Delightful! A simple wholesome romance, I loved the plot line, the genteel poor banding together for a better life. Great characters, witty dialogue and a sweet love story to boot. There was nothing about this I didn’t like. A short novel perfect for a quick regency fix.
Davina Porter is as usual superb; her flawless character portrayals are a joy to listen to. She is always spot on, she is the best of the best, in my humble opinion.
Tabula Rasa translates to “clean slate”… Well folks here we are another terrific tale in the Medicus series. I’ve said it before catching up with Tilla and Ruso is always a joy. But I have to say right out this offering is my favorite so far. By now I feel I really know them. Where they are as a couple and where they want to be. As always Ruth Downie writes with great humor and warmth, she conveys the difficulties dealing with each other’s cultures so believably. I recommend this book without reservation.
While stationed to one if the forts during the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. Tilla has found a family of sorts, something she’s longed for, and which is a nightmare for Ruso, whose time away from his own family is just the way he likes it. I especially love the details of the building of the wall. No novel set in England can be written without the weather becoming a character. Downie make you feel the misery of what living in one of these camps during late fall must have been like. How the men and their followers must have longed to leave and go back to winter quarters, and to civilization, or what passed for civilization to the Romans in Britain. To exacerbate the situation Ruso secretary has gone missing, and a young Briton with ties to Tilla also goes missing and so Ruso is ordered to find out what happened to the boy, by his commander. They don’t need the locals up in arms any more than they already are, now do they? As always it’s great fun to watch the mystery play out, many characters from past books are present and add to the fun.
Plus I could listen to Simon Vance read a phone book, he is perfection as usual.
I’m reading these out of order and it doesn’t seem to matter, Ms. Granger’s ability as a writer gives you a concise over view of what you have missed without bashing you over the head with it.
Miss Lizzie Martin has taken up a position as a companion to a young woman who has suffered the loss of her baby. An unhappy Ben doesn’t want her to leave London just as things are getting serious between them. But Lizzie isn’t certain she wants to marry, and wants time to sort things out, so she accepts the position. Besides Ben's position as police Inspector for Scotland Yard seems to leave little or no time for courting.
On the edge of The New Forest lies Shore House, home to Mrs. Lucy Craven and her two maiden aunts. Lizzie is nobody’s fool, and in that in between world described in the book as; “you are neither fish nor fowl.” She manages to gain Lucy's trust and to not let Lucy's Aunts ride roughshod over her, I knew who the likely culprit was, and I knew the motive fairly early on.
What I find I like about Ms. Grangers work is that there is an effortless flow of information. Her writing is even and smooth as silk. In my opinion Ms. Granger’s work it is about the journey not the destination. I give it a solid 4 stars.
The narrators are good enough not great I give Mr. Laurence Kennedy a higher 4 star rating, than I do Ms. Maggie Mash I give her 3 stars, as I found some of her characterizations somewhat stilted. I am not certain that it is fair I lay this at Ms. Mash feet however, it might have been the direction she was given. But it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the story.
This is the second in the Matthew Shardlake mystery series, and I loved it! I have put off reading these because I was just Tudored out. But a few years have gone by and I have come back to the time period, but I will avoid anything directly to do with any of Henry’s queens. Anyhow…
Cromwell’s career is in jeopardy, and Shardlake is no longer in favor.
What I liked: I like Shardlake, a good man in a system so archaic and broken that it seems there is no such thing as justice. I love the cast of characters, his new side kick is one of Cromwell’s men and I he makes me laugh. Sansom’s a master at drawing complex characters. The story is beautifully woven within real events.
What I didn't like. I think that most people get that 16th century London was filthy, but the descriptions of it gets a bit tiresome. Still 5 stars!
Steven Crossley is a wonderful narrator and I enjoyed his characterizations very much.
I love this series, and was thrilled to find that they decided to produce an audio edition of Blood Lance, but unfortunately they started out of sequence, but fortunately this novel can stand alone. Once again Jeri Westerson takes you there, to the mean streets of 14th century London. It is one of her strengths and it is one of the things I have come to respect about her writing.
In Blood Lance, Crispin (a disgraced knight, who is making his living as a tracker, aka sleuth,) is his usual self, a sucker for a pretty face and honorable to a fault. I don’t think I will be spoiling too much since Ms. Westerson has blogged about exploring PTSD within this story line, and I think she did a marvelous job showing that this could not have been a phenomenon of modern warfare.
Jack is back as Crispin’s mother hen, and side kick. I truly love their relationship. There are great twists and turns, and I thought I had everything figured out, but as usual the final twist proved me wrong. There is a great jousting sequence and I think it was very well imagined and written. Chaucer is back, and keeps you wondering just who he serves.
Michael Page is a wonderful narrator his character’s voices are distinct and easy to follow. 4.5 stars
Lionheart the review
I have read Lionheart twice and have just had the extreme pleasure of listening to it. Yes finally a Penman novel on audio. The Narrator Emily Grey does a fine job and one of the things I like most about listening to an audio book is for the pronunciation of languages I am unfamiliar with.
Ms. Penmen’s works are dense and take concentration, the world often fades away as I read or in this case listen to her work, and when I am interrupted it takes time for me to come back to myself.
Lionheart is the 4th book in the Angevin saga which will end up spanning 5 books. The 5th book is also a bridge to her earlier work: Here be Dragons and the accompanying books collectively known as the Welsh trilogy. But all of Ms. Penman’s books can stand alone. I am a devotee of Penman’s work and have read and reread all of her books. She never ceases to amaze me with her skill; her writing is as close to perfection as one could ask. She is a novelist true but she offers characters so fully etched that at times you have to remember to tell yourself that besides the thorough research, the rest is supposition. She gets the psychology of the characters right, and their reactions to situations are so real that it is uncanny. She knows the history, customs, morals, the religion and the political climate of the time period, I feel very comfortable with her conclusions.
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