Members of the Grub-and-Stakers Gardening Club set out to find a murderer after a body is unearthed on a Canadian wildflower preserve.
©1981 Charlotte McLeod (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I've loved Charlotte MacLeod for many years. She wrote the funniest, most delightful cozy mysteries of all time. The Alisa Crag series are especially delicious. The characters are hilarious and adorable; the writing witty and whimsical; and the stories an absolute pleasure.
HOWEVER, this narrator does no justice. She simply doesn't seem to have the flair that these characters need. As a matter of fact, the characters are almost indistinguishable from one another and, what little she does to them is inconsistent at best.
I've heard women do fantastic male voices, both in cadence and inflection as well as pitch. This is important in most novels with major male characters read by women. But this is even more critical when you have characters such as Osbert Monk. She does a fair Scottish accent, but that is the only reason you know Sergeant McVicker is speaking, but even that isn't consistent. Nor do you ever hear McVicker's twinkle or gentle sarcasm. And Osbert's absolutely hilarious writer of classic western fiction sounds more like a boring wimp.
The women are vaguely distinguishable, but completely uninteresting - not at all like the actual characters, themselves, each of which are unique and absolutely wonderful. She can't even create and develop, much less be consistent with the most distinctive character of all - Arethusa Monk.
When I read the books, I smiled during every minute and laughed out loud rather often. I don't think I actually laughed once in the listening. Clearly it isn't the book - it is the reader.
Audible, please be very careful when selecting narrators for the books you actually produce and be very critical of those you don't.
A different narrator. Oral interpretation is a very specialized form of acting. Only those who are very good at it should read novels. And, when humor is a fundamental element of a book, the requirements are even more stringent.
Absolutely, but it is an old cozy and, if ever produced, it would have to be on TV.
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