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Christy

Lansdale, PA
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  • Break In

  • By: Dick Francis
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,240
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,238

Dick Francis was a jockey and horse trainer for many years. His experience gives his questrian mysteries an authenticity that has attracted fans around the globe. To honor him, the Mystery Writers of America named Dick Francis a Grand Master for his impeccably crafted contributions to the genre. Jockey Kit Fielding has been riding the de Brescous horses in a succession of triumphs on the race course. But this winning streak is about to end. Kit’s twin sister, Holly, has come to him in desperation. Threatened by financial scandal, she and her husband may lose their training stables.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really very good!

  • By Nancy on 01-15-14

Still a winner!

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

Reviewed: 09-07-18

Many years ago, I read every book that Dick Francis had written, then became another fan waiting each year for his next book. I was sad when he died and could offer us no more of his great yarns with race horses and indestructible jockeys.

And when I saw Break In offered on sale at Audible, I thought, why not? It’s been at least 20 years since I had read this one. So I have just finished listening and I’m glad I got it.

Kit Fielding, a steeplechase jockey, is the protagonist here, and he goes to the rescue of his twin sister, whose husband is in a jam. A tale ensues that kept me interested from start to finish. I love the complexities of the relationships, the families, and the details about racing in England. Simon Prebble is of course perfect in his narration.

Dick Francis’ stories usually require suspension of disbelief because his protagonists (always for a good reason) refuse to call in the police to solve whatever the problem is. And those protagonists tend to get beaten up now and then. But always a good story - as is Break In. And no murders in this one, just danger of one.

  • Plague Pits & River Bones

  • The Detective Lavender Mysteries, Book 4
  • By: Karen Charlton
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298

London, 1812: Treacherous gangs roam the capital, and not even the Palace of Westminster is safe. When Detective Stephen Lavender is called in to investigate a highway robbery and a cold-blooded murder, both the cases take a dangerous and disturbing personal twist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No One Is Smiling on Bowstreet Station

  • By Chuck on 03-12-18

Blend of history and fiction is great!

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

Reviewed: 03-05-18

I always admire an author who can take real incidents and people from history and weave a fictional story around them using characters you know and love from earlier books. Karen Charlton has worked some real magic here. Since the historical incident I’m speaking of doesn’t occur until later in the book, I won’t specify it. As I was reading it, I wondered what was true. The inclusion of it in the fictional tale was flawless.

I enjoy these stories of Detective Lavender and Constable Woods. I hadn’t read one in a while, so as I began listening to this one, I was wondering if I would remember the characters and settings. It took no time at all to relax back into their story during Regency England and the Bow Street Runners.

One of the things I like about this series is that it isn’t just another series that takes place in the Victorian era. It takes place before Scotland Yard, at a time when policing was done completely differently (this was 1812). The Bow Street procedures remind me of books I’ve read about policing in New York City in the late 1800’s, when the public was frequently expected to pay bribes to the police to ensure they would work on your case.

This one works as a stand-alone, although I’ve enjoyed reading them from the beginning
(The Heiress of Linn Hagh).

Michael Page, as always, does a great job narrating!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Secrets That Kill

  • A Shelby Nichols Adventure, Volume 4
  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 423
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390

As a “favor” to Uncle Joey, Shelby must deliver a letter to his associate in Orlando where she has been vacationing with her family. When things go terribly wrong, Shelby finds herself being pursued by a Florida Kingpin for the information he thinks she stole. On her own and in trouble, Uncle Joey sends Ramos to her rescue.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this modern detective series!

  • By Wayne on 09-21-17

Thoroughly enjoyable!

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

Reviewed: 03-05-18

I love this series! It’s fun and quirky - I guess it would be considered a “cozy,” but I think it’s more than that. If you haven’t read these books, I recommend reading/listening from the beginning (“Carrots” is the first), so that you understand Shelby’s back story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. As other readers have said, it fills in Ramos’ back story, which we had only gotten in tiny bits in the earlier books. Now he has become a more rounded character and isn’t just the hunky bodyguard who gets Shelby out of trouble.

The narrator is superb in this series - I hope they never have to change her. She does some great voices for these characters, particularly Uncle Joey and his compatriots/competitors.

Recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Western Star

  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,720
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,533
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,514

Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of 25 armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff's Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I am a huge Longmire fan...

  • By BDHumbert on 10-05-17

Not crazy about the cliffhanger...

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

Reviewed: 12-26-17

I thoroughly enjoy the Longmire books. Thank you, Craig Johnson, for continuing the books even when you have had a television series on the same subject!

However, I am not a fan of cliffhangers of this magnitude when I have to wait a year for a resolution. Other readers have said enough about this, and I don’t want to contribute spoilers.

As other readers have mentioned, the structure of the plot involved two story lines, past and present, which eventually come together at the end of the book. This worked well, but I had to make sure that I was paying close attention as I listened or I could mistake one era for another. The tricks I established for myself:

1. Vic and Dog and Katy populate only the modern one, of course. And people around Walt generally treat him with more respect (although he is being his stubborn self in both).
2. Lucien seems to be an “old fart” in both of them (so that threw me off a few times) and Henry also appears in both.
3. In the flashback, Walt is a new (a few weeks) deputy, and Lucien is his boss. So the tone between the two is somewhat different. And, surprise, Martha appears a few times.

These things helped a bit, but I still had to be vigilant. I don’t recommend listening to this when you are driving someplace you’re not familiar with. And I use bookmarks a lot.

I enjoyed having some of Walt’s backstory rounded out. It was intriguing. And I’m glad that Johnson is sticking with Walt having been in Vietnam. I’ve heard some people speculate that it must have been the first Gulf War, otherwise Walt would be too old.

As always, George Guidall IS Longmire and he did a great job.

  • On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service

  • A Royal Spyness Mystery, Book 11
  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,634
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,467
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,449

When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment, I am left to figure out how to travel to Italy sans maid and chaperone to help my dear friend Belinda, as she awaits the birth of her baby alone. An opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way - my cousin the queen is in need of a spy to attend a house party in the Italian lake country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Still good fun!

  • By Dylan on 08-03-17

Another fun outing with Georgie

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

Reviewed: 08-06-17

This was another entertaining Royal Spyness book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as other entries in the series.

The traditional cast of characters made appearances, and the local Italian policeman - quite a blowhard - was a funny addition. I think I rated this less than five stars for several reasons: Katherine Kellgren had her hands full with German, Italian and English accents, but I had trouble recognizing a difference between some of the characters' voices. I don't recall ever having that problem with Kellgren before. The mystery was also not much of a mystery, since I figured it out almost immediately (not generally my strong suit). Maybe I was supposed to?

Always nice to have the ongoing stories of Georgie, Darcy and Belinda move forward, though. Happy to see them get closer to their dreams. But with WWII looming in the not-too-distant future for them, I'm sure there will be many twists along the way.

  • The Hangman's Daughter

  • By: Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne (translator)
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,920
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,464
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,459

When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town. When more children disappear and an orphan is found dead with the same mark, the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt. Before the unrest forces him to torture and execute the woman who aided in the birth of his children, Jakob must unravel the truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great but graphic

  • By Margaret on 07-14-13

Great Story and characters

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

Reviewed: 06-17-17

I must say that I had difficulty getting into this book - not because of the story, but because of the narrator, who also narrates the Andy Carpenter books, in which there is a lot of humor - and his voice in this book seemed incongruous to me. HOWEVER - I got past this feeling and I'm now on the third book of the series and Grover Gardner does a great job in all of them!

If you're a fan of historical mysteries and are looking for something new, this is a winner. It takes place in 17th century Germany and introduces the listener to new customs and some great characters. And the author weaves in a lot of authentic history, since it turns out that his ancestors were executioners and lived within the restrictive customs that he writes about. Prepare to be intrigued.

Highly recommended!

  • The Good Knight

  • The Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Sarah Woodbury
  • Narrated by: Laurel Schroeder
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 92

The year is 1143, and King Owain seeks to unite his daughter in marriage with an allied king. But when the groom is murdered on the way to his wedding, the bride's brother tasks his two best detectives - Gareth, a knight, and Gwen, the daughter of the court bard - with bringing the killer to justice.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Good Knight

  • By Nicole on 11-02-16

Odd Narration

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

Reviewed: 06-19-16

I almost didn't persist with this one because I hated the narration at the beginning. The narrator speaks in an American accent reading a story about 12th century Wales. But the oddest part is when she breaks into dialogue in a strange sort of Irish accent. I suppose it's supposed to be a Welsh accent, but who knows? I had the Kindle version as well, and after reading some of the book I was (for some reason) better able to accept the audio version.

The story is pretty good, with an interesting twist, and it's one of those that is based on many actual historical figures and events. The author manages to work her mystery into real history in a seamless fashion, which is always a neat trick.

I probably won't continue with the series, since the story seems to be heading in the direction of more romance and less mystery (a preview of the next installment is at the end of this recording), and that's not what I prefer. But a good effort about an interesting time (1143) and place (Wales).

Note: there is a repetition of 8-9 minutes in the middle (chapter 19 on the audio), but once you get past that technical glitch, it's fine.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Back Road

  • By: Rachel Abbott
  • Narrated by: Sue Pitkin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 407
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 409

In a quiet country village, secrets abound. When young Abbie Campbell is knocked over and left for dead on the back road of the village of Little Melham, waves of shock ripple through the small community, threatening to expose long-kept secrets. For Ellie Saunders, the truth about that night puts both her marriage and the safety of her children in jeopardy - she has to protect her family, no matter what the cost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing Mystery in Small English Town

  • By Debbie on 01-08-15

Tom Douglas is almost a peripheral character

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

Reviewed: 12-19-15

This book was okay, but I felt there was an awful lot of it that read like a soap opera, where if only the characters would talk to each other, all of the misunderstandings would be cleared up.

This kind of plotting annoys me the most when it is used excessively, and I thought that was the case here. Tom Douglas, who has left the police force and moved to Cheshire in this second series entry, is really not involved much in this one until the last few hours. I enjoyed the part that he was in, however.

I kept waiting for something to happen here, and when I get to the point that I am not involved in the story enough that this feeling of waiting becomes a conscious thought, the writer has pretty much lost me.

Narrator did a creditable job with what she had to work with.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Hell Hole

  • A John Ceepak Mystery
  • By: Chris Grabenstein
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,232
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 891
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 886

Hell Hole is the fourth book in the mystery series featuring hardened former military PD and current Sea Haven, New Jersey, police officer John Ceepak and his partner, wise-cracking Danny Boyle.

In Hell Hole, Ceepak is confronted with his most personal case yet when he must investigate the alleged suicide of a military corporal who recently returned from Iraq. It turns out that this "locked stall" rest-stop suicide is anything but an open-and-shut case.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another Terrific Ceepak Mystery

  • By Susan on 07-30-08

Fun series set at the Jersey Shore

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

Reviewed: 06-10-15

This is a fun series to listen to -- Jeff Woodman does an amazing job with all of the different voices required and really distinguishes them. I have to laugh when I think of some of them.

I can't remember how I found these -- probably through a Kindle bargain day where I could get a an amazing deal on the audio, too. I listened first to one of the later books from the series, but then wanted to hear them from the beginning, so I am working my way through them. The books are named for amusement park rides found at many Jersey Shore boardwalk amusement piers

Grabenstein does bring the listener into the fold in each book by explaining a bit about the main characters and the setting. The two main characters are straight-arrow John Cepak and his young sidekick Danny Boyle, cops in the town of "Sea Haven" New Jersey, which is a south Jersey town at the shore that's a cross between Seaside Heights, Beach Haven, and Wildwood. So they can be read as stand-alones, but why do that when you can enjoy following the relationship of these two cops and their adventures from their first months on duty?

Hell Hole is a more complex mystery and a bit darker than the first books, and the puzzle here is not so much whodunit but HOW-dunit. The language is not for the faint of heart, because this tale is peopled with a lot of young Army guys who do not mince words and some additional characters who use the F-word as their choice of language for about one third of the words out of their mouths (one of which is a salty older lady, by the way). It's actually pretty funny, if you don't mind that sort of thing, since it helps paint pictures of these characters.

I won't say more about the story except to recommend this one, and tell you if you want to start from the first in the series, it's called Tilt-a-Whirl.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Sprig Muslin

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Sian Phillips
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 908
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 911

Finding so young and pretty a girl as Amanda wandering unattended, Sir Gareth Ludlow knows it is his duty as a man of honour to restore her to her family.

But it is to prove no easy task for the Corinthian. His captive in sprig muslin has more than her rapturous good looks and bandboxes to aid her - she is also possessed of a runaway imagination...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Teen years favorite comes to Audible --at last!

  • By A on 10-21-08

Delightful Regency tale!

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

Reviewed: 06-02-15

I read every Georgette Heyer Regency romance I could get my hands on when I was in my 20's, maybe even my 30's. I was delighted to find new editions of Heyer's romances in my local library a few years ago. I always found them well-written and well-flavored with the customs of the period -- early 19th century. I felt I had outgrown them a long time ago, but thought it was fitting that they should get a chance to be read by a new generation. You see, I'm now 70 and a hard core mystery fan who doesn't appreciate a lot of romance in my mysteries.

However, in the last year I have come upon two Heyer books at Audible that I was able to get on sale. And I loved them! No bodice-ripping, thank goodness.

Sprig Muslin is a comedy of manners to a great extent, with one fair maid leading all of the other characters a merry dance. Lots of fun, a gentle romance, and sparkling dialogue. It was read incredibly well by Sian Phillips -- her characterizations were amazing.

Thank you, Audible!