was an enjoyable listen with great mysterious and romantic overtones - recommended as the second listen in the series. (best read/listened to in order of release date)


    What other book might you compare Secrets and Lies to and why?

    This book is the sequel to book one in the Cassie Scot series, and was a consistent, smooth follow-on story.


    What about Melissa Reizian Frank’s performance did you like?

    Ms. Reizian is a reliable, talented narrator who keeps voices consistent and does so from book to book, which is important. Her deeper tones allow her to do the male voices very believably and also to differentiate all characters.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when Cassie finally went to her family in the hospital and then to her mother's side.


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Amsden's writing is polished and smooth, without a hitch. It takes years to develop such a skill, to be able to "write like you talk" so that the reader isn't pulled out of the story with artificial snobbery or words characters wouldn't use. I love reading/listening to a story that moves forward so effortlessly, yet tells such a compelling tale! Kudos!

    Looking forward to the next in the series!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crescendo

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Deborah J Ledford
    • Narrated By Christina Cox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    As the only female Native American officer on the Bryson City, North Carolina police force, Inola Walela, must always play her A game. Allbets are off when during a routine traffic stop the passenger insists her sonhas been kidnapped but is struck by a car before Inola can glean any hardfacts. An altercation ensues and Inola's partner is felled by a bullet-possiblyfrom her gun.

    Tim says: "Cut Through the Chase"
    "Inola Comes Alive in this Narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Crescendo rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would say this book sits comfortably within the top 15% of all books I've listened to this year. It's professionally done, with a lovely narrator who seems to really understand the main character and her complex personality. I really loved her voices and could distinctly tell the difference between Inola, Stephen, Elise, and all the others. Even the little four year old boy (Brandon) was wonderfully portrayed!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Absolutely! Even though I'd read the book last year, I was still completely captivated, rooting Inola Walela on, yelling at her or the others to look behind them or hurry up, and worried about that little boy and Inola's grandmother.


    Which character – as performed by Christina Cox – was your favorite?

    Now that is a very tough decision. I loved so many of them, even the minor characters like Stephen's mother and sister, and Cody, who died within the first few pages. Of course, Inola is wonderful (she's the star!), but I sometimes got mad at her for not telling Stephen what she needed to tell him - for not trusting him to love her no matter what happened, and for not sharing her activities with him! But that's Inola, she is so independent!


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

    No - I wanted to savor it for a few hours each day. I didn't want it to end too soon!


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Ledford has a smooth and engaging writing style that captivated me from her very first book. I'm glad to hear she is writing another book in this series!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (608)
    Performance
    (388)
    Story
    (387)

    Flavia de Luce is a dangerously brilliant 11-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders. This time, Flavia finds herself untangling two deaths—separated by time but linked by the unlikeliest of threads.

    L says: "delightful!"
    "I'm Completely Hooked!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag again? Why?

    Absolutely. I plan to re-listen to these books just like I listen over and over again to John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series. Jayne Entwistle brings the series alive; I absolutely adore her voices and characterizations.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the first book, but I think this one was even better, if that's possible. I loved the strange and brilliantly described characters, such as Rupert, Mad Meg, the grieving mother, and the bizarre scenes in the dovecote (which I'd never heard of before!), the amazing details of the village, villagers, and times in history. The whole thing is just pure delight.


    Which character – as performed by Jayne Entwistle – was your favorite?

    Mad Meg's voice was wonderful. Of course Flavia's got to be everyone's favorite, but these featured characters are tops. I love the accent she uses for both Meg and the cook!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes - when Flavia found the mother in the dovecote holding a vigil for her poor son... great scene.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope Mr. Bradley is writing fast. ;o)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sticks and Scones

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Diane Mott Davidson
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    Catering Elizabethan fare to Aspen Meadow’s elite at an authentic castle brought from England is a dream come true for Goldy. But the day of the luncheon, Goldy is rudely awakened by a shotgun blast through her living room window. As the day goes on, she finds a murder victim floating in a stream on castle property, watches someone close to her get shot, and begins to see the ghost that haunts the castle. Instead of a welcome opportunity, this job has suddenly become a waking nightmare.

    Aaron P. Lazar says: "A Delightful Listen!"
    "A Delightful Listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Sticks and Scones in three words, what would they be?

    A delightful mystery. (that's not fair, I have so much more to say, LOL)


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sticks and Scones?

    There were so many great scenes, but I really loved the last scene where Goldy is running from her assailant and ends up jumping in the moat, then slogging through the snow to find help. Great action!


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

    No, but I must say this woman has a great deal of talent! Her accents were outstanding, her voices all different, I absolutely loved her voice and interpretations. I loved the accent she used for Suki (sp?), the wife of the castle owner.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Tom and Goldy finally talked about the elephant in the room - Tom's old girlfriend.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first Goldy Schultz mystery, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't care for the recipes, however, since they seemed very unhealthy and fattening! Made me want to go off my diet, which is bad for a diabetic, LOL. But it was fun cooking alongside Goldy, regardless. ;o)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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