Maeve Binchy did it again by writing another heartwarming tale about the staff and patients of a Dublin heart clinic. As always, many of the characters from previous books are back to take us along on another part of their journey. The narration is, to my ears, perfect. Maureen O'Brien makes a gallery of characters come alive with her beautiful, rich voice.
It is always pure pleasure to spend time with Maeve Binchy and all her friends.
I'm usually not very fond of mysteries that are set around a holiday because too often things seem to be forced made to fit into that particular setting. Rhys Bowen has convinced me that it can be done and well done. The story flows and the holiday setting just make details and descriptions of Georgie's surrounding more interesting and genuine. We are treated to a traditional English Christmas with the carroling, the Yule log and the plum pudding. You'll want to change the menu for next year's celebration.
The characters continue to be explored and they grow. Georgie is not the same shy and awkward girl we met in Her Royal Spyness. She's less clumsy and isn't afraid anymore to speak her mind and get her point across. Darcy, Georgie's mother and grandfather are along for the ride and we are treated to just enough of the detestable Fig's antics and criticisms. The mystery is well done and quite complex. It will keep you guessing and has plenty of red herrings to make you think you are getting ahead of what the characters have managed to understand.
As always, Katherine Kellgren narration is flawless. All her characters are distinct and have appropriate accents without ever being made into caricatures. I could listen to her for hours and hours.
My only criticism is that Belinda, Georgie's best friend, was sorely missed. Hopefully, she'll be back next time.
I won't really comment on the story and the writing. The story is too well known and Charles Dickens as a marvelous author needs no presentation.
Let's talk about the narration. What a great idea, pairing Tim Curry's talent with this classic Christmas tale! His voice is rich and his voicing of the characters superb. It's a real treat. Candy for the ears and a story that never gets old.
Many consider the Moonstone to be the first detective novel ever written. And it's, in my opinion, one of the best. The plot is riveting, the story full of surprises. Even when Collins seems to be losing his way in a subplot, he always manage to enrich the main mystery: what happened to the Moonstone, a huge diamond discovered in India and sent to a young woman from her uncle. Almost as soon as she comes into possession of this magnificient jewel, it mysteriously disappears. What happened to the Moonstone, who took it, why and how? The how is especially puzzling. One thing is for sure, you will be entertained all the way to the final solution to this puzzle. It's a must read for true mystery fans.
The narration done by Peter Jeffrey is first class. I could listen to him telling stories all day long. Enjoy!
I don't want to say too much about the plot, it was such a thrill reading this book in the first place many years ago and I don't want to spoil it for anyone. For me, this book is without a doubt one of the top 5 best Christie books. It's set in Ancient Egypt and at first, it's a bit unsettling. But soon you realize that, in spite of the exotic setting and the unfamiliar first names, it's a classic Christie intimate family murder mystery. And Christie proves that she doesn't need Poirot or Miss marple to make a complex and fascinating story. The characters and the situations still resonated with today's realities: petty jealousy, selfishness, greed - all part of human nature and too often found in so-called loving families. You will soon forget that it's Ancient Egypt although Christie added plenty of historical tidbits and facts about the people of that time period and particular place that never feel patronizing. Christie knows how to inform and respects her readers intelligence. Christie, whose second husband was famous archeologist Max Mallowan, clearly loves archeology and communicates that love to her readers never better than in this book. (Also in Murder in Mesopotamia, a close second to Death Comes At the End).
The plot starts rather slowly as Christie takes her time leading her readers in that setting and developing her characters and exposing their complex relationships, their quarrels, their jealousies, their greed and hidden agenda. As a mystery, it's every bit as good and even better than what her readers come to expect of Agatha Christie.
Emilia Fox does an excellent job narrating this story and giving life and individuality to each character. In my opinion, apart from David Suchet, in a category all by himself, she's the best Christie narrator and I had the pleasure of listening in Destination Unknown, The Man in the Brown Suit, They Came to Baghdad and The Seven Dial Mystery. All of which I strongly recommend.
Miss Pettigrew lives for a day is a jewel of a novel. You follow the adventures of Miss Pettigrew, middle-aged spinster and unemployed children governess, as she is swept up into the world of Delicia LaFosse for a day. Because of mix up at the employment agency, Miss Pettigrew is sent by mistake to the appartment of Miss Delicia LaFosse a young singer and aspiring actress who is in fact in need of a maid. From the first moment these two women, who cannot be more different from each other, meet, we are taking for a delightful ride as Miss Lafosse juggles her 3 lovers and Miss Pettigrew sheds years of inhibitions and strict religious upbringing to help her young new friend prevent those men from learning about each others. Along the way, Miss Pettigrew will discover within herself qualities and ressources within herself so far unknown and untapped. She will also meet a whole cast of characters that both shock her and ultimately delight her and allow Delicia to understand her own heart. Along the way, Miss Pettigrew will meet a cast of colorful characters that will shock and ultimately delight her. The events will forever change her way to see life and her perception of herself. All this in a single day. The book was both written and set in the late 1930s and captured admiredly the zeitgeist. This charming comedy cannot fail to enchant, entertain and delight!
Frances McDormand (who happens to play the title character in the 2008 movie) does a wonderful job of bringing to life these two incredible women and the people surrounding them. Her narration is lively and colorful, never a dull moment or a dull sentence. Her words flow and enliven this beautiful story. I cannot imagine a more perfect choice for the narration of this book. I certainly hope to listen to her voice again and again, telling this story and many others.
Diane Mott Davidson has written a strong debut to her now very popular Goldy Schultz culinary mystery. All the ingredients are there for a solid mystery and the food and recipes mouthwatering and to die for. As always, Barbara Rosenblat is a fantastic narrator (I have several of her narrations), very versatile and she knows how to create tridimensional character with her talent for accents and her knack to create personalities.
As my first experience reading a mystery by Ngaio Marsh, I was pleased to see that it was indeed a nice classic detective story from the Golden Age of the genre. My only disappointment was that I was able to point out the murderer too early. I hope that in the future, Ms. Marsh will fool me for a while longer.
Michael Pollan has again written a fantastic book. If you think a book about plants would be dull and tedious, think again! This book is nothing if not a fascinating journey about our relationship with plants and how they affect, enrich and sometimes reveal the best and the worst in ourselves.
Scott Brick performance is spot on. He knows when to bring it by injecting the right note, the right emotion in his voice and he also knows how to let the words speak and move us by themselves. I will certainly be looking forward to listening Scott Brick performing with other books.
This book will not disappoint. Michael Pollan knows how to make learning about a somewhat serious subject come alive. It's as much fun as you can have learning. I also highly recommend that you read his other books, especially those about food (A Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma).
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