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MissSusie66

MissSusie

Member Since 2010

506
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 128 reviews
  • 182 ratings
  • 611 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
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  • Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Maggie Hope Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susan Elia MacNeal
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (770)
    Performance
    (675)
    Story
    (675)

    London, 1940: Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined....

    Katherine says: "Lovely"
    "Good Cozy Spy thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    About the audio production: **Just my 2 cents** First off was my confusion on narration: the listing on audible says Wanda McCaddon but the intro of narrator says Donada Peters I guess they are one in the same but then the intro and the listing should use the same name. Wanda/Donada was a good narrator there were times when slipping in between the British and American accents didn’t work well for me, there were times they were kind of a cross between the two and it was hard to tell who was talking. But I did enjoy her narration as whole.

    This book was not what I was expecting; I didn’t expect it to be a spy/war/mystery/family secrets story all rolled into a really good book. The setting was fascinating; the beginning of WWII and with people like the US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy who lost his post for being a Nazi sympathizer and an anti-Semite which I looked up and was a bit shocked to find this all to be true. And of course Winston Churchill it was fun to hear about his pets running rough shod over 10 Downing (I looked that up too and found it to be true). So this book was well researched and made me want to look things up and as I’ve said before that’s what makes a good historical fiction novel.

    I really liked Maggie she did remind me a little of Maisie Dobbs but that could just be the setting and the fact that she is a strong independent woman in a time that was a bit frowned upon. I also liked the fact that Maggie was raised an American but by the end of this book has been found to be a valuable asset for the England. There are at times a lot of characters to keep track of and I did get confused a couple times as to who was who so I hope in the next book this will be tightened up a bit. I do look forward to reading more of Maggie.

    I felt this book was kind of a Cozy Spy Thriller it had all the great elements of a good spy novel plus the best of a cozy mystery. I look forward to more by this author.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • The Right Thing

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Amy Conner
    • Narrated By Kate Baldwin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    On a scorching August day in 1963, seven-year-old Annie Banks meets the girl who will become her best friend. Skinny, outspoken Starr Dukes and her wandering preacher father may not be accepted by polite society in Jackson, Mississippi, but Annie and Starr are too busy sharing secrets and playing elaborate games of Queen for a Day to care. Then, as suddenly as she appeared in Annie's life, Starr disappears.

    MissSusie66 says: "Just ok"
    "Just ok"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was just ok for me, I wanted to really like it, heck I got the paperbook in a Goodreads giveaway but wanted to get it done so listened to it on audio.

    I liked these girls much more as children than I did as adults I felt neither one was very likeable. Annie a put upon southern housewife with an eating disorder (no they didn’t delve into that too much but it was so obvious by things she said) who has been desperately trying to get pregnant with no luck. She doesn’t seem too happy with her life when a chance meeting with her best friend from 2nd grade Starr (who she hasn’t seen since). Starr is in the middle of a scandal she is pregnant by a married man who is also a society bigwig and when Starr asks for Annie’s help Annie lies to her husband and goes off with Starr to help her out. And as you can guess things don’t go as planned.

    I felt these characters weren’t very fleshed out, I like a book where I care about what happens to the characters and that just didn’t happen in this book , I think I liked the secondary characters more than I liked the main characters. I liked Annie’s mom and Annie’s aunt Tuti in the flashback scenes and the girls’ friend Betty.

    And the ending was just well blah, I think if we had seen them from childhood and the story had been more linear instead of the alternating chapters I don’t know maybe I say that because I really enjoyed the parts where they were children but neither grew up to be very likeable.

    So I guess what I am saying is I enjoyed parts of this book and other made me cringe, from the choices these two women make. Also if you haven’t seen your “BFF” since 2nd grade don’t you think they may have changed and just possibly you don’t have anything in common anymore? In this day and age of Facebook I know I have found that out when re-connecting with people from my past that maybe once we were friends but now they are a wackadoodle (and they probably think the same of me).

    Now onto our narrator Kate Baldwin her voice is fine but for the love of god she needs to learn to control her breathing better there were times she sounded like a fish out of water gulping for breath and it was very off-putting. If she learns that, I would listen to her again because her voice and characters were well done but I had a hard time getting over the gulps of breath she was taking.

    2 ½ Stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Naoki Higashida
    • Narrated By Tom Picasso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (755)
    Performance
    (673)
    Story
    (675)

    Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, The Reason I Jumpis a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

    Janice says: "Cracking the code"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an interesting book I have a son who is mentally handicapped with shades of autism and I saw him in parts of this book. If you are interested in learning more about the mind of someone with autism I recommend this book!

    Tom Picasso’s narration was very well done I think he truly brought this question and answer book to life.

    Highly recommend.

    4 Stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Violet Grant

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Beatriz Williams
    • Narrated By Kathleen McInerney
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (71)

    Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine.

    gustavetoutant says: "Great Story"
    "Not the book I thought it would be"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I so wanted to like this book, the description sounded like something I would really like but this one fell short for me. I won this book from librarything early reviewers but had a hard time getting into it so got the audio hoping it would be better but for over half of the book all I wanted was for it to be over.

    I love dual storylines in historical fiction and that was what I was expecting but this book is Romance, lots of sex (very descriptive) and once you get through that there is a little bit of a historical fiction storyline but not enough to save this one, IMHO. Also the characters are all pretty much unlikable and the whole stupid romance in the 1964 storyline is ridicules they fell in love in 5 minutes?? Give me a break! This book may have been better served if it just told Violet’s storyline because Vivian was annoying and her whole storyline revolved around this convoluted romance with someone she met and supposedly fell in love with in an afternoon.

    Violet’s storyline started out strong then dwindled into idiocy, with many unbelievable things happening and I wanted more of the actual story of how …( no spoilers) than just the whole romance crap.

    And the ending was all tied up in a little bow that made me throw-up a little in mouth, it was so saccharine.

    Kathleen McInerney’s narration was very well done but couldn’t save me from wanting this book to end!

    I may be in the minority here, this book has gotten a lot of buzz but, don’t be fooled by the historical fiction moniker this is straight up romance and not a good one!

    2 Stars (barely)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Top Secret Twenty-One: A Stephanie Plum Novel, Book 21

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (1263)
    Performance
    (1138)
    Story
    (1143)

    Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures.

    G. House Sr. says: "Stagnant Stephanie - Plodding Plot - Not great"
    "Good vacation listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do not read/listen to the Stephanie Plum books as the great American novel, I read them because they are fun, enjoyable and like reconnecting with old friends.

    I enjoyed this one because it had lots of Grandma, Lulu and Ranger ,who we actually got a bit more background on than we have before and we saw a little snippier side to him which I liked because it made him more real.

    As usual Stephanie has a car or two blow up, grandma’s up to high jinks, Lulu is Lulu, but what I thought was interesting in this installment was Ranger was the main target for bad guys and you almost saw a little crack in his facade.

    I loved grandma and Bella’s spats those made me laugh so hard and now grandma has a bucket list and lord all mighty you can about guess what’s on it, I loved at the end when she actually got to cross one off, leaving her speechless, it was hilarious!

    I also think I saw touches towards Stephanie actually picking between Joe and Ranger, I think she knows who she will end up with maybe she’s just not ready yet.

    As always Lorelei King’s narration brings these characters to life for me I always listen to these on audio because Lorelei is the voice of Stephanie Plum!

    I enjoyed this installment it was the perfect vacation listen, and I look forward to the next book.

    3 ½ stars

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Little Mercies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd, Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (196)

    Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity - the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined.

    Carla says: "Couldn't stop listening!"
    "Powerful story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a powerful book, and at times hard to read. This is definitely a ripped from headlines book, when the unthinkable happens to social worker Ellen, how do you get people to understand that it was an accident when the guilt of it is ripping you apart. Then we have runaway Jenny whose dad is in jail and her mother ran off with the man that beat Jenny when she was younger but luckily she is found by a kind woman who also happens to be Ellen’s mother Maudene.

    Ellen has seen the most awful things in her career as a social worker but one moment of distraction changes her whole life and the life of her family and she ends up on the other side of the fence wishing with everything that she could go back and start the day over. This book shows the difference between outright abuse and neglect and accidents but sometimes social services and the media don’t see the distinction between the two. My heart broke in Ellen’s storyline when the awful thing happened my heart was racing and it was just really tough to read.

    Jenny is spunky and courageous and luckily pretty street smart I liked her and was rooting for her to find a better life. Although her storyline was a bit too happily ever after and felt a little rushed I was still happy for her.

    Tanya Eby’s narration as Jenny was very well done and believable but Kate Rudd’s narration was so hysterical it got really old, I can understand that in certain moments of this book the hysteria was needed but it was constant and it seemed to be all the characters are just screeching and whiny. I do understand this was a taut emotional book but I wish Rudd had dialed back a bit.

    As I said this is a powerful book, I think this would be a good book for a bookclub because I think it would bring about a great discussion. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending I felt both stories were rushed and a bit too tied up in a bow for my taste.

    3 Stars
    4 Star narration for Eby
    2 1/2 Star narration for Rudd

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Butterfly Sister: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Amy Gail Hansen
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    To uncover the truth about a friend's disappearance, a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past in this moving debut tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature. My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep.

    MissSusie66 says: "A good thriller"
    "A good thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a different story than I expected, it turned out to be a darn good thriller and Amy Rubinate's narration just made it all the better!

    Ruby is a much damaged woman after a bad affair she drops out of college and moves home when one day a delivery is made to her house of a suitcase belonging to her former roommate Beth but when Ruby sets out to find Beth she instead finds out that she is missing. This mystery takes her back to the scene of her heartbreak, Tarble College, where she finds an even bigger mystery that also seems to revolve around her own heartbreak.

    As I said I wasn’t expecting this book to be a thriller I was expecting a sister story, (the title is explained towards the end of the book.) But I did really enjoy this one once I got over the fact that I hadn’t read the description very well. I enjoyed the use of authors Woolf, Plath & Perkins as plot devices to tell you how some of these women felt. The mystery of it all kept me guessing as to the cause of the disappearance and other things happening on campus and the reveal completely threw me, which is a great thing! Every time I thought I had it figured out things would swing in a different direction, which I enjoyed.

    Amy Rubinate’s narration was as always impeccable her soft southern accent was perfect with just the right amount of accent as to not become overdone. All of her characters and voices were well done and I feel her narration made this book even better. If you haven’t listened to Rubinate’s narrations I highly recommend anything narrated by her.


    I would recommend this thriller to anyone who likes a book that will keep you guessing.

    4 Stars
    5 Star narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blunder Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tanya Eby
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Chloe Knaggs is a bit of a nerd, a bit of a klutz, and all Blunder Woman, especially when it comes to love. Take the love of her life, Matt M. - or as she calls him - Mmm. He's her consummate unboyfriend, meaning, they have all the intimacy of a dating couple without any of the intimacy. Confused? So is Chloe. When Matt decides to elope with the very beautiful, svelte Amber, Chloe goes a little bit crazy and takes her hippy mom and best friend Megan right along with her.

    Michael says: "Nice orginal story"
    "Will make you giggle, snort and guffaw"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is not my usual fare; however I truly enjoyed this hilarious story starring the dysfunctional Chloe AKA Blunder Woman. This book is humorous first then a bit of romantic comedy, Chloe has fallen head over heels for MMM-Matt , as she calls him, but she is getting very mixed signals from him but some of those signals give her hope that he feels the same way. However as the reader of the book you know she is barking up the wrong tree and there will be times you just want to shake her and say he’s just not into you, wake up! When Chloe finds out Matt is engaged to the gorgeous Amber, she follows them to Mackinaw Island with her best friend and mother in tow to show Matt that it is really her he loves. This is when true hilarity ensues!

    The other characters in the book include Chloe’s best friend Megan and Chloe’s mother who is a great character all on her own, from her Reiki to tarot readings she is hippy dippy and hilarious. There is a whole cast of interesting fully fleshed out characters each one with their own quirks and personalities.

    I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tanya Eby on my blog but had never had the pleasure of hearing her narrations so I decided to do one better and listen to a book she wrote and narrated, I was not disappointed the story is great and the narration was fabulous you always knew exactly who was talking and everyone had their own voice. I look forward to listening to more by Tanya.

    I didn’t realize this book was set in Michigan when I chose it for one of my vacation listens and I was vacationing in Michigan, so it was fun knowing all the places they went.

    If you are looking for a light listen/read that will make you giggle, snort and guffaw this is the book for you! Be warned listening to this book in public will get you funny looks because you can’t help but laugh out loud at some of the great lines and situations. I would definitely read another book by Tanya and would read another book with this cast of characters (hint, hint).


    4 Stars

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (32)

    Crackpot is what everybody calls the Pott family. So when they go to buy a new car and come back with a wreck, nobody is surprised. Except for the Potts themselves. First, the car has a name. And she tells them what it is. Then they find that she can fly... and swim... Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a car on a mission to stop a criminal gang in its tracks and she is taking the Potts with her! Jump into the world s most loved magical car, for her first adventure ever!

    MissSusie66 says: "Not even close to the musical movie"
    "Not even close to the musical movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well I have discovered that my favorite movie from childhood is only Very Loosely based on Ian Fleming's book of the same name.

    The only thing familiar from the movie I love so much was the car and the kids' names, everything else is different, no grandpa, no Truly, no child catcher or Baron. It was very odd to have it be familiar yet not at the same time.

    I’m still trying to get over how different this was than what I was expecting; it is more similar to the Bond stories than the musical movie is. There are crooks and their hideout and trying to get away. This was a fun book but just know it is nothing like the movie of your childhood.

    David Tennant's narration was fabulous though, great accents and voices and characters! Tennant’s narration made this book even better.

    4 Stars

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1438)
    Performance
    (1297)
    Story
    (1286)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
    "Such a hoot!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was hilarious it made me laugh out loud while driving down the road other drivers must have thought I was crazy!

    Georgiana is staying at Kingsdowne Place to help out the family when they find a new heir for the Dukedom unfortunately for this upper crust family the heir apparent is an Aussie who has been raised as a rancher not as a Duke, plus the current Duke Cedric is a jerk who would rather have everyone gone and adopt one of his male playthings than put up with an interloper or anyone else in the family. Unfortunately for the Duke things don’t go well for him at all.

    The mystery was a good one I didn’t guess who had done it. And the cast of characters and I do mean characters are all fabulous; you have Princess Charlotte who constantly wants to have a séance, her sister Vivienne who is a highly sexual being and turns everything into innuendo, The Dowager Duchess who is as upper crust as they come, her daughter Irenee who just whines a lot and her two incorrigible children. Plus we have, as Georgiana called them, the Starlings who are Cedric’s companions and possibly his lovers. And of course we have Georgiana’s boyfriend Darcy and her best friend Belinda shows up hoping to catch the new duke in her snares.

    Katherine Kellgren’s narration was as always Amazing. I kind of feel sorry for anyone else in an Audie category that is up against Katherine Kellgren because she is so amazing. There are so many characters in this book with very different accents and each and every person sounds different and is distinct. Some of the accents in this book were; high brow English, Australian, cockney, Irish, male and female, kids and grown-ups all done absolutely flawlessly. No other book in the mystery category had this many accents and characters done so well.

    This was a fun book and a cute story; I’ve only read the first book in this series and wasn’t confused at all so this one could easily be read as a standalone. This is a very fun historical cozy I highly recommend this series.

    4 ½ Stars

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rage Against the Dying

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Becky Masterman
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (72)

    You have never met an (ex) FBI agent like Brigid Quinn Brigid’s career - the disappearance and presumed murder of her young protégée, Jessica. Floyd knows things about that terrible night that were never made public, and offers to lead the cops to Jessica's body in return for a plea bargain. It should finally be the end of a dark chapter in Brigid’s life. Except…the new FBI agent on the case, Laura Coleman, thinks the confession is fake, and Brigid finds she cannot walk away from violence and retribution after all.

    Janice says: "I hope there are more of these on the way!"
    "I look forward to more in this new series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book, even though I didn’t understand Brigid’s decisions some of the times, I really liked her and will definitely read the second book in this series. I was impressed to see this was this author’s first book and think she has a good career in front of her.

    From the moment we meet retired FBI Agent Brigid Quinn we know she is no shrinking violet ready to buy a walker and toddle on into retirement, oh no Brigid Quinn is a badass no matter what her age is. There are times though that I was wondering about her decisions, there is actually many of them that make you go hmmm, however, I needed to know what happened next, I also needed to know why she made the decisions she did, there had to be a reason behind it. The more I learned about Brigid and why she does the things she does made me like her more and more as the book went on.

    All the secondary characters are fully fleshed out and I really hope that certain people will be back, okay that was ambiguous I know, but there are characters you need to worry about to enjoy this book and I don’t want to spoil it for you.

    This book is a thrill ride from beginning to end, it is a hard book to put down I didn’t ever want to stop listening. It starts out with a bang and doesn’t let up to the crazy conclusion. It kept me guessing all the way through I never had an inkling who the serial killer was and the reveal was edge of your seat screaming at Brigid get out of there, get back up, Ahhhh look out!


    Judy Kaye’s narration was fabulous all of the characters and accents were very well done. She did a few different accents which felt authentic especially since the main accents were male characters it was very impressive. She brought Brigid to life flawlessly and I hope that she will continue to narrate this series because I will keep listening, I see she narrates Sue Grafton’s series and I have been meaning to re-read those so may have to start them on audio.

    If you haven’t already surmised I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to this series continuing. This would be a full 5 stars but there are times you have to suspend a little belief (which stems from Brigid’s decisions) but this is a solid 4 ½ Stars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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