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Elle in the Great NorthWest

I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

Beaverton, OR, United States

ratings
246
REVIEWS
240
FOLLOWING
40
FOLLOWERS
227
HELPFUL VOTES
958

  • Spying in High Heels

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Gemma Halliday
    • Narrated By Caroline Shaffer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (328)

    L.A. shoe designer, Maddie Springer, lives her life by three rules: Fashion. Fashion. Fashion. But when she stumbles upon the work of a brutal killer, her life takes an unexpected turn from Manolos to murder. And things only get worse when her boyfriend disappears - along with $20 million in embezzled funds - and her every move is suddenly under scrutiny by the LAPD's sexiest cop. With the help of her post-menopausal bridezilla of a mother, a 300-pound psychic and one seriously oversexed best friend, Maddie finds herself stepping out of her stilettos and onto the trail of a murderer. But can she catch a killer before the killer catches up to her?

    Annette says: "Very fun listen"
    "Fun, quirky, bazaar main protagonist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maddie, an almost 30 year old shoe designer, has more strange things happen to her than any other main character I've ever read. The author has developed her into a real ditzy stereotypical blond who doesn't really know what she wants. Though at times she lets the character show some depth, mostly Maddie stumbles thru life making mistake after mistake. Theres no way this is real life romance or frame..it's slapstick comedy and totally light listening-nothing else.

    I bought these for my thirty something daughter who enjoys this kind of writing a lot more than I do-though I listened to the first 2 books in the series I'm not sure I'm good for any more.

    I gave this a 3 star for Story and for Overall and 4 for performance because I think Caroline Shaffer does very well with accents and bringing out the strange personalities of Maddie and the secondary characters. They are a totally strange group-from Mom to Maddies friends to Moms friends. The main romantic character, Ramirez, is written fairly cardboardy-with all the overblown characters personalities I don't understand how Ramirez can be such a Joe Friday kind of cop.

    Ah well...daughter enjoyed them and she bought them (we share an audible account).

    Could be that if you like classic books, or literary writing you won't be able to take much of Maddie. If you like snappy dialog and bazaar plot lines Maddies antics are right up your line. In any case, a real chick lit. book. Guys would likely go crazy with this plot line.

    To each her own.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (579)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (407)

    After a woman is brutally slain, investigators bring psychiatrist Joe O'Loughlin in for expert consultation. Joe is shocked to discover the dead woman is a former patient of his who cried rape when he rebuffed her sexual advances. Citing doctor/patient confidentiality, Joe hides this information. But the truth emerges, and suddenly he is the prime suspect.

    Bonnie says: "Found"
    "Exciting. Suspenseful. Surprising ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love novels that I don't figure out 'who dun it' long before the middle of the book..it's a challenge for me to conquer the author at his/her mystery writing.

    Suspect is my first Michael Robotham novel as well as the first narration by Simon Prebbles that I've listened to..and it was a spectacularly written and narrated listen-one of those books where the Audible version must be better than the print--after all, who can read with a UK accent unless you are from the UK. This includes Liverpudian accents, Welsh accents as well as Londonese.

    As other reviewers have suggested, listen to these in order..Suspense being the first and important in setting up the primary characters.

    Buy it and ENJOY!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Gentlemen's Hour: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    Laid back, ultra–California cool, the former cop turned PI begins each day with the Dawn Patrol, a close-knit group of surfers, best friends who not only ride waves together but have one another's backs out of the water. It's the life Boone loves, all he wants. To him, "There's no such thing as a bad day at the beach." So when one of their own is murdered - especially an icon like Kelly Kuhio, a local hero - and another surfer, a young punk from the Rockpile Crew, stands accused, the small world of Pacific Beach is rocked to its core.

    John says: "Good Story, luke warm narration"
    "Each Winslow listen is better than the last"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Though Holter Graham isn't the Winslow narrator I'm accustomed t hearing narrate Winslows excellent novels, he did a very good job with Gentlemens Hour.

    I think it was helpful that I'd listened to several other Winslow surfing novels and had become familiar with the cast of characters, though this isn't part of the series, it does connect tangentially with them and gives a bit of conclusion to the series that isn't introduced directly in that group of novels.

    Recommended for west coasters, those who are surfing wanna-bees or actual former surfers like myself though it's been 40years since I've been on a board...not much surfing off the Oregon part of the Pacific Ocean, those interested in the history of the lifestyle or just good mysteries/romances with excellent writing.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dawn Patrol

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (112)

    Every morning Boone Daniels is out with the Dawn Patrol: four men and one woman as single-minded about surfing as he is, or nearly. They have real jobs; Boone works as a P.I. just enough to keep himself in fish tacos and in the water. But Boone is also obsessed with the unsolved case of a young girl named Rain who was abducted while he was with the San Diego police.

    Brian says: "Awesome"
    "I've gotten Hooked on Don Winslow and Ray Porter!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first listened to a Don Winslow audible book about a month ago and since then I've become totally hooked on the surfing scene he writes so wonderfully of..a scene I grew up with in the late 1950's and 1960's, first surfing at Ventrura County Line in 1958 when my family was camping on the beach for a month..something my folks loved to do...set up an old canvas army tent right on the sand and live at the beach for free..long before pay to camp parks with all the luxuries (like out houses).

    Makes me long to go back when I hear the dialogue in The Dawn Patrol...it was a wonderful time and this is one wonderful book.

    Well worth the listen-there is a lot more to the plot than riding waves and it really drew me in

    Enjoy this series..I sure am!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Trail to Buddha’s Mirror: A Neal Carey Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Robert Pendleton is a chemical genius with a fertilizer worth a fortune to whoever controls the formula. Not surprisingly, the Bank, his notoriously exclusive backer, wants to keep an eye on its investment. But so does the CIA. And the Chinese government. And a few shadier organizations. So when Pendleton disappears from a conference in San Francisco, along with all of his research, Neal Carey enters the picture.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Book 2 in the Neal Carey Mysteries"
    "Book 2 in the Neal Carey Mysteries"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don Winslow and Joe Barrett are a great pair...Winslows writing is enhanced by Barrett's narrating..reading reviews of this series I see I'm not the only one who appreciates this duo.

    Carey is a PI who seems to get into a lot of trouble, no matter where he is he finds something or someone who causes him problems..with fixes that I haven't guessed yet..I like that in a mystery!

    If you haven't read Don Winslow's books, I encourage you to give them a try..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Cool Breeze on the Underground

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (94)

    Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met a P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They pay Neal's college tuition, and Neal gets an education that can't be found in any textbook, from learning how to trail a suspect to mastering the proper way to search a room. Now it's payback time.

    S. O'Brien says: "Wicked Fun"
    "Joe Barrett and Don Winslow.what a pair of winners"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My second Don Winslow novel but first narrated by Joe Barrett is a truly compulsive listening experience.

    Though I very much enjoyed the plot with it's plot of Neil and all the back story with the senator, Alli, and the other various characters from a Senator hoping to be Vice President to the pimp that push Alli into the streets, I really connected with Joe Barrets narration. He's great!

    I loved this book and am looking forward to other Neil Carry stories in this series. and I'll be also looking for more narrated by Joe Barrett!

    Well wrath a credit...but only if you want to purchase the other novels in this series..they are addicting!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Still Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lisa Genova
    • Narrated By Lisa Genova
    Overall
    (804)
    Performance
    (460)
    Story
    (470)

    Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At 50 years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world - forever.

    Ira says: "Incredibly stimulating and thought-provoking"
    "Attention Grabbing - Genova can really express her"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I imagine everyone has had periods of unawareness or forgetfulness, of getting tongue twisted, forgetting names of friends or even appliances-I once asked my eldest son to mow the living room carpet and vacuum the yard for me...he would have done it just to be mean if I didn't stop him.

    In any case, Still Alice made me so aware of what can be in store for any of us--and not necessarily just when we age.

    I found the reading to be less than ideal though and think the author could have served herself better by using a professional narrator instead of narrating it herself.

    However, the material itself is so compelling I can almost excuse the poor narration..Encourage listening or reading this novel..well worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Until Tuesday

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Narrated By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (770)
    Performance
    (602)
    Story
    (606)

    A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. In constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; he cut himself off from those he loved. Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever....

    Char says: "Very Good Book"
    "Nicely read by the author, Tuesday is a great dog."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Montalvan writes very compassionately about his bonding with service dog "Tuesday" and how they come to learn about and understand each other.

    A dog lovers dream of a novel, I recommend it to anyone who has a friend who relative who has been thru the Middle East wars or even Viet Nam.

    Of course I had a few tears towards the end of the book, but I do love animals and have a friend who uses a service dog herself.

    Well worth a credit and your time

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter of Frankie Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (208)

    Frank Machianno is a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. An affable Italian with a love of people and life, he's a stand-up businessman, devoted father, and a beloved fixture in the community. He's also a hit man - specifically, a retired hit man. Back in the day when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast Mafia, he was known as Frankie Machine.

    Surf City Swami says: "The Winter of Frankie Machine is a ray of sunshine"
    ""New To Me" author writes of aging Mafia/surf bum"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know how I've missed author Don Winslow and his So Cal Surf Scene novels but I'm glad I found him. This rather strangely plotted book tells the story of a retired mafia hit man known as Frankie Machine who would rather stay retired from his hit man job and focus on early morning surfing, his bait shop on the pier and as fish supplier to 4&5 star restaurants.

    Unfortunately Frankies Boss man has other ideas.

    If you haven't read Don Winslow, I think this is a good book to start in with. I found Frankie to be a basic nice guy who is shoved into situation he'd rather avoid.

    Worth the credit and your time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1663)
    Performance
    (1502)
    Story
    (1500)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "WWII women flyers /a good, interesting novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Though not the type of book I might normally buy, "Code Name Verity" surprised me by its captivating, real life look at UK women aviatrix and their striving to be allowed to fly combat type missions instead of just being the ferry pilots.

    Elizabeth Wein has authored a real tension filed novel that is beautifully narrated by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell as code name "Verity" and "KittyHawk"-Verity/Julie is captured and tortured while KittyHawk searches for her in war torn France and bemoans the fear she has of the loss of her pilots license.

    Well worth the listen and credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snowbound

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (126)

    For Will Innis and his daughter, Devlin, the loss was catastrophic. Every day for the past five years, they wonder where she is, if she is - Will's wife, Devlin's mother - because Rachael Innis vanished one night during an electrical storm on a lonely desert highway, and suspected of her death, Will took his daughter and fled. Now, Will and Devlin live under different names in another town, having carved out a new life for themselves as they struggle to maintain some semblance of a family.

    Barb says: "Better Than A Good Movie!"
    "Excellent novel..one of the best mysteries around"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I very much enjoyed listening to this narration of a great mystery. This was one of those books that seem written to be narrated for an audio book and the narrator was the perfect choice for it.

    Highly recommended for those who enjoy mysteries

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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