Deadmistress is a good cozy mystery written by Carole B. Shmurak. The story centers around Susan Lombardi who is s a professor at a Connecticut university who used to teach at an exclusive private girl's high school, Wittenbury Academy. After the unlikeable headmistress at Wittenbury is murdered, Susan investigates the death to satisfy her curiosity under the guise of helping to clear the name of a teacher friend who is the primary suspect.
Throughout the story, we are introduced to several interesting characters, including Susan’s accommodating husband Swash, her best friend, Elaine, and an adult student who holds a private investigator’s license, Mark. With the help of her posse and a few high school students, Susan helps solve the murder of the headmistress quite nicely.
Barbara Benjamin-Creel did a great job narrating. Her inflictions and tone were appropriate and she exhibited the right amount of “spunk” and cheekiness needed in a cozy mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed her reading!
Dangerous and Unseemly: A Concordia Wells Mystery is a captivating story written by K.B. Owen. I have to admit that at first I wasn't sure what to make of the story and it took me a couple chapters to get into it. I'm so glad I kept with it! There are several layers to this story and there are several mysteries solved. It's the mystery book that keeps on giving until the very end!
The story centers on the title character, Concordia Wells, who is a college professor at an all womens college in 1896. She not only teaches several classes, she is a live-in chaperone to a bunch of college students, and directs the senior play. From almost the beginning of the book we know the college is experiencing money troubles, mean-spirited pranks, and the apparent suicide of the college's accountant. If that were not enough, there is arson, the suspicious death of her sister, and two potential suitors for Concordia's affection.
I listened to the Audible version of this book narrated by Becket Royce. Beckett did a fantastic job, keeping me entertained throughout. She has different voices for each character, both male and female, and her characterizations were very engaging. Great job!
He Taught Me to Hope: Darcy and the Young Knight's Quest is a delightful alternative telling of how Elizabeth and Darcy meet and eventually fall in love. The story starts with Elizabeth marrying a young man of a wealthy family at age 17. Soon after, Elizabeth is widowed and 9 months later she gives birth to a healthy baby boy whom she names Ben. Flash forward five years when Elizabeth returns to Longbourn after the death of her father-in-law. At the behest of her father, Elizabeth becomes engaged to Mr. Collins out of a sense of duty -- to provide a future for her mother and sisters, and to secure a father figure for Ben.
Ben is simply adorable! He's imaginative and wise beyond his years. Ben's favorite past time is exploring the woods around Longbourn. On one such exploration he meets Mr. Darcy. Ben introduces himself as Sir Lancelot and Darcy plays along and says that he is King Arthur. Darcy's relationship with Ben is endearing. He lets Ben be imaginative, and basically falls in love with Ben before he realizes that Ben is Elizabeth’s son.
Like in Jane Austen's book, Darcy and Elizabeth meet at the Meryton Assembly. Their eyes meet across the crowded room and both of them feel an instant attraction. Throughout most of the book Darcy tries to persuade Elizabeth that Mr. Collins is all wrong for her, and after her broken engagement, Darcy persuades her to marry him. Darcy's feelings for Elizabeth never waiver and are steadfast.
I listened to the Audible version of this story narrated by Pearl Hewitt. She did an outstanding job, providing distinct and consistent voices for all characters, young and old. Pearl's narration certainly contributed to my enjoyment of this book. Great job!
Mr. Darcy's Dogs is a very cute, tongue in cheek update on the classic Pride and Prejudice novel by Jane Austen. In this retelling, Lizzie Bennet is a doctor (presumably from earning a Ph.D.) who is working as a dog psychologist. Our first glimpse of Lizzie is at a Westminster-type Dog Show where she is known as a "dog whisperer." Mister Darcy hires Lizzie to train two basset hound pups to fox hunt and mayhem ensues.
Karen Krause’s narration is simply fantastic. She really brings the characters to life, using a variety of accents and giving each character their own distinct voice. She is also able to switch genders and generations with ease.
Time and Again is a great story that draws you in immediately. The ending will leave you eagerly anticipating the next story. Thankfully there is!
The Rogue by Claire Delacroix is the first book in the Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy. Originally published in 2002, it received a glorious upgrade in the form of an audio edition narrated by Ashley Klanac. It features a mysterious hero, an opinionated heroine and a mystery subplot - all set in medieval Scotland. What's not to love?
The story centers around Merlyn of Ravensmuir Castle and his feisty wife Ysabella. After just a few weeks of marriage, she discovers his family is involved in a not so legitimate business and she leaves him, returning to her maternal home in Kinfairlie village. Flash forward five years and Merlyn needs Ysabella's help because someone is trying to kill him. Ysabella agrees to help him only after he tells her the whole truth of what he's been hiding all these years.
This story is Gothic in tone, told in the first person from Ysabella's viewpoint. If I have any complaint about this book is that it took more than half the book before we find out what was so terrible that made Ysabella leave Merlyn. But, I really enjoyed the mystery and intrigue of the story as the two lovers uncover the secrets of Ravensmuir. With both of them keeping secrets from each other until the very end of the story, they are a perfect match for each other!
I'm Not Talking about You, of Course: Quirky Essays for Quirky People, Book 1 is a collection of short essays of life's observations that is extremely funny and thoroughly enjoyable. All of the stories were well written and I could easily imagine my own quirky family in many of the scenes. It even includes a reference to Doctor Who!
Barbara Venkataraman's writing style is very similar to the late Erma Bombeck, who could take the most mundane of tasks and make it sound entertaining. At almost one hour, this collection of essays was the perfect length for my commute to and from work.
Carrie Lee Martz did a great job narrating. She reads with enthusiasm and spunk, both of which really contributed to my enjoyment of the collection.
I just finished listening to Coming Home for Christmas, which is a grea story of the true meaning of family. The main theme of this story is that money clearly does not buy happiness. In a family born of "old money," we find three siblings: the workaholic older brother, the playboy world traveler youngest brother, and the country-club young mother whose husband is cheating on her. Obviously their wealth has lead to estrangement and no concept of reality.
In comes Allie who is hired by the eldest as a house manager while he sells the family estate over the holiday season. Allie is a former nanny who soon ingratiates herself into the household and the hearts of all family members. Although financially poor, Allie's spirit and belief in the power of family is contagious and eventually brings the disfunctional family together.
Teri Schnaubelt narrated and did a fantastic job. She had differing voices for all of the characters, including the young and elderly. Teri really enhanced my enjoyment of the story and I can't wait to listen to another of her productions. Well done!
The Exiled written by William Meikle is a crime thriller set in Scotland, reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. Thankfully, I was well into the story when the horror begins, subtlety at first, which builds as the story progresses.
The story centers around Detective John Granger and his news reporter brother, Alan. They investigate why little girls are disappearing from differing locations around Edinburgh. The perpetrator is always one step ahead of their investigation, and the only clue left behind at each scene are the brutalized remains of black swans. The investigation culminates at a farmhouse in Central Scotland, where John and Alan realize that the land of the Faerie is far too real. To catch the perpetrator, they must cross over into Elfheim.
I listened to the Audible version of this story, narrated by Chris Barnes. His narration was flawless. His Scottish brogue really set the tone and tember for this crime thriller set in Edinburgh. Chris really brought the characters to life and brought an urgency to certain scenes when appropriate. Great job!
I'm a huge Jane Austen fan, and Pride and Prejudice is the primary reason. I'm always hesitant to read "fan fiction" that attempts to rewrite what Miss Austen said so eloquently the first time. However, I just love narrator Pearl Hewitt. She has a spunk and sassiness in her readings that make listening very enjoyable. She enunciates with British sophistication with the best of them! So, when I saw that Pearl had a new narration of P.O. Dixon's Expecting His Proposal: A Darcy and Elizabeth Short Story, I thought why not give it a try? I was pleasantly surprised with the story and glad I listened.
The story is an alternative to the infamous first proposal. Thankfully, the whole Wickham misunderstanding is avoided in this story. Instead, the story starts off with Elizabeth's attraction to Darcy and how she looks forward to their meetings. P.O. Dixon does a very good job of weaving several of Austen's dialog passages into her own story- just placing them in a different context.
I highly recommend this short story to anyone who enjoys Jane Austen and alternative scenarios.
Diary of a Small Fish by Pete Morin is a wonderful legal "cozy" mystery. It's hard to classify this book because it is not a true mystery that normal cozy mysteries entail, but it has all the humor and familiarity of one. The story centers on Paul Forte, who is a charismatic, well-connected, former politician. After testifying at a grand jury, Paul soon finds himself on the receiving end of an indictment from a corrupt US Attorney. The "mystery" is: why is this US Attorney after Paul, whose only crime is playing golf with lobbyists at some of the most exclusive courses in the world?
What is most appealing about Paul is that despite being raised in a privileged community, he is an ordinary compassionate guy. He falls in love with a blue collar artist, and is one of the most trustworthy person most people know. His motto is "play by the rules, love your comrades, and never cheat."
I listened to the Audible version of this story, which was narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright. He uses a variety of voices, giving all characters their own unique voice. His narration brought the characters to life, completely drawing me into the story. Great job!
Report Inappropriate Content