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Jan

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  • Blue Howl

  • Blue Wolf Series, Book 3
  • By: Brad Magnarella
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21

With Jason Wolfe’s ragtag team of monster hunters hardening into a lethal unit, they’re ready to roll. And not a moment too soon. In the wilds of northern Canada, something is stalking humans and leaving a trail of scattered remains. The team arrives, armed for mayhem. But how do they handle an arrogant client, not to mention a killer that can’t be tracked? Meanwhile, Jason faces an inner test. His wolf nature, awakened by the vast, rugged landscape, yearns to break from the human mind tethering it. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The thrill of the hunt is calling!

  • By Brian on 12-06-18

Blue Wolves in the snow!

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

angst, Canada, werewolves, shifters, folklore, paramilitaries, action-adventure, snarky, testosterone-fest, suspense, twisty, Cree

Just when you thought you had a handle on the team working with Jason Wolfe and for the mercenary organization known as Centurion, a new assignment comes along and blows you away! This time it's the wilds of Canada. In the winter. With lots of snow. And a self important client who puts everyone in peril. Each member of the team has supernatural issues and that is both good and bad when they come up against a malevolent entity that takes the Cree legend up a notch. I really don't want to do the spoiler thing, so I'll just leave it at that. LOVED IT!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from the author because I just couldn't wait for publication.
Read it in September, but now have the Audio, too! That's because it's soooo much better with James Patrick Cronin giving the audio performance, and besides, I can listen to it in the car and drive passengers nutz!

  • Guarded Prognosis

  • By: Richard L. Mabry MD
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

When Dr. Caden Taggart saw the two men sitting in his waiting room, he didn’t think they were patients. He was right, and when they introduced themselves as agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency, things started to get bad. Then Caden felt as though someone had gut-punched him when his father, Dr. Henry Taggart, told him he probably had carcinoma of the pancreas. When he talked about his son assisting with his suicide, Caden wondered how he could talk him out of that.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • DEA

  • By Darc on 12-12-18

Timely

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

medical-doctor, feds, suspense, mystery

A solid medical mystery with a strong storyline and realistic characters. It grabbed my attention right away with the entrance of DEA agents with what appeared to be damning evidence of opioid malpractice. The doc didn't even have time to process this when his father tells him of the usually fatal diagnosis he received and asks for a promise to provide assisted suicide if needed.
Caught on the horns of some serious dilemmas, he could have reacted in many ways, but his wife became his strength. There's plenty of suspense, twists, and red herrings. A very intriguing read for this off duty nurse.
I have the audio as performed by Bill Nevitt, who always makes a good book so much more.

  • Patriot Number One

  • American Dreams in Chinatown
  • By: Lauren Hilgers
  • Narrated by: Angela Lin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

In Patriot Number One, Hilgers follows a dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. As the irrepressibly opinionated Zhuang and the more pragmatic Little Yan pursue legal status and struggle to reunite with their son, we also meet others piecing together a new life in Flushing. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What are your other languages?

  • By Jan on 12-05-18

What are your other languages?

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

nonfiction, narrative,China, Chinese-culture, immigrants, NYC
Original review Feb 18, 2018
I don't know about you, but I don't think that I could master reading Chinese characters or even do a credible communication in even one of the many dialects. The reverse of this is true for each of the many Chinese immigrants in New York and elsewhere in the English speaking world.
This book gives the rest of us a view into Wukan village life and indignities, the government reaction to low level rebellion, the need and process of political asylum seeking, the incredible monetary and emotional costs, and the harsh realities for one courageous man and his wife, their families, friends and neighbors in the years from 2012 to 2017. It is written by an English speaking magazine reporter fluent in Chinese and able to transliterate names, and this chronicling is also documented and footnoted.
Follow along with the poorlt educated young man who became Patriot Number One in an effort to dissolve corruption in local and provincial government and work for social justice. He married an educated but introverted young woman, spent time in jail, had a son, and became too problematic for the government. Then began the process of leaving the small son with the grandparents, consolidating his funds, borrowing money from family and friends, planning and executing the move from China (without alerting the government), and then coming as just another immigrant to the Chinese community in Flushing, Queens, New York.
Follow along with the tribulations of their living in one small room (which cost as much as a one room apartment in the Midwest), finding trustworthy contacts among the countless strangers, finding employment when unable to understand the language, obtaining political asylum status, working 60 to 70 hours per week, paying taxes and Social Security, and still sending money back to both her parents and his. There are good people and good luck in their lives as well, making this a fascinating but exhausting reading experience. It's also a good insight and reminder to those of us who have parents and grandparents who had similar experiences and also overcame it all.
I requested and received a prepublication copy from Net Galley.
Don't miss this gem.
12/05/2018 Just bought the audio, Angela Lin is remarkable! It is obvious that English is not her second language, but the sound of the Chinese names and phrases seems so unstudied that I wonder if IT is her second.

  • Brimstone Blues

  • Yancy Lazarus Series, Book 5
  • By: James A. Hunter
  • Narrated by: Charlie Kevin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

Yancy Lazarus - mage, bluesman, and demon-souled - is having the worst hangover of his life. He just woke up in a dingy hotel in literal Hell with one eye missing, an arm covered in swirling golden tattoos, and no recollection of the past six months. All he wants is to figure out how he ended up in the Great Below and whether there’s a way home. But getting out of Hell is no easy feat. Yancy is the most wanted man in the infernal city of Pandæmonium, and he’s being hunted by demonic cutthroats for a series of high-profile murders he can’t remember committing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No actual demons were harmed in this book!

  • By Ray Johnson on 03-09-18

What a ride!

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

testosterone-fest, action-adventure, fantasy, hard-boiled, snarky, situational-humor, verbal-humor

Hunter hits another one out of the park with this one!
I've liked Yancy from the beginning, but the whole thing keeps getting better and better. It's a great testosterone fest but the snarks and other humor really make it!
And Charlie Kevin has the delivery of the narration down to a science!

  • Victory Fever on Guadalcanal

  • Japan's First Land Defeat of World War II
  • By: William H. Bartsch
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

Following their rampage through Southeast Asia and the Pacific in the five months after Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces moved into the Solomon Islands, intending to cut off the critical American supply line to Australia. But when they began to construct an airfield on Guadalcanal in July 1942, the Americans captured the almost completed airfield for their own strategic use. The Japanese Army countered by sending to Guadalcanal a reinforced battalion under the command of Col. Kiyonao Ichiki.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • VICTORY FEVER ON GUADALCANAL

  • By Prairie Beauty on 12-09-18

Excellent study

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

USMC, military-history, World-War-ll, Pacific-Theater-of-Operations, historical-research, historical-places-events

Eight months after the declaration of war on Japan by the United States, USMC green recruits, capable NCOs, and few officers were able to best determined Japanese forces on Guadalcanal in the Battle of Tenaru. This book is a detailed account of the events leading up to the battle and accounts obtained from records from each side and from survivors who were still alive at the time of research. The in depth meticulous research done by the author is clearly in evidence, and the value of the body of work to active duty military is clearly apparent.
Will I get in trouble if I mention its value to history buffs and RPG players?
I had to get an audio copy because my print copy was liberated by USMC grandson.
Bill Nevitt continues to be excellent as narrator for study subjects.

  • Lady Justice and the Mysterious Box

  • By: Robert Thornhill
  • Narrated by: George Kuch
  • Length: 4 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11

A mysterious box left by a dying man falls into Walt’s hands. He learns, much to his dismay, that the box is being sought by agents from four countries. Walt has no idea what the box contains but is told that in the right hands it could be a blessing to mankind, but in the wrong hands, a curse. Walt is charged with the safekeeping of the box, but at what expense? Others who have come in contact with the box are dead. At some point, Walt must decide whether the contents of the box are worth risking the lives of those closest to him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What's in the Box?

  • By Jan M on 11-25-18

Really different!

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

suspense, verbal-humor, situational-humor, spies

Wow! Extremely creative tale very deserving of its title! More than mysterious, its contents being deadly dangerous. Unusually short, but very effective. Well worth the read!
Once again George Kuch does a great job as narrator.

  • Lady Justice and the Mystery Mansion

  • By: Robert Thornhill
  • Narrated by: George Kuch
  • Length: 2 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14

Walt and Maggie purchase a run-down mansion with plans to restore it to its former grandeur, not knowing that every previous owner had suffered a terrible tragedy due to a centuries-old curse. During the restoration, the mysterious mansion reveals dark secrets that have been hidden away for decades. As restless spirits and hidden corpses are found, Walt and Maggie fear they may become the next victims of the evil curse. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love these books!

  • By PattyH on 12-13-18

Everybody wins!

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

supernatural, suspense, restoration, greed, pride, seniors, situational-humor, verbal-humor

Between the wife with a vision to restore a once impressive mansion and a reluctant husband who knows just who to call, long ago wrongs are righted and surprises happen. Another excellent read from the annals of Lady Justice!
George Kuch continues to be the very best as narrator.

  • Bassets and Blackmail

  • A Dog Detective Series, Book 2
  • By: Sandra Baublitz
  • Narrated by: Nancy Bober
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Will this mystery game be murder? Peaceful Dreams B&B is hosting a murder mystery game to celebrate its grand opening. Local sleuth Clarissa Hayes and her loyal Saint Bernard, Paw, have joined in the entertainment. All is fun and games until one of the guests is found dead at the bottom of the basement stairs. Was it an accident? Or murder? Did the victim share a secret past with one of the guests or the B&B owners? It's up to Clarissa and Paw to trail the clues to find out the truth. Along the way they're joined by a bevy of friends, both human and animal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Murder Mystery Turns Deadly

  • By Aurora Dawn on 12-07-18

Enjoy!

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

cozy-mystery, pets, law-enforcement, amateur-sleuth, private-investigators, murder-investigation

The Bed and Breakfast hosts a mock murder mystery weekend that gets real.
The owners and friends have a number of rescued pets, but none of the guests brought any this time. A human finds the first victim, a dog finds the first clue, a cat finds an expensive bracelet that seems unrelated to the murder. And then things really get twisty!
An excellent cozy with delightful characters. And the people are interesting, too!
Nancy Bober gives an excellent interpretative narration.
I requested and received a free audio copy via AudioBookBOOM.

  • Killer Finale

  • Chloe Cook Cozy Mystery, Book 3
  • By: Kayla Michelle
  • Narrated by: Renee Dorian Begley
  • Length: 2 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

When a loudmouthed, egotistical comedy club owner is found dead, Chloe's once sleepy hometown of Cape Cod is rocked to the core. Even worse, the police think one of Chloe's best friends is the killer. Convinced that her friend has been framed, the feisty, pie-loving cosmetics saleswoman is left with no choice but to take matters into her own hands to find the real killer herself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Keeps you guessing!

  • By Susan Patterson on 11-20-18

A nice read!

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

Reviewed: 11-16-18

cozy-mystery, amateur-sleuth, murder-investigation, women-sleuths

A nice easy reading cozy mystery! Chloe is a cosmetic saleswoman to pay the bills and an amateur sleuth to ensure that any murderer in her small town doesn't escape justice. This time her good friend is framed into being the prime suspect so she gets into high gear for this fast paced investigation and it's the reader who gets the real benefit! A great read for when you need to decompress or just want an escape.
Renee Dorian Begley gives an irrepressible perkiness to the narration.

  • Lady Justice and the Devil's Breath

  • By: Robert Thornhill
  • Narrated by: George Kuch
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14

Devil’s Breath is called the most dangerous drug in the world, and it’s come to Kansas City. It is said it takes away a person’s free will, and minions of a Colombian drug lord are using it to rob, steal, kidnap, and even commit murder. Fate throws Walt and his geriatric sidekicks into the path of the purveyors of Devil’s Breath endangering their lives and the lives of those around them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Walt takes on drugs

  • By Lisarami on 10-29-18

The good guys win!

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

assassins, seniors, illegal-trafficking, private-investigators, law-enforcement, humor, greed, family, friendship

The good guys win again! (even if they did need to ask for help from a bad guy)
It opens with greed, progresses through felonies, adds in assassination, and still has a full quota of humor. The social ills are things done out of greed and the continuing obstruction of the general population by big pharmaceutical companies. Well, that's out of greed, too.
I hate to do the whole recap and spoilers thing, but I will tell everybody that it's a great series and yet each book is self contained enough that it doesn't matter if you have read any of the others. But I suspect that you'll want to!
George Kuch continues to be excellent as narrator, and if his style is slow for you, remember the speed icon on your app.