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  • 'Murder at the Vicarage' & 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles'

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Joan Hickson, Hugh Fraser
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 520
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 516

Enjoy the first novels that brought the world two of Agatha Christies’ most enduring detectives: Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. The Murder at the Vicarage is the first Miss Marple mystery, one which tests all her powers of observation and deduction. In The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Captain Arthur Hastings, invalided in the Great War, is recuperating as a guest of John Cavendish at Styles Court, the "country-place" of John's autocratic old aunt, Emily Inglethorpe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The beginnings of Marple and Poirot!

  • By E. Jensen on 07-14-14

Fun with purpose

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

What made the experience of listening to 'Murder at the Vicarage' & 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles' the most enjoyable?

Both had some twists and interesting characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of 'Murder at the Vicarage' & 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles'?

In the second book, Poirot allowed John to be put on trial for murdering his stepmother though he knew John hadn't done it - Poirot did this because he knew this extreme adversity would draw together John and his estranged wife making them realize they really did care for one another despite drifting apart over the years.

Which scene was your favorite?

Village anthropology shows when one of the tea group talks about the poor she just visited clearly stating they did not want her in their houses. Miss Marple wishes she could be so frank but lets the reader know that she can't say it due to her "social standing". Read and learn, I thought to my outspoken self.

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

In the 2nd book, Poirot shows what a decent fellow he is by not constantly evaluating the situation though he is far ahead right from the start.

Any additional comments?

I was really thrown in the first book by 1) a woman reading the male narrator, 2) the reader who plays Miss Marple on PBS reading it - I kept thinking I was listening to Miss Marple narrating and had to remind myself several times that she wasn't reading as Miss Marple. I finally caught on and enjoyed both of these tales very much

  • A Rather Lovely Inheritance

  • By: CA Belmond
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,186
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,081
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,077

This is your life Penny Nichols...Penny Nichols is a historical researcher working on a big-budget film in the south of France when she gets an urgent call. Her Aunt Penelope has just died, and Penny's presence is required in London for the reading of the will. With only a slim recollection of her eccentric aunt, Penny is astonished to learn that not only is she the bona fide heiress - but she's also been invited to put her research skills to work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful Story with Excellent Narratation

  • By AnJoMom16 on 01-13-15

A hard but somewhat interesting listen

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

Reviewed: 12-16-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would never hire that narrator again - strident and just plain awful reading made this very difficult to get through.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Rather Lovely Inheritance?

I could like some of the characters. I especially liked what the main character did for work.

What didn’t you like about Katherine Kellgren’s performance?

Instead of excited, she got strident. Instead of a smooth voice, she had edge the entire time. Just plain awful. It ruined the book for me.

What would have made this romance irresistible?

The love scene was a yelling match - it didn't sound like the beginning of a beautiful relationship to me.

Any additional comments?

Contrived changes in events leading to a chase. The heroin misses the opportunity to take a painting back by looking at it too long so that the antagonist gets a chance to nearly catch her which leads to having to follow him. Really? Not believable. What was interesting to me was the heroin, a young educated woman, financially struggling, was given an inheritance which would enable her to expand her life and pursue her interests. Instead of giving a large inheritance to one person, the great aunt gave it to the 3 youngest in the family to give them a good start in life. Also, the fact that one property was in Britain and one in France - those are interesting locations to me and I thought it an interesting viewpoint to write about these foreign countries. I would read sequels to this book to see how each of them used the money and what changes they went through in their lives.

  • Mexican Spanish Accelerated - 8 One Hour Audio Lessons (English and Spanish Edition)

  • By: Mark Frobose
  • Narrated by: Mark Frobose
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 81

Mexico has more Spanish speakers than any country in the world, and Mexican Spanish is by far the most important form of Spanish spoken today in the United States. At last, you now have the opportunity to learn to speak and understand real Mexican Spanish quickly and easily, and in your spare time. Language Audiobook's Mexican Spanish Accelerated features an expert English speaking language instructor who is assisted by educated native male and female Mexican speakers who quickly teach you their language the way it is really spoken.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Challenging and Friendly Mexican Spanish Program

  • By Kenneth on 12-30-14

Don't be so cheap - get the Pimsleur method

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

Reviewed: 12-08-17

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe OK to fill in gaps - I picked up a few things I'd missed

What could Mark Frobose have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Enjoyable has nothing to do with it. I need effective. If you think you can learn Spanish by studying phrases, then this series is for you.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was very disappointed because of the various title descriptions used by this author when all it is is a bunch of phrases that cater to how an English-speaker would think it reasonable to learn a language. The reviews are misleading because, I think, they are all foreigners thinking and hoping this is the way to go. If I could learn a language by thinking in English, I could have taught myself Spanish long ago. DO YOURSELF A BIG FAVOR. Check out the Pimsleur method and pay the price. Pimsleur is the ONLY reason I can speak Spanish. I tried schools, private teachers and methods galore to learn both French and Spanish. I only got very basic skills and some of my grammar questions answered. I never could speak but a handful of French because I hadn't found Pimsleur. Now that I live in Mexico much of the year, I am thankful to have the Pimsleur method. After studying the first 3 phases, I have received daily compliments on my Spanish from Mexicans. They understand me and what's more, I understand much of what they say. The lessons are challenging so you simply repeat the ones that are most challenging before you move on. I also write each conversation out at the beginning of each lesson and listen to it over and over until I fully understand it. I am working on Phase 4 now which isn't near as challenging as the first 3 phases - this may be the program's weakness - as I found with Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone is better than most but it is slow. I have found nothing better than Pimsleur.

Any additional comments?

I am an ESL teacher and taught in the LA school system. I still teach Mexicans Spanish in Mexico. I have them all on Pimsleur and then reinforce what they learn in my lessons and answer their immediate questions. Don't waste your time - get Pimsleur!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Golden Earrings

  • By: Belinda Alexandra
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 410

Catalina, grand-daughter of Spanish refugees, is a disciplined student with the School of the Paris Opera Ballet. Little gets inthe way of her career until the visit of an otherworldly being, who leaves her a mysterious pair of golden earrings. Given a quest, Catalina realises she must explore her own Spanish heritage and makes the connection between the visitor and ‘La Rusa’, a young Andalusian flamenco star. La Rusa died in exile in Paris in 1952, her death ruled as suicide. But as Catalina begins to discover, there were those in the community, who had good reason for wanting La Rusa dead.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Needed to get halfway through to begin enjoying it

  • By Chris on 07-27-14

Interesting but get ready for a lot of angst

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

Reviewed: 09-18-17

What did you love best about Golden Earrings?

It seemed an honest book, a depiction of very hard times for Spain. It made me look at Old Europe in a different, quite unromantic way as David McCullough's book on Paris in the 1800's changed the way I will view Paris forever.

What did you like best about this story?

All the characters, both rich and poor, treasured their families above anything else.

Any additional comments?

Well written and engaging if you don't mind some terrible times

  • Rare Objects

  • A Novel
  • By: Kathleen Tessaro
  • Narrated by: Susan Bennett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 649
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 608
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 606

Maeve Fanning is a first-generation Irish immigrant born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston's North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as headstrong as her red hair suggests, she's determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression. However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin - a rebellious appetite that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved this book!!

  • By Traci J on 08-19-17

A great message well written

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

Reviewed: 09-18-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Rare Objects to be better than the print version?

Might be easier to follow the print version. Author goes back and forth between a few years then not at all. I had to relisten to get it fully.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Main character, May, because of her constant struggle to live a life determined by herself rather than by convention. She makes mistakes because she's human and always learning.

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

Yes, The Perfume Collector. This one is better because there is more resolution in the ending if not fully resolved. Also this one doesn't bounce back and forth on characters as well as years which I found confusing in her first book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Being perfect doesn't make you better

Any additional comments?

Good writing, interesting characters in a real historical setting and not a mystery, thank heavens!

  • The Perfume Collector

  • A Novel
  • By: Kathleen Tessaro
  • Narrated by: Heather Wilds
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,577
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,568

London, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London's most refined and ambitious social circles. Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There's only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d'Orsey. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d'Orsey's story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Loved It

  • By Violin 2 Lover on 07-26-14

Interesting read until the cop-out ending

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

Reviewed: 08-27-17

What made the experience of listening to The Perfume Collector the most enjoyable?

Experiencing two different decades in history and very different situations of mother and daughter

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

I would definitely BE the writer and write a decent ending. This writer leads us on, then doesn't fulfil the book.

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

No but I like her. She respects the work and doesn't race through it like many readers.

If you could take any character from The Perfume Collector out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I think I got to know the characters pretty well. I guess I would go with the English-speaking lawyer.

Any additional comments?

I want more from this writer but I also want resolution to her stories. One more ending like that and I will put her down forever. And thank heavens! A well-told story that isn't a murder mystery! Are we ever going to get sick of those?

  • The Mapping of Love and Death

  • A Maisie Dobbs Novel
  • By: Jacqueline Winspear
  • Narrated by: Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,330
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,022
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,018

In the latest mystery in the New York Times best-selling series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death—an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse..... August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California’s beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe,,,,

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't want it to end...best in series!

  • By Helen on 03-30-10

Interesting but overly complicated

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

Reviewed: 07-15-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It's so complicated - unnecessarily so - that one couldn't guess the ending if you wanted to. The reading should be slower paced and not so frantic. Overall it feels like the author and then the reader are overreaching when they could be hitting the mark right on.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The main character finding her way in a man's world as a single woman. Her insights into people and their behavior was kind of interesting but I wasn't always convinced she nailed it. She sure is though.

What about Orlagh Cassidy’s performance did you like?

Consistency.

Did The Mapping of Love and Death inspire you to do anything?

Yes, read a classic.

Any additional comments?

It was very disappointing at the end when the love interested of the murdered man just kind of faded away into poverty and living with relatives. Though she held the most important papers and the key to the safe deposit box that was worth several million dollars, she was going to receive a "thank you note" from the extremely already weathy parents. Also Maisy makes the judgement call not to inform the berieved parents of the murdered man that he had a son - their grandson - so as not to rock the boat of another very wealthy woman and her family. That's quite a lot to decide when Maisy knows the facts but doesn't tell the people who paid her to do the detective work.

  • America's First Daughter

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 23 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,075
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,690
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,676

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, best-selling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph - a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!

  • By SDR on 05-25-16

WOW! This book is a true accomplishment!

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

Reviewed: 06-20-17

What did you love best about America's First Daughter?

This is a book for our times lest we forget why this country came into being and how much it meant to make this legacy for us. It made me appreciate my country better and those who created it and have fought for it. It made me feel better about politics today because it was no less brutal in the time of our 3rd president.

What other book might you compare America's First Daughter to and why?

I love Irving Stone books because of the insight one gets into history through the creative reconstructive writer.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene between father and daughter when Jefferson made clear that he could not have accomplished all he had without her. The devotion and intelligence these two people had made them heroes.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Two heroes who shaped a country

Any additional comments?

This would be a great book for both men and women seeking to understand how a woman's mind works and what we cherish most; how the physical role we play in child-bearing, then child-rearing, then watching your children develop into maturity and deal with the pressures in their own lives tempers us into more insightful, peace-keeping beings.

  • A Bachelor Establishment

  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,536
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,420
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,418

High adventure and dark mystery combine in a sparkling historical romance, by Jodi Taylor writing as Isabella Barclay from The Chronicles of St. Mary's. Bascombe, widowed and tied to an impoverished estate, has learned to ask little of life. With no hope of leaving, the years have passed her by. Lord Ryde, exiled abroad after a scandal, has returned to strip his estate and make a new start in America.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A clever and well-plotted Regency Romance

  • By Hope on 09-17-15

What do you know? Plump, 40ish, sexy heroin KUDOS

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

Reviewed: 12-30-16

What did you love best about A Bachelor Establishment?

The story has mystery and moves along at a nice pace and characters are real. While this story lacks the usual blood and gore of many mysteries, it offers engaging and redeemable characters. I really liked it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The heroin is actually plump, middle-aged, competent and knows how to handle herself with a man - my kind of person

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

Yes. She does change of character well and I like her speed of delivery at a steady, even pace - very listenable.

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

People can be misunderstood for years, even a lifetime, but when someone actually takes the trouble to look past what is "known" about a person, sometimes they may be pleasantly surprised.

Any additional comments?

I'd like to read more from this author.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • A Pair of Blue Eyes

  • By: Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 15 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

Hardy's third novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, follows the story of Elfride Swancourt. The daughter of the rector of Endelstow, a sparse, sea-swept parish in Cornwall, Elfride is caught between two suitors of very different backgrounds: Stephen Smith, a young architect restoring the old parish church; and the respectable, older man of London society, Henry Knight. The blue-eyed and high-spirited protagonist must untangle the conflicting messages of her heart and her mind.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Depressing story & unbelievable central character

  • By Molly R. on 08-14-17

What a talent

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

Reviewed: 12-30-16

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

Definitely for someone who loves beautiful descriptive writing and development of characters

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Pair of Blue Eyes?

To learn that her father did exactly as he warned his daughter of doing

What about Anna Bentinck’s performance did you like?

She's wonderful with a steady, listenable pace and distinct characterizations

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

As are all of Hardy's books, this was a tradegy. I did cry at the stupid decisions the supposedly educated lover made - even for his time.

Any additional comments?

Hardy's books are gorgeous and meaty and everything I love in a story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful