I always enjoy the Stephanie Plum books, and this was no exception. But there were no surprises, either. And after 19 books, there needs to be something new every now and again or it's going to get dull...
The location, a remote thermal hot spring in New Zealand, was one I would never have imagined for a Second World War mystery. This is far from so many of today's mysteries, which rely on detailed forensic evidence. This mystery is solved through observation, characterization, and old-fashioned alibi-busting. Interestingly, Inspector Alleyn's role is downplayed in the story, and some of the other characters get a chance to shine.
Like the Mrs. Pollifax series, Dorothy Gilman has come up with a cast of interesting characters, specifically Sister John and Sister Hyacinth, who are the centrepiece of the story. It is a classic 'fish out of water' story; in this case the two nuns come out of cloister after many years. The world they remembered no longer exists and the country has been dealing with the upheaval of the 1960s. The main characters are charming and the story has the gentle humour I've come to expect from Gilman. Unfortunately, the story reads as very dated, and the mystery is not complex enough to sustain the novel. For all that it was a charming and enjoyable story.
I'd read several of these books over the years (in random order), and listened to some of them on audio. However, I'd never read the first of the series, and I'm glad I made a point of it. This answered several questions I didn't know I had, and filled in blanks in Amelia's story. So much so I'm going to continue on with #2 in the series and keep on going.
It was superb. I have now listened to several of her narrations of these books and can recognize the characters by her voice alone. I think that's pretty impressive given how many regular characters she has to portray in the books.
The only downside was that I figured out WhoDunIt fairly early on. But it didn't marr my enjoyment of it, and I still had to read all the way to the end to see if I was right.
Unstrained, natural narration and a nice take on the voices of Holmes and Watson. It's always difficult to put your own stamp on something that other actors have made so famous. Alan Cummings does a great job. A nice Christmas treat.
I liked the fact that the author has come up with a fresh way to address the mystery novel. On the other hand, nothing about this book was great. Good, but not 'Wow', including the narration. However, I may try another because someone I know who has read the books told me the series gets better as it goes along.
I've always enjoyed this story with its ridiculous plot and memorable characters. This version was fine - not the best I've seen/heard but certainly not bad. Some reviewers have mentioned the quick pace, so I almost expecting helium voices, but in fact the pace (somewhat breakneck) is exactly what you get with Wilde. It's probably heightened by the fact you don't get the visual pauses that you would watching a play or movie.
Quite simply, hilarious. A great way to start my listening and a reminder of why Steve Martin was always a favourite of mine.
It was as good as the other Mrs Pollifax stories I've listened to, which means it was fabulous.
This series is like comfort food - you go back to them because you know you're going to enjoy them and although there is a familiarity to them, they are never boring. I also love the exotic and unusual places Mrs Pollifax travels to, and the way those cities and countries are described.
I chose this particular Mrs. Pollifax mystery based on the locale - I've always wanted to go on a safari, and these stories are perfect for armchair travellers.
As is the case with the other books that I've read in this series, I enjoyed it immensely. Towards the end of the book there were a few scenes that didn't really ring true to me, but the story was strong enough that it didn't spoil it. There was also a little romance in this book - it's on safari that Emily meets Cyrus, so that filled in some gaps in her storyline for me.
Barbara Rosenblatt's narration is terrific, as it has been for anything I've listened to of hers.
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