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Ronna

ratings
192
REVIEWS
191
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HELPFUL VOTES
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  • The Watchman of Ephraim: Cris De Niro, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gerard de Marigny
    • Narrated By Elijah Alexander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Cris De Niro worked his way up to the top of the hedge fund world. Yet, all of his money couldn't protect him from losing his wife on 9/11. Ten years passed since the tragedy. De Niro and his sons relocated to a sprawling ranch near Las Vegas. Turning to his faith to overcome his anguish, De Niro now lives for a higher purpose. From a biblical passage, he reads about the "Watchman of Ephraim", a defender who kept watch over the land. De Niro decides to acquire a lackluster counter-terrorism agency.

    Ronna says: "Counter-terrorism after 9/11"
    "Counter-terrorism after 9/11"
    Overall
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    Story

    This is the first is a series of action adventure books about a group called The Watchman Of Ephraim based on a Bible verse that describes those who watch over the land. Cris De Niro was a high powered head of a major hedge fund until he lost his wife and unborn son in the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. It was after this event that he bought a group of experts together to create a super counter-terrorism agency.

    Their first encounter involves a planned nuke attack over Las Vegas. Iranians, Mexicans and Russians are all involved. Strange gatherings of many people on the Mexican boarder alert the team to possible trouble, but they had to act fast to protect the country and De Niro's remaining family.

    I really liked the theme and action of this story. The idea of legal justice and/or moral justice was interesting. Reminds me of some other TV shows and books that follow along this same theme which always conflicts me, but never looses my interest. I listened to the audio which added a lot to the emotions evoked with this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Dollar Short: The Bottom Dollar Girls Go Hollywood

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Karin Gillespie
    • Narrated By Carrington Macduffie
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    It isn't every day a movie star steals your husband. When that day comes for Chiffon Butrell of Cayboo Creek, South Carolina, she looks to the Bottom Dollar Girls to help her out of one fine mess.

    Ronna says: "Fun story of the folks in small town South Carolin"
    "Fun story of the folks in small town South Carolin"
    Overall
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    The ladies of Cayboo Creek, South Carolina are always there to support each other, often gathering in the Bottom Dollar Emporium to discuss life and everything happening in their small community. In book two, sisters, Chiffon and Chenille, are the center of interest. Never very close as children, and with a mom that was trying to raise beauty queens, they now find themselves thrown together by life's problems.

    Chiffon's husband has gone to Hollywood on a prize that she actually won, but a sick baby kept her at home. Her sexy, handsome husband finds himself in the arms of a conniving Hollywood starlet, and he's not unhappy to be there. Added problems come because Chiffon has been left with no money but plenty of unpaid bills. Then she slips and sprains her ankle at her cafe job. Nothing to do but call upon her estranged sister to help with her children.

    Conveniently, Chenille has just been fired from her teaching job because of the antics of her classroom helper. With everything in this small town being the source of gossip, and the media hounding Chiffon, it's up to the help of their friends for each of these women to take control of their lives and find true happiness.

    I thoroughly enjoy these stories. The woman are all too human. The conversations and situations find truth in great humor and blunt common sense. The faults and foibles of small town life are wonderfully overrun by the loyalty, friendless, and community compassion found in difficult situations. Well written characters make me want to become friends with these ladies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spiced to Death

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Peter King
    • Narrated By David Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In a second installment of the Gourmet Detective series, the disappearance of an extremely valuable spice leads to murder, and the Gourmet Detective must once again put his epicurean and investigative skills to work.

    Ronna says: "Aisan foodie cozy mystery"
    "Aisan foodie cozy mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't know what it is about the Gourmet Detective books that interest me so, but they definitely intrigue me. This one was better than the first one. Perhaps because the mystery was much better--a closed room type. I also love all things Asian cooking, and the spices, meals, and restaurants spoken about in this book were mouth watering and familiar to me. There was also lots of name dropping stories about the times and life in New York.

    In this book, the Gourmet Detective, who never gets a name, is called from England to New York to authenticate Ko Feng. This spice has been missing from the world for over 500 years, so everyone from chefs, to pharmaceutical companies want to acquire some, and many are willing to do anything to get some. It's worth a fortune and now it's missing and one of the men involved is dead too. The GD seems to do much of his investigating with beautiful and intriguing women.

    This mystery has a definite feel of Christie's mysteries, with the gathering of suspects at the end of the story, where the culprits are revealed. If you're a foodie and can stand a bit of snobbery in your characters, you'll enjoy these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (720)
    Performance
    (651)
    Story
    (662)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Marci says: "So Disappointing"
    "Evils of coal mining in a mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a bit different from other Grisham books that I've read. It was as much a study on the evils of strip mining, the tragedy of black lung disease, the overpowering control of the mining companies, and the lives of the poor and powerless in mining communities, as it was a mystery. There were legal issues to be sure, but not the usual "got you" moments of a trial situation that exist in his other books.

    Samantha was a high powered corporate lawyer in New York, untill the 2008 recession sent loads of such lawyers into the streets. She took an unpaid internship in the small Appalachian town of Brady, Virginia. For the first time, she dealt with real people and their real issues. She actually went to court rather than just doing research and filling out forms. Here she got to know the people and their families, whose lives are directly dependent on the coal companies. She saw the land that was devastated by mining from the top down, with the accompanying poisonous sludge run-off. She also got caught up in a huge court case involving illegal action by the mining companies, who would do anything, including murder, to win their cases and keep their mining operations going on their terms.

    I did enjoy this book, keeping in mind that Grisham definitely had his point of view about the mines and their owners. He used specific cases, compelling families, and the suspense of avoiding ruthless mine owners to tell a good story about these Appalachian lands and peoples. I would actually like to read more about Samantha and her new friends at the Legal Aid Society in Brady. I listened to this on Audible and enjoyed the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cat Under Fire: A Joe Grey Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Shirley Rousseau Murphy
    • Narrated By Susan Boyce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (40)

    A big, powerful, gray feline, Joe Grey is perfectly content with his remarkable ability to understand and communicate with humans - especially now that he has company. A mysterious accident similar to the one that enabled him to speak and read has transformed his friend Dulcie as well. The trouble is, the cute tabby female not only hears human words, she believes them. Now she's convinced the man who was jailed for murdering a famous local artist and burning down her studio is innocent - simply because he says so - and she's willing to do whatever it takes to dig up the evidence that will exonerate the accused.

    Ronna says: "Talking cats mystery"
    "Talking cats mystery"
    Overall
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    I'm not usually good with fantasy and suspension of belief, but this book drew me in right away with it's talking cats that can open refrigerator doors to get their food, can make telephone calls, and can think and investigate with the best of the local police force. Joe and Dulcie are special cats but also have all the endearing and naughty traits of normal cats.

    In this second book, one of their human friends, a well resound artist, has been murdered. The police have a suspect in jail, but he's been talking to the lovely cat who visits the jail. He doesn't realize that Dulcie can understand everything he's saying as he bemoans his innocence. Dulcie believes him and sets out to find the real culprit. Joe's not as enthusiastic, but he's dragged into the search by Dulcie.

    This is a really cute mystery. The cats are so catlike within their human abilities. The search for the murderer is very well done and is solved very logically, though the cops are sometimes bamboozled by how some of the evidence and clues are found. No one knows that the cats can talk and understand everything said around them but their two owners. I listened to this on Audible and found myself laughing at the antics so well told by the narrator. Looking forward to reading many more of these tales!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Demon Summer: A Max Tudor Mystery, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By G.M. Malliet
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    The powerful Lord complains loudly to the local bishop, who asks Father Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former MI5 agent, to investigate. Just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well. Can Max Tudor solve the case and restore order in time to attend his own nuptials?

    Ronna says: "A must read for all cozy enthusiasts--"
    "A must read for all cozy enthusiasts--"
    Overall
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    This superb series has covered all the seasons with this fourth book. It's an awesomely humorous and mysterious book that combines Agatha Christie, Louise Penny and Dan Brown----and Malliet mentions all three authors' works within this book so cleverly too.

    Former MI-5 operative Max Tutor, is called upon by his Bishop to travel to Monksbury Abby to check on some unusually financial issues with the records from the Handmaids of St Lucy nunnery. Max also finds himself investigating a suspicious fruitcake poisoning, while he's there.

    This mystery, though serious, is sparked throughout by such intellectual humor and brilliant connections to those other famous authors, it is unlike any other cozy series I've read recently. There are chapter heads that tell the rules of these Handmaids St Lucy, along with history of this lady. There is a clash between worldly ways and silent contemplation that adds much to the mystery. I would consider this a must read for any enthusiastic cozy readers!! I listened to a fabulous Audible version of this book which made something great into something extraordinary!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Healing Quilt

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Wanda E. Brunstetter
    • Narrated By Judith West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    Join retired Amish newlyweds Emma and Lamar Miller in Florida for the winter as they lead another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students: Jennifer, a pregnant new mom; Mike, a charter boat owner; Erika, a wheelchair bound teen; Kim, a waitress; Noreen, a newly retired widow; and BJ, an artist facing illness. When old friends visit from Indiana, will romance also become a subject of class discussions?

    Ronna says: "Quilts and life lessons"
    "Quilts and life lessons"
    Overall
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    This is the third book in the quilting series. Emma and Lamar met after their spouses died. They found each other in their older age and have enjoyed teaching six week courses in quilting, teaching those who God brings to them. Because of Lamar's arthritis, they've taken a house in Florida for the cold winter, away from their Indiana Amish community.

    In this book, the class consists of a sullen 14 year old who is paralyzed in her legs because of a diving accident, a young pregnant woman whose husband has just lost his job, an older artist who wants to paint the ocean before he dies from cancer, a busy charter boat owner, a lonely waitress, and a newly retired widowed teacher. Their lives are impacted by a visiting motorcyclist who was in the previous quilting class in Indiana.

    This is a relationship book that shows how listening and trusting God helps people with their life issues. Very reaffirming and interesting story lines. I've thoroughly enjoyed all three quilting class books!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Matter of Trust: A Mia Quinn Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Lis Wiehl, April Henry
    • Narrated By Eleni Pappageorge
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (39)

    One minute Mia Quinn is in her basement, chatting on the phone with a colleague at the prosecutor’s office. The next minute there’s a gunshot over the line, and Mia listens in horror as her colleague and friend Colleen bleeds to death. Mia’s a natural for heading up the murder investigation, but these days it’s all she can do to hold her life together. As a new widow with a pile of debts, a troubled teenaged son, and a four-year-old who wakes up screaming at night, she needs more time with her family, not less - and working Colleen’s case will be especially demanding.

    Marcia says: "Disappointed"
    "Prosecuting mom mystery"
    Overall
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    A MATTER OF TRUST by Lis Wiehl--Prosecutor, Mia Quinn, is a new widow with a teen-aged son and a four year old daughter. While talking on the phone to her best friend in the office, Coleen, Mia hears a shot then nothing but strange breathing from Coleen. Coleen's death resembles another prosecutor's death from many years ago. Mia and detective Charlie Carlson are teamed up to investigate the possible connection between these two deaths. But having a teen-aged son can cause problems of in itself.

    I liked the interaction of all the characters in this book. The problems and situations were very realistic. Wiehl was able to follow three cases seamlessly and interestingly within this one story. Great start for a new mystery series! I listened to this on Audible and found it added to the enjoyment of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Vine in the Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Leighton Gage
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    It is the eve of the FIFA World Cup, the globe's premier sporting event. The host country is Brazil. All eyes are on the country's principal striker, Tico "The Artist" Santos, the greatest player in the history of the sport. All the politicians in Brasilia, from the President of the Republic on down, have their seats squared away for the finale, when they hope to see Argentina, Brazil's bitterest rival, humbled by the Brazilian eleven.

    Ronna says: "Brazilian World Cup Mystery"
    "Brazilian World Cup Mystery"
    Overall
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    This Brazilian mystery takes place just prior to the 1914 World Cup that is set to take place in Brazil. The Brazilian super star Tico, "The Artist", is expected to help Brazil run away with the win over their top rival, Argentina. But someone has kidnapped Tico's beloved mother and everyone is concerned that Tico won't be at his best with her missing.

    Chief Inspector Mario Silva is assigned this case, with instructions to get her back before the highly anticipated games. There are plenty of suspects depending on whether the kidnapping was to hinder Brazil's chances of winning, or if it was a revenge kidnapping by another star player, or if it was purely for money.

    Though this was a newer book from the CI Silva mysteries, I was immediately caught up with the characters. Silvia's boss was more of a hinderance that a help, and seemed only to be politically motivated in his actions. The excitement of the World Cup was very evident. Though I got engrossed in the characters and the mystery, the Brazilian location was only felt because of the country wide "football"/ soccer craze. I would read more in this series as I do like police procedurals, and this one was well done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2486)
    Performance
    (2195)
    Story
    (2187)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
    "Afghanistan's history through one family's history"
    Overall
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    AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED by Khaled Hosseini---This is a series of stories that connect to tell a family's 50 year history starting in 1952 in Afghanistan, with a poor man who has decided that he must take his brother's offer to sell his daughter to the brother's wealthy employer who has no children. As the daughter and her older brother were extremely close, this affects them the most. Though the daughter, at four years old, soon settles into her new family and her past is only a shadow in her mind until many years later. The brother was basically a parent to his little sister because their mother had died, so he was devastated.

    Chapters are told in the voice of various participants during different times in their lives. As the reader, we are drawn into the sorrows and affects of life and history of the people and of Afghanistan during this time period. Hosseini does a wonderful job of evoking the many feelings of everyone as they respond to life and their connections to one another and their places in the family's history, eventually returning brother and sister together as older and different people.

    I listened to the Audible version which was read by the author and two other Afghanis. This made it more authentic, but was sometimes a bit more difficult to understand because of the accents. But, eventually I caught onto the rhythm of the speech patterns and enjoyed it very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Forever Odd: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3531)
    Performance
    (1188)
    Story
    (1210)

    He's the most unlikely hero you'll ever meet, an ordinary guy with a modest job you might never look at twice. But there's so much more to any of us than meets the eye, and that goes triple for Odd Thomas. For Odd lives always between two worlds in the small desert town of Pico Mundo, where the heroic and the harrowing are everyday events. Odd never asked to communicate with the dead, it's something that just happened.

    Sittingduck says: "Detailed Koontz"
    "Who is responsible for your choices in life?"
    Overall
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    Second book in the Odd Thomas series continues to please all my senses. It's really difficult to say much about the story in this book without giving too much of it away. Odd Thomas is definitely different, as he sees and talks to unsettled dead people, and he's drawn to trouble that only he seems to know about in advance. The sherif is the only one in his small town who knows about his gift or curse, depending on how you look at it. In this book he goes in search of a good friend who is missing, but finds evil in his path.

    Generally, this would not be the type of book to interest me. Ghosts and such are not my favorites, but Koontz uses this subject to discuss some very serious themes, while adding huge interest through suspense, a bit of terror, and lots of humor. Free will is his subject in this book, and he handles it so creatively that you are taken on a journey without really knowing why till the end of the book.

    I love Koontz's writing and strange thought processes. After saving lots of people from death in book one, people in his town now consider him a hero or an angel. One quip in the story has Odd saying that maybe it would be good to be an angle because then his halo would always provide a light for his book reading. Of course, he even says that thought so much better than I do. I listened to this book on Audible and found the narration to be eerily spectacular. Highly recommend the Odd Thomas books!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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