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Lidia Chymkowska

Poland
  • 100
  • reviews
  • 66
  • helpful votes
  • 110
  • ratings
  • Screaming Jenny

  • A Haunted Women Tale
  • By: Becky Muth
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Gilmour
  • Length: 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Vanessa and Nick are en route to Washington, D.C., to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, but their differences threaten to ruin the weekend before it has a chance to begin. When an accident further up the tracks leaves their train temporarily stranded in Harpers Ferry National Park, a chance meeting with the town's most iconic resident offers insight into a bit of local history. Will a poignant message from the past help put the newlyweds' future on less shaky ground, or are they doomed to disaster?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Screaming Jenny

  • By med bjunkee on 10-10-18

A nice short ghost tale...

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

Reviewed: 10-21-18

It's a nice short ghost tale, the kind kids like to share at campfires... The basic story, Jenny's, is woven into a wider frame of Vanessa and Nick's, and the narration flows smoothly from one to the other. As it is a really short tale, there's not much room for character development or detailed descriptions of people and places, but there are enough facts and pieces of information to create a clear picture in your mind. Also, it's not the scariest of ghost stories you can find, but it evokes empathy and sympathy for all the characters. And, as the author explains, it is based on a real local legend, so it has that feel of authenticity to it I like.

As for the narration by Ms Gilmour, it's really good; the pace is right, the voicing of individual characters very well done, with a bit of acting added to the pot in just the right places.

Generally, it's a nice quick listen that will give you a small respite in between household chores:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Murder in the Presidio

  • A Peyton Brooks' Mystery Volume 6
  • By: M.L. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9

Life has become increasingly complicated for San Francisco Inspector Peyton Brooks. With a past murder suspect living in the spare bedroom, an abusive receptionist bunking on the couch, an ex-boyfriend about to marry another woman, and her own mother in a relationship with a bigot, Peyton doesn't think her life can get much more difficult. Until her partner of eight years is suspected of murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Can't wait for the next one

  • By Gala on 09-05-15

Peyton is the target this time...

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

Reviewed: 10-17-18

Volume 6 in Peyton Brooks' Mysteries will definitely keep you glued to the pages (or to your player, as it was in my case:))...

The plot is extremely fast and intense, with Janitor recreating his own crimes, killing again using methods he already used once. What very soon becomes obvious - first to Marco, then to others - is that it's Peyton that the serial killer is really after this time.... So while trying to solve the case together with his partner, Marco has to also act as her secret bodyguard. But that's not an easy task, considering her passionate, independent character and his feelings for her...

What I like best about this installment in the series is that the plot, intense as it is, does not overshadow the emotional side of the story - Marco's feelings towards Peyton, his frustration and determination to keep her alive, but also her slow realization of how important Marco is for her. I think this emotional awakening on her part is excellently done by Ms Hamilton.

Considering the whole series, I would say this is the best part so far - the plot is developing very fast and yet smoothly, with enough twists and surprises to keep your interest in the crime, and at the same time allowing you to feel the emotional turmoil of the characters' personal lives.

As for the narration by Ms Hazen, it's impeccable - the pace is right, the interpretation of individual characters very good and the emotions conveyed ringing true.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Lark

  • By: E. Nesbit
  • Narrated by: Anne Hancock
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

Orphaned cousins Jane and Lucilla, both 19, receive the exciting news that their guardian is at last allowing them to leave boarding school. But their rosy future is thwarted when they find he has made some bad investments and fled, leaving them with a cottage in the English countryside and a modest bank account.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It has that wonderful charm of the tales of old...

  • By Lidia Chymkowska on 10-03-18

It has that wonderful charm of the tales of old...

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

Reviewed: 10-03-18

When I was a child I fell in love with E. Nesbit's "Five Children..." stories (as many kids probably did), but somehow I have never read anything by her meant for adults. Either the books were not published in my native Polish or I just didn't come across any of them. Now that I have listened to "The Lark" I definitely have to look for more.

As plots go, the tale woven in "The Lark" develops smoothly, at a steady pace, and is overall quite simple and even naive:) Every obstacle that comes into Jane and Lucilla's way solves almost on itself, with no interference or effort from the girls, every misfortune turns into fortune, bad guys turn out not to be so bad at all, and so on and so forth... until we finally get to the happy ending :) Naive and improbable? Yes, but also charming in that old-fashioned style of the tales of old, tales which allowed you to escape from the grim realities of everyday life - and which now let us slow down and take a break in our hectic, hurried existence...

The two main characters, Jane and Lucille, are young, warm-hearted and open-minded creatures that you really love from page one. You may think them quite gullible but then their openness, goodness and kindness win them the hearts of everyone they meet - even old croonies. There aren't real villains in the book - but that's not a fault at all, and it makes the reading much lighter and much more fun.

But what I love most about the book is the language. Nobody writes like this any more. Long, complex and yet beautiful sentences... detailed descriptions of not only places and people but also emotions... When you listen to the book it's like listening to a wonderful symphony of words:) I can't describe it better, really...

And the interpretation by Ms Hancock only adds another layer and gives so much depth to the whole story... She's perfect in voicing the two girls, she's as good at interpreting all the other characters - every "voice" matches the personality of the character it is given. A job really well done - definitely a narrator I'll look for more from.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Murder and Layer Cake

  • Mysteries of Treasure Cove, Volume 1
  • By: Meredith Potts
  • Narrated by: Carrie Burgess
  • Length: 2 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

Amateur sleuth Sabrina Carlson has solved every case that she has ever investigated. Only this time, things are different. She's fresh out of leads. And the clock is ticking. It has been over a week since Mark Wilcox was murdered. Not only is the killer still at large, but a panic has taken hold of the idyllic small town of Treasure Cove. Will Sabrina find a way to catch Mark's killer, or will this case go cold?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Murder and Layer Cake

  • By Christy D on 10-18-18

A fun listen with some flaws...

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

Reviewed: 09-25-18

It's quite difficult for me to decide on the rating of this book... On the one hand, it is a fast fun listen, on the other, there are some things that I can't really overlook and just ignore, even in a cozy mystery (for which I have a soft spot in my heart:)) - so I think 3-3.5 stars sound about right.

What did I like about the book? The fast pace of the main plotline, the personal details we get to know about Sabrina and David, some funny comments on food, some of the banter between some of the characters... There are many elements of the book that I really did like. I also liked the narration, I think Ms Burgess is a very decent interpreter. She does read quite fast, as one of the other reviewers mentioned, but it didin't bother me at all, it added some tension to the plot. She doesn't do much of the voice characterization, either, but again, it's not a fault as we still have no problem recognizing particular characters.

So what is it that bothered me when listening? Well, there's much talking about the danger lurking around (that's the reason for sending the daughter away, I suppose) - but I just don't feel it; Sabrina and David talk about how frightened everyone is (them included) but they do not behave as if they were in any danger, really. It sounds at times as if the main thing concerning them was the food they crave:) Also, there are a lot of conversations with the suspects, but again no real clues are revealed through them as to what happened (although we get to know what motivations individual suspects could have for committing the murder...) Generally, I kind of had a feeling that the investigation itself is not the central thing in Sabrina and David's life at that particular moment...
There's one more thing that eventually started to irritate me a lot - the monotony of the "he said/she said" phrase in dialogues... There are other verbs in English, too, like "replied, answered, stated" and so on; in an exchange of very short sentences the repetitiveness of the verb "said" is really tiresome... It may not look so bad on a page but when you listen, it soon is the only thing you remember from any conversation between the characters in the book...

But if you can overlook that particular language mannerism and if you are ready to turn a blind eye to the faults mentioned above, then the book will give you three hours of fun; it's a quite decent cozy mystery (with emphasis on cozy:)).

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

  • Julu

  • The Julu Series, Volume 1
  • By: Jan Anderegg
  • Narrated by: Jannie Meisberger
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

There is a magical land just beyond our imaginations called Jirvania, where stories grow. Muse faeries harvest these 'pearls' and bring them to our world. In the heart of Jirvania stands The Great Library, home of every book ever written, and a portal to other times and places where one can step into stories and experience them firsthand. Homework has never been such fun.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story!

  • By Amber on 08-18-18

A magical quest to save imagination...

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

Reviewed: 09-21-18

It's a magical tale... That's the best review I can give the book. It has its flaws, no doubt, but it catches your mind and heart and doesn't let go. It's a long listen - but I finished it in two days, just couldn't stop listening. "Just ten more minutes, just one more chapter," I said to myself. Isn't that the best of recommendations?

The plot is quite complicated, with all the time jumps that at first may confuse you when you listen. I also thought it strange sometimes that the kids didn't recognize a person or a place although they had already been told that part of their story by Julu. But it really doesn't matter overall because the book is so engaging, emotional, suspenceful and intriguing that you dismiss all those small inadequacies as negligible.

All the characters in the book have their moments, their five minutes of fame, which is an achievement as there are really so many of them, and all of them equally important for the plot. I found Goran's story (I hope that's how you spell his name) the most moving, and I just hope in the next part he'll find some kind of redemption...

As for the narration, Ms Meisberger is perfect as usual. I really like the way she's reading the book - without hurrying up, but with perfectly conveyed emotions of all the characters. Her interpretation just adds even more magic to the already magical tale.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

  • Spicy Chocolate

  • Book 3 of the Alcott Family Adventures
  • By: Dawn Greenfield Ireland
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Everyone croons over Dorothea’s twins and Bambi’s baby in Lila Mae’s dining room. Louie jumps up and barks, waking the babies. Lila Mae and Amelia look to see who arrived - everyone was already accounted for. A young Hispanic woman gets out of a cab with luggage. She sashays to the kitchen door and waves at Amelia and Lila Mae. Amelia opens the door, and the woman barges in. She’s Chiquita, one of Uncle Tito’s nieces. She was sent to train for Amelia’s job. Everyone is flustered. Why would Uncle Tito send Chiquita? Was Amelia going to quit? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Alcotts just grow on you...:)

  • By Lidia Chymkowska on 09-15-18

The Alcotts just grow on you...:)

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

Clarification first - it's 3.5 stars for the story (we really do need those half-stars...) as it's definitely more than "pretty good" but a bit less than "great"; I'd just describe it as "very good and really funny":)

As characters go, the Alcott family is one of the craziest families I've met in books so far:) For starters, there is a whole bunch of them, so many in fact that sometimes I have a hard time following all those names while listening (I can only hope it's easier when you read about them:)). Secondly, they never react the way you predict them to. Thirdly, nothing really daunts them as they team up to face any challenge that comes their way... You just have to love them, you can't help it:)

This is the second book in the series I listened to, and as with the previous one I'd say it's more of a family saga than a cozy mystery... Yes, there is embezzlement, yes, there is mugging, and yes, there's murder in the neighbourhood - but somehow they all seem almost unimportant. Yes, they propel certain actions on the part of the Alcotts, but even if there was no murder around, the Alcotts would still have so much to do in their private lives that we could listen for another hour or two to their everyday life bustle and hustle...:) And the funny thing is, it really doesn't matter that the "murder mystery" plays such a small role in the whole plot cause with Ms Ireland's excellent writing skills it's a really engaging story anyway.

Ms Hazen's narration is as always at least very good, and in some parts just perfect. With so many characters to play, she makes the job of voicing all of them look as easy as a walk in the park:) Excellent job!


DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sharpe Point

  • Maycroft Mystery Series, Book 4
  • By: Lisa B. Thomas
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7

Retired from teaching, rookie investigator Deena Sharpe wants justice for the wrongly accused. She also wants to impress her new boss. But when she trips over a dead body in the church’s haunted house, the police try to pin it on one of their clients. Can Deena defend a person she thinks may be guilty?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Read

  • By Ashley Hedden on 09-16-18

Another good installment in the series...:)

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

Reviewed: 09-09-18

This is no. 4 in the series (and the third I listened to), and it's the best installment so far:)

Deena Sharpe is the kind of character readers really like - a bit nosy (which is a good quality in a PI, right?) but also loyal, intelligent, warm, and with that spark of humor that makes her adorable even when she tries to be naughty...

This time there's a hard task ahead of her - how can she defend someone she personally thinks is guilty of the crime? But then new evidence comes to light and things stop being seemingly obvious, more suspects appear as more facts are uncovered, and finally Deena's conscience is satisfied:)

The books in the series are quite short, but the plots are logical, with enough red herrings and enough twists to keep you glued to the pages. As usual, we get a satisfactory although quite unexpected ending, but this time Ms Thomas added a cherry on the cake in the form of Deena's mother-in-law, Sylvia - I loved her character a lot:)

Narration by Ms Hazen is very good; it adds an emotional layer to the book, allowing you to relate to the feelings of the individual characters much better. I especially loved her interpretation of Sylvia - the voice given to that character just tells you everything about her and makes her sooo real in her cute annoyance (yes, it's possible to be cutely annoying:)).

Definitely a must for cozy mysteries lovers - whether you've read/listened to the other three parts or not:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Petty Magic

  • Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker
  • By: Camille DeAngelis
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

Evelyn Harbinger sees nothing wrong with a one-night stand. At 149 years old, Eve may look like she bakes oatmeal cookies in the afternoon and dozes in her rocking chair in the evening, but once the gray hair and wrinkles are traded for jet-black tresses and porcelain skin, she can still turn heads as the beautiful girl she once was. Can't fault a girl for having a little fun, can you?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Kept me interested and intrigued

  • By Gala on 07-02-14

The story grows on you as you go on listening...

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

To clarify things, it's 3.5 stars for the story, really.

Well, I finished the book two days ago but I needed time to finally decide on my rating. This is a kind of story that grows on you as you continue listening. For me it started really slow, and I couldn't grasp where it was going to go, to the point of almost losing interest in the book completely. The title mentions "memoirs and confessions" but the narration seemed to jump from one idea to another and the plotline went in so many directions at once that it seemed to me as if the author couldn't decide whether she's going to write a romance, a paranormal cozy mystery, or maybe a family saga... But then, when Eve meets Justin, and when she starts to go back in her memoirs to her experiences during WWII, the story gets definitely more concise, logical and intriguing. Evelyn herself is a complicated character - I didn't really like her at first, she seemed a little too boastful, arrogant, rebelious... but then we learn about her experiences as a spy, her love for Jonah, what happened to them - and I got to like her much more, understanding finally why she is the way she is:) The other characters in Eve's coven are equally interesting and 3-dimensional, with a lot of secrets, angsts that boil through decades and loyalties that are challenged in the most unexpected ways... All that makes for a story that will keep you listening on even if you don't really expect it when you start the book.

There's one thing that confused me a little while listening - the story jumps back and forth in time with no warning whatsoever, and while it's ok on a written page, it confused me every time it happened when listening; in one sentence Eve is with Justin in present times, in the next paragraph she's with Jonah in the 1940s Europe...

The narration by Ms Hazen is wonderful, as usual. She adds emotions and depth to the story, and Eve in her interpretation is a real, living and breathing, human being.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tall Chimneys

  • One Woman, One House, One Hundred Years
  • By: Allie Cresswell
  • Narrated by: Danielle Cohen
  • Length: 15 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Considered a troublesome burden, Evelyn Talbot is banished by her family to their remote country house. Tall Chimneys is outmoded and inconvenient, but Evelyn is determined to save it from abandonment or demolition. The woman and the house shore each other up - until love comes calling, threatening to pull them asunder. Her desertion will spell its demise, but saving Tall Chimneys could mean sacrificing her hope for happiness, even sacrificing herself. A century later, a distant relative crosses the globe to find the house of his ancestors. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A family saga with history in the background...

  • By Lidia Chymkowska on 08-24-18

A family saga with history in the background...

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

I have recently listened to and read a lot of fantasy, crime novels and historical romances, so when I got a chance to listen to Tall Chimneys I thought a change of genre would be good - and I was right:)

It's a slow book - but not in a negative sense at all... It's a book you taste bit by bit, chapter by chapter, as the story develops, as you delve into the life of the main character, as you discover how Fate plays with Evelyn's feelings and emotions...
When we meet her, she's a little kid, rather lonely and unloved. Then as a very young woman, she is left by her family at Tall Chimneys, the house that soon becomes her escape and her prison... We see her grow, experience love and fear, and despair, and joy; and we sense that invisible rope that holds her stuck in that one place in the world, not allowing her to move, to escape, to see something more - but we also sense that this is what her choice has always been...

The book is written in the form of memoirs, so we follow all the events through Evelyn - we see and understand and exerience them through her, through her emotions and feelings. And because she is a rather secluded person, closing herself to the outside world, all the historical events happening around her seem kind of unimportant, hazy, passing by, becoming only a small interlude in the daily routine... Surprisingly, that kind of narration makes the book much more interesting, relateable, emotional...and makes you keep listening:)

As for the narration by Ms Cohen, it's really good, although I did speed it up to 1.20 :) She interpretes all the characters very well; there are two or three instances when I feel she overacts a bit - but overall her reading adds to the experience a lot so those can be excused:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Momentary as a Sound

  • An Avery Nolan Adventure, Volume 4
  • By: ML Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Avery Nolan worried for her friend, Agent Graham Braddock, when he chose to stay behind in the Frostfell, but she never expected to see him show up at her door, asking for her help. As she feared, scientists have found a way into the Greensward. Avery and Duncan agree to accompany Braddock back to the land they swore never to visit again so they can stop a war that will tear apart both worlds. However, Avery’s father, Alberon, discovers his daughter’s involvement and has plans of his own. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An action-packed ending to the series:)

  • By Lidia Chymkowska on 08-07-18

An action-packed ending to the series:)

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

The final adventure in the Avery Nolan series brings us many surprises on the way to quite a satisfacory ending to the whole story.
Two strongest parts of the book for me? The spring pageant and Avery's father:) I really love the way the pageant kind of becomes a mountain Avery has to climb - and the way the preparations and rehearsals are described is hilarious, it just kept me smiling throughout that whole part. And then there's Avery's father, Alberon, the Dragon everyone fears... And yes, he is strong, powerful, fearsome, but he also has that childish curiosity of the world he's just getting to know and a tender side nobody but Avery is probably allowed to see...
The plotline, as with the other three parts, is quite fast-paced, logical and intriguing, and keeps you glued to the pages (player, in my case:)). There are a lot of action-packed moments, but there are also moments of emotional turmoil which will move your heart. In general, that's a great ending to Avery's story:)

The narration by Ms Hazen is perfect, probably the best of the four parts. Her interpretation of little Susan deserves an Oscar:), and she does equally well all the other voices.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful