I'm so glad Charlotte MacLeod's mysteries are finally available in audio! I first read this story centuries ago - probably shortly after it was published in 1978 - and I've re-read it every few years since.
The story is set at a small, private agricultural college in New England. At the opening, Professor Peter Shandy has finally decided to take his revenge on all the faculty wives who have been after him for years to decorate his small house for the holidays as part of the college's "Grand Illumination". He hires a firm from Boston to put every flashing colored light, plastic Santa & reindeer, and recorded music device he can fit on his house, sets the timer, and takes off on a holiday cruise! He comes back a few days later to find one of the most persistent busy-bodies dead on his living room floor. It's meant to look like an accident but Shandy knows it can't be, and his efforts to figure out what really happened are the basis of the mystery. Along the way we are introduced to some of the people that live in the small college town of Balaclava - and they have more than their fair share of interesting characters!
This is a classic cozy mystery, the first in a series that is well worth reading or listening to. Some elements are rather dated at this point - no cell phones, for example, and some characters have somewhat dated views - but don't let that bother you. Enjoy meeting the residents of Balaclava, and look forward to more of their exploits!
The narrator of this audio is easy to listen to. He doesn't differentiate the character's voices very much, but it's still easy to keep track of what's going on. One irritant, however, is that he mispronounces words every once in a while, and it can be jarring to the ear. For example, he used the word "crochets" (the needlework) rather than "crotchets" (a quirk or eccentricity). But all in all, a great book to listen to!
I'm a huge fan of Charlotte MacLeod, and am enjoying working my way through them once again.
This story has Peter Shandy off on his own most of the time - his wife Helen makes an appearance, but is not central to the story.
John McLain does a fair job of the narration, but his habit of mispronouncing words or names occasionally grates.
I've loved the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews since the beginning, but haven't been able to find most of them in audio. I'm glad to see this one is available, and hope that it means others will follow.
I always enjoy visiting with Meg and her (slightly zany) family and friends. Some Like it Hawk is a worthy addition to the series. Bernadette Dunne does a great job giving life to the characters, and makes it easy to keep track of who is speaking. This is just the thing to take my mind off what I'm doing while I'm at the gym working out!
This is the classic armchair mystery. The primary sleuth, Inspector Grant, is in hospital and looking for something to keep himself amused. In desperation, he turns to historical mysteries and becomes fascinated with the story of Richard III and the Princes in the Tower. Since he can't do his own research, he relies on a young American researcher to do his investigating for him. What could be a story of boring, second-hand historical research is, in fact, quite interesting to anyone who has studied history in school and has wondered how "they" decided what was historically correct. It makes one ask - does what is written in the history books actually make any sense when considering human nature?
The narrator, Derek Jacobi, is a joy to listen to. He uses subtle differences in accent and tone that make it easy to distinguish the "voices" of the characters, which makes it much more interesting for the listener.
I've been a fan of the Mrs. Pollifax books for years, and am delighted that Audible is making them available. This one brings back John Sebastian Farrell - a character that has appeared in several stories. This is a lighthearted romp of a spy story. There is romance, but no sex, and of course the good guys win in the end!
I thoroughly enjoyed this performance - in addition to a main narrator, there are several other actors performing the individual parts. I find it easier to keep track of who is speaking when the voices are distinct. The only disadvantage is that, because this is an unabridged recording, the main narrator has to insert the occasional
This is the first of Charlaine Harris' "Shakespeare" series and, I believe, one of her earliest mysteries. There are none of the supernatural/paranormal elements that you might expect from her better known, more recent, work.
The Shakespeare series is set in a small Southern town and features a young, single "woman with a past" as the main character. Lily Bard moved to Shakespeare after surviving a horrific rape & assault. She started working as a house cleaner and began studying martial arts. Her work as a cleaning lady gives her an interesting perspective on other residents of the town, and her study of martial arts gives her a feeling of being able to control herself and deal with the unexpected. Up until now she has stayed below the radar, but when she unexpectedly finds a dead body she begins to come out of her self-imposed isolation and get a bit more involved.
I enjoy this series, and recommend reading it in publication order so that you can best appreciate the way the characters grow & develop.
The narrator does a good job - just a hint of "Southern" and just enough differentiation between characters so that you can keep track of who is speaking more easily.
The main character, Enola Holmes, is the younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Contrary to the plot summary, she does not work with her brothers on the case of the disappearance of Dr. Watson. In fact, she keeps her activities secret from them - and she does solve the case.
Enola Holmes is a spunky girl, determined to make her way as a detective in Victorian England - despite her brothers' wishes that she be a respectable female. Her mother is a bit of a free spirit, apparently, and is not much help. Enola is, in my opinion at least, rather too focused on her relationship with her mother (very strained - they communicate in code in the personal column of a newspaper) and brothers (they want to send her to a finishing school). Despite that preoccupation, she takes effective action to find the good doctor, and I rather liked her.
Anthony Head does a grand job of narrating this story. This is a must-listen for fans of this series, because this is where Paul Temple meets his future wife, Steve. It's a typical Paul Temple adventure - lots of bodies and nefarious characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Anthony Head narrates this story, and he does a wonderful job with the various characters' voices - it makes it very easy to follow. The story is a typical Paul Temple adventure - lots of dead bodies, kidnappings, and nefarious activities!
For those who always wanted to know "what happened next" after Harriet & Lord Peter's wedding, two of the stories in this collection provide some hints. "The Haunted Policeman" takes place in the wee hours of the night after the birth of their eldest son. "Tallboys" takes place several years later when the family is staying at the farm that figures so prominantly in "Busman's Honeymoon". Together, they provide a limited picture of life for the Wimsey's prior to "Presumption of Death".
The third story, "Striding Folly", isn't one of my favorites and Lord Peter appears only at the very end. While he does provide an answer to the puzzle, it's not a very satisfying one in my opinion.
Still, I recommend this book for all fans of Lord Peter - though I don't think it would be a good place to start the series.
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