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Sires

I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.

Chesapeake, OH, United States | Member Since 2012

489
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 100 reviews
  • 179 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015
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39

  • A Room Full of Bones: A Ruth Galloway Investigation, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated By Jane McDowell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (224)

    It is Halloween night, and the local museum in King's Lynn is preparing for an unusual event - the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But when Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise, she finds the museum's curator lying dead beside the coffin. It is only a matter of time before she and DI Nelson cross paths once more, as he is called in to investigate. Soon the museum's wealthy owner lies dead in his stables, too. These two deaths could be from natural causes - but Nelson isn't convinced.

    Sires says: "Elly Griffith Is Back in Better Form"
    "Elly Griffith Is Back in Better Form"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed in the previous Ruth Galloway mystery (The House at Sea's End). Three stars disappointed. I actually said that I wasn't looking forward to forensic anthropology with a toddler. However, the author made a decision to have a significant event in the relationship between Ruth and her baby's father happen between books that actually seems to help the story arc in my opinion.

    The story opens with the death of a director of a small local museum. He is found lying dead beside the coffin of a medieval bishop that had been excavated from a site that had once been a church and then an industrial site. The window is open, a single shoe lies on the floor and a guide book whose pages riffle in the breeze. Ruth Galloway, forensic anthropologist, finds the body. Murder or natural causes? A drug habit might argue one, but menacing letters in his desk drawer might argue the other.

    The museum also houses some Australian aborigine bones that a group calling itself the Elginists (Lord Elgin's marbles but I'm not sure why they named themselves after the guy who took the marbles from the Parthenon) want repatriated. These bones were collected by the ancestor of the founder of the museum, Lord Smith. Lord Smith is also a racing stable owner, married with three adult children, one of whom helps with the stable, one who is a successful QC and one who is a wastrel.

    Meanwhile Harry Nelson's team is also dealing with the importation of high quality drugs from over seas that apparently no one in the criminal community knows about.

    The disentangling all of the threads kept me interested through the entire story. There was one thing that niggled at me after I finished the book but I can't tell it without spoilers so I just have to say that it might bother others also.

    I gave this book 4 stars because it was a better than average entertainment even with the occasional fault.

    P.S. Jane McDowell does her usual good job with the narration.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Silent Scream: Detective Kim, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Angela Marsons
    • Narrated By Jan Cramer
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Five figures gather 'round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken, but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood. Years later a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders that shock the Black Country.

    Sires says: "Police Procedural with Fair but Unsatisfying Plot"
    "Police Procedural with Fair but Unsatisfying Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first in a series about DI Kim Stone.

    Kim Stone and her team investigate serious crime in the black lands (a favorite place for mysteries to be set in the UK). They have just helped to win a conviction against a serial rapist and her team have been out celebrating with a drink. Stone has gone home to work on the Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle that she has been restoring in her garage. Then she gets a call about a body that has been discovered.

    This is one of my favorite types of books--- but the author almost seems to writing off a list. DI Stone is socially inept-- check. She is emotionally unavailable in many circumstances-- check. She is more emotionally invested in the victims of crime than in her former lover-- check. She fights for her territory-- check. Head hopping into a killer's mind for the killer's eye view of certain events-- check. I could go on longer but I'm probably going to hit a spoiler so I better stop.

    There's odd episodes dropped in here and there that don't particularly connect to this mystery and just seem to be left hanging. For example an interviewee is obviously attracted to DI Stone which might have made an interesting twist, but it doesn't go anywhere. Then she verbally spars with an expert at a crime scene who has a one eyed dog and that doesn't go anywhere.

    It's not poorly written but I ended up feeling dissatisfied. I'll probably read the next one to see if the author can pull it together with a little more time to work on the series.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Colony

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By F.G. Cottam
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (352)

    For over a century, the New Hope Island vanishing has tantalized the world. How did 150 people disappear from a lonely Hebridean island, leaving no trace and no clues? Media magnate Alexander McIntyre decides to solve the mystery, and gathers a team of experts to mount an expedition to the island. He hopes running the story as a rolling exclusive will revive the fortunes of his flagship news-stand title. He hopes to find conclusive answers to questions that have teased a curious world for decades. And he wants his own secret theory triumphantly vindicated.

    AJ says: "Solid atmospheric horror"
    "Some Chills but No More Than Average Story Telling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A wealthy newspaper owner is planning and financing an expedition to an Island off northern Scotland where a colony founded by the captain of a slave trader mysteriously disappeared leaving abandoned buildings. The disappearance had caused much interest and excitement in Great Britain, especially as subsequent attempts to find out what happened had resulted in no answers.

    The beginning was intriguing with the discovery of a mysterious video and some chills.

    It's a good set up but Cottam has too many characters, most of whom are stereotypes. Although he does ultimately try to make these 2 dimensional characters more well rounded, it's too little too late for this reader. Characters appeared only to be done away with without much reason at all.

    I did finish it, but my reaction to it was along the lines of "That's IT???" Nothing is particularly surprising in the conclusion, which also felt rushed. It was like he wrote himself into a corner and couldn't figure out how to get out.

    However, the narrator is pretty good and did his best to bring the story to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tracker: Foreigner Sequence 6, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By C. J. Cherryh
    • Narrated By Daniel Thomas May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (80)

    First in a brand-new Foreigner trilogy by Hugo Award-winning author C. J. Cherryh. Tracker is the 16th installment of C. J. Cherryh's acclaimed Foreigner series.

    Sires says: "Beginning of a New Series in the Foreigner World"
    "Beginning of a New Series in the Foreigner World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't think I know how to review these books any more. This one is number 16 in the Foreigner series. I had started at the beginning about 25 years ago (Cherryh has been one of my favorite authors since I picked up her first novel, The Gates of Ivrel nearly 40 years ago). If I hadn't started at the beginning how confused would I be trying to put together the world of the Atevi and the world of diplomat/translator Bren Cameron? Or maybe I wouldn't have been confused, maybe I just enjoy the depth of the story because I did start at the beginning.

    Anyway, this one is better than the last sequence which had the feel of being a bridge between major parts of the story. Cajieri's young human friends have gone back to the station and it seems that Bren is going to get some work done now that certain plot lines in flux seem to have settled down. However, an extraordinary event sends the story off in another direction.

    Daniel Thomas May is still doing an excellent job of narrating the story. Some of the Atevi words are not quite what I imagined when reading the books, but I am reconciled. Great to have all of the books with a single very competent narrator.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Johannes Cabal the Detective

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jonathan L. Howard
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (231)

    In this genre-twisting novel, infamous necromancer Johannes Cabal, after beating the Devil and being reunited with his soul, leads us on another raucous journey in a little-known corner of the world. This time he’s on the run from the local government.

    Ambrose says: "A Decent Successor to the First"
    "Steampunk, Mystery and Dark Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Second in the Johannes Cabal series. This is a new narrator, the previous one who made Johannes Cabal Necromancer a five star listen, unfortunately died of septicemia. However, I cannot find anything to criticize about Robin Sachs, the new narrator.

    The book opens with Cabal, the Necromancer, the prisoner in a dungeon. Everyone, including Johannes Cabal, is expecting his execution, but instead, his captors have another plan.

    Those who know Cabal know that he will not take execution lying down, and so he sets out to throw a spanner in the political works and then take off on the maiden voyage of the Princess Hortense. Shortly into the voyage a fellow passenger disappears. Then a murder occurs in a locked room. Cabal who does not have a great deal of patience with his fellow passengers, finds himself, much against his worse judgment, pulled into an investigation of what is happening on board.

    Darkly funny, I enjoyed Cabal's machinations almost as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jigsaw Man

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Elena Forbes
    • Narrated By Ric Jerrom
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    DI Mark Tartaglia spends a night in a west London hotel with a woman he has just met. When he is called out to the same hotel the next morning to investigate a murder, he realises it must have taken place while he was there. If things weren't already complicated enough, the investigation takes a new and horrifying turn when he recognises the young female victim.

    Sires says: "Not As Well Plotted As I Expected"
    "Not As Well Plotted As I Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to the three prior DI Mark Tartaglia books. I think the last one was released in 2011. I immediately bought the current book when I saw it listed on Audible. However, I was a bit disappointed in this police procedural.

    DI Mark Tartaglia is awoken by the news that there was a murder in a upscale hotel, a hotel where he has just engaged in a one night stand. I'm not sure why that is even brought into the book because it shortly becomes clear that his sexual escapade has nothing to do with the murder.

    Complications though ensure that Tartaglia's group instead are set to investigate the body of a man found in a burning car rather than the body at the hotel.

    My frustration with this book had a lot to do with the plotting. Someone would be interrogating a witness and then would stop one question short-- the question that would have arose naturally from the previous responses. I might have forgiven this once, but it began to look like the author's method of sustaining suspense. Instead it points the reader toward the resolution.

    I'm also not particularly fond of the narrator. He has read all of the Elena Forbes books and while I don't think his performance detracts from the books, I don't think it contributes to it either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jane Casey
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (77)

    Their job is to investigate crime - not become the victims... A killer is terrorising London but this time the police are the targets. Urgently re-assigned to investigate a series of brutal attacks on fellow officers, Maeve Kerrigan and her boss Josh Derwent have little idea what motivates the killer's fury against the force. But they know it will only be a matter of time before the killer strikes again.

    Sires says: "Not What I Was Expecting in the 5th Kerrigan Novel"
    "Not What I Was Expecting in the 5th Kerrigan Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually put this book down in the middle because I had convinced myself that I knew What was going to happen. I picked it up again because it was just the right length for a cold winter's drive. I was wrong. Casey came up with an interesting plot that I enjoyed listening to.

    Cops are being killed. The unit that Maeve Kerrigan works in is brought in to deal with this unthinkable series of deaths.

    I don't want to give anything away except to say expect the unexpected.

    The narrator as usual is excellent.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mean Spirit

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Will Kingdom
    • Narrated By Seán Barrett
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Who is stalking Seffi Callard, the world’s most fashionable spiritualist medium – now a paranoid recluse at her father’s Cotswold home? Her old mentor Marcus Bacton, editor of an ailing journal of the paranormal, sends his assistant Grayle Underhill to try to establish the truth, unaware that he’s thrusting them both into a nightmare.

    Sires says: "Not Rickman's Best But Still Very Good"
    "Not Rickman's Best But Still Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second of the books in this series, I'm tempted to call it the Bobby Maiden series but the most interesting character in my opinion is Cindy Mars-Lewis, the cross dressing shaman who played a significant part in Cold Calling and will, according to the advance publicity, have a role in Night After Night.

    Cindy is now working as a host on a national lottery show is snarky about the winners and makes some off the cuff comments about the fates of the winners that appear to come true. This brings him under media fire-- no light thing in the UK.

    Meanwhile DI Bobby Maiden is being considered for promotion since his old boss was forced in retirement. But it appears that he is being framed for the death of a low level criminal. Grayle Underhill reappears as a reporter for, a magazine for those interested in occult experiences run by a grumpy retired school teacher.

    Sean Barrett does the narration and he has thankfully toned down the New Jersey accent he gave Grayle in the first book-- seriously, she had been raised as the daughter of an academic with an international reputation who had lived and worked in New York before coming to England in search of her missing archaeologist sister. When he is on his own ground though with Welsh and English accents he is excellent and as the best narrators do, adds to the experience of the listener.

    I've bought this book in paperback and Kindle so I knew what to expect when I started listening to it, but it kept me enthralled for most of New Years Day.

    So, anyone who is listening, can we now have The Man in the Moss by Rickman in audio form soon please?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Morgue Drawer: Do Not Enter!: Morgue Drawer Series, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jutta Profijt, Erik J. Macki (translator)
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Pascha, the snarky ghost of a deceased 25-year-old, finds himself stuck between this world and the next with no one to talk to aside from Martin, a coroner with the dubious gift of being able to hear the dead. Since Martin prefers his girlfriend's company to Pascha’s, Pascha is stuck haunting hospital rooms and accident sites hoping to meet a spirit who will stay a while and keep him company.

    Kim says: "love the series"
    "Pascha Ends Up Coping with Four Young Souls"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pascha, the ghost of a deceased car thief who did not quite make it to the age of 25 before he was murdered, finds himself involved in another case. A young teacher has been kidnapped, the four children in her charge left in comas and Pascha seems to be the only one who cares. Martin, the coroner, is involved with his personal life leaving Pascha in a bit of a bind because he is the only living person that Pascha can communicate with directly.

    Not quite the best but still good enough to be quite entertaining. Actually I picked up a copy of the paperback through Vine, then I bought the Kindle download and ended up listening to the Audio version, which I recommend as the best version. Read by MacLeod Andrews who as far as I am concerned is the voice of Pascha, it has good production values and and a nice snarky edge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger You Know

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jane Casey
    • Narrated By Sarah Coomes
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    He meets women. He gains their trust. He kills them. That's all London police detective Maeve Kerrigan knows about the man she is hunting. Three women have been strangled in their homes, and it appears to be the work of the same sadistic killer. With no sign of break-ins, every indication shows that the women let their attacker in willingly. The victims' neighbors and friends don't seem to remember anything unusual or suspicious, and Maeve is almost at a loss about how to move forward with the investigation.

    Sires says: "Casey Is Getting Better and Better"
    "Casey Is Getting Better and Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beginning of this book is the 20 year old cold case of the first girlfriend of DC Maeve Kerrigan's obnoxious superior,DI Josh Derwent. Maeve is a character I know well from the previous three books, but Josh is given an interesting background. These characters are all wonderfully tough and interesting. I wouldn't want to work with them but I certainly enjoy reading about them.

    Two women have been murdered in their apartments. There were similarities between the murders which suggested that one man was involved, a man that they voluntarily allowed into their homes. Maeve becomes involved into the investigation into the murders, trapped between her charismatic, brilliant boss, the surprisingly sympathetic (at times) Dewent and the abrasive female DI, who is Dewent's senior.

    I was almost becoming afraid that Audible was not picking up this type of police procedural, so it was with relief that I found myself so wrapped up in listening to this one. It did not keep me up all night, but I did become annoyed when I had to shut my audio off and attend to someone else.

    High marks for the narrator as well. All in all an enjoyable package for those who enjoy a bit of grit with their suspense.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1592)
    Performance
    (1421)
    Story
    (1445)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Amanda says: "What's Real?"
    "Somewhat Confused But Ultimately Engrossing Horror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Scott McGarth, a journalist on the downside of his career, becomes obsessed with the death of the daughter of a cult film maker, Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn't been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    This is a book with wheels within wheels. Information frequently is proven to be unreliable. Characters are not what they seem. McGarth's own life spins out of control. I really had a hard time putting the book down.

    It probably could have been tightened up, it's a bit long and saggy in the final quarter, but I think it is still worth the read. I think the narrator added to the experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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