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Marie

Member Since 2011

340
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 122 reviews
  • 201 ratings
  • 515 titles in library
  • 64 purchased in 2014
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33

  • The Mangle Street Murders: The Gower Street Detectives, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By M. R. C. Kasasian
    • Narrated By Lindy Nettleton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (42)

    After her father dies, March Middleton has to move to London to live with her guardian, Sidney Grice, the country's most famous private detective. It is 1882, and London is at its murkiest yet most vibrant, wealthiest yet most poverty-stricken. No sooner does March arrive than a case presents itself: A young woman has been brutally murdered, and her husband is the only suspect.

    Ms Marple says: "A New Favorite Author --Hope this becomes a series"
    "Weak story and underwhelming narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book might be better read than listened to but I'm not sure it will make a difference.

    I was confused to say the least by March Middleton, at once both a girl who had never been kissed and a woman who had been engaged to a soldier in India. It was as if she had a split personality but the reader never got to see where they overlapped. I was also perplexed by the side story involving a woman March meets on a train in the opening scene and the women's club March joins. The only point of the subplot seemed to be to emphasize that March was a modern woman who liked to smoke and drink. Yet for being so modern, she meekly stood by while all the male characters in the book, even some minor ones, told her how unattractive she was. Her lack of emotional response to such attacks was disturbing. I was not surprised to find out the author is a man-a man who doesn't appear to understand women. Maybe doesn't even like women much. All the female characters are flat. Actually, I think March will discover in a future volume that the main male character, Sidney Grice, is actually a cross dresser. The author has already thrown out a few hints.

    I didn't like the narrator and doubt I would listen to other books she reads.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • By the Pricking of My Thumbs & Postern of Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    Tommy and Tuppence are at it again. This detective couple can never walk away from a mystery and these two later novels are no exception. By the Pricking of My Thumbs: When Tommy and Tuppence visit an elderly aunt in her gothic nursing home, they think nothing of her mistrust of the doctors; after all, Ada is a very difficult old lady. Postern of Fate: Tommy and Tuppence Beresford have just become the proud owners of an old house in an English village. Along with the property, they have inherited some worthless bric-a-brac, including a collection of antique books....

    Jacqueline says: "Great!"
    "Wish I could rate individually: #1 is 4, #2 is 2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My high overall story rating is for By the Pricking of My Thumbs.

    By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968) is a great listen. Tommy and Tuppence are nearing retirement and dealing with an aged aunt who passes away at an old ladies home. Tuppence stumbles on clues related to old crimes and eccentric villagers. The listener is kept guessing until the end.

    Postern of Fate (1973) doesn't fare as well. It has an interesting premise but fails to provide a satisfactory ending. The Tommy and Tuppence are retired (now about 70 we learn late in the book) and have moved to the country. It turns out the house has ties to a decades old espionage case. It was difficult to determine "when" the story was taking place until late in the plot and the date of the crime is vague until near the end. The listener is never privy to the documents uncovered by Tuppence. I wasn't ever sure who did what in the past and how it threatened prominent persons in the present. Postern of Fate was the last novel Agatha Christie wrote. That may have played a role in the weakness of the story. It is funny her final story is about two retirees.

    Hugh Fraser is great. No one does an old lady better than he does. He reading saved Postern of Fate to some extent. He brings Tommy and Tuppence alive for the listener.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 'Crooked House' & 'Endless Night'

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (70)

    Two standalone novels from the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie. From the sprawling Leonide family to dark moors, no one can spin a mystery quite like she can. In Crooked House, the Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection....

    Thomas says: "Typical VS Unexpected"
    "Not to be missed Agatha Christie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed both books immensely. They are so different from Christie's Piorot and Marple books. Endless Night is so unexpected, with twists and an ending that will surprise most readers. It is on of Christie's later books, published in 1967. Crooked House is a bit more of a romp, though still a whodunit.

    I have been listening to a number of Christie books lately and noted that her first person narrator, even in the Marple books, is always a man. Miss Marple sometimes appears very little in her books. I wonder if there are any Christie books with a first person female narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First Horseman: Thomas Treviot, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By D. K. Wilson
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Before dawn on a misty November morning in 1536, prominent mercer Robert Packington was gunned down as he crossed Cheapside on his way to early morning mass. It was the first assassination by handgun in the history of the capital and subsequently shook the city to its core.The identity of his assassin has remained a mystery. the first of a new series investigating real unsolved Tudor crimes, D.K. Wilson brings the streets of Tudor London to spectacular life as Thomas Treviot faces a fight to bring the truth to light.

    Marie says: "Interesting but flat story"
    "Interesting but flat story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the book from a historical fiction point of view because it looked at religious events under Henry VIII from a new angle, the common man rather than palace. The information about the Tindale bible was fascination. The story concerns an actual unsolved crime from 1536. Unfortunately, the main character is flat and a bit thick. He sees violence all around him yet is confused when his actions set off reactions. He seems so naive at times. The book is missing the drama and intensity of the Matthew Shardlake books by C.J. Sansom.

    The narrator does an excellent job. I would listen to other books narrated by David Thorpe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death at the President's Lodging: An Inspector Appleby Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Michael Innes
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the president has been murdered in his lodging. Scandal abounds when it becomes clear that the only people with any motive to murder him are the only people who had the opportunity - because the President's Lodging opens off Orchard Ground, which is locked at night, and only the Fellows of the College have keys.

    Clarice Borio says: "Tedious Muddle"
    "Tedious and odd"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listen to audio books before I go to sleep. This one put me to sleep rapidly. It was all talking heads. Almost nothing happens. There was almost no setting are description. The characters were flat. And there was not one single woman in the entire book.

    The narrator was excellent. I only gave him four stars because he didn't have any women's voices to to do so I can't tell if he would be good at them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shooting in the Shop

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Simon Brett
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    Carole Seddon hates Christmas – it all seems rather a waste of time. So when her best friend, Jude, drags her along to go shopping at a local store called Gallimaufry, she can feel her inner-Scrooge knocking. Then Gallimaufry is burnt down and a body is discovered. It seems like a tragic accident, but it’s not natural causes when a gun is involved.

    Lynn says: "Tops in plot, people & narrator"
    "Enjoyable characters, week story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the two main characters, Carol and Jude, and will definitely give the author another chance. I felt the story ended abruptly and could have had more depth. I was also perplexed about the epilogue which disclosed what the future held for many of the secondary characters. I am on the fence about whether I liked that feature or not.

    Simon Brett is a wonderful narrator. He knows his characters well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faro's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Laura Paton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (56)

    Fiery, strong-willed Deb Grantham, who presides over a gaming house with her aunt, is hardly the perfect wife for the young and naive Lord Mablethorpe. His lordship's family are scandalized that he proposes to marry one of 'faro's daughters', and his cousin the proud, wealthy Max Ravenscar - decides to take the matter in hand. Ravenscar always gets his way, but as he and Miss Grantham lock horns, they become increasingly drawn to each other. Amidst all the misunderstandings and entanglements, has Ravenscar finally met his match?

    Nanellen says: "Georgette Heyer is all the better when heard"
    "Narrator's male voices are awful, read it instead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of my favorite Heyer novels but I just couldn't listen to it. The narrators male voices, especially for the main character (Ravenscar) is awful. Sadly, I am going to return this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser, Simon Vance, Isla Blair
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    A grand treasure for fans of the grande dame of mystery, The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories brings together nine rare and brilliant Christie tales of murder and detection that span nearly half a century of her storytelling genius. In "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest," Hercule Poirot unravels the psychological conundrums that motivate a killer.... In "The Actress," a great star's shady past becomes the plaything of a blackmailer.... In "The Harlequin Tea Set," Mr. Harley Quin helps a man save his loved ones from the greedy hand of murder.

    Die Falknerin says: "Three great narrators, nine classic stories"
    "A Revelation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Harlequin Tea Set, a collection of short mysteries, was a revelation to me. I knew Agatha Christie was a great story teller, but was unprepared for the quality of these short stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Eighth Veil: A Jerusalem Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Frederick Ramsay
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    A murdered servant girl is found in the palace of King Herod Antipas. The prefect, Pontius Pilate, is in attendance. The populace has already been buzzing over the brutal death of one of their prophets, John, known familiarly as the Baptizer, and scandal is in the air.

    Marie says: "Terrible narration and awful dialgue"
    "Terrible narration and awful dialgue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am returning this book. The narrator's voice is awful which makes the bland dialogue and weak story even worse. I couldn't get past the first few chapters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Queen of England: Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Steve Robinson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    While on a visit to London, American genealogist Jefferson Tayte’s old friend and colleague dies in his arms. Before long, Tayte and a truth-seeking historian, Professor Jean Summer, find themselves following a corpse-ridden trail that takes them to the Royal Society of London, circa 1708.

    Doreen says: "Non-stop engaging story"
    "Assassination Overload"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the genealogical aspects of this book. The the first in the series, it is what maintained my interest enough to finish the book. Unlink the first book ( To The Grave) however, there is no second story to keep the reader interested.

    The main character (Jefferson Tayte, an American genealogist) is flat and typecast. The assassin appears very early on and the reason for a string of assassinations is over the top. It might have been more interesting if there was more variety in the way people died. Like To the Grave it is all guns, guns, guns. The problem started for me when the bodies started mounting all over London.

    The lackluster response of law enforcement was unrealistic in this day of terrorist threats and realities. British Intelligence does get involved in the case but are clueless. Why don't they take Tayte off the street after the two agents escorting him are shot? They let him wander and reveal case details to the public.

    The problems from the first book show up again here. Tayte repeatedly mentions he is searching for his birth parents and that he has a weight problem. But that's all we know. Why is his weight an issue? How heavy is he? Does he have health issues. Or is it just an impression the author has of Americans? Doesn't Tayte have any relatives who know he was adopted? Were his birth parents British? It seems that is why he is so interested in British genealogy. But how does he know this? And Tayte must own stock in a tan suit manufacturing company. He seems to have a never ending stock.

    The narrator, Simon Vance, is one of my favorites and he does a good job with Tayte's American English accent and pronunciation. There are instances, however, where Tatye uses a British pronunciation when he just wouldn't have.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Moving Finger: A Miss Marple Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Richard E. Grant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (44)

    Lymstock is a town with more than its share of shameful secrets - a town where even a sudden outbreak of anonymous hate mail causes only a minor stir. But all that changes when one of the recipients, Mrs. Symmington, commits suicide. Her final note says "I can’t go on", but Miss Marple questions the coroner's verdict of suicide. Soon nobody is sure of anyone - as secrets stop being shameful and start becoming deadly.

    Calliope says: "great characterizations with a little mystery"
    "Miss Marple is Mostly Missing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listen to this book if for no other reason that Richard E. Grant is the perfect narrator.

    I think this was my first Miss Marple mystery in book form. And it is so different from the Joan Hickson variety TV movie. Mainly because the book is written from the first person point of view of another character. And at least in this instance, Miss Marple is hardly part of the story. In fact, she doesn't show up until well into the narrative. She is used mostly to reveal the killer and motive.

    The story revolves around anonymous letters plaguing a small village. The narrator is pilot recovering from injuries in a flying accident. He and his sister are renting a home in Lymstock while he recovers. The rest of the cast are local recipients of the hateful letters. There's a bit of romance, a bit of intrigue, and lots of local color. A pleasant diversion for a summer's day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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