The Merlot Murders is an excellent read, esp. for those who like a little history and a little wine thrown into our mysteries. I've lived in the N Virginia area that is the background for this book and know the author has done her homework.The extra information about wine-making, esp. in Virginia, boosts the story. The characters are well-drawn and their relationships believable. There is enough information to begin figuring out possible "who done its" without spoiling it and enough evolving story to keep the reader guessing. Nice mix. The narration is excellent - the Va and Charleston accents are absolutely correct. I recommend this book and am looking forward to the next one in the series.
I could not listen to this book due to the extremely poor narration - lost money on this one. The narrator speaks very, very quickly - a hurtling freight train - and there is an absolute absence of tone or emphasis variation. Skip this one and maybe read the book instead.
Dump the narrator and get someone who can vary their tone, etc to match different characters and SLOW DOWN. I think there was an attempt to do a southern accent several times, hard to tell, but it absolutely did not work.
This book is spoiled by the very poor narration. One of Evanovich's strengths is satire and it is clearly here but it is hard to pick up because the narrator simply cannot bring the satiric note to the material. Lorelei King, who narrates the Stephanie Plum books, can do this in spades. I was very disappointed.
The plot is clever and builds in a way that makes one curious to see what will happen next. I've not read the 2nd author, Goldberg, but the Evanovich touch is clearly here.
As I have said, the narration undermined the book.
It would be worth the time to read the book but not to listen to. Some books are enhanced by good narration - this is clearly not one of them. It's not the fault of Audible but I feel my money was wasted here - one of the books I would better have read in hard copy.
Based on this book I would NOT try another book by Amanda Coplin or narrated by mark Bramhall.
Bramhall's narration was part of the problem. It was dry, only one tone without variations, and underscored the boring book.
No redeeming qualities - I did NOT care about the characters, lost interest in what happened to them, and found the character development not believable.
This book is so tedious. I kept trying to stay with it in hopes it would get better, but finaly had to give up before I could finish it. The story is depressing, the people are mostly without redeeming qualities, and there is no hopeful outcome - not that anyting would be perfect, but that something would be different. The charaters were just not believable - very one dimensional.
I am a long-time Jance fan so expected a good read, but realized part way through that this is some of her best work so far. The writing is absolutely crisp so things unfold at a steady pace while also providing excellent character development and a solid story line. Multiple characters and story threads can be confusing sometimes & I think the audiobook format may accentuate that problem, however, in Trial By Fire, Jance draws the characters and outlines the story threads so distinctly that this is not a problem at all. If you like a good puzzle as well as emotional context, then you will find Trail By Fire right down you alley. I suggest this is a good novel to start with if you are new to Jance's work.
I recommend this novel, esp. to those in want to believe in the potential for transformation and the power of love. The first half is very slow and, honestly,I struggled w not careing much about what happens to the main characters. But, I hung in there and was rewarded wtih some interesting and surprising turns.
$20 Per Gallon is a fascinating, thoughtful, and thoughtprovoking view of the near future as the price of oil rises. Steiner describes the economic and social implications of rising energy prices across the human experience and proposes some interesting scenarios about how life will look as the world, especially the U.S., is forced to adapt and reinvent. While some of his conclusions are a bit too rosey, he makes a strong case for the re-emergence of American industry, a return to locally grown TASTY food, and energy innovation. I highly recommend this book.
I love the Mary Russell series by Laurie King, but suggest people give O Jerusalem a miss. The circumstances and characters are just too far beyond believable (e.g., Sherlock Holmes & Mary Russell passing for Arabs) and the story drags endlessly, becoming more like an out-of-date travelogue than a solid story. The next book in the series, Justice Hall, fleshes out enough of the story line from this book. If you are new to the series, start w/ Beekeeper's Apprentice and don't let this one put you off.
excellent story, well drawn characters and fascinating locale - a good, solid read.
A disappointing book due to a very predictable plot and equally predictable characters - the goodhearted prostitute, the young hero soldier fighting bad guys,and the well-known story of corruption/predation in the Union supply line during the Civil War. Many unexplained gaps in the story line and characters. The sexual scenes are equally predictable and, frankly, as boring as they are un-believable.
This novel is a well-told tale with an interesting plot, surprising twists, and well developed characters set against the emotional and political backdrop of the pending American invasion of Iraq. However, the narration is problematic. Mispronouncing English is less distracting than the almost total lack of tone, accent, or pace changes for different characters (and there are a lot of characters) so that scene shifts are sometimes unrecognizable. I several times had to rewind a bit to figure out what (and who) was going on. That said, the book is marvelous.
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