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Margaret Hildebrand

I live full-time in a motorhome, traveling west of the Rockies.

West Coast | Member Since 2004

72
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 674 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
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  • A Game of Chance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Kali Dziuba
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (232)

    On the trail of a vicious criminal, agent Chance Mackenzie found the perfect bait for his trap: Sunny Miller. So Chance made himself the only man she could trust—and then arranged for her long-missing father to find out about them.

    Nina says: "Ruined A Perfectly Good Book"
    "Good story with a good albeit female narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up A Game of Chance in three words, what would they be?

    Disappointing, but only because this book was not as terrifically 5 stars as the preceding two. Note that I HATE "woman in jeopardy" stories, but then Chance must use the woman he loves as bait BOTH to catch the bad guy and to free her from a life on the run. But he should have let her in on it and trusted her to be strong enough to help him end her life of terror. In addition, Chance isn't careful enouth of Sunny after he tricks her into the line of fire.


    What other book might you compare A Game of Chance to and why?

    Mackenzie's Pleasure - much better story featuring Chance's brother Zane featuring a strong heroine who refuses to be a victim after she's kidnapped by terrorists from a rich socialite's life. Also, Zane is much more focused on protecting his lover in that story than Chance is, even after he realizes she's the target of a perverted madman.


    What does Kali Dziuba bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I would have preferred the same male narrator as the preceding books in the series because this series have such very tough, take-charge male protagonists from a very male family. Another review that deplores the female narrator is way off base. She does an excellent job


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Chance realizes that Sunny is running from her father not acting as his agent


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5500)
    Performance
    (5229)
    Story
    (5237)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Great character portrayed by a remarkable narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Martian in three words, what would they be?

    This story is science fiction based on a knowledge of science fact. The story details how one man survives on the surface of Mars after being abandoned by his crewmates who very reasonably thought he was dead. By turns funny and nerdy, the best thing about the book is the self-effacing character of Mark's log narration. It is perfectly rendered by R. C. Gray, who does an amazing job throughout the book. He captures Mark's persistent, optimistic, never-give-up, never-take-himself-too-seriously character in every line of the narration. I was sorry to see the book end. I would love a sequel of Mark's adventures returning to earth and facing celebrity afterward. I'm sure he would refuse to take the hoopla seriously.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were many moments, but the standout was rejoining the crew.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is highly recommended to science and adventure-lovers. While an engineer may appreciate the technical aspects of the book more than others, that is not what makes the story amazing. It is Mark's character that really gets you. Women would want to love him for his humor and heroism and men would want him as a best, if nerdy, friend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Earthly Delights: Corinna Chapman Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Louise Siversen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (186)

    Baking is an alchemical process for Corinna Chapman. At four am she starts work at Earthly Delights, her bakery in Calico Alley. But one morning Corinna receives a threatening note saying "The wages of sin is death" and finds a syringe in her cat's paw. A blue-faced junkie has collapsed in the dark alley and a mysterious man with beautiful eyes appears with a plan for Corinna and her bread. Then it is Goths, dead drug addicts, witchcraft, a homeless boy and a missing girl and it seems she will never get those muffins cooked in time.

    S. Sarabasha says: "Don't know why I waited so long."
    "Love, Love, Love This Series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Earthly Delights again? Why?

    I simply adore this series. They are cozy murder mysteries with a bit of romance. They make me smile from start to finish without angering me at the injustice of life or appalling me with bloody crime. Life can be bad enough without dwelling on it. Corinna refuses to dwell on the bad or evil aspects of life. She works hard and enjoys life. She has cats. She bakes bread and lives above the shop. She has friends - quirky, eccentric, delightful friends. She is positive and she is rewarded for all those things. And she solves mysteries that frighten or worry her friends.


    Which character – as performed by Louise Siversen – was your favorite?

    Corinna - see above. But I love all the characters: Daniel, Jason, Marowy, all 3 cats ...


    Any additional comments?

    I've read the first 3 books. They are all excellent, but for the most fun, start with the first one, "Earthly Delights", to get the full background on Corinna, the Mouse Police, and the setting. As for the setting: it's Melbourne Australia and Corinna uses Aussie expressions: e.g. - goods lift instead of freight elevator, adding -ie to the first syllable of a word to shorten it, etc. There are some expressions I didn't catch, but I understand most of them. They add another note of color and delight to listening to the stories. The narrator is excellent with a strong Aussie accent, but she's easy to understand. I just wish there were more than 6 books in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Case of the Missing Servant

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tarquin Hall
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (217)

    In hot and dusty Delhi, Puri's main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests. But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri's resources to investigate. How will he trace the fate of the girl, known only as Mary, in a population of more than one billion? Who is taking pot shots at him and his prize chilli plants?

    Anthony Wilson says: "Wonderful"
    "Delightful Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Case of the Missing Servant in three words, what would they be?

    Amusing intricate mystery


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoy the family life of the lead character Puri, especially his mother Mummyji. Their interactions are amusing while still advancing one of the subplots that enliven the story. Similarly, the characters of Puri's various operatives as they investigate one or another mystery are by turns delightful and effective in turning up clues. Throughout the book, Indian culture and daily life provide an exotic background without minimizing the effects of poverty and corruption on the lives of the Indian people.


    What about Sam Dastor’s performance did you like?

    His narration is excellent. His accents and enunciation make the characters come alive and enhance the setting of the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me smile and chuckle while keeping me hooked on the central mystery as well as the two subplots.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the second of Tarquin Hall's mysteries I have read. The first (The Man Who Died Laughing) was more exotic and involved unusual characters - gods and magicians, while this one seemed more down to earth. With Sam Dastor's wonderful narration, I'll order the the rest of the series to enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • U Is for Undertow: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1313)
    Performance
    (364)
    Story
    (363)

    It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's 38th birthday, and she's alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is 27, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared, and a recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories.

    BSquared67 says: "A brilliant departure from the familiar"
    "Another Disappointment"
    Overall

    Grafton's alphabet mystery series has been in decline since P is for Peril, but this latest is even worse than T is for Trespass. The story is unfocused, overlong, and not at all well plotted. My advice regarding Grafton's books is to start with A and continue through N, then stop. It's been downhill from there, with the exception of S is for Silence. Unfortunately, the earlier mysteries are not available at Audible.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1209)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (696)

    Wanting to repay a wartime debt to the Malays, Jean Paget returns. There she hears a story which leads her to Australia.

    Barbara says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "An All Time Favorite Novel"
    Overall

    This is one of the best novels I've ever read and Robin Bailey's audio narration is perfect. The quiet tone of the book's narrator, both as written by Shute and underplayed by Bailey, makes the Malaysian WWII horrors described listenable without stopping, except to rewind and relisten occasionally. The un-ending British/Australian stiff-upper-lip recollection of what happened is typical of another time and place. The characterizations, as in all Nevil Shute novels, makes the story riveting. The ultimate happy resolution, while completely foreseeable, is nuanced in unexpected ways and keeps the listener involved to the end.

    I wish there were more Nevil Shute books available on audio. I rented one about the Australian flying doctor service some 20 years ago from Books on Tape that was excellent. That one isn't even available in used print (Amazon). Surely there are more novels on audio from Australia or England that Audible/Amazon could obtain rights to and bring to their readers.

    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (795)
    Performance
    (439)
    Story
    (440)

    In The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan put the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl at the center of a rich history, told through characters he brought to indelible life. Now he performs the same alchemy with The Big Burn, the largest-ever forest fire in America, a tragedy that cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy.

    P. Bergh says: "A fascinating history of early Forest Service"
    "Hard to listen to"
    Overall

    This story is well told, although I found all the characters, their location and where the fire was with respect to the towns named very hard to follow. But the treatment of the rangers made it very hard for me to listen to it. The followup of what happened after Pulaski's ill treatment somewhat redeemed a hard listen.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Shades of Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ann Granger
    • Narrated By Judith Boyd
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    The two elderly sisters of the Oakley family live in poverty in an ancient mansion and have decided to sell up to live comfortably from the profits. However, things become more complicated when a young Polish man appears claiming rights to half the fortune. When he dies in circumstances familiar to the Oakley family, the sisters are haunted by the shadow of crime, and Superintendent Markby must look back at the events of a century ago to find the killer.

    Margaret Hildebrand says: "Delicious Murder Mystery"
    "Delicious Murder Mystery"
    Overall

    This is my favorite Ann Granger mystery. It is a simply delicious village cozy featuring an old deteriorating estate house, poison, a mysterious relative and murder. Great fun.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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