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Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe

Los Angeles, CA United States | Member Since 2005

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 127 ratings
  • 858 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Sins of the Wolf: A William Monk Novel #5

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (142)

    When her wealthy Scottish employer dies of an overdose of heart medication, Nurse Latterly is charged with murder and locked up in Newgate Prison. To save his friend from the gallows, Inspector Monk works feverishly to identify a cold-blooded killer in the victim's greatly admired - and coolly silent - family.

    Jean says: "The Sins of the Wolf"
    "A great addition to the Monk canon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series seems to get more attention for Anne Perry because that was her first series, I actually prefer the darker William Monk/Hester Latterly series more myself, which is unusual because if you examine my library of several hundred audio books, you will see very few that are not "cozy mysteries," which most certainly does not describe Anne Perry's books.

    I have listened to most of the Monk series available through Audible and several that are not, and so far, this is probably my favorite of the books, as we see how the different characters react to the pressure of Hester's being charged with murder and the urgent scramble to find any evidence to use to keep her from being executed. While in general I think Perry does a good job of developing her characters in each book, the unique situation in which all the characters are placed gives her a lot more freedom to explore depths to each character not seen before.

    One thing that really draws me to these books is Perry's great attention to detail, whether it be in describing the historical situation (I didn't realize that at the time of these books, Scotland had its own jurisprudence system, with a jury of 15 men instead of the British 12), showing what an experience would have felt like to people of that day (i.e. the significant difference for Hester in riding the train in the second class carriage one night vs. the first class carriage the next), or the elements of Hester's nursing career (i.e. the vast difference in attitudes people carried for the upper class nurses who went to the Crimea vs. the lower class nurses who stayed at home).

    I gave the first two books in this series to my aunt, a nursing professor, because I thought she'd enjoy seeing the Victorian nursing system, and now all her friends, nurses and non-nurses alike, adore the series themselves too! This is one series where you do definitely want to start with Book 1 if at all possible, but after that, I have not had trouble following a non-sequential order, as the books have become available.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nicholas Dawidoff
    • Narrated By Jeff Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The only Major League ballplayer whose baseball card is on display at the headquarters of the CIA, Moe Berg has the singular distinction of having both a 15-year career as a catcher for such teams as the New York Robins and the Chicago White Sox and that of a spy for the OSS during World War II. Here, Dawidoff provides "a careful and sympathetic biography" (Chicago Sun-Times) of this enigmatic man.

    Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe says: "An interesting topic made horribly dull!"
    "An interesting topic made horribly dull!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I saw this book, just the title made me intrigued, and the premise sounded really fascinating, so I purchased it, to my regret. I wasted too many hours listening to this book.

    The main problem is that the author goes into way too many details that are completely unnecessary. I really didn't need to know, or frankly care to know, Moe Berg's box scores for each and every game he caught in his long baseball career! Fortunately, he didn't play very often, so I didn't have to muddle through hundreds of games.

    I stuck with the book, hoping the section on his work for the OSS would be more interesting, but I was disappointed yet again. Once again, the author made a fascinating subject become extremely boring!

    This topic has so much potential to become a really interesting book! Moe Berg actually went to law school at the same time that he was playing catcher in Major League Baseball! His nickname to everyone was "The Professor," and he was very brilliant. Periodically, I saw so many areas where I thought the book would have done well to expand on, only to find it making another abrupt turn back to the box scores of his games. The section on the OSS could have been really interesting too, but once again, the author was too interested in including every single detail, which overwhelmed and drowned out the interesting parts.

    I finally gave up on the book about 3/4 of the way through it, and I almost never give up on a book! I gave the story 2 stars just because there were things that I thought were interesting, but I'm not sure that it really deserves even those, sad to say!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Vault

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Charlotte MacLeod
    • Narrated By Andi Arndt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    A Crime Club selection, this intrguing tale has been reviewed as "...the very best whodunnit in many a day...Not to be missed." It starts with plans to bury deceased Great-uncle Frederick in the family vault on Beacon Hill. When the vault is opened, there's someone already there that no one could ever expect-the skeleton of a burlesque queen who disappeared thirty years ago! It's up to young Sarah Kelling to hold the shocked family together, and try to find out what happened.

    Joy says: "A delightful start to the series"
    "A solid start to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to the entire series on cassette tapes a number of years ago and was happy to see that Audible is now carrying some of them. I just wish it would carry the rest of the series.

    If you are interested in Charlotte MacLeod, you need to start with The Family Vault because it introduces you to the entire Kelling clan and Max Bittersohn. Later books refer back to elements of this book all the time, so you will feel lost later if you don't start with this first book.

    This cozy mystery begins with the Kelling family vault being opened to prepare for the burial of a recently deceased family member. The Kellings are members of the Boston elite, so it is especially sensational when they find inside this vault the body of a woman murdered 25 years earlier. This starts Sarah Kelling, a young wife of a fellow Kellow cousin twice her age and the daughter-in-law of a despotic blind and deaf woman of the Kelling family, on the dangerous adventure towards solving the mystery that has haunted her family and cursed them.

    The one main weakness of this book is that it tends to throw in all the Kelling family members without developing the characters. It introduces just about everyone you will meet in later books, which is why I believe you need to start with this book before continuing with the series, but it can get confusing to sort them all out.

    Otherwise, the book is enjoyable, and the narration very professional and fitting to the character of the book. Even the voice of the chosen narrator seems especially appropriate for the books in this series. I think the series grows much stronger in the next few books, but this is a solid start to the Sarah Kelling/Max Bittersohn (whom you meet but don't spend a whole lot of time with in the first book) series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Flight of Eagles

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jack Higgins
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (25)

    In the early days of World War II, nations were forced to choose sides in the epic battle that would change history forever. But for two brothers, fate had already made the choice. Separated as boys, Max and Harry Kelso have grown up to become ace fighter pilots--Max with the German Luftwaffe and Harry in Britain's RAF. Now, the machinery of war has set in motion an intrigue so devious, so filled with peril, that it will require them to question everything they know, everything they hold most dear....

    Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe says: "Possibly my all-time favorite Higgins book!"
    "Possibly my all-time favorite Higgins book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Flight of Eagles the most enjoyable?

    I first listened to this book about 10 years ago and have loved each subsequent reading so much that I was delighted to find it available on Audible. The concept of twin brothers whose lives revolve around flying, but with one being the pride of the Luftwaffe and the other the pride of the Allies, is creative, as we see the story unfold from both the Allied perspective and that of the Nazis.

    I found the premise highly creative, and I loved the careful way that Higgins built up the story to try to give it the veneer of being a true story, even when we all know that is is fiction.

    I have listened to many of Jack Higgins' books, but this is my favorite by far!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Flight of Eagles?

    Throughout the whole book, I kept waiting for the brothers to meet each other in combat, but when they do, the book gives a nice twist to the story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Black as He's Painted

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ngaio Marsh
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Alleyn performs his mission so successfully that on the night of the Ng'ombwanan Embassy's reception, the house and grounds are stiff with police. However, an assassin does strike, and Alleyn discovers a wealth of suspects in a coterie of ex-colonials residing in the very shadow of the Embassy.

    Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe says: "One of my 2 favorite Ngaio Marsh books!"
    "One of my 2 favorite Ngaio Marsh books!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Black as He's Painted to be better than the print version?

    Since I am not healthy enough to read print versions of books because of extreme migraines, I can't answer this question, but I can tell you that Nadia May is one of the best narrators I've heard, and I have 640 titles in my library, in addition to hundreds of copies of audio books on CD or cassette, so I qualify as an expert in narrators.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I always enjoy the great characterizations that Marsh creates, with the mysteries being centered upon the natures of her characters, including, especially in this book, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn and his famous artist wife, Agatha Troy. This book particularly creates some memorable characters in the Boomer (the president of Ng'ombwana and the former classmate of Alleyn), Mr. Whipplestone (a former diplomat to Ng'ombwana now retired and involved in the case) and his helpful kitty Lucy Locket, and the piggish siblings the Sanskrits.


    Which character – as performed by Nadia May – was your favorite?

    This may be influenced by all the other books I've heard Nadia May narrate, but I love her characterization of Agatha Troy Alleyn! But that may be related to just how much I love Marsh's drawing of the character in the first place!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It is one of my 2 favorite Ngaio Marsh books (along with Death and the Dancing Footman). The book contains many angles to appreciate, with mystery, individual characterization, political intrigue, and a possible crime/hate group ring! I consider Ngaio Marsh to be one of the best writers of "cozy mysteries," and this is high on my list of favorites!


    Any additional comments?

    I love this book so much that I have given copies of it to several friends who are now big fans of Ngaio Marsh as a result!

    I also appreciated the positive angle that Marsh took on race relations at a time when it was not so politically correct to show equality between blacks and whites. Marsh shows this same racial consciousness in Clutch of Constables.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death and the Dancing Footman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ngaio Marsh
    • Narrated By James Saxon
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (59)

    It began as an entertainment: eight people, many of them enemies, gathered for a winter weekend by a host with a love for theatre. They would be the characters in a drama that he would devise. It ended in snowbound disaster. Everyone had an alibi, and most a motive as well. But Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn, when he finally arrived, knew it all hung on Thomas, the dancing footman.

    W. S. says: "Good stuff, one caveat"
    "The perfect setting for a murder!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! I have given copies of this book and Black as He's Painted, another Ngaio Marsh book, to many friends for Christmas. I love the premise that Marsh set up, where any one guest in the party may become the victim, as each person hates everyone else! The book is creative and enjoyable. It is a good example of a "cozy mystery"!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Death and the Dancing Footman?

    Marsh takes her time setting up the premise of the book and the character development, with all characters being complex and with plenty of motivation to kill anyone else in the snowed-in weekend party. Alleyn didn't even appear until the last third or so of the book. I can't tell you the most memorable parts in detail without giving away the victim and criminal, but the murder attempts and success, as well as the unveiling of the criminal were most dramatic and creative.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Certainly! I've listened to this book probably about a dozen times, and some have been in one setting, all 8 hours or so and all!


    Any additional comments?

    Dame Ngaio Marsh is considered to be one of the three queens of the golden age of mystery, along with Dame Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, but of all mystery writers, she does the best job of developing her characters effectively before the murder, so the mystery is based less on clues, psychology (AKA Hercule Poirot's "little gray cells"), or tracking down the thief than on the character of the people involved in the books. Well done!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Clutch of Constables

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ngaio Marsh
    • Narrated By James Saxon
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (87)

    'He looks upon the murders that he did in fact perform as tiresome and regrettable necessities,' reflected Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn on the international crook known as 'the Jampot'. But it was Alleyn's wife, Troy, who knew 'the Jampot' best: she had shared close quarters with him on the tiny pleasure steamer Zodiac on a cruise along the peaceful rivers of 'Constable country'.

    Kathleen Rogers says: "Fun with Constable and constables (hah, hah)"
    "Plenty of Troy! One of my favorite Marsh books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Clutch of Constables the most enjoyable?

    This book, framed by a lecture that Alleyn gives at the police academy, is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors! (My other favorites by her are Death and the Dancing Footman and Black as He's Painted.) I loved the interplay between Troy Alleyn as she takes a river cruise on the spur of the moment and gets involved in the case of a master murderer criminal as Roderick Alleyn narrates the happenings from his perspective as both CID and husband. I enjoyed the creative, in-depth character development that is a sign of almost all Ngaio Marsh books.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot was highly engaging without making me tense. I listen to my audio books to be distracted from the constant pain I live in with migraines that don't let me read books with my eyes but only with my ears, so I don't want books that create tension in the body that can affect my physical pain. The books by Ngaio Marsh are perfect for that, as they keep my interest and distract me from my pain without keeping me from being able to relax. They are the perfect "cozy mysteries," along with those by Rex Stout and Agatha Christie, among others.


    Which character – as performed by James Saxon – was your favorite?

    Definitely Troy! When Marsh proposed introducing a love interest to Roderick Alleyn, her publishers were displeased, wanting her to limit her books to mystery alone. But the introduction of Troy was a great coup, and I think virtually all readers see her as a much better foil to Alleyn than Nigel Bathgate ever was, as he came across as unrealistic and annoying!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Seven for a Secret: A John the Eunuch Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Mary Reed, Eric Mayer
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    As Lord Chamberlain, John spent his days counseling Emperor Justinian while passing the small hours of night in conversation with the solemn-eyed little girl depicted in a mosaic on his study wall. He never expected to meet her in a public square - or afterwards, to find her red-dyed corpse in a subterranean cistern.

    Wadie says: "Very Good"
    "It's just like the mural in the book!"
    Overall

    This book really fascinated me, as its theme was about a woman who appeared in a mural. It shows research into how murals are made, but in the meantime, the book itself is a mural, with each element being one little piece of the puzzle, but leaving the reader unsure where it fits into the puzzle. I thought the book was excellent in its portrayal of the period and of the way it drew out the mystery. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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