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Gail Wood

Librarian, reader, commuter. I got tired of the radio and CDs and switched to audio books. Now I listen to books while I quilt, clean, etc

Central, NY | Member Since 2014

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 60 ratings
  • 392 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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  • Locked Rooms

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (828)
    Performance
    (439)
    Story
    (440)

    New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King has won sweeping critical acclaim and an impressive collection of awards for her writing. Although other writers have tried, no one has matched King's ability to capture the allure of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary sleuth, Sherlock Holmes.

    Melanie says: "Don't miss this jewel!"
    "Locked Rooms and Locked Memories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes are returning to England by ship by way of San Francisco, Mary's childhood home. The purpose is two-fold, to see old friends and to wind up her estate, sell the family house, and break her ties with the past. The last reason is not stated by Mary but suspected by her husband. As they approach the city, Mary begins to have nightmares, loss of appetite, and change in personality. Her intelligence, powers of observation and deductive acumen suffers. Rather than a simple, nostalgic trip to past haunts, the visit becomes haunting, haunted, threatening and puzzling. As things unfold in Holmes' and Russell's methodical questioning, deeply buried secrets emerge.The is a terrific series. This one is told from two perspectives, Mary's first person narrative and a third person Holmes perspective. It makes the story worldview more balanced between the couple and we do see how Mary is struggling when even she believes she is as strong and logical as ever. An excellent book.And as an audio book, this is enthralling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteenth Child

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Patricia C. Wrede
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1231)
    Performance
    (1119)
    Story
    (1126)

    Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent - and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild. With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Erin - Audible says: "History, Magic, Teens, & Not An Inkling of Romance"
    "Wild Magic in the Wild West"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Eff is the twin sister of the seventh son of a seventh son. She is also a thirteenth born. In this alternate universe just after the War of Secession, birth order is an important factor in this world where magic and ordinary live in uncomfortable partnership. From her birth, members of the family point out everything bad as her fault and are waiting for her to turn evil. She begins to believe it. In contrast, her brother's exalted magical status makes him lucky and magical beyond belief.

    When the twins are five years old, their father gets a job as a professor of a college on the western frontier. Their father, a professor of magic, is an exciting addition to this college. The twins and the other siblings grow up and flourish in this environment. Eff learns confidence, makes friends, and learns to think through the negative message about her birth order.

    There are lots of adventures and explorations in this entertaining novel of a world and history not-quite-ours.

    This was an audio book and the narrator did a wonderful job capturing the different accents, genders, and the character of Eff.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Corduroy Mansions: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (268)
    Story
    (266)

    In London’s Pimlico neighborhood lies a tenement described in architectural guides as “a building of no interest whatsoever.” But the residents of Corduroy Mansions—including a literary agent, a wine merchant, a thoroughly unpleasant member of Parliament, and a vegetarian dog—are a rather fascinating lot.

    connie says: "Oedipus Snark, MP"
    "A Dog Changes it all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It took me awhile to get into this book. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different resident of an apartment building in London. Each story is gently told and the movement and change is subtle and gentle. The characters are human, at once frustrating and endearing or flawed. By the time I finished, I enjoyed this book very much. I look forward to listening to the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (569)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (501)

    It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern.

    Frobertimus says: "The Character who brought me back to Cozy Mystery"
    "Movie Star and Precocious Child"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Flavia is the precocious youngest daughter of the family de Luce and lives in a large manor house with a long history. The death duties from her mother's death ten years earlier are having a deleterious effect of the family's resources in this novel just after WWII. Her father, the Colonel, decides to rent out the house to a film crew. The film's star, Phyllis Wyvern is a bright star of film and everyone is excited.

    In the meantime, Flavia is trying to disprove her two older sisters' assertion that Father Christmas is made-up. Using her chemistry lab, she has concocted an elaborate trap on the roof.

    The commotion of the film crew grows when the Vicar cons the two movie stars to enact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet as a fundraiser for the church roof. The whole village attends and, alas, gets snowed in.

    Late that night, Phyllis Wyvern is brutally murdered and Flavia discovers the body. With her curiosity, annoying persistence, she and the police solve the case with an exciting and stunning conclusion. I am always amused at the discussion between the police inspector and Flavia. Each gets it almost-right and when they put their theories together, each one thinks they solved it!

    Another delicious audio book with flawless and terrific narration.
    f

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magic Circle

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Katherine Neville
    • Narrated By Megan Follows
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Snake River, Idaho - Ariel Behn, a toxic materials expert at a remote nuclear site, finds her well-ordered life shattered when her cousin is slain by an unknown assassin. His shocking death leaves Ariel sole heir to a family legacy: a sinister cache of manuscripts that sweeps her into the deadly center of international intrigue - and a mystery that spans the centuries...Jerusalem, 32 A.D. - During the last week of the life of Christ, as the world stands on the brink of a new two-thousand-year cycle, Emperor Tiberius works desperately to decipher the tantalizing clues to an age-old enigma. He will not be the only one. For whoever assembles and interprets these cryptic clues will possess the power to control the fate of the world... Now, at the center of this circle of ancient riddles stands the one woman who can pull the strands together: Ariel Behn. What strange powers lie hidden with in the manuscripts? As Ariel races across the continents to reveal the dark secrets buried in her family's past, she begins to unlock the chilling truth of the coming millenium.

    Robert says: "Impossible to abridge Katherine Neville's books"
    "Tangled Pedigree and a Thrilling adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I had read this book when it first came out and this time listened to it as an audiobook. Ariel Behn comes from a rich, accomplished family with many different talents and incredibly tangled pedigrees. When her cousin Sam is killed, she inherits a great deal of money and documents from most of her disparate and far flung relatives. All of which puts her in immediate danger.

    This is a book of international travel, complex relationships, ancient manuscripts, and tangled puzzles. The audio book narrator is very good. I must confess after listening to almost all as English actors, adjusting to an American one was a challenge. She was very, very good, doing male, female and accented voices with verve. It was a pleasure to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12834)
    Performance
    (11651)
    Story
    (11714)

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "Cliffhanger after Cliffhanger, War & Betrayal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The fourth book in the Game of Thrones series. The previous book had ended with several "Holy S**T cliffhangers, none of which were resolved in this book! And this one introduced new characters, plots, and complexity.

    Westria is in complete disarray with the deaths of kings. Bandits, wars, skirmishes, and new plots arise. We see into the mind of several characters unrevealed till now and it is not at all pretty. Nobility if fast dying, killed by espionage, betrayal, greed, and continuous war.

    Fascinating and frustrating, this book also ends in several cliffhangers.

    I listened to this as an audio book narrated by Roy Dotrice. His voice and narration has changed somewhat but as soon as I got used to the changes, I was fascinated again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Justice Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (882)
    Performance
    (511)
    Story
    (513)

    A trail of ominous clues comprise a mystery that leads from an English hamlet to the city of Paris to the wild prairie of the New World. The trap is set, the game is afoot; but can Holmes and Russell catch an elusive killer, or has the murderer caught them?

    Mary Twain says: "Best Holmes since Arthur Conan Doyle"
    "Adventure and the Ravages of the Great War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The diary of the young soldier and his descriptions of the devastation and deprivation of the Great War.


    Any additional comments?

    Another fantastic adventure of Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes. Seemingly unevenly matched, Mary is quite a bit younger than her husband, interested in theology, and rich as can be. However, they are a match, mind to mind, wit to wit, and adventurous spirit to adventurous spirit.

    In this sixth volume, Mary and Holmes are invited to Justic Hall. A familiar stranger visits them and invites them to the home of the Duke of Beauville, Justice Hall. A very prominent family guided by duty, honor, and justice. The current duke was called back from the mysterious life he was living after the sudden death of his brother. His brother's heir had died during the Great War.

    The identity of the current Duke is revealed (this is not a spoiler) as the Muslim travelers Russell and Holmes had encountered in the previous book. A reluctant heir with no children, they are to investigate a claimant to the dukedom. Before long, greater mysteries present themselves including the death of the young soldier, an attempted murder, and at least two suspects with power and money wishing for more.

    This is another grand adventure with amazing depth of detail and description, a rousing adventure, edge of the seat suspsence, and a deeply moving picture of a soldier's life in the trenches.

    I listened to the audiobook and the narrator, again, does a fantastic job. She a vibrant storyteller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (605)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (389)

    First published in 1865, these endearing tales of an imaginative child's dream world by Lewis Carroll, pen name for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, are written with charming simplicity. While delighting children with a heroine who represents their own thoughts and feelings about growing up, the tale is appreciated by adults as a gentle satire on education, politics, literature, and Victorian life in general.

    Steve says: "Awesome!!!!!"
    "Classicall Silliness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    What is there to say about the iconic Alice? The narrator is wonderful. I just don't have patience for this silliness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snobbery with Violence: An Edwardian Murder Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Marion Chesney
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (89)

    When a marriage proposal appears imminent for the beautiful - if rebellious - Lady Rose Summer, her father wants to know if her suitor's intentions are honorable. He calls on Captain Harry Cathcart, the impoverished younger son of a baron, to do some intelligence work on the would-be fiance, Sir Geoffrey Blandon.

    connie says: "campy cozy"
    "Frothy, Friviolous Mystery of Fripperies & Murder"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was mildly entertaining so the time in the car listening to it was well spent.


    What could Marion Chesney have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I think the young lady who was the main character was not very appealing to me. It could be my age is quite a bit older. I think if the young woman had a little more understanding of the world and herself, she would have been more believable. Of course it was her stupidity and lack of social skill that got her into trouble.

    Cathcart, the main male character was not well formed so his appeal to the young lady or his interactions with anyone but his manservant were not well fleshed out. So when the two main characters were thrown together, their appeal and attraction to one another had no (or not enough) foundation.

    I was more interested in the life and love of the two servants and a story about them (and the society that they lived in as servants) would have been more interesting to me. It's a writer's dilemma when secondary characters become more interesting than the primary ones.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It worked fine.


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

    Probably not. Not enough depth of character to be appealing. It would have to be absolutely gorgeous clothes and scenery for me to consider it and even then I'd wait until it got streamed.


    Any additional comments?


    This is a frothy and frivolous Edwardian story of fripperies and foul play. Lady Mary is a stubborn marriageable daughter possessed of a fortune embarking on her first season with scandal already dogging her heels. For she went to a Suffragette demonstration and got her picture in the paper. Thinking a season too frivolous to her more serious nature, Lady Mary had refused a season until she fell in love.

    The object of her affections seems to return it, but her father is suspicious. He hires the brooding and wounded Captain Harry Cathcart to find out about her love object. Cathcart does and Lady Mary creates another scandal by speaking up for her self.

    Cathcart's new career as a fixer for the upper classes is now assured and Lady Mary is to rusticate. Not that she can keep out of trouble. And thus follows, murder, scandal and the comedy of manners.

    I didn't enjoy this as much as Chesney's writing as M.C. Beaton. I think my appetite for these little social vignettes is over. I found Lady Mary to be an annoyingly silly and stupid girl with pretensions to intelligence. The secondary story of the maid Daisy was more interesting.

    I listened to this and the narrator did a good job with the various voices. Lady Mary was, however, high, soft-spoken and even squeaky. I shall not read or listen to the rest of the series. This was a entertaining way to pass the time but I am over it now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Letter of Mary

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (740)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (413)

    When an old archeologist friend gives Mary Russell a curled scrap of papyrus, Mary is startled to see that it is covered with Greek symbols. The writing may be a letter from an unknown - and female - apostle. Soon the old friend has been murdered, the Holmes' cottage has been ransacked, and Mary is faced with a particularly dangerous and painful investigation.

    Rod says: "Thoroughly enjoyable"
    "Mystery, Manuscripts, and Murder"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Mary Russell, as she is still widely known, has been married to Sherlock Holmes for over two years. Hunched over her Greek and Hebrew scholarship, she is interrupted by a friend from their time in Palestine. This acerbic, bluff, scholarly woman has been doing archaeological digs in the Middle East most of her adult life. She has returned to England to visit her family and, more importantly, to find new funding and present Mary with a gift.

    It's a gift with a mystery attached. A papyrus from Mary Magdalene stating that she is an apostle of Jesus. An earth-shattering discovery left to Russell and Holmes to investigate. As they start, Russell's friend dies under mysterious circumstances.

    The game is afoot. Disguises, deep knowledge of many esoteric subjects, danger, intrigue and multiple puzzles ensue until the mystery is unfolded and revealed. The beauty and delight in this series is the unfolding of the mystery, the danger, and the wondrous detail of the time period and the details of the time. Equally wonderful is the sly, sweet, passionate love and affection of the two main characters.

    I listened to this as an audio book and the story was riveting and entertaining. The narrator is terrific and the voices are distinguishable and suitable to each character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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