Wanting a change from my preferred genre, I found Ms. Malliet's 2008 prize-winning debut of a Cozy Mystery set in modern times, captivating. I've always enjoyed some Agatha Christie, but find this G. M. Malliet mystery even more to my liking.
There are so many characters it's hard to keep up with them all. In the beginning I found it helped to write down the main characters names, to keep from getting confused.
There's the Patriarch: Sir Adrian
His eldest son: Ruthven (called Riven) and his wife Lillian
His second son: George and his girl friend Natassia
His third son: Albert
His Daughter: Sarah
His Ex-Wife: Cloe
Detective Chief Inspector St. Just and Detective Sergeant Fear
Other characters of Sir Adrian's household are:
Housekeeper: Mrs. Romano and her son Paolo
Literature Secretary: Jeffery (an American, trying to act like an Englishman)
and others who were questioned after MURDER at the house party in the Cambridgeshire mansion.
There's many twists and turns, and the identity of the murderer is quite a surprise.
I don't like to give too much away, because I do not like to have a book ruined by someone wanting to do a summary of the entire book, but hope to make your listening more pleasurable by having the characters in mind.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to "Death of a Cozy Writer" performed by undoubtedly one of the best narrators I've listen to.
I highly recommend it-- if you like Agatha Christie type books, you'll enjoy listening to this one.
"Married By Midnight" is an effortless read, lacking in emotional stimulation.
Lord Garrett, the illegitimate youngest son a Duke, returns home after 7 years to fulfill the requirements of the Dukes latest will; that all his sons must marry before Christmas or lose their inheritance. The old Duke, developing mental disease, believes a curse will destroy the castle unless all his sons are married before midnight on Christmas eve.
Lord Garrett has no wish to marry, so his two older brothers find him a wife that will be a wife in name only. After their marriage, they will each go their separate ways. Afraid of being married off to some old lecher, ruined Lady Anne, disowned by her family, with no money and no prospects welcomes the opportunity to live independently on the money she will receive for marrying Lord Garrett, although they have never met.
"Married By Midnight" does not live up to what I expect from Julianne MacLean.
The widowed Mrs. Pollifax , bored with retirement, becomes a courier for the FBI. In "The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax" she is sent to Istanbul to meet with a defecting Russian double agent, carrying a passport and money to give her so she can fly to the the US for sanction.
If you have read or heard any of Mrs. Pollifax books you know nothing is that simple, nothing ever goes as planned. She can get into and out of situations that have you laughing out loud. In "The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax", Mrs. Polifax keeps losing the agent she came to help and finding her again. The ruthless kidnappers are relentless in their pursuit, and just when Mrs. Polifax believes they have escaped, they are caught again.
The bodyguard sent with her for protection is killed, and she does not return to the Hotel, so no-one knows where she is, as she sets out to accomplish the job she was hired to do. Only Mrs. Polifax would hold a room of people at bay with a wooden gun, as she and her new friend rescue the "Agent" from the kidnappers.
I highly recommend Mrs. Pollifax books if you are in the mood for a little intrigue and humor.
I suggest reading the first book "The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax" before reading any others.
Barbara Rosenblat is a very talented narrator.I enjoyed her performance very much.
I didn't want to stop listening to it, but because of the length of the story, I had to break it up. It was a little confusing in the beginning with so many characters being introduced all at once. But soon, under the expert pen of Patricia Ryan, each character took on their personal identities. The hero, Tom Proctor, an ex-crime reporter, is hired to write the tell-all Bio of Willow Scott, a movie star, who died before giving him all the details of her life. Willow wants Tom to write the truth about her life, so he needs to do what he does best, investigate.
His research takes him to the small town Willow grew up in, and to the Turner family who took her in after her mother's body is identified as the one found in her small home on Cholra Road. Hanna Scott , a hippie, died Willow's senior year on Halloween.
Ally Turner, our heroine, was Willow's best childhood friend--now EXfriend. Tom came for Willow's funeral in her hometown which was overseen by Dorthy Turner, Ally's mother. Ally's father, Hart Turner, had died in an auto accident the same night Willow ran away from the Turner home. The list of Turner characters are: Ally Turner and her mother, Dorthy, her small dog, Snowball, Ally's younger sister Brook, and Willow's confidant, her older brother Hart JR, who does not make an appearance at the funeral.
There is Vincent Furley, a movie/TV star, and Willow's ex-lover. There's also Hart JR's best friend and local law officer, Ethan, who looks after the Turner ladies. Ethan became Cheif of Police after the alledged suicidal drowning of the late Cheif of Police, although no body was ever found.
Tom wonder's what Ally, who was Willow's best friend through high school, had against Willow, and knows she is hiding something.
Eric G. Dove gave an excellent performance. He does women voices better than other male narrators I've heard. He has a well modulated voice I could listen to all day. I will be looking for books he narrates.
I highly recommend "Pure and Simple".
The beginning of "Echoes of Ancient Dreams" began in modern day Ireland, where Destry, a physician, meets Conner, a professor of ancient Ireland. They were immediately drawn together, and were sent through time together back to the 900's.
A sorcerer was waiting for them.
Although more of a mythical story, it seemed to be written for children -- until the last 30 or so minutes, When they had detailed sex. Destry said, she felt dirty doing it with the children in the room, and that is how it felt listening to it.
I hung in there to the end waiting for something interesting to happen, I'm glad it was only a little over 4 hours long.
I've never read/listened to Kathryn Le Vegue before, but if this is a sample of her writing, I won't be listening to her again. Even the ending left a lot to be desired, you can use your imagine how you want it to end.
Tim Campbell has a nice voice and does accents well. His narration was the best part of the audio.
I was very disappointed.
I really did want to like this book. Mail Order Bride western romances are some of my favorites. But this book lacked substance, not much of a story, yet. After listening 7 hours I see no purpose in the story. Morgan and Jane are likable private individuals. Morgan likes to eat, as do his ranch hands. It goes into detail about what they eat and how they eat it, Jane's ride to and from the ranch, who is seated where in the church. There is so much detail the story (if there is one) is lost.
They talk about rustlers, and someone stays with Jane making sure she does not go outside. The ranch-hands, even Morgan, hang the wash, etc, to keep Jane inside. But no rustlers are encountered, no action taking place. Very little is said about the rustlers in the first 7 hours...actually little is said about anything, other than mundane things, lighting the hard to light cook-stove, cooking, Jane having one of the "hands" buy her a pretty sewing box, she had seen in the mercantile when she was in town, paying for it with her own money, rather than ask Morgan for it. She mends his clothes. The only excitement (if you can call it that) was when Morgan tried to ride a Mustang, and hurt his ankle and ribs.
There has been no romance thus far, even after consummating their marriage. Some of my lack of enjoyment in the story could be the narrator, like Jane and Morgan she is straight forward in her reading of the text; unemotional. Most of Ms Ragan's performance sounds by rote.
There seem to be contradictions from the Prologue to after Jane arrived in Bitter Springs and married. I had to go back and listen to the prologue to see if I was mistake about what transpired between Jane and her cousin, since this was my 4th attempt at listening to "In Want of Wife", but I was remembering right.
I'm too bored now, but maybe I will try once again to listen to "In Want of Wife" and see if any loose ends gets tied up. I would fast forward to the last chapter, but could miss explanations for the contradictions, if there are any.
I see several people enjoyed the book; literature, like food, is certainly up to an individual's taste.
"Compromised" was a light romance from new author Kate Noble. It was a little slow in some spots, but for the most part flows nicely. This story is about the Alton family. The father is in politics and the step-mother is a social climber. They have two daughters. Evangeline, the oldest girl, is blond, petite and a beauty; Gail is tall with not much to recommend her except her wit and her outspoken ideas, which usually gets her into trouble. Sharing a season with her gorgeous sister causes people to ignore Gail, so she is quiet and tries to blend into the background at balls her step-mother forces her to attend.. Her step-mother wants both her step-daughters to get married, but Gail wants nothing to do with it.
Gail's father bought Max's horse's stablemate and gave her to Gail. She encounters Max riding his horse in the park and his horse goes berserk trying to get to Gail's mare. His reins break, and Gail tries to help as his horse comes barreling at her, and they both find themselves thrown from their horses into a lake. She sees him again at her family's ball and throws up on his shoes. Max hopes he never sees Gail again, because she confuses him and blames him for everything that goes wrong.
Max’s father plans to disown him if Max doesn't find a wife in three months, so Max has no choice but to attend the "season's" balls. During the Alton ball, he meets Evangeline in the conservatory and with the moon shining upon her beautiful face Max leans forward and kisses her, and is caught by the Housekeeper. Max feels he has compromised Evangeline and offers to marry her...and everything goes downhill from there.
I enjoyed the witty dialogue between the hero (Max) and heroine (Gail).
Kate Noble is a noteworthy author, and Rosalind Ashford gave an excellent performance -- VERY talented narrator.
Michael Ingram, Marquis of Darfield, prefers to be a recluse, because of his family's past indiscretions, debts, and scandal. Even though he agreed to a betrothal to Abbey, a wealthy merchant-captain's daughter, many years ago, in exchange for paying off his wastrel father's debts, when the time comes to fulfill the contract Michael does not want to marry her.
Abbey had fallen in love with Michael when she was 9 years old when he was aboard her father's merchant ship. She followed him around the ship with her pirate sword at the ready to get his attention, but he ignored her when he could.
Over the years her father regaled her with stories about Michael's love & devotion to her, even giving her periodic reports on him and telling her of his continued devotion to her; giving her gifts supposedly from Michael via her sea captain father. After her father's death, remaining a naive ROMANTIC little girl mentally, she travels to England to marry him, expecting Michael to be in love with her and pining for her, as much as she has pined for him. Although she has not seen him, nor talked to him in 10 years, she has a portrait of him supposedly painted just for her, and her father's romantic stories telling of his unfailing love for her. All he recalls of Abbey is a wild, dirty hellion whom he couldn't stand.
She excused his ignoring her, still dreaming of a grand love...until she learns the truth, that her father had been lying to her all those years, and in reality Michael did not even like her. Michael offered her a way out of the marriage, but Abbey was devastated and confused and having no place to go, she married Michael.
She was so naive, but she was sheltered all her life and she was only nineteen. She had built an image of Michael in her mind and heart of an honorable man who loved her desperately. She had dreamed of their perfect love and marriage built on her father's lies.
Despite his uncaring attitude during the day, she never stopped loving him.
The story includes humor, revenge, shooting, betrayal, murder, sexuality, duels, and unrequited love.
Julie Garwood is a very talented author. I have enjoyed reading most her books, and this one didn't disappoint. How ever good the story, how ever great the characters, it is the talent behind the pen that makes a good book GREAT. Garwood does a wonderful job with character development and dialogue, her descriptive writing makes her stories live. Her writing and Anne Flosnik's narration transports you into the story, it's as if you are watching it unfold.
Set in medieval times, "Honor's Splendour" is about a baron seeking revenge for his sister's rape. He plans to kidnap the sister of his enemy; an eye for an eye--a sister for a sister. It begins when Baron Louddon has Baron Duncan of Wexton, known as "The Wolf", undressed and tied to a post in the middle of winter to freeze to death, so there would be no marks on his body. Madelyne (the sister of his enemy) plans to escape her brothers abuse, but first she feels compelled to save the poor warrior from certain death. Not knowing he is there to kidnap her; she frees him and he captures her. Duncan immediately sees she is nothing like her brother when Madelyne unselfishly helps him and warms his frozen feet with her own body. So, he needs to adjust his plans.
Julie Garwood has a wonderful sense of humor which can be seen in her characters. Like the sweet, naive Lady Madelyne who want to save the world, keeps telling everyone that she is a quiet woman, but she is usually doing it at the top of her lungs....or in trying to cover over her disobedience she will say something like, "I have gone through an ordeal". It is not funny when I relate it, but it is funny and cute when penned by Ms Garwood and narrated by Anne Flosnik. I just love Madelyne's character.
I highly recommend "Honor's Splendour"!
I forced myself to stay awake to finish "Her Secondhand Groom". Although there were some slow periods, for the most part the story flowed smoothly. Ms Gordon is a very talented author.
Widowed Patrick Ramsey,Viscount Drakely, has three little girls who run wild, and he needs a trustworthy governess; better yet, a motherness-- a well educated wife, to not only teach his girls their lessons, but guide them into adulthood.
He gets more than he bargained for when he bargains with one of his tenants, who owed him money for sending one of his daughters to school in London. Patrick Ramsey,Viscount Drakely, offers forgiveness of the debt, if his tenant will agree to give the daughter with the higher education to him as wife. He still has a deep fear of losing people he loves since his wife died at childbirth, so he wasn't looking for a love match, he had loved his first wife, and did not want another. He just wanted someone to care for his girls.
Upon returning home from school, the oldest girl, tall, slim, and awkward with thick spectacles, Juliet Hughes, cares for and plays governess to her 7 siblings. Henrietta, the pretty, curvaceous second oldest daughter, was presumed by the Viscount to be the educated one.
Juliet, knew what was going on, and although he had asked for the hand of the educated daughter, she had no intentions of letting Henrietta pay their father's debt for her education, and she was not interested in marring him, but she was going to teach Viscount Drakely a lesson. A lesson that backfired....
"Her Secondhand Groom" is a well written story, with interesting and believable characters.
The Narrator did well.
The reason I purchased "Tilly" is because I have read and enjoyed other books by M. C. Beaton; plus, the story-line sounded cute. "NOT"--it lacks substance, the characters are odd, and the humor I found in her other books is missing.
I really didn't find anything endearing about "Tilly": it is slow, lacking in character development , and lacks the basics to make it a good read.
Charlotte Anne Dore has the ability to change her voice for the different characters, but in her attempt to make the pitiable leading lady, Tilly, sound like a hoyden, she made her sound mental.
I was very disappointed.
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