I was sooooo skeptical about the first Flavia de Luce - Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I got it on Sale and because it was recommended and the reviews were great. For the first one it took a couple tries to really get into it. I cannot remember why now, but it didn't take long and I was back to buy the rest and wait for more!
I'm still waiting, now for the 6th Flavia de Luce! I even went to Amazon to see if a paper version of the next in the series was available, but Audible kept up with the printed version - this is the latest! I'd rather Jane Enwistle reads it anyway - can't imagine anyone else narrating these books, she is perfect. Flavia is maturing. As any 11 year old would be. She did fabulous, again. There is a cliff hanger at the end of this book, not what you think the ending will be. I wasn't totally surprised by it, the content, as I think somehow Mr. Bradley put something in previous book(s) that very subtely puts the idea into the listeners (readers) mind. No spoiler alerts. As for the cast of characters. I enjoyed them, but for a while I was sort of wondering why we had to know anything about them, things didn't seem to connect - but Mr. Bradley and Flavia tie everything together for a satisfying conclusion! Well done and well read.
Flavia and Gladys are, as usual, all around the village and in the "know". There are more details to everyone's story that are shared with us, i.e. about the Vicar and his wife and others. There is a body, multiple "suspects", organ pipes, jewels, lessons in nature and poisons, etc.
I liked the first book in this series, the village, the characters, etc. they all came together to make for a "cozy" mystery. In this book of the series I was surprised, Father Max knows he's "all that" for most of the story? There were too many times in this book he came off as arrogant and not at all the Father Max of the first book, who was much more charming. It felt like it was someone's first book, a little forced to get points across, characters acting out of character (Max was used to women reacting to his gray eyes, good looks, etc) not smooth. No spoilers, but at one point one of the main characters which really doesn't have much to do with the mystery (but does have to do with part of the story) is all of a sudden popped in and out of the middle of the mystery. Didn't really offer much contribution, I did get the point, but when the character popped back out of the scene just as quickly I was left to wonder what the heck that was about? Like the editor reminded the author that this main character needs to be included? Another impression I got was that the author had this idea for the mystery in the castle, and actually the outcome was surprising and it was a good story - but maybe it just needed a little more time to get the characters to flow a little more together. I'm listening to the third book of the series now, and it's a bit better, but I have to say book one of this series so far was the best, and I'm hoping for better things for the second half of the third book. Overall, if this series keeps up I'm hoping for more of what I saw and I do look forward to reading (listening) to more, because I really do like that all the main characters.
I'm not done with this yet, but Mr. Hall has done it again and listening to Sam Dastor tell another tale of Chubby, Rumpey, Mummy Ji, and the rest of the well known cast is music to my ears. You don't have to start with the first book of the series to enjoy them, but I would recommend you do to get to know the characters.
Chubby's on a diet, but we all know he's cheating. There are mustaches, cricket matches, old friends, old memories... Mummy Ji is going to get the answers before Chubby, I wonder if she will?
In this book the characters are fleshing out even more. You know them by now, but their backstories are getting filled in, but not at the expense of the story. So far the two seem to go hand in hand and I am anxious to find out why and how and who, but not too anxious as there is no fourth book yet!
I read the reviews for this book many times and then I finally bought it during a recent sale. I am so glad I did.
It was very easy to follow the shift between current and past. Well done. To write like that and not get it all muddled or not muddling the reader is an accomplishment. I was surprised at the end. I thought something else was going to be "revealed" but that guess was proven wrong shortly before the end so then I really didn't know. This was the kind of book that you want to keep going. Find out how the characters are and what else happened and happens. The narrator did a great job, perfect voice for this story I thought. I took a break from my usual cozy mysteries for this one and I am sure I'm going to go back for more. It was a pleasure to listen to.
I enjoyed this book, for the most part. The story had enough twists to keep it interesting. So far I'm liking the characters. Can see that it is definitely the beginning of a series, and maybe the authors first published work? Lots of potential and I'm looking forward to the others.
I'm disappointed to see it's the same narrator for the whole series. She has a great voice and I think could have carried the story without trying to "voice" certain emotions/inflections. When she tries to make Abby do a girlie squeal, or make a flirty thought or comment, or get sarcastic - for me she misses the boat entirely. There was one scene between Abby and her sister and I almost shut the book off at that point it sounded so weird. I'm glad I didn't, but still. Hoping the narration grows too. So far I agree with the other reviewers, worth plowing through the awkward narration parts.
Haven't finished listening yet, but it's asking for a review and I can share what I do know. I got this book to listen to with an 11 year old boy. This audio book has had me hooked from the beginning. The two narrators are, in my opinion, perfect for their parts. The story is amazing, it is truly a story. Makes you think that it's all very possible and probable! I didn't read (or listen) to R. R.'s other series - the lightening one. Saw the movie, which I enjoyed, but I think I'm liking this setting in Egyptian myth's and history better! I'm having a hard time not listening when my step-son isn't with me, but I do wait (not patiently). Definitely don't have to be a kid to enjoy this!
I read the reviews and listened to the sample and decided to give it a try. I like series. I'm glad I listened to everyone. The narration is perfect, the story moves right along. The characters are good and by book two (which I'm listening to now) firmly in place and taking form in my mind. Mummy G is reminding me a bit of Grandma Mazur - not quite as spunky, but I wouldn't be surprised if given the chance she is.
I purchased this book because it is written by the Elkins and I have enjoyed reading the Gideon Oliver books over the years. I was slightly surprised by this book as there was, especially towards the beginning, more romance to it than I expected - more so than in the Gideon Oliver books, in my opinion. Once I mentally adjusted, I did enjoy the book and am looking forward to the next book in the series.
I have a 10 year old step-son who is NOT into reading! Going into 6th grade, this is obviously making us all crazier than usual. His Mom has tried some audio books for him rented from the library but it didn't take. The kids hear me listening to my audio books all the time and sometimes they chime in so I thought this one could be for us. We mostly listened to it in the car, but it took a while as we live in a small town and don't drive too far between places, but we loved getting in the car!!! His Dad and I were worried as the main character is a girl, but it didn't bother him. The story is great, entertaining and well put together. The characters are consistent and the narration, in my opinion, works perfect for Olive and all the characters. I highly recommend this for all ages (the 13 year old liked doing errands with us all of a sudden... Not because he liked the book or anything, lol) I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment and am looking forward to starting book 2 next week!!!!
As noted by other reviewers, the narrator was a bit monotone - but as I continued listening I got used to it and it did seem to work out as another reviewer said - the voice does seem to fit however, I'm still wavering if I want to move on to another book or not. I felt like the story was fine and I can see (or at least presume) that the books and characters will get better, but this one definitely seemed like a first novel - but everyone does have to have a first.
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