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Bennie

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Marietta, GA USA | Member Since 2008

ratings
112
REVIEWS
26
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
29

  • A Drop of the Hard Stuff

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (103)

    Edgar Award-winning author Lawrence Block has been named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. A Drop of the Hard Stuff continues Block’s popular series starring New York private detective and recovering alcoholic Matthew Scudder. Scudder is already struggling with his sobriety when his friend and fellow AA member Jack Ellery is found murdered. Now the only thing keeping Scudder from the bottle is his obsession with finding the culprit.

    David says: "Too Much...Not Enough."
    "I love Lawrence Block..."
    Overall

    ...and have done for years. This book is delightfully read and it was a lot of fun to 'read' another Scudder book after so long a lull. It was great to go back in time and fill in some gaps, although I did miss a couple of the 'regulars' who Matt hadn't met yet at the setting of this story. I'm afraid I guessed the outcome too early for it to have been as much fun as I would have liked though. It's still a great listen and I'd recommend any Lawrence Block book to anyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Night of the Blood Sky: Refuge, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jeremy Bishop, Jeremy Robinson
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Rebecca Rule is the sheriff of Refuge, New Hampshire. Her biggest concern is the rowdy summertime revelers making their way up from Massachusetts and New York. With most of the town's residents in neighboring Ashland, for the Fourth of July fireworks show, Refuge is quiet. That is, until the Baptist Church's bell starts ringing - on its own. In a world gone haywire, only one thing is certain, no one in Refuge will ever forget the night of the blood sky.

    sean says: "Wanting more"
    "Beware a cliff hanger!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this listen. There were great, complete characters and it draws the listener along just as a thriller should. It's beautifully read.

    But seriously. It really ought to be one book of two or three parts. If you're looking for any kind of resolution for just the one credit or purchase, you are not going to be a happy camper. If you don't mind that sort of thing, then dive in. It's very reminiscent of later Stephen King.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3631)
    Performance
    (3471)
    Story
    (3449)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Worth the wait."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of my favorite series. Jim Butcher has a gift and it's amazing that he's taken Harry on this 15 part ride and continues to leave us (me) wanting more.

    Marsters narrates like a dream. He can nuance a phrase like nobody's business.

    No spoilers here, but I will say that this is not the first book in this series and you will be completely lost if you start with Skin Game (the title of which is not describing what you may think it is). Go back and start at the top.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    Three months have passed since Richard Jury was left bereft and guilt- ridden after his lover's tragic auto accident, and he is now more wary than ever. He is deeply suspicious when requested on a case far out of his jurisdiction in an outlying village, where a young woman has been murdered behind the local pub. The only witness is the establishment's black cat, who gives neither crook nor clue as to the girl's identity or her killer's.

    Brad says: "Thoroughly Enjoyed Latest Edition to Series"
    "New Narrator Does Fine..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read all these books, except maybe some of the newer ones. It goes without saying that I love this series. Unlike many others, I think, I'm in the Melrose Plant camp. His interactions with children is always ridiculous and fun (for example).

    I do have a few bones to pick, although I don't know how the problems could be solved. There are a few running gags that, if you don't know the books from the beginning of the series, may fall flat or go unnoticed. The butler's name is Ruthven. The name is pronounced "Rivven". Plant's Aunt Agatha, an American with hilarious delusions of her place in British aristocracy pronounces it incorrectly (as does the narrator, unfortunately). She also speaks with an American or bad English accent.

    These things are overlooked by narrators and audio producers for lack of homework. How this kind of issue can be resolved without input from the author (or a fan) is beyond me.

    Other than these irritations, I very much enjoyed this production of The Black Cat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black: Black Series, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Russell Blake
    • Narrated By R.C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Artemus Black. Perennially down-on-his-luck Hollywood PI whose Bogie fixation is as dated as his wardrobe. With an assistant who mocks him relentlessly, an obese cat that loathes him, a romantic life that's deader than Elvis, money problems, booze, nicotine, and anger management issues, how much worse can it get?

    Amazon Customer says: "Roxy is a must have for the entire series"
    "Excellent 21st Century Noir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fedoras, Dames, and Everything! A book for Goldilocks. Not too heavy, not too light. The bantered dialogue was intelligent and didn't try to hard and was carried off beautifully by narrator R.C. Bray.

    In fact, Bray did a terrific job with all his characters, ranging from heavies to heroes to hippies to ... okay, I don't know a good 'H' word for little old ladies.

    This is a great start to a new series. I'm so glad it came my way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Life as a Silent Movie: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jesse Lee Kercheval
    • Narrated By Rosemary Benson
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    After losing her husband and daughter in an auto accident, 42-year-old Emma flies to Paris, discovers she has a twin brother whose existence she had not known about, and learns that her birth parents weren't the Americans who raised her, but a White Russian film star of the 1920s and a French Stalinist.

    Perry says: "Rosemary Benson is exceptional Narrator"
    "Gorgeous!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is hard to know where to start with this review. I don't like to give too much away, but then again, with this story and its telling, I could tell you everything and you'd still enjoy this audio. The plot itself is simple and straightforwardly told. Emma's inner dialogue, read flawlessly by Rosemary Benson, flows like a river - sometimes still and sometimes crashing down the falls - and is never repetitive or frustrating.
    I tend toward light escapist comedies and yet I loved this book. It drew me right in, much as Jodi Picoult can draw me in.
    It is a wonderful work, beautifully read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death of the Couch Potato's Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Christy Barritt
    • Narrated By Christa G. Lewis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Welcome to Boring, Indiana, home to patio cookouts, homeowner dues, carpeted lawns, and neighbors so welcoming they're dying to meet you - literally. City slicker turned suburbanite housewife Laura Berry isn't taking well to life in her new neighborhood. She moved to follow her husband's dream, and now she can't tell if she's clinically depressed or just bored half to death. But Boring becomes anything but when Laura discovers her neighbor Candace Flynn face up on a sofa with her hand buried in a snack bag.

    K. April Holgate says: "Interesting but not amazing"
    "Not unlike a modern day Christie..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...if you can imagine St. Mary Mead, fifty years later and plunked down in the middle of the US, that is.

    In a small subdivision in Boring, IN, everybody thinks they know everybody else's business, but when the Couch King's wife is found dead, deeply kept secrets begin to surface.

    Christy Barritt's cozy mystery is filled with humor and suspense. The characters are finely portrayed by narrator, Christa G. Lewis. I was particularly fond of Laura's snoopy septuagenarian neighbor.

    After a slow first chapter, the book rolls on more smoothly and becomes a fun listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unfinished Business: An Angela Panther Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
    • Narrated By Kathy Poelker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Sometimes the dead need our help and sometimes, we need theirs. Angela Panther has a perfect life: A lovely home, an attentive, successful husband, two reasonably behaved children, a devoted dog and a lot of coffee and cupcakes. But while her life might border on mundane, she's got it under control. Until her mother, Fran, dies - and returns as a ghost. It seems Fran's got some unfinished business and she's determined to get it done.

    Monica says: "Not even death can put an end to motherly love."
    "Way above Medium good time!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Angela's mom has just passed away, but she barely has time to mourn before mom's back and driving her nutty again.

    This is an adorable and humorous story about a suburban housewife whose psychic abilities manifest (again) after a long sleep. Angela's a reluctant heroine with a loyal and funny BFF sidekick and an amiable and accepting spouse. The characters are all enjoyable, brought vividly to life by narrator Kathy Poelker.

    I can only hope this is the first of many Angela Panther stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter's Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
    • Narrated By Kimberly Henrie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    To keep the bank from repossessing her eighteen-wheeler, Baby Blue, and putting her and her daughter, Tessa, on the street, Loretta Brennan takes a dangerous job driving it into Wyoming with a winter storm approaching. All alone she worries if she can make the deadline and navigate the roads since her driving partner husband died the year before in an accident.

    Bennie says: "A Chilly Romantic Thrill Ride."
    "A Chilly Romantic Thrill Ride."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A young widow, a brooding handsome stranger (who likes cats!), big rigs, truck stops.
    A race against time through snow covered, twisty mountain roads. And a serial killer.

    This book has all the ingredients to make anyone's spine tingle. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The heroine's waffling over whether or not she can trust the hitch-hiker she's picked up might be exciting to some, but I began to find it a bit repetitive.

    What I did like were the main character (when she wasn't waffling), the venue, and the narrator (really spot-on with the daughter's voice, in particular).

    If you like romance (and/or trucks), I'd say give this audio a try.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Aladdin Sins Bad: Aladdin Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By J. R. Rain, Piers Anthony
    • Narrated By Paul Licameli
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Life as the king of Agrabah is never boring, especially when the dashing Sinbad the Sailor requests a ship to save his kidnapped wife. Aladdin, never one to run from danger, agrees to help and accompanies Sinbad as they set sail to accumulate enough treasure to ransom the sailor's wife. Soon they run afoul of zombies, sirens, demons, nymphs, evil djinns, and a dastardly plot to take over his kingdom.

    Bennie says: "Ships, Socerers, Ransom, & Southern Fried Sirens!"
    "Ships, Socerers, Ransom, & Southern Fried Sirens!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These are just a few of the things Aladdin and his step-son encounter when they decide to get out of the house and so some male bonding.

    Aladdin Sins Bad is second in the Rain/Anthony Aladdin Trilogy and it is even better than book one! The story moves very quickly and something either dangerous or ridiculous happens just about every five minutes.

    Narrator, Paul Licameli, does a fun job of giving us very different character voices and knows how to ramp up the excitement levels whenever called for.

    It's a very humorous fantasy series, told from the point of view of a man who is both smart and simple- (or perhaps single-) minded. I can recommend it for a light and funny listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland: Age 42 and Three-Quarters (A Comedy Mystery)

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Barbara Silkstone
    • Narrated By Karen Krause
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Alice Harte's life is falling apart. Her boss at the real estate firm where she works is a litigious and murderous man with ties to "The Mob"; in Florida. She KNOWS he has literally beheaded someone in the past. Her whole life she has dreamed of living in England and meeting a man similar to John Cleese. In an attempt to start breaking away from her boss who is threatening her with a lawsuit, she flies to England to meet Nigel Channing, who has been charming her through e-mails and phone calls.

    Yvonne says: "Fun Action Packed Read!!!"
    "Surprisingly compelling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There were things about the story that didn't quite work for me - such as the whole Alice in Wonderland tie-ins. I can't say what would have fixed this issue. More references? Fewer? Consistant-er? And then there was the Xanax aspect. Again, it didn't really work.

    And yet... I really wanted to know what happened next and hesitated to pluck out my earbuds when interruptions happened. This is why I gave the story four stars instead of three.

    The narrator, Karen Krause, does a wonderful job with her character voices. She made me really want to strangle that Judge. However, I found her first person narrative a bit choppy and lacking in the humor I found in her other voices.

    Overall, it was a fun few hours. I'd listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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