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PattyQB

Portland, Oregon | Member Since 2015

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 130 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 113 purchased in 2015
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  • He's Gone

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Deb Caletti
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (145)

    The Sunday morning starts like any other. But on this particular Sunday morning, she's surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He's gone. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth - about herself, her husband, and their lives together.

    Nicole says: "Every Partner's Worst Nightmare"
    "Probably one of the most outstanding listens ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Right up there with "A Prayer for Owen Meany" and "The Prince of Tides" for depth and complexity of an intriguing plot that grabbed me right away. The skillful weaving of past and present kept me guessing (and riveted) until the end. Along with Cassandra Campbell's inspired performance, I could not stop listening until I found out what happened. Then I did it again, slower, savoring the ingenious way this story was told. Such beautiful prose...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Ariana Franklin
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (440)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (217)

    Adelia is back in action! Ariana Franklin combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of medieval fiction in this enthralling historical novel, the second in the Mistress of the Art of Death series.

    Lakisha says: "mediocre following"
    "I love this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One would think the British Isle took up a global land mass the size of Asia if judged by the sheer volume of print in the English language. I do enjoy the prodigious non-fiction and historical fiction though, especially when featuring strong female characters.
    The protagonist of this series is pitted against 12th century views of women (even worse than 18th and 19th century views portrayed by a greater share of the genre I've read.) An investigator of death (coroner) with knowledge of human anatomy and physiology- including men! - she walks a fine line between the titles of healer and witch under Henry II who has retained her to investigate deaths in the first novel and then prevented her from departing for her home in the Mediterranean in the next. Sprinkled with romance and mystery it will end before I am ready to let it go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hawley Book of the Dead: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Chrysler Szarlan
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (291)
    Story
    (293)

    Revelation "Reve" Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real. Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered....

    Andrea says: "It sounded like something I could really love....."
    "More please"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story with the perfect choice for narrator! And with room to move for future novels (I'm waiting...)
    The best this year so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Raven: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Tessa Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (27)

    In the notorious mental hospital known as Bedlam, Dr. Thomas Silkstone seeks out a patient with whom he is on intimate terms. But he is unprepared for the state in which he finds Lady Lydia Farrell. Shocked into action, Thomas vows to help free Lydia by appealing to the custodian of her affairs, Mr. Nicholas Lupton.

    barbara says: "10 hours of frustration coming to a ludicrous end"
    "Superior historical fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I appreciate the author's presentation of the actual details of historical events on record for the setting of this series. Especially the postscript follow up that brings real issues used in the fictitious plot up to date. This technique has done more to enlighten my understanding of the changes to daily life brought on by unstoppable world trends and events including natural disasters than the dry dates memorized in history classes. Each novel has left me pondering current events that have been invigorated by the richness of a living history.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2075)
    Performance
    (1476)
    Story
    (1477)

    It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

    'Nathan says: "Phenomenal!"
    "That Flavia!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've ever had a precociously intelligent 11 year old in your life with a flare for drama mixed in with unflappable optimism, then you will fall for Flavia. At first drawn by the titles in this series, I was then disappointed by the choice of narrator- a deal breaker for me. But now as I start the series over in preparation for the latest release (I haven't done this before, but each release is years apart) I can't imagine any other- now that I understand the character better.
    The whole concept behind this series is very complex. The first layer seems simple mystery, a murder solved by a motherless child run amuck in a chemistry lab left behind by some ancestor on the family's English estate. Yet the backdrop of the setting is revealed in layers and the as the plot thickens so does the complexity of the events and circumstances that drive the motivations of each person in Flavia's family life. Her mother, who disappeared when she was only a yr old, 2 elder sisters that taunt and tease her with their jealousy guarded memories of her, and their stoic, aloof father that hides in his library with his stamp collection still mourning her loss.
    Once you get past the novel narrative style- she becomes Flavia, and you will love her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Tower

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Louis Bayard
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (341)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (175)

    Dr. Hector Carpentier leads a very quiet life, until he meets legendary police officer Vidocq, who has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance and his extensive knowledge of the Parisian underworld to capture some of the most notorious and elusive criminals.

    Booksmith says: "Truly Engaging and Clever"
    "I love the history!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I always learn fascinating history (that previously held no interest for me through
    Louis Bayard's novels. But Simon Vance's narration called me to this one about
    French life after the revolution, the political fears that still plagued those who had anything to do with the previous monarchy even a decade later when Louie 17 was instilled on the throne. In this story about a royal son thought to have died in the Black Tower, the doctor who may have saved him and then his son- the voice that reconstructs the tale using his dead father's long buried diary and at the insistence of the (in)famous police detective Vidocq, (a former criminal) an incredible time in French history was revealed in a nonstop listen that I will repeat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hush Now, Don't You Cry

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (191)

    In the latest in Rhys Bowen's award-winning historical series, Molly Murphy is supposed to give up sleuthing now that she’s married, but the murder of an alderman puts her on the trail of a killer.

    LL Terry says: "Done with Series -Daniel destroyed it"
    "Enjoyed the entire series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Not usually looking out for historical fiction relating to New York, but Irish immigration interests me a lot, especially because it came at different times creating a strata in NYC of old and new, powerful and disadvantaged. But they were all spirited and passionatly political. Enter Molly Murphy and my favorite historical subject, women challenging the status quo and I'm in for the duration- consuming every book- and always left wanting more. Rhys Bowen had done it again...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Effigies: A Faye Longchamp Mystery, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Mary Anna Evans
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Archaeologist Faye Longchamp and her friend Joe Wolf Mantooth have traveled to Neshoba County, Mississippi, to help excavate a site near Nanih Waiya, the sacred mound where tradition says the Choctaw Nation was born. When farmer Carroll Calhoun refuses their request to investigate a nearby mound on his land, Faye and her colleagues are disappointed, but his next action breaks their hearts: He tries to bulldoze the huge relic to the ground. Faye and Joe rush to protect history - with their bodies, if necessary.

    PattyQB says: "Not just a Mystery- but great Historical Fiction!"
    "Not just a Mystery- but great Historical Fiction!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I love everything about this series, including author notes at the end at the end of each book that clarifies facts versus fiction, and where to find more information on the topics used in her plots. Interpersonal relationships are complex but love interests clean enough to keep it from being labeled a "romance". And if the science doesn't inspire a new generation of archeologists, ...then maybe someone should check for a blood pressure...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2401)
    Performance
    (1536)
    Story
    (1542)

    Spanning 40 years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

    Ella says: "A "Prince" amongst novels"
    "Top of my short list!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pat Conroy does a remarkable job of weaving the various stories of individuals in a family- the unhappy, emotionally unpredictable parents who decieve and lie about everything; their three children who learn to keep family secrets above all else. They survive through their bond and cope with life in different ways, especially when events and circumstances invade their tenuous understanding of the world. South Carolina and southern creedo come alive with rich discriptions of landscape and humorous cleaver dialogue as their story is revealed by one of the sons to a New York psychiatrist after his (twin) sister trys to commit suicide.

    Frank Muller makes this audio 5 stars. I am ashamed to admit I had avoided this title due to the lingering images of violence from the movie (over two? decades ago- I'm impressionable.) But, when desperate for a new, well told story, I rely on my own listening experience and turn to a narrator I can trust for good taste and performance (no matter my preconceived notions) of a story. And Mr Muller expertly applied his craft with a 5 star delivery, again. Unfortunately Frank is gone, but he left other delightful rides like "Wilde West" that I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shades of Twilight

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Linda Howard
    • Narrated By Natalie Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (245)

    Shades of Twilight is the story of Roanna Davenport, who grows up in a wealthy southern family but never quite fits in. She isn't pretty or popular, and she has a real talent for saying the wrong thing at precisely the wrong moment. She's in love with a distant cousin, Webb Tallant. But Webb marries their cousin Jessie, the bane of Roanna's life. When Jessie is found murdered, Webb is blamed for her death, even though there isn't enough evidence to charge him.

    Erin says: "It's about time!"
    "Where are my scissors?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I generally deplore abridged books but I'd have taken the scissors to this unabridged one in a heartbeat. For characters built up to be intelligent, they sure had idiotic inner dialogues and rediculous assumptions about each other. It was writtin like a soap opera in that one could skip an entire week of episodes (or whole chapters in this case) and still know what's going on due to endless repitition and mussings of each character over the same scenes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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