It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier, and to pay off a debt, one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns.
Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of her clients, Matthew Voss, has died. The police believe his death was suicide brought about by bankruptcy, but Annie believes Voss has been murdered and that his assets have been stolen.
Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn't leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior.
Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco.
©2009 M. Louisa Locke (P)2012 M. Louisa Locke
The narrator used an extremely annoying and fake sounding voice for the main character and her attempts at accents were way short of the mark. I skipped the middle three hours of the narration because I could tolerate no more of it. I have never written a review, even though I listen to books all the time, but this one was so disappointing I felt I must.
I have been waiting for this series to become available on audible for a long time and it was worth the wait. A light hearted mystery series with typically modern female protagonist in a historical setting.
The story keeps you guessing until the end and if you are a fan of the historical mystery genre this is definitely a must and I'll be waiting again for the next in the series to be released by audible (Uneasy Spirits - available now only in print).
I would have given this 4 stars if it wasn't for the tired formula of a mystery with a Darcy/Elizabeth romance - he wants to protect her and she is torn between her love for him and her yearning for independence - (Lady Julia, Lady Emily, The Parasol Protectorate - to name a few) a tired blueprint but I can't fault the author considering it works every time.
The narrator was good overall but not great or consistent with accents and probably wasn't given enough time to develop the main characters voice, was a bit breathy and off-pitch to be endearing - I really do think these faults are due to a lack of direction though, rather than talent.
Living in San Francisco, I did enjoy listening to a victorian mystery that takes place in that amazing City. the story was very entertaining and it wasn't too obvious who did it. At some times, the author is trying to hard to emphasize the "independant woman" tag line.
I only gave the performance three stars as I was very annoyed by the different voices the narrator tried to attempt. The main character, although strong and independant, has a very irritating breathy and high pitched voice. It reached a point where I almost stopped listening and switch over to the Kindle book.
The narrator ruined this book for me. I will avoid any books in the future that Cynthia Wallace narrates. The story was enjoyable once I switched to reading it from my kindle.
No. Unfortunately, the narrator ruins the story.
Possibly but I wouldn't know actors.
I previously read the book and thought it a decent story. However, I couldn't listen to the narrator.
I stuck with this book because the story was worth it; however, the narrator was awful. She did a terrible job when changing characters.
I wanted to enjoy this book because the era is interesting to me. But the protagonist starts out strong and then turns to jelly as soon as a handsome man appears on the scene. Too predictable; I don't mind the romance but this was a tepid as they come.
I was expecting the Sybil character to have a main part in the story, but she's put away after the first few chapters. I thought that aspect of the story might have been a lot stronger. Annie became annoying and I found myself not really caring what happened to her. The only character I was curious about was Nate.
There were too many descriptions of clothing and backstory and not enough real mystery. I don't care how So-and-so got their clothing unless it relates to the mystery. The epilogue was a poor excuse at wrapping up the book. I felt like several chapters were missing and the author just got tired of writing and filled in the blanks to get it over with.
"Sparks fly?" Not really. There's plenty of tinder here, but no logs to keep the flames burning. The story's premise is sound but it just doesn't deliver.
I haven't listened to any other narration by Cynthia Wallace, but this annoyed me. Sorry. I thought her attempt at doing the men's voices was pretty good, although there were a few glitches where she slid from one voice into another and it should have been edited out. The women's voices were all pipsqueaky or breathy and Southern-drawly. Cynthia's own voice, when she just read the narration, would have been fine for Annie's voice. I thought the gushiness was just too over-the-top.
I was hoping for more from this book (and ultimately the series). There is not a lot of depth in the storyline or the characters. Their lives and actions are very simple, with none of the richness that makes a story interesting. There is a good mystery with a number of possible choices and a twist or two. However, never once was I disappointed to stop listening temporarily.
To make it all worse, as most others have noted, the narration was absolutely awful. It sounded like the efforts of character differentiation were too extreme. Her normal voice would have been fine. But many of the voices were fake sounding and certainly overly dramatic, and that should have been noted (and changed) during production.
Really really dislike the narrator. Her voice is thin and very shrill when she does the voice of Annie the books main character. The voices of the men are kind of on the silly side...like she a women faking a man's voice....and sometimes she doesn't even bother to do a man's voice at all when a man is speaking. I like it better when the voice is so good you forget it's a women doing the voice.
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