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Paula

Coastal New England | Member Since 2008

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 114 ratings
  • 1536 titles in library
  • 270 purchased in 2014
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  • Fatal Remedies: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Donna Leon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (81)

    Commissario Guido Brunetti's career is under threat when his professional and personal lives unexpectedly intersect. In the chill of the Venetian dawn, a sudden act of vandalism shatters the quiet of the deserted city, and Brunetti is shocked to find that the culprit waiting to be apprehended at the scene is a member of his own family. Meanwhile, he is also under pressure from his superiors to solve a daring robbery with connections to a suspicious accidental death. Could the two crimes be connected? And will Brunetti be able to prove his family's innocence before it's too late?

    Stephanie says: "Great series"
    "Dissappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just started reading this series and so far have enjoyed the author, narrator and characters very much. This entry in the series just aggravated me from the very start - enough so that I am writing this review as a warning to others. When it finally moved from the incredulously ridiculous "crimes" of the lead character's wife, a supposedly mature, educated, responsible, sane, mother of two, who is also a college professor married to a Commissario of police and then to an actual "crime" (murder) it improved, but not fast enough to rescue it. While I may be 100% in sympathy with her stand on the issue that spurs on her bizarre behavior, I cannot condone it. This was so off putting that I almost didn't finish the book. I guess you can't "hit them all out of the park" so this particular entry should be thrown out of a window and into a trash can, preferably an open window, so as not to cause any glass breakage.

    This starts out with the lead character's wife on a moral quest, trying to make a vague point about a serious situation. After being apprehended and reprieved the first time and with a few days' time to mull over the actual consequences of her actions, she decides to leave her children alone, asleep, late at night, and go off to commit the same crime AGAIN. No sympathy or respect for a any woman who would do that. Sorry - the author lost me here.

    There is a murder in there eventually but, wait for it, SHE feels responsible for that too.

    A man may not find this as insulting and offensive as I did but wait, she insults men too. How lame to hear her complain to her "sane" husband that only a woman can react this way to this social issue and understand how she feels. Really? How arrogant for her to put that in print. What...only a woman can experience deeply felt emotions and use it as a good excuse for bad behavior.

    I hope she gets over herself and returns to her "normal" behavior in the next book. Or I'll write another bad review and won't buy anymore in this series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • She Can Scream: She Can, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Melinda Leigh
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    In one moment, high school teacher and single mother Brooke Davenport interrupts a vicious assault, saves a young woman’s life, and attracts the attention of a serial killer. Sixteen years ago, Brooke lost her roommate to a brutal murder. Now she teaches women’s self-defense, still trying to heal from the guilt and grief that plague her. Convinced the predator knows his victims and is stalking his prey online, she is determined to find him before he strikes again.

    Angel Claire says: "Don't read this when you are home alone!"
    "One more entry in the how dumb can you be genre..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yet another heroine who apparently is too dumb to follow her own advice (she is a women's self defense instructor) and an author who apparently thinks the reader is even dumber than the heroine. This story is frustrating in so many ways, the only thing I enjoyed was its end. Save your money and your time, pass on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Honeymoon Cottage: A Pajaro Bay Romance

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Barbara Cool Lee
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Siedt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Camilla Stewart is making a fresh start in Pajaro Bay after her ex-fiancé stole her life savings, embezzled from her job, and then disappeared without a trace - leaving behind nothing but his eight-year-old son, Oliver. But when sheriff's captain Ryan Knight informs her that her ex is not only a con artist but an accused murderer, Camilla realizes she and little Oliver are the only souls on earth who can identify a serial killer... and they are next on his hit list.

    April says: "Surprisingly compelling read"
    "Childish prose read by a 10 year old like narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I needed a break from the fast paced thrillers I had been listening to and thought this romantic "cozy" would do the trick. The trick is how this author got past the self published e-book stage. How did this narrator get promoted to reading adult lit instead of the kiddie lit to which she is obviously more suited? Golly, gosh, gee whiz, I, much like the dim heroine, cannot figure it out.

    This might be a spoiler alert, if I had gotten past the half way point in the story, which I didn't. I couldn't. I can tell how it's going to turn out and I don't care. The main character is a 24 year old female accredited accountant, but hey, she has papers and everything, as another character literally asks her midway through the story - what is she, a pedigree dog? papers? really? Well, she uses her "papers" to get hired by a super duper high tech company but she is so dumb that she a) meets and gets engaged to a average nice guy that she has known less than 8 weeks, she also adopts his 8 year old child within this same time frame and before the actual wedding ever takes place (lawyers and courts must work really fast in No. California); b) has the responsibility for transferring million dollar funds after only working there for a few weeks but can't figure out how her embezzler/fiance got the codes to access the money; c) doesn't question anything at all when Mr. Average buys her a valuable house as well as an expensive engagement ring, and d) refuses to admit the possibility that her on-the-lam ex, who can only be identified by her and her adopted child, is out there trying to kill her and his son, even after two (you're an accountant, honey, count 'em) possibly fatal "accidents" occur.

    When the local, hunky, but guilt ridden sheriff, to whom she has an immediate, intense connection and which is, of course, mutual, tries to point out the apparent dangers, she replies, "I'm not an idiot." a phrase which she repeats whenever anyone with half a brain, tries to point out any salient facts to her. She isn't convincing me. Anyone who can go through all these feelings and experiences in 2 months time and NOT question anything is an idiot, as a matter of fact, I think there is a picture of our girl in the dictionary's definition of the word.

    I am an accounting mgr, which really makes this knuckle head so insulting a character to me as both a career person and a female. The literary world could do with one less idiot masquerading as a real person instead of a cardboard cutout cutie. I don't mind light-hearted mysteries, but light-headed authors aggravate me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just One Evil Act: A Lynley Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (327)

    Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is at a loss: The daughter of her friend Taymullah Azhar has been taken by her mother, and Barbara can't really help - Azhar had never married Angelina, and his name isn't on Hadiyyah's, their daughter's, birth certificate. He has no legal claim. Azhar and Barbara hire a private detective, but the trail goes cold. Azhar is just beginning to accept his soul-crushing loss when Angelina reappears with shocking news: Hadiyyah is missing, kidnapped from an Italian marketplace.

    Ruth Nielsen says: "Not a Fan Anymore!"
    "Not enough Lynley, too much harried Havers..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley books in the past but this one was too much Barbara Havers and not enough DI Lynley. Barbara is fine as a sidekick - subplot but her behavior in this book is just so annoying. To have to digest such a (too) long tale with her bad behavior driving the plot forward was not enjoyable for me. The problem is, this is a good story but Barbara acts up way too much and there's no evidence of a calming influence from Lynley. I realize her irritating ways drive the plot forward but at what cost? Intelligence, I think. I would have edited out at least 25 - 30 percent of this book and most of that would have been her way over the top bad behavior. Davina Porter's narration was fine but I doubt anyone could make this type of behavior endurable for such a long read.

    If you have not read Elizabeth George in the past, do not start with this book or you may never read her again. If you are a fan, skip this one or perhaps, read the abridged version? I'm sure Barbara will still be annoying in that one too but there will just be less of it to endure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bones of the Lost: A Temperance Brennan Novel, Book 16

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Kathy Reichs
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (309)

    New York Times best-selling author Kathy Reichs returns with her 16th riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan, whose examination of a young girl killed in a hit and run in North Carolina triggers an investigation into international human trafficking. When Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst.

    Paula says: "If you're reading them in order skip this one..."
    "If you're reading them in order skip this one..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all of the Temperance Brennan books so far and this one is definitely sub-par. It seems as though Ms. Brennan spends way too much time reflecting about stuff. This isn't really a spoiler but it does tell something about the story. At one point she goes to Iraq and sees her Marine Corps daughter (someone that she also thinks about a lot). She manages to disinter two bodies, get buried by the debris of a bomb hit and dug out, do her forensic investigation, write a report, get debriefed and fly back to the States to testify at a military hearing about her findings. All this zips right along but then she's back home ruminating about her cat or why she doesn't have any food in the house. Really, no food, well here's a clue - buy some. Do I care about her food problem, not a little tiny bit. Does this have anything to do with the plot? No, but it seems to be a recurring theme throughout this book. Poor Tempe, no food in the house, oopsie, she forgot to eat for 3 days. I exaggerate, but that's what I remember from the book and I don't think that's what I should be taking away with me.

    And then there's the ending...well, suffice it to say that if I hadn't already slogged through the rest of the book, I wouldn't have bothered with the last 75 minutes, I was that angry. I won't tell you how it ends, but I will tell you that I do not appreciate it when an author insults the reader and takes the lazy way out by suddenly pulling out the stupid stick and smacking the main character with it, not once but several times, just to "set up" the ending. Am I really supposed to believe that our heroine is so intelligent that she can figure out this rather complex mystery instead or ahead of the police and yet act so irresponsibly and brainlessly as does Ms Brennan at the end of this book? Is her inability to find a grocery store or restaurant supposed to be the ultimate excuse for her inexcusable behavior? Is lack of food a legal defense for trampling on the Constitution? Frankly if she behaved this way in most jurisdictions she would've been arrested and rightfully so.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • First Comes Marriage: Huxtable Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Mary Balogh
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (350)

    Against the scandal and seduction of Regency England, New York Times best-selling author Mary Balogh introduces an extraordinary family - the fiery, sensual Huxtables. Vanessa is the second daughter, proud and daring, a young widow who has her own reason for pursuing the most eligible bachelor in London. One that has nothing to do with love. Or does it?

    mia says: "A great introduction to the Quintet"
    "Boring and repetitive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hate it when I keep hearing the narrator repeat the same exact phrase over and over again throughout a book. It seems to me that this is easy enough to avoid, the English language is filled with multiple words that can mean the same thing, it's also why we have Thesauruses, perhaps this author should try employing one. The story would have been okay except that it is fleshed out with boring, pedantic mewling dialogue. The heroine this time is NOT the most beautiful woman our hero has ever seen, in fact, she's quite plain. Well, she certainly is written that way and in case you missed it the first or second or third time, it's repeatedly drubbed into the reader throughout the book. Okay, we get it. The thing is that this could've been an interesting perspective but she is also a scold and somewhat delusional because she keeps repeating how she can "make" people like her because she just can, it's what she does. Nowadays we'd put someone like her on meds. This one is just ridiculous. Most romances are somewhat unbelievable, but at least they can be fun so that we want to suspend our disbelief. This one makes me feel like I just spent 2 hours in detention for being naughty in catechism class.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Born to Die

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lisa Jackson
    • Narrated By Alan Nebelthau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (92)

    Two women who bear an uncanny resemblance to Dr. Kacey Lambert have been murdered. Kacey believes it is nothing more than a terrible coincidence, but the deeper she digs, the more worried she becomes. Soon, more victims emerge—all bearing a physical resemblance to Kacey—and she begins to wonder when the brutal killer will come hunting for her.

    epeep says: "terrible narration"
    "Extra Extra Author needs an Editor!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you enjoy repetitive, inane, inept police work liberally sprinkled with juvenile romance then this is the series for you. To be fair, this 3rd book in the series actually centers on a new character, a female doctor, and is a welcome relief from the boring sameness of the first two books, so it's not exactly the same story as the others: holiday-snow season in Montana and a brand new brilliant but deranged serial killer is on the loose (again!) in Grizzly Falls with Pescoli and Alvarez on the case (in between their problems with their kids and boyfriends) but it's close. If I were the sheriff I'd have fired both of these girl detectives. Of course if I were on the city/town council I'd probably have fired the Sheriff too. This author should really decide whether she's writing a romance or a mystery. She does better with the romance part because there doesn't have to be any logic to a romance. She cannot or will not maintain a rational approach to their cases and demonstrates a lack of capacity for pacing a well constructed story line and sticking with it. Too much unnecessary emotional trauma and not enough police work. I have more feeling for some of the minor characters/victims than her two principals. If only one or both of them would be the victim in the next book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Out of the Black Land

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Paul Garcia, Emily Bauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt is peaceful and prosperous under the dual rule of the Pharaohs Amenhotep III and IV, until the younger Pharaoh begins to dream new and terrifying dreams. Ptah-hotep, a young peasant boy studying to be a scribe, wants to live a simple life in a Nile hut with his lover Kheperren and their dog Wolf. But Amenhotep IV appoints him as Great Royal Scribe. Surrounded by bitterly envious rivals and enemies, how long will Ptah-hotep survive?

    r4punz3ll3 says: "False Advertising or an Honest Mistake?"
    "Not a mystery...not that interesting either"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was drawn to this because of the author's other books, all mysteries of a sort, plus the review mentioned her ability to convey the details of day to day life in ancient Egypt. Her lighthearted approach to period fiction is sorely lacking here and a tad too much detail regarding the love life of the Royal scribe and his male and female lovers is just out of place. I am about half way through the book and without any "mystery" yet, just the expectation of more of the same type of daily details but with no character development and so far, only a glancing reference to Akhnaten and his theories, I'm bored. With the biggest romance being between two guys, this is just not my cup of tea. I've read other books about Akhnaten and his daring theology and what it did to Egypt, so I'm not "up in the air" about what happens historically. Anyone who has read other books about this era will not find anything this book has to offer.

    So, without any real mystery, no new historical interpretation, boring two dimensional characters and a young adult lit approach to the story, I have no interest in finishing this book. It feels more like a history for young adult readers, if you don't mind your young adults reading books with sex scenes. Maybe they will be engaged, I know I'm not. I'm not sure a sophisticated adolescent would be engaged either, there are many well-written young adult books, which I've read and enjoyed, this doesn't happen to be one of them. Yawn.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (7417)
    Performance
    (6743)
    Story
    (6756)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Intelligent and engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well plotted mystery with creditable twists, subtle clues, and characters that amazingly do NOT act unbelievably stupid just to move the plot along. This was intelligent but not stuffy or difficult to read. I liked the main characters and hopefully we'll be seeing more of them in the future. In the same vein as Elizabeth George or Ruth Rendell. Good read. (Just a note about the narrator - aside from the occasional pronunciation variance between American English and British English, the narrator's voice has a familiar quality and he's easily understood; his rendering of the characters voices is deftly handled.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Insane City

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Dave Barry
    • Narrated By Dave Barry, The Gza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (158)

    Seth Weinstein knew Tina was way out of his league in pretty much any way you could imagine, which is why it continued to astonish him that he was on the plane now for their destination wedding in Florida. The Groom Posse had already sprung an airport prank on him, and he'd survived it, and if that was the worst of it, everything should be okay. Smooth sailing from now on. Seth has absolutely no idea what he's about to get into.

    Sylvia says: "It is Barry - it is Florida - it is INSANE!"
    "Hated to hear this one end..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like Dave Barry's style as a columnist or if you have read his earlier novel BIG TROUBLE then this listen should be a good fit. Dave is the narrator and reads it straight, which actually sets up the laughs wonderfully. He doesn't do different voices for the characters but I don't think that in this instance it matters. I don't do voices in my head when I read a book but I still enjoy the story. And while a polished performance by an experienced actor often enhances a listening experience, a straight read by the author usually gets the point he's trying to make, across to the listener/reader. In this case, I laughed - a lot. Dave Barry's style is similar to Carl Hiaasen; although Mr. Barry's tales are not as long or as involved. Maybe it's something in the water in Florida? Anyway, I will listen to this one again and recommend it to anyone that wants an injection of good-natured silliness that results from the all too human foibles of the less than stellar characters in the general vicinity of greater Miami.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Darkest Corner

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Elizabeth Haynes
    • Narrated By David Thorpe, Karen Cass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1173)
    Performance
    (987)
    Story
    (989)

    Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape.

    Betty says: "AN OCD IS STALKED BY A PSYCHOPATH"
    "Dark and Disturbing..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very disturbing read (okay, listen). The title sums it up, it brings you to a dark corner where there is seemingly no escape. I prefer mysteries to thrillers but a well written thriller is almost as enjoyable as a good mystery. I just found this unrelentingly harrowing and wouldn't recommend it to my friends. This might be a spoiler but the story goes back and forth between the actual domestic violence and terrorism perpetrated against the main character by her lover and four years later, as she tries to regain her mental well being that he stole from her. Both of these situations are unenviable and as far as I'm concerned an exercise in how much depressive reading (listening) a person can take - I figure I could've taken about half of what is served up here. It still would've gotten to where it was eventually going and I would've been released from it's oppressiveness that much sooner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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