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Natalie

I like mysteries, classics, and good non-fiction. Much of my audible listening takes place when I am working out and sweaty, so I like good plot-driven thrillers.

Columbus, OH, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
37
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • Down Home Murder: Laura Fleming, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Toni L. P. Kelner
    • Narrated By Gayle Hendrix
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (323)

    When a tragic family accident brings Laura Fleming back home to Byerly, North Carolina, the sleuth discovers that her beloved grampaw's fatal fall from a ladder in the old mill was not an accident.

    U. Gruber says: "Surprisingly offensive"
    "My favorite cousin is a nice young boy in the KKK!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Down Home Murder?

    It was a listing of terribly unhealthy fast food consumed by a very large family. The narrator felt so very sympathetic towards her cousin, a new member of the KKK.


    What was most disappointing about Toni L. P. Kelner’s story?

    I will never fall for a "deal of the day" again without doing much more investigation. This "mystery" was a disaster for me. None of the characters had any character except a love for fast food. The narrator cum "detective" is mainly memorable because she loved sausage biscuits. Having moved to Boston, she evidently could find nary a sausage nor a biscuit. Is this book an advertisement for Hardee's and McDonald's?


    What didn’t you like about Gayle Hendrix’s performance?

    Too much Southern, too much lightness--I really did not like her drawls and wondered seriously if the speed on my iPod was off. It was not.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was angry and disappointed. I did not like the trite treatment of race; I did not like the huge cast of greedy characters who cared more about the menu than the death among them.


    Any additional comments?

    I won't be fooled again. This is most certainly the worst "read" I have had on audible.com.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Naked in Death: In Death, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4251)
    Performance
    (2509)
    Story
    (2524)

    Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over 10 years on the force, she's seen it all - and knows that her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire - and suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about - except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

    Felicity Fairchild says: "Don't Judge the Series by the First Book!"
    "Note so much as mystery as a sexcapade"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from J. D. Robb and/or Susan Ericksen?

    No, I would not try a JD Robb book although I have nothing against Susan Ericksen. The writing is filled with every sexual cliche possibly. It you like to read about throbbing and pulsating and golden orgasms you might enjoy it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by J. D. Robb again?

    No--I like well-written mysteries and thrillers. And it they are not well-written, they should be suspenseful. I am quitting just about mid-way through because there was a hour-long sex scene that bored me to deep irritation with all of the bad writing. I am not a prude; I just cannot tolerate writing that offers me nothing.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Performance was fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was disappointed. This book is well-reviewed. It's a poorly spent credit and I can not return it because I have had it over a year.


    Any additional comments?

    I have resolved to be more careful about buying books on Audible so that I can listen to them within 12 months. What a waste of a credit! I knew that Nora Roberts/JD Robb was very popular, but this foray into the tripe is too much for me. I do not consider myself a literary snob, so I am disappointed. I wish that Amazon had categorized this novel as "romance" instead of "Mystery/thriller".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vacationers

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Emma Straub
    • Narrated By Kristen Sieh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (139)

    For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan.

    Toby says: "Engaging beginning, but interest declines"
    "Review in the New York Times let me astray!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Vacationers?

    There was little substance. The characters were mainly stereotyped wealthy New Yorkers. The plot is that their smugness gets a little bit rattled, but then they can return to "Eliteness".


    Has The Vacationers turned you off from other books in this genre?

    It has changed my opinion about the kinds of books reviewed and praised by the NY Times. I will do much better "due diligence" before I invest in books again.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I think that the narrator was just fine; she could not have done much better with the flimsy material.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Vacationers?

    I would have said: "DO not publish this book". Or I would have given it some sort of Trigger Warning: Wealthy Smugness to Ensure"


    Any additional comments?

    It's a summer romp. And I should have stuck to the genres I can trust and the authors I have tested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After I'm Gone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (315)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (284)

    Dead is dead. Missing is gone. When Felix Brewer meets nineteen-year-old Bernadette "Bambi" Gottschalk at a Valentine's Day dance in 1959, he charms her with wild promises, some of which he actually keeps. Thanks to his lucrative - if not all legal - businesses, she and their three little girls live in luxury. But on the Fourth of July in 1976, Bambi's comfortable world implodes when Felix, facing prison, vanishes. Though Bambi has no idea where her husband - or his money - might be, she suspects one woman does: his devoted young mistress, Julie.

    C. Vincent says: "Cannot rate this highly enough!"
    "Pace of story is glacial"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I think it would be a good book for those who like to get into the minutia of people's lives; but for people hoping to have a typical Lippman mystery, there's going to be disappointment


    If you’ve listened to books by Laura Lippman before, how does this one compare?

    I have read other books by her. The Tess Monaghan series reflects Lippman at her best. Her stand-alone novels are widely uneven, ranging from excellent to disappointing.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I thought that the narrator did a fine job. Linda Emond is a Broadway actress and singer who has a very pleasant voice.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I think not. I might get it from Netflix.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a bit torn. It is NOT just a mystery. It is NOT a romance. It is insufficient as a family saga: I feel as if it is, like Pirandello's play, "Six Characters in Search of an Author", "SIx plot lines in search of unity".

    If anything, the genre is anthropological or sociological. Ultimately a letdown. I would recommend that Lippman fans procure this from the library and see what they think. Or give it a speedy try and return it if you are not swept in with the first hour.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Millionaires

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (588)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (225)

    Charlie and Oliver Caruso are brothers who work at Greene & Greene, a private bank so exclusive you need two million dollars just to be a client. But when the door of success slams in their faces, they're faced with an offer they can't refuse: three million dollars in an abandoned account. No one knows it exists, and even better, it doesn't belong to anyone.

    Glenn says: "EASILY as good as Grisham"
    "Fun caper"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Millionaires again? Why?

    Yes, I enjoyed the book. I might not listen to it a second time because I recall the plot, but I would read other books by the same author.


    If you’ve listened to books by Brad Meltzer before, how does this one compare?

    n/a


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    I liked both Charlie and Oliver.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was amused, but not extremely so.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fun romp/caper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Advance First Chapter of The Malice of Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (42 mins)
    • By Michael Ennis
    • Narrated By Adrian Paul, Carlotta Montanari, John Lee, and others
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (37)

    Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come together to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we learn the secret history behind one of the most controversial works in the western canon, The Prince. Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil - and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.

    Robin in Vermont says: "Grabs you by the throat!"
    "Terribly difficult narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The female narrator elides her words so that they are extremely difficult to understand. For example the word "Balconies" sounds like "bakkanies" I had to give up after 15 minutes of tortured attempts to comprehend.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Ennis again?

    Maybe but I would need to sample the narration first.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Listening to her words meant that I could not follow the plot line. I guess I cannot comprehend and listen at the same time!


    Any additional comments?

    Please avoid this unless you are fluent in navigating thick Italian accents. The book might be superb, but we cannot get around the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Whodunnit?: Murder in Mystery Manor

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Anthony Zuiker
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1475)
    Performance
    (1358)
    Story
    (1353)

    Ten excited guests arrive at the Westlake Estate, expecting a lavish retreat. They are the winners of a sweepstakes to "Live Like a Billionaire for a Week." But what was supposed to be a promising escape soon turns into a horrific nightmare. Within hours of arrival, the guests sit down for an extravagant dinner. When they pull their party poppers as instructed, a loud chorus of bangs resounds, followed by earsplitting screams as the guest seated at the head of the table bursts into flames and slumps to the floor.

    Stacy says: "As Ridiculous and Unimaginative as the TV show."
    "No motive, means, or explanation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Whodunnit?: Murder in Mystery Manor better?

    I wish that an explanation had been provided. It is heinous to listen to a mystery for several hours and then have the murderer be revealed with not one single word as to motive, means, or opportunity.


    Has Whodunnit?: Murder in Mystery Manor turned you off from other books in this genre?

    It has made me very wary of listening to free books.

    The narrator, however, was quite good.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the very first one---the set-up because I was oblivious to the face that the denouement would be such a let-down!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was a good traditional murder mystery in a time-honored genre---there was simply no mention of any motivation or means.


    Any additional comments?

    I was terribly disappointed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By G. M. Malliet
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (290)

    Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play.

    Sara says: "A Classic Cozy English Village Mystery"
    "Homage to Miss Marple and her village?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Wicked Autumn again? Why?

    Yes, I would. It is a good story with a great narrator and a complex mystery is woven. The tone is a bit breezy and tongue-in-cheek, which makes it a good listen for lighter moments.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wicked Autumn?

    Learning about the background of Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent turned Anglican priest in the small village of Nether Monkslip.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?

    Max Tudor although other characters, who are less developed are memorable. I hope that some of them continue on in the series.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found it gripping and I enjoyed the homage to the traditional Golden Age of the British cozy mystery and the small town. I could imagine Miss Marple set down here. I like the town shops and the fair. On the other hand, I suspect that the author is am American because there are some non-Britishisms that I caught here and there, (but do not recollect).


    Any additional comments?

    I plan to continue with the series. It is the equivalent of "comfort food" for me. I hope that the minor characters will return and be better developed. Some readers might not be entirely comfortable with all aspects of this book--it is very contemporary despite the fact that I kept thinking it was the 1930's. Mentions of google or the internet sometimes seem jarring in contrast with the Olde Tyme Englishe Fayre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bent Road

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lori Roy
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    For 20 years, Celia Scott has watched her husband, Arthur, hide from the secrets surrounding his sister Eve’s death. As a young man, Arthur fled his small Kansas hometown, moved to Detroit, married Celia, and never looked back. But when the 1967 riots frighten him even more than his past, he convinces Celia to pack up their family and return to the road he grew up on, Bent Road, and that same small town where Eve mysteriously died.

    Ronna says: "Great writing--not great story!!"
    "Boring Road--not much of a mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Lori Roy and/or Marguerite Gavin?

    Not from Lori Roy. Marguerite Gavin seems to be a fine narrator. I cannot believe that this book won an Edgar!


    What was most disappointing about Lori Roy’s story?

    The title, "Bent Road" is a misnomer. It should be straight and tedious road. It's very slow and tedious, plodding and repetitious, and the characters do not stand out in any way.


    What does Marguerite Gavin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I liked her voice and she did as well as she could with the narration. In the end, however, if the words are ploddingly tedious, the best narrator cannot make a book come alive.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was disappointed---even angry---because this book has won an Edgar Award for best first novel. I suppose it looks atmospherically at dysfunctional families in Kansas, but the view is too claustrophobic for the listener.


    Any additional comments?

    I have decided to abandon listening after slightly over 2 hours. I don't care about this book or the characters. I listen to books because I like to be gripped and curious and eager to return. When I dread the "listen" it means it's time to toss the book. If the first two hours do not pull me in, why continue with a purgatorial listen?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch Me: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2403)
    Performance
    (2000)
    Story
    (2012)

    Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes that she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston’s top detective to handle her death investigation. It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle. Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

    Vanessa says: "OK but not her best by a long shot"
    "Excellent mystery thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Catch Me rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was an intricate mystery that captured and sustained my interest. It was sufficiently plausible that I did not feel that the author cut corners or courted incredulity.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Catch Me?

    I think that the idea that it seems inevitable that you will die on a certain date -- by murder -- is intriguing. How does one cope? How does one gain credibility with the police?


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    She has a very effective voice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It enthralled me.


    Any additional comments?

    I plan to listen to the other books in this series; this is the first one I heard but it's not the first in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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