Yes, I know my title isn't the greatest, but it was the best I could think of to describe my opinion of this book. That said, I may even continue with..Show More » the series someday. The story was not bad. It held my interest. I have listened to Wanda McCaddon's narration many times and I think she is a fine reader, although at times she seems to be rushing through the story a bit too quickly. This book is a perfect example of that. Another reviewer commented that it is often hard to tell when the story switches between characters and places. This makes it hard to tell where you are in the story and confuses the listener. I found myself hitting the 30-second rewind button frequently. Another reviewer commented that her childrens' voices are irritating; however, I did not find that to be the case. To each their own, I guess. I believe that Ms McCaddon is a more mature woman, but (IMHO) she does a fine job voicing various characters, including men and younger women. She can also give voice to various dialects, which I REALLY appreciate in a narrator. There are many narrators who cannot (it's not easy!). Bad accents can really ruin an audiobook listening experience for me.
I would hope, since this is the first of a series, that the subsequent books get better. The author writes well. This story is interesting, to a point. There are twists that make it suspenseful enough to hold one's attention (I found the manner in which the "yellow man" is dispatched to be quite creative). The characters are fairly well developed and the author does an admirable job of giving just enough information about her characters' backstories to leave listeners wanting to know more. This is a good way to set-up a series.
I would not say it was a waste of time, but neither was it so good that I couldn't put it down. I would urge others to listen for themselves and then share their thoughts with the rest of us. I'd like to hear more opinions about this author/book/narrator.
I'll definitely be reading the rest of this series
Three words only? Characters are real! The fictional hero and heroine of this book aren't perfect, which is what I think makes the novel better than..Show More » most; whether the reader is male or felmale they are able to empathize with Ms. Westerman, the reluctant sleuth who simply wants her husband and her quiet life back.
I like these characters. I appreciate that their relationship isn't predicated on teetering constantly on the edge of romance. I enjoy that they appr..Show More »eciate each other for their skills, for what each one brings to the investigation. I like that they have families and friends that continue to exist even when the story focus moves away from them. The author has created an interesting cast that is rather large, but she handles their numbers rather deftly (although I'm tempted at times to keep notes so I don't get confused - who was that? A trick I have to employ with Dickens.) Emotions ring true. People are imperfect and make mistakes. Even our heroes make mistakes, sometimes awful ones. Villains are seldom complete monsters, more often complex with real hurts and motivations of their own.
The author seems to know a lot about the history of this time, and cares enough about it to be consistent, and to employ elements and events large and small in her story lines. I get an impression of a lot of research, of an encyclopedic command of the details. Characters have conversations studded with topics and terms showing real familiarity with period skills and news of the day, world events are pressing on their minds, they are plagued by the limits of period science and belief, they are completely creatures of the world that Robertson has recreated. It is a treat to spend some time in that world looking around corners, noticing the little treasures and delights scattered in your path all for the sake of atmosphere and immersion in the time period.