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Rene Bellis

Michigan, USA
  • 68
  • reviews
  • 44
  • helpful votes
  • 84
  • ratings
  • Caught Dead Handed

  • Witch City Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Carol J. Perry
  • Narrated by: C.S.E Cooney
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 227
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 228

Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts, with witches, but for Lee Barrett it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown - where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives - to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late-night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good light whodunnit

  • By Margaret on 07-05-15

Great, compelling book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-11-18

This was the first time I had listened to a book by this author and narrator and I was very satisfied. It flowed very easily, had a compelling and believable storyline, with interesting and colorful characters. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

  • By Familiar Means

  • A Witch's Cat Mystery, Book 2
  • By: Delia James
  • Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

When Annabelle's hired to paint the murals for a new coffee house, it seems like a wish come true. But then a series of spooky sounds and strange happenings convince the owners that their new shop is haunted. They want Anna and her coven to evict the restless spirit before the grand opening. When her search reveals hidden smugglers' tunnels beneath the shop - and a dead body - Annabelle, Alastair, and the coven suddenly find themselves in a cat-and-mouse game with a killer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great expansion of this world.

  • By Kittie LaChatte on 01-11-18

Great Story!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-16-17

I loved this book. I listened to the first in the series and had to get this one. Alistair the cat is awesome and hilarious with his "human like" ways and his funny disappearing acts. I also loved Annabelle's Grandmother! She was a real hoot! Can't wait to get the rest of this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Familiar Tail

  • Witch’s Cat Mystery Series, Book 1
  • By: Delia James
  • Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206

Unlucky-in-love artist Annabelle Britton decides that a visit to the seaside town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the perfect way to get over her problems. But when she stumbles upon a smoky gray cat named Alastair, and follows him into a charming cottage, Annabelle finds herself in a whole spellbook full of trouble. Suddenly saddled with a witch's wand and a furry familiar, Annabelle soon meets a friendly group of women who use their spells, charms, and potions to keep the people of Portsmouth safe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great first in a new series

  • By Dawn on 07-11-17

Adorable story! I love the kitty!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-20-17

Would you listen to A Familiar Tail again? Why?

Yes. I loved the characters and the realistic way the story was told.

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

It did! I enjoyed how the narrator pulled me into the story and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

Which scene was your favorite?

Whenever Alistair was around!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I can't recall anything specific, but I think it was when Annabelle realized Alistair was a very "special" cat.

Any additional comments?

Great book! I just got the second one in the series can can't wait to start listening to it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Demon of Brownsville Road

  • A Pittsburgh Family's Battle with Evil in Their Home
  • By: Bob Cranmer, Erica Manfred
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 125

As a young boy, Bob had been drawn to the property, and, just when the family decided to move back to Brentwood, it went up for sale. Without a second thought, they purchased the house that Bob had always dreamed of owning. But the family soon began experiencing strange phenomena - objects moving on their own, ghostly footsteps, unsettling moaning sounds - that gradually increased in violence, escalating to physical assaults and, most disturbingly, bleeding walls.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Off topic and self-aggrandizing

  • By Aaron on 10-03-14

Terrifying story, well told, but very long.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-28-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would shorten it, maybe take out some irrelevant story lines that don't pull the story forward. Remove some of the background clutter.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I felt relieved and happy that the family was able to grow closer through their experiences.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator was very precise and detailed, but his style was more like a news reporter than a narrator.

Could you see The Demon of Brownsville Road being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes, I can see this as a movie with maybe Tom Selleck as Bob Cranmer and Glenn Close as his wife.

Any additional comments?

Very disturbing, but realistic story of good vs. evil and how strong the human will is to survive, despite the odds. Amazing that the family didn't just up and leave that house! That's what I would have done!

  • Guidebook to Murder

  • Tourist Trap, Book 1
  • By: Lynn Cahoon
  • Narrated by: Susan Boyce
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,172
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,065
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,065

In the gentle coastal town of South Cove, California, all Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store - Coffee, Books, and More - open and running. So why is she caught up in the business of murder? When Jill's elderly friend Miss Emily calls in a fit of pique, she already knows that the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes for naught when she dies unexpectedly and leaves the house to Jill, along with all of her problems...and her enemies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and compelling

  • By Taylor on 10-15-14

Great mystery that keeps you entertained!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-15-17

If you could sum up Guidebook to Murder in three words, what would they be?

Engaging, fun, fast-paced

What did you like best about this story?

Jill's investigative skills were awesome.

What does Susan Boyce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A real life story that brings the image of the characters to your mind.

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

Neither.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this to other listeners.

  • Haunted House

  • By: Jack Kilborn
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 685
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 622
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 621

At Butler House a series of grisly murders over a century have led many to believe it's haunted. To one scientist it's the perfect place for an experiment in fear. Eight people, each chosen because they lived through a terrifying experience, are offered a million dollars to spend one night at Butler House. They can take whatever they want with them - religious items, survival gear, and weapons. All they need to do is last the night.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Move Over Jackson and Matheson

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 02-27-16

Creepy entertainment!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-15-17

If you could sum up Haunted House in three words, what would they be?

Deeply disturbing book.

If you’ve listened to books by Jack Kilborn before, how does this one compare?

Similar story lines with characters that were in the first book I read, "Trapped."

What about Rob Shapiro’s performance did you like?

He brought the characters to life, making each identity unique.

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

No. Dumb question.

Any additional comments?

Nope.

  • The Witches' Hammer

  • By: Jane Stanton Hitchcock
  • Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 15

A respected surgeon and rare book collector is brutally murdered in his elegant Manhattan home, just hours after showing a book dealer the fifteenth-century manual of black magic - a grimoire - he'd received from a grateful patient. Now the healer's blood is everywhere - and only the priceless grimoire is missing. The horrific death of her beloved father has shattered Beatrice O'Connell's quiet, sane, and orderly world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dramatically different and disturbing...

  • By Rene Bellis on 05-23-17

Dramatically different and disturbing...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-23-17

Would you listen to The Witches' Hammer again? Why?

No. It was quite lengthy with a lot of detail that could have been eliminated to make the story more compact and stronger.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Cut out some of the extra sub-plots.

What about Carrington MacDuffie’s performance did you like?

Her narration made it easy to follow each character. She changed her voice just enough to make it easy to recognize each person.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was uncomfortable with the part when Count Borzami forced Beatrice to perform a sexual act before he would give her information. This act didn't seem like a realistic one for Beatrice's character.

Any additional comments?

The story was definitely different.

  • Spouse on Haunted Hill

  • By: E. J. Copperman
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 381
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 381

Where Alison Kerby's ex-husband goes, trouble follows. This time, unfortunately, he's brought that trouble right to her doorstep. On the run from a business deal gone bad, Steven, aka "the Swine", owes some scary people a staggering sum of money. No need to panic, though. He has a plan: sell Alison's Jersey Shore guesthouse to pay them off. Before Alison has a chance to read Steven the riot act, he disappears - after a mysterious man trailing him ends up full of bullet holes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It is not the end!

  • By amazonian on 03-22-17

Another great story!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-23-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, because as with the other books in the guest house series, this one delivers with the continuation of the fun characters as they face yet another murder mystery.

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

Yes. It kept evolving and kept my interest as things progressed into various directions.

Which character – as performed by Amanda Ronconi – was your favorite?

Maxi is always my favorite character, but I love Melissa because she's so smart!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Paul was finally able to move on. That was emotional because I knew how important it was for him.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait for the next one in this series!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Time Was

  • Time and Again, Book 1
  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,224
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,021
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,031

Stranded in the present, time traveler Caleb Hornblower's biggest problem isn't returning to the twenty-third century - but falling head over heels for the beguiling Liberty Stone, who shows him a love more powerful than time itself. Though Caleb knows he belongs in the future, how can he leave the past, and Liberty, behind?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • boring story, terrible characters

  • By Jessica on 05-28-15

Sappy, sexy love story!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-23-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I really enjoyed this very different perspective of a futuristic love story because it added an element of fantasy to the story, and who doesn't like a bit of fantasy?

What was one of the most memorable moments of Time Was?

When Liberty thought Caleb was gone for good, then came back.

Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I enjoyed it and he did very well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Caleb returned, deciding to stay in the past instead of returning to his own time.

Any additional comments?

I love the parents!

  • Ghost Gifts

  • By: Laura Spinella
  • Narrated by: Nicol Zanzarella
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,339
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,064
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,052

All Aubrey Ellis wants is a normal life, one that doesn't include desperate pleas from the dead. Her remarkable gift may help others rest in peace, but it also made for an unsettling childhood and destroyed her marriage. Finally content as the real estate writer for a local newspaper, Aubrey keeps her extraordinary ability hidden - until she is unexpectedly assigned the story of a decades-old murder.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Glad I didn't pay full price

  • By goddess_of_pipework on 05-07-16

Well written story.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-23-17

Would you listen to Ghost Gifts again? Why?

Yes, absolutely. The story is put together well and the characters are realistic and distinctive.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ghost Gifts?

When Aubrey saw the boy ghost at the house she was showing.

Have you listened to any of Nicol Zanzarella’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but it was very good.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No.

Any additional comments?

No.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful