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BJG

Baltimore book lover

Ellicott City, MD United States | Member Since 2014

119
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 44 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 135 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
10

  • Charm City

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Deborah Hazlett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (171)

    PI Tess Monaghan knows and loves every inch of her native Baltimore. It's a quirky city where baseball reigns, but lately homicide seems to be the second most popular sport. Business tycoon Wink Wynkowski is trying to change all that by bringing pro basketball to town--until a devastating expose appears in the Baltimore Beacon Light. The newspaper's editors thought they'd killed the piece. Instead, the piece killed Wink, who's found dead in his garage. Tess is hired to find the unknown hacker who planted the lethal story.

    BJG says: "On of my favorites"
    "On of my favorites"
    Overall

    Probably my favorite Tess Monaghan audio book so far. (My favorite print book is Sugar House). This book has Tess looking into a news paper story about a new basketball team that wasn't supposed to be printed but was. She also tries to figure out why her Uncle Spike was beaten into a coma over a dog. Both plots are juggled well. My only complaint is that one of the big suprises wasn't very suprising. It was well-paced with a very natural tone. By that I mean not artificially glib and not too grim and gory. A well balanced mystery all around.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Haunting of Hill House

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Shirley Jackson
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (849)
    Performance
    (751)
    Story
    (759)

    Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.

    Crystal says: "Well written horror tale"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. Everything is told from one person's point of view and this person is very unreliable and flighty. You never really find out if what she describes is really happening. Some people like that ambiguity and it can be an interesting plot device but it can't be the entire plot.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Shirley Jackson? Why or why not?

    No.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader was good at doing both male and female voices.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It has been a move and I didn't see it.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a mediocre character study dressed up in a ghost story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Queen of Hearts

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1277)
    Performance
    (1156)
    Story
    (1156)

    Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal - but now she's off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene...

    Calliope says: "Good but not her best"
    "perfection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Queen of Hearts the most enjoyable?

    The use of the two settings, a cruise ship and a Hollywood mansion, was a lot of fun.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Seeing Georgie and Darcy's relationship progress in a definite way was enjoyable. The character of her mother wasn't as over done as in other books, either. She is more human this time.


    Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Katherine Kellgren is one of my absolute favorites and this performance didn't let me down. I wasn't sure how her American accent would sound, but I was impressed again.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    To America, movies stars are royalty, but what happens when real royalty finds a dead body in Hollywood?


    Any additional comments?

    This story was different enough to feel fresh but still contains all of the ingredients of a great cozy mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Curtsies & Conspiracies: Finishing School, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (850)
    Performance
    (787)
    Story
    (789)

    Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy. Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners. Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first.

    David says: "Gail Carriger is truly an author of Quality!"
    "Polite and exciting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Curtsies & Conspiracies again? Why?

    Yes, because there are a lot of wonderful conversations between characters and I enjoy good word play.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I delight in the combination of stuffy, politeness and spying and assassination. Each character is so fun and distinct.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene in the beginning when - tiny spoiler - Sephronia takes her test and is so clever and a natural intelligencer.


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

    I was surprised how sad I was when Sephronia gave her beloved mechanical pet to a fortune teller.


    Any additional comments?

    I took one point off because the plot was a bit similar to the previous book but it's still an exciting story and a great reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1585)
    Performance
    (1189)
    Story
    (1174)

    It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees, and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright.

    Sara says: "Spring in Three Pines"
    "Gained steam as it went along"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because it's a good mystery told in a slow, deliberate way.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the main character. He's a very real sounding detective. He reacts the way I would in his situation.


    Which character – as performed by Ralph Cosham – was your favorite?

    The reader was very good but I especially liked the way he did the few characters with Quebecois accents. I'm not an expert, but it sounded good to me.


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

    My one complaint is that while solving the mystery of a woman who died during and séance, there is also a subplot about the main character suffering pay back for testifying against a corrupt cop. I think too much time was spent on something that sounded like the main plot of another book. I rolled my eyes whenever this came up.


    Any additional comments?

    I would compare this to the tv show "The Wire" only in the sense that you have to pay close attention because it is so full of details and little things that flesh out the setting. I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
    • Narrated By Kristen Bell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1838)
    Performance
    (1703)
    Story
    (1693)

    The first book in an original mystery series featuring 28-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends - Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas - Veronica is ready to take on Neptune's darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts.

    Alison says: "Mars Attacks, succeeds!"
    "Perfect for fans of the show"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this audio book because many of my friends loved the show and this book is just as sassy and salty.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot kept me on the edge of my seat because just when it looked like Veronica knew what happened to two missing coeds, she'd discover something that took the investigation in a new direction.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Just as with the show, the conversations between Veronica and her dad felt so real.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Something about how the past re-emerges in unexpected ways.


    Any additional comments?

    I've tried several spin off novels of my favorite shows such as Buffy and Psych but they all read like mediocre fan fiction. This is the real deal. Written by the creator of the show and read by the star. It takes places after the movie and the whole gang is there; Wallace, Wevel, Dick, Mac, Keith, Sheriff Lamb, but it doesn't coast on old glory. It's a gripping mystery on it's own and people unfamiliar with the show could still follow it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Etiquette & Espionage: Finishing School, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1581)
    Performance
    (1438)
    Story
    (1443)

    Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

    But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.

    MissSusie66 says: "Fun beginning to a new series"
    "Wonderful suprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Etiquette & Espionage in three words, what would they be?

    Charming, exciting, smart


    What other book might you compare Etiquette & Espionage to and why?

    Perhaps the Terry Pratchet Ghost World books because Etiquette and Espionage is also a light hearted look at hijinks in a steam punk setting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When our heroine, Sephronia, first ventures to the engine rooms of her floating school and meets the sooties. It shows how fearless she is to get there, but she's also very kind to the sooties who are supposed to be below her in social standing but she doesn't care because she's a young woman of character.


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

    I gasped a few times when the plot twisted in unexpected ways.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book. It an amusing and smart mix of steam punk and international intrigue. All the details are fleshed out so that a story with a fantasy element is still very believable and the characters are very interesting. The reader is so very good. I'll definitely be getting the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Evan Blessed

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (111)

    Two weeks before the big day, Welsh Constable Evans is ready to be done planning for his wedding. Just as he's unloading the last boxes into the new home he and his bride, Bronwen, have chosen, he runs into a teenager whose girlfriend has gone missing on Mt. Snowdon. Despite his apprehensions about getting involved in a new case, Evans cannot resist helping the worried hiker.

    Laura says: "welsh accent"
    "A bit more grim than I was expecting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Evan Blessed again? Why?

    Probably not. It was a good story but I prefer my audio books to be a little more light hearted.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. It was a very well structured mystery with an occasional chapter from the killer's point of view.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He could have made each voice more distinct from the others. All the characters sound similar. Even the females.


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

    A few parts startled me and because I listen to audio books at night. I had a few creepy dreams.


    Any additional comments?

    I got this book because I am a big fan of the "Her Royal Spynesss" series by the same author and I was startled at how different in tone "Evan Blessed" is. I'm not a big fan of books than linger on the grim details of violence against women and it's always cute, young women for some reason and this is no different. This book stops short of fetishizing the details of the sad fate of a missing 17 year old female hiker in modern day Wales, but it comes close. I'm not sure if that's good or bad but it definitely different from what I'm accustomed to from Rhys Bowen. To put it another way, it's more James Patterson than Agatha Christie.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • At the Mountains of Madness [Blackstone Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (995)
    Performance
    (919)
    Story
    (922)

    This Lovecraft classic is a must-have for every fan of classic terror. When a geologist leads an expedition to the Antarctic plateau, his aim is to find rock and plant specimens from deep within the continent. The barren landscape offers no evidence of any life form - until they stumble upon the ruins of a lost civilization. Strange fossils of creatures unknown to man lead the team deeper, where they find carved stones dating back millions of years. But it is their discovery of the terrifying city of the Old Ones that leads them to an encounter with an untold menace.

    Jeffrey says: "Not for everyone"
    "Very over rated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. The setting and events of this story are described very blandly. Not a lot of details at all.


    If you’ve listened to books by H. P. Lovecraft before, how does this one compare?

    The reader is very good.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed when the main character was first examining his missing colleague's tent and belongings. It suggested some very interesting possibilities.


    Was At the Mountains of Madness [Blackstone Edition] worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    My main criticism is that so much time is spent telling the story of the ancient civilization and very little time describing what the main characters are seeing, experiencing or feeling. It's as if JK Rowling spent three chapters describing the history of Privet Drive but Hogwarts is just called a school. I wasn't scared for an instant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • White Fire: Agent Pendergast, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2401)
    Performance
    (2133)
    Story
    (2149)

    Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who - with brutal precision - begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Grand Slam Tale of Terror"
    "Love the series, love the narrator, like the book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For those unfamiliar with the series, the main character is an FBI agent with tons of money and a very eccentric, old Southern gentleman personality. This story takes him to a richy-rich resort town in Colorado where his protege, Corrie, is examining old skeletons of silver minors that were dug up as part of a development project. Of course she gets in trouble and of course he has to rescue her and things get more complicated from there. It appears that the minors didn't get eaten by a bear like originally thought. Also, there is a serial arsonist who torches big, fancy houses with the residents tied up inside. Also, there is a search for a missing Arthur Conan Doyle book. The main character is usually very smart but in this book, he only looks smart because all the other characters are so dumb. He's also a condescending jerk at times whereas in other books, he's been well meaning but odd. I imagine the authors ticking off a mental list of cliches. Diabolical rich person? Check. Town sheriff with no back bone? Check. Rich old lady hoarder? Check. Plucky young woman getting in trouble? Check. Gruesome town legend? Check. Brilliant out of town detective with all the answers? Double check. None of the three plot lines are related and it all felt very scatter shot. A mediocre Pendergast book is still good, but make to mistake about it, this is mediocre. On the plus side; the reader, Rene Auberjonois, is superb as usual.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dear Mr. Holmes: Seven Holmes on the Range Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Steve Hockensmith
    • Narrated By Barry Campbell
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Sherlock Holmes-worshiping cowboys Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer have starred in five Holmes on the Range novels, rustling up award nominations and fans aplenty as they cracked mysteries using the methods of their English hero. How did these Old West drifters first discover Holmes, though? What were they doing before their novel adventures began? And how did their early, awkward stabs at "deducifying" turn out? These seven short stories provide the answers.

    Linda says: "Outstanding!"
    "A fun, western yarn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Little bites of delight. That's what this collection of short stories is. If you are unfamiliar with the series, this a bad place to start, but to those who are already fans of the cattle rustling, mystery solving Amlingmyer brothers, this is essential. It fills in the gaps in between books and describes the beginning of it all. In short, the main characters are two cow boys in the American old west who love Sherlock Holmes and go about 'deducifying" when the need arises. They are very funny and vivid but the language can get a little rough. I don't mind that because it is never excessive and the author steps around the really bad curse words is super funny ways. The reader is different from the regular guy and some of the many voices can sound a bit similar. That's a small complaint though. I recommend this series highly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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