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Amazon Customer

Champaign, IL USA | Member Since 2007

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 616 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2014
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  • The Beggar King: A Hangman's Daughter Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne (translated by)
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (259)
    Story
    (259)

    1662: Jakob Kuisl, the hangman of a village in the Alps, receives a letter from his sister calling him to the imperial city of Regensburg, where a gruesome sight awaits him: her throat has been slit. When the city constable discovers Kuisl alongside the corpse, he locks him in a dungeon, where Kuisl will experience firsthand the torture he’s administered himself for years.

    Frank says: "Great Read!"
    "Fun, despite the increasingly cartoonish plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is such a complex book--some might say a bit muddled--but I enjoyed it nonetheless. There's swashbuckling, a couple of evil masterminds intent on nothing less than global domination by means worthy of most comic-book supervillains, a damsel-in-distress (sort of), and a secret, highly intelligent underground network. And yet, at the same time, Pötzsch's continued development of the character of Jakob Kuisl, the series' protagonist, provides a meditation on the toll that state-sanctioned violence and cruelty, combined with a rigid and punitive social order, takes on ordinary humans of good will. I look forward to the next installment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moving Toyshop

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Edmund Crispin
    • Narrated By Stephen Thorne
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    Arriving late at night for a holiday in Oxford, the poet Richard Cadogan stumbles across the body of a dead woman in a toyshop. When he returns with the police, the toyshop is a grocery store - and there is no sign of the corpse.

    David H says: "Mystery as comedy"
    "The funniest so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Moving Toyshop rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Of the three Gervase Fen novels I've read so far (I am taking them in order), this is definitely the best and most engaging. The humor ranges from bone-dry wit to laugh-out-loud slapstick, and yet for all his curmudgeonly demeanor, Fen remains a man of conscience and compassion. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and look forward to Fen's continuing escapades.


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

    Amazingly, in the midst of all the screwball hilarity, Richard Cadogan manages to pull off a brilliant, thoughtful meditation on poetic inspiration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bruno, Chief of Police

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Martin Walker
    • Narrated By Robert Ian MacKenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (145)

    Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life - living in his restored shepherd's cottage; patronizing the weekly market; sparring with, and basically ignoring, the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. He has a gun but never wears it; he has the power to arrest but never uses it. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and galvanizes Bruno's attention.

    Sara says: "Good but hardly cozy and gentle!"
    "A new series to devour!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Martin Walker mentions, in the course of this novel, that there are little memorials to the 20th-century war dead all over France, evoking memories of a plaque my husband spotted on the outer wall of an elementary school in a quiet side street in Paris when we were visiting this past May. It listed three or four teachers and about fifteen students of the school, all Jewish, who perished, presumably in concentration camps, around 1942. It was deeply disturbing and saddening to imagine that in one of the world's major centers of civilized thought and culture the school was unable, or even unwilling, to keep its pupils safe.

    The crimes of the Vichy government loom large in this mystery, as does the Franco-Algerian War and its veterans. I love mysteries that not only take me to distant places but give me an unexpected window into a specific time in history that I would be unlikely to otherwise encounter, and this one does that splendidly, thanks, in part, to its narrator. I also tend to note how appropriate the accents of various characters are, but hearing the title character voiced with an Oxonian inflection didn't really bother me that much, as he himself is a highly literate man. The food, wine, and landscape of the novel are enchanting, and I look forward to meeting many of the characters again in future installments of the series.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Bryant and May and the Invisible Code

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (93)

    Two small children - playing a game called 'Witch-Hunter' - place a curse on a young woman eating lunch in a church courtyard. An hour later the woman is found dead. Then a society photographer is stabbed to death in a nearby park and suddenly a link emerges between the two cases. As the members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit investigate, they realise that the case might not just end in disaster - it might also get everyone killed.

    Amazon Customer says: "A new Bryant and May == Christmas in August!"
    "A new Bryant and May == Christmas in August!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the way Tim Goodman brings these characters to life, especially dear old Arthur Bryant. I highly recommend the audio version of the entire series, and I'm so glad that the first one has just been made available.

    While the plotting of The Invisible Code may be a bit less meticulous than that of the previous volumes, and the mystery itself ends in a rather hurried denouement that ties up the loose ends of a prior subplot in a clumsy manner, it seems hardly to matter in the end, because the story is, like all its predecessors, still enthralling. Once again, Bryant and May land a blow for truth and justice against the dark heart of London power on behalf of its most vulnerable prey. And from the conclusion, it would appear that the darkest is yet to come...

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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