Last night I finished the first Agatha Raisin audiobook. This morning in the car on my way to work I thought, "I will start the second book!" And then, panic!! I realized that I had not downloaded another Agatha Raisin book.
These books are dangerous to the consumer! They are good for audible.com but for us listeners they present a dilemma. You see, I bought the first Agatha Raisin novel outside of my regular monthly credits. Today, I know that I will buy several more before I get any more credits for the month. At first, I thought that I might not like the stories. But then I was drawn in by the variety of interesting characters, the beautiful descriptions of the old English countryside, and the intriguing situations in which Agatha Raisin found herself involved.
Many times during the book I laughed out loud. Many times I was so worried about how in the world Agatha Raisin would get out of the difficult situation she had gotten into. Some of Agatha's difficult situations were the kind that you and I would struggle with, for example embarrassment, regret at having been prideful front of other people, or things like that. Some of the situations were ones with which few of us would ever find ourselves having to deal. Some of them were horrifying. Others were zany. In addition to the oddball characters in the book, there were also several very comforting characters who I was always happy to have come on scene.
If you have read and enjoyed other books by MC Beaton and, also, if you have enjoyed books like the Number One Ladies Detective Agency, the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich, and the Poor Relations series, and even the free Whodunnit books available on Audible, I believe you will enjoy Agatha Raisin.
I recently listened to the audible.com Dave Barry book Insane City. Insane City is kind of "way out there" with some of the characters and situations and the language. But if you enjoyed that one, and don't mind something a little more tame, I think you would also enjoy Agatha Raisin.
This morning, as I dictate this review into my iPhone, my only regret is that instead of doing this review I could have been listening to the second Agatha Raisin book had I only thought last night to buy and download it. Next time I will plan better!
P.S. These books seem to be best read in order. I hope Audible can soon get a hold of the several in the series that are "not currently available for purchase"!
Sedaris has a very funny take on life. He shares a few hysterical stories in this book. However, there is quite a bit of scatological humor and numerous homosexual scenarios that some people might find offensive. I know it is just "not him" to do a funny book minus his "whole life", which necessarily includes the homosexual stuff. But I felt like it was just a bit overboard in some of the stories, at least for my taste. That's why I only gave it 3 stars overall and 3 for the story. The first 2 stories are very good. After that it kind of goes downhill.
Since Sedaris uses so much humor that I find somewhat obscene and gross, I probably will stay away from his other books. I wish the "cleaner" stories could be gathered into one collection. THAT I would buy and happily listen to!
Sedaris is very expressive conveying a great range of emotions and situations with his voice. You can easily imagine what he, or the people he is portraying, look like, and how they feel, just from how he expresses what they say. He is very good with descriptions too. There is interesting music between stories.
If you DO listen to this book, be sure to listen till the very end. There is a wonderful contribution from Pimsleur just before "Audible hopes you have enjoyed..."
Gabby's telling of her history was shocking and spell-binding (and happens in the last hour of the book).
Michael Page's narration is melodious. He keeps the voices of the characters separate, so it is clear who is saying what. This is very important in a complex murder mystery. He is able to characterize each one so that it is not just a different voice, but it sounds like that character "ought to" sound based on personality, back story, etc.
You bet! In fact, the past few days, I listened to the first, second, and now this, the third book in the series. Addictive!
I enjoy this narrator so much, and the rhythm of the stories, that if I've found I did not fully hear or take in some of the story, I will run it back to hear it again. I do this frequently. Quite enjoyable with these stories and narrator.
Also, the relationship between Max and Awena takes a shocking turn! I will not spoil it for you. But I CANNOT WAIT till my next month's credits so I can listen to the fourth book! (Sadly, I MUST wait...)
These murder mysteries are set in modern times but are narrated in a melodramatic fashion kind of like something from the 19th century. The narrator's voice quality and ability to play different characters is fantastic; his voice is also very melodious. Both the main storyline and the recurring cast of village characters are well developed and intriguing. This is the second Max Tudor book I have listened to and it continues to reveal, little by little, what his life was like as an agent and why he left and why he joined the priesthood. It all fits in and relates well with the things that go on in the main storyline. If you like cozy mysteries that take place in Great Britain, this is the cozier! I just hope the author can write some more and the same narrator can record them by time I finish the last book currently available! This series is one, in my opinion, that is better heard than silently read.
The narration and expression of accents and characters was at its usually excellent level.
Phryne ventures to Sydney. Dot's sister is missing. The University has experienced a robbery and the goddess Isis may play a part in it. Phryne finds an unexpected lover in an unexpected situation. Good wine and good food. And everyone gets their just desserts! It was so good, I started in the morning and listened straight through till it was done! Highly recommended, though listening in order makes these books more enjoyable.
The story begins rather slowly, but soon, there is sooo much action, it's hard to take a break from it. There's a little romance, and intrigue, and murder, and spies, and gypsies, and secret agents, and Englishmen, and the Amazing Mrs. Pollifax! While you worry how everything can possibly turn out well, you somehow know it will, because Mrs. Pollifax is on the job! I can't wait to listen to the next book! By the way, even if you know nothing about the 1960s and the Cold War, which is the approximate setting, the you will still enjoy this book and have no trouble following the story.
The story has many curious twists and turns. Will Agatha even survive this case? Will Roy and James survive? Are there really practicing witches in the countryside? Will Wilkes finally tear his hair out over Agatha's continuing involvement in his cases? Will Carsely finally reject Agatha or fete her because of all the murder and mayhem that always surround her?
In this book, many of the characters finally "grow up". As usual, Penelope Keith's narration is top notch. I spent the entire day enjoying this wonderful audiobook from beginning to end!
Unfortunately, the usually wonderful Davinia Porter narrated this book and she just does not have the range to encompass the wide variety of characters. It actually made the story confusing since her voices did not differ enough, one from another, to enable the listener to keep track of who was saying what. Penelope Keith is, in my opinion, THE narrator for Agatha Raisin stories.
This story is unusual with its many twists and turns of plot. The whole snake thing made the story eerie.
I love Davinia Porter in the Poor Relations series. But she just doesn't have the oomph needed for Agatha's expressiveness (e.g. very wimpy "snakes and bastards!"). She is more of a genteel narrator.
More character development and relationship development happened in this book. I enjoyed that.
But you have to hear the entire story before you will realize it!
Another great murder mystery. And this one seems to have more substance when it comes to Agatha's relationships with her friends and associates.
Very enjoyable and, as usual, marvelous narration!
The narrator is such a master of accents that this is almost more a performance than simply a narration! That makes this better than any print version!
The plot is a mystery that takes place in Great Britain in the 1920s or 30s, the same period as many P. G. Wodehouse Jeeves and Blandings stories. I like that! The characters are all very colorful and easy to keep sorted. The narrator's expertise with accents aids in that aspect. I have never identified with any of these characters, and that is just fine with me. What I enjoy is the feeling that I am looking in on an interesting little world where unpleasant things may happen, but, in the end, all will turn out well thanks to Albert Campion.
I have not, but I will make a point of so doing in the future. What a talented narrator! He does every accent beautifully. When the character is out of breath, he gasps convincingly. He expresses emotion. And whether doing male or female voices, the characterizations work without any distraction from the story.
I wanted to, but could not. However, I often listened before going to bed. The narrator's voice has a comforting, assured quality. Also, this allowed me to backtrack the next day and listen to the last half from the night before to make sure I had missed nothing. Double enjoyment!
People who choose books about Albert Campion must understand that he is a brilliant detective posing as a rich and somewhat empty-headed young man. Some narrators bring this across by giving him a silly-sounding voice (which can be irritating). This narrator gets across Mr. Campion's persona without the silly voices, but in a way that loses none of the inanity with which he can behave. Some people decide they do not like these books because they do not understand the brilliance of Campion and, also, the dry, understated humor employed by the author. For instance, and briefly, she describes the smile of one of Mr. Campion's criminal proteges as "revealing an astonishing assortment of teeth". I should explain that Mr. Campion has friends and acquaintances from every station and walk of life, most of whom know him by other names. They are a great help along the way in solving his cases and add color to the stories with their unusual personalities, looks, back stories, and accents. One more thing is that Mr. Campion has a "valet"-assistant who is a past criminal. He adds interest and humor to the stories too. If you enjoy books like Jeeves and Wooster, Rumpole of the Bailey, Blandings, Her Royal Spyness, The Poor Relations series, and even Agatha Raisin, you will likely enjoy Margery Allingham's Campion series.
This is a period story in the tradition of Jeeves and Wooster, Her Royal Spyness, Blandings, The Poor Relation Books, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, Anzac Girls, and other shows/stories set in the first half of the 20th century. I love books set during that period. The types of British Empire characters and the language expressions of the 20s and 30s are interesting and fun. I also like the bit of formality and melodrama offered by the style in which such stories are related.
Albert Campion's voice, at first, repelled me, but when I realized that he was a Bertie Wooster-type, but quite smart, that caused me to listen to it in a different light (is this a mixed metaphor?). Albert knows he appears an idiot ("vacuous" is the word oft-used in the books) and he knows that this helps him to get the information he requires to accomplish what he has set out to do.
Albert's recitations of anything that happens are gems! His slang from the 1920s & 30s is hysterically descriptive.
Like I said, at first Albert's voice almost made me stop listening. It was very irritating, as was his personality. But I kept listening and soon understood that there was a method to his madness! When I realized that he HAD to sound and act the way he did, I relaxed and enjoyed it as much as I enjoy Bertie Wooster or Freddie Threepwood.
THE REVIEWERS WHO PANNED THIS BOOK DO NOT APPRECIATE THE HUMOR OF IT. It's a good mystery, but the period story demands melodrama and exaggeration. I felt like I was listening to an old radio serial (without sound effects or music). If you like the stories I mentioned to begin with, you should give this a try, keeping in mind my cautions about Albert's voice and personality.
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