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BJG

Baltimore book lover

Ellicott City, MD United States | Member Since 2008

114
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 41 reviews
  • 64 ratings
  • 130 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
9

  • Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1486)
    Performance
    (1334)
    Story
    (1325)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
    "Love it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had to take a break from Audible because of money and this is the first book I bought when I came back. If you are familiar with the series, this story stays true to the pattern that sees Lady Georgie doing a favor of the queen and eventually finding a dead body. If you are unfamiliar, the main character is a very minor member of the royal family of England in between the world wars. She's penniless, unmarried, without prospects but very resourceful so the queen calls on her often for help. The characters are quirky without being too exaggerated. The scene is well set without it sounding like a history lesson. The tone is light without being too glib in the face of murder. Lady Georgie is a delightful person to spend time with and the reader can't be beat. This story has characters with many different accents, young and old. Each one is voiced distinctly. I took one point off because the basic outline of this book is very similar to the others.

    1 of 1 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
    Overall
    (1352)
    Performance
    (983)
    Story
    (968)

    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
    (1243)
    Performance
    (1179)
    Story
    (1173)

    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
    (1293)
    Performance
    (1186)
    Story
    (1191)

    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.

    Lynne Phelps says: "Fans of the Parasol Protectorate, Rejoice!"
    "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
    (130)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (95)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (806)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (749)

    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
    (1963)
    Performance
    (1746)
    Story
    (1759)

    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
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    Overall
    (2345)
    Performance
    (2083)
    Story
    (2098)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming The Dark Knight Rises, lent her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thomas M Clifford says: "In Time for the Holiday.Give the GIFT of a STORY!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this book because of my love of the move and respect for Anne Hathaway as an actor. The book is very emotionless. Very scary and unusual things are happening to Dorothy, who is repeatedly described as a little girl, yet everything is written in a very evenhanded way. The characters stay very polite and composed given their adventure. I don't want to be told what is going on. I want to be shown it with prose. Also, Anne Hathaway is horrible at voices. Just plain bad. I got it for free and it's not horrible but it's not as great as I hoped it would be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes & A Sound of Thunder

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ray Bradbury
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (430)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (210)

    In Bradbury's unforgettable modern Gothic masterpiece, Something Wicked This Way Comes, something evil arrives in a small Midwestern town on the crest of the wind one autumn night. A "dark carnival" with frightening attractions and supernatural characters sets up stakes. It is up to two 13-year-old boys, James Nightshade and William Holloway, to figure out a way to save the souls of the town.

    Sarah says: "Ageless"
    "Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ray Bradbury has a way with details and describing things so vividly and these two stories are no different. These stories are creepy more than they are scary, which I loved. They are suitable for a young audience. My only problem was that I listened to them in little spurts and I think the long, flowing narrative needs a little but more attention. I recommend this highly if you have long stretches of time to listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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