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Jeffrey J.

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 55
  • ratings
  • Murder on the First Day of Christmas

  • Chloe Carstairs Mysteries, Volume 1
  • By: Billie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Ortiz
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18

Finding a severed hand at a client's house might throw lesser decorators off their games. But Chloe Carstairs and her mother, Amanda, won't let a little thing like murder keep them from decking the halls. With a body under the partridge's pear tree and a dead Santa in a sleigh, they have to crack the case before the killer strikes again - this time much too close to home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun Christmas book!

  • By Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe on 12-22-17

Sexism

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

Reviewed: 12-07-17

What disappointed you about Murder on the First Day of Christmas?

There is a LOT of sexism in this book, and I'm barely out of the first chapter. It's lazy writing.

What three words best describe Rebecca Ortiz’s voice?

Overly enthusiastic and forced

Any additional comments?

Just be aware that there's a lot of misogyny before buying. I was taken aback at how much vitriol the author apparently has for sexually active women, older women, fat people, etc. Be prepared to hear characters described like a snarky eighth grader covering up their discomfort with their body by mocking everyone else's.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Moustache Mary

  • By: Wendelin Van Draanen
  • Narrated by: Tara Sands
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

On a quiet weekend in the country, Sammy and her friends meet Lucinda Huntley and her 200-pound pig, and become involved in a centuries old family feud involving Lucinda's great grandma Moustache Mary. When Mary's pioneer cabin burns to the ground, it's up to Sammy to dig up the cause as the past collides with the present in this highly combustible mystery!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Don't do drugs, mmmkay?

  • By Jeffrey J. on 08-04-17

Don't do drugs, mmmkay?

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

Reviewed: 08-04-17

Content warnings: Racial epithets for native Americans make a brief appearance, character uses a mental illness as an insult, the book implies that marijuana is a gateway drug to methamphetamine, and there are some borderline controlling behaviors being romanticized (male character ignoring a female character telling him to let her go). The portrayal of drug use and addiction is one dimensional.
As a kid, I loved this book. As an adult, I still like it and will be reading the series with my own kids (and having conversations about why stalking and harassing your classmates isn't okay... definitely didn't pick up on how creepy some of the stuff in the books is as a child).

  • Abhorsen

  • By: Garth Nix
  • Narrated by: Tim Curry
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,671
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,158
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,155

Before she went to join Sam and Mogget downstairs, Lirael paused for a moment to look at herself in the tall silver mirror that hung on the wall of her room. The image that faced her bore little resemblance to the Second Assistant Librarian of the Clayr. She saw a warlike and grim young woman, dark hair bound back with a silver cord rather than hanging free to disguise her face. She no longer wore her librarian's waistcoat, and she had a long Nehima at her side rather than a library-issue dagger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • splendid

  • By DangerMouse on 07-05-08

Take off the music & it's perfect

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

Reviewed: 04-06-17

You can't go wrong with Garth Nix or Tim Curry. Curry does a perfect job of bringing the Old Kingdom and its citizens to life. I took off two stars from the "overall" score because the producers chose to blare loud music over the opening and closing of the book, which distracts and makes it hard to hear. It's the auditory equivalent to drawing a colorful picture over the pages of a book- DON'T DO IT. Play the music before or after, why do you need to obscure the author's words??

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bioshock: Rapture

  • Bioshock, Book 1
  • By: John Shirley
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,054
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 969
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 970

It was the end of World War II. FDR's New Deal had redefined American politics. Taxes were at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had created a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business had many watching their backs. America's sense of freedom was diminishing... and many were desperate to take that freedom back.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • YAAY! Finally . . . Wait, What!?

  • By Jason on 06-29-12

Unlistenable

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

Reviewed: 01-09-17

How could the performance have been better?

Using a different voice actor. Unfortunately, this one read in an undifferentiated, listless monotone punctuated only by abortive attempts at accents.

Any additional comments?

The book seems to be interesting, but it is hard to appreciate given the narration. As a fan of the video games, I was eager to have the background written out in a novel. I'm going to read this one for myself.

  • Malice at the Palace

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,960
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,934

While my beau, Darcy, is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the queen - especially one that includes lodging. The king's youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace. My duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London, and, above all, dispel any rumors about George's libertine history.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Longtime Fan No More

  • By S. Hunt on 08-21-15

Wat.

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

Reviewed: 12-20-16

Spoiler: ghosts catch the killer. Actual ghosts.
Other than that, there's some slut shaming, creepy stalkerish behavior and assault being labelled as romantic, and everything else that comes along with a Royal Spyness book.
Georgie has actually broken through the formula to have some character growth though, which is refreshing. She's outright mean and unswervingly condescending to Queenie during every interaction and she is actually taking charge with being a government agent. I hope the next book will have her doing actual spy work against fascism, which is literally the only reason I keep reading these.

  • Royal Blood

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,901
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,488
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,457

Penniless and 34th in line to the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself in a truly draining state of affairs. To escape her hateful brother, Georgie accepts an invitation from the Queen to represent the royals at a wedding in Transylvania. But at the macabre- looking castle, Georgie finds the bride with blood running down her chin, and a wedding guest is poisoned.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Adventurous Fun

  • By Dylan on 05-19-16

Some tropes should be left behind

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

Reviewed: 12-10-16

I enjoyed this book, but readers should be aware that it has the same problems as the others in the series: ex the heroine is constantly being saved by men instead of acting on her own account, etc. This particular book makes reference to women being too unattractive to be sexually assaulted multiple times and there are more frequent gay slurs/stereotypes then the previous books (fairy, pansy). The whodunnit and period aspects of the series are great, but the toxic tropes (rape as plot device, men "romantically" being vaguely threatening, etc) are getting a little heavy handed.

  • Her Royal Spyness

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,429
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,257
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,226

Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’ve Been Charmed

  • By Em on 06-11-12

Fun!

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

Reviewed: 12-06-16

This novel is like the love child of Wodehouse and a Barbara Michaels gothic. It was a great deal of fun to listen to, given the phenomenal talent of the narrator. I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

  • Three Hands in the Fountain

  • A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery
  • By: Lindsey Davis
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177

Marcus Didius Falco and his laddish friend Petronius find their local fountain has been blocked - by a gruesomely severed human hand. Soon other body parts are being found in the aqueducts and sewers. Public panic overcomes official indifference, and the Aventine partners are commissioned to investigate. Women are being abducted during festivals, and the next Games are only days away.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Falco is reliably enjoyable listening

  • By David on 11-21-12

Favorite

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

Reviewed: 09-29-16

I've been reading (listening) my way through the M. Didius series and this is far and away the best one so far. I'm a sucker for serial killer thrillers and Davis wrote this one to perfection; I was on tenterhooks at the conclusion. My Roman scholarly history ended with high school Latin, but one can assume the historical accuracy of Roman knowledge of abnormal psychology and their ability to hunt down a serial killer is overstated for entertainment purposes.
This is the first book that's not narrated by Simon Pebble and I'm so disappointed this is the only one!! Mr Pebble does a fine job, but I loved the different voices and accents used here. Falco is a poor man running in both aristocratic and uneducated circles; I found the coarser accents really brought the setting to life.
Suspend your disbelief and get ready to learn about the water supply of ancient Rome!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Victoria

  • A Life
  • By: A. N. Wilson
  • Narrated by: Clive Chafer
  • Length: 21 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

The longest reigning British monarch and female sovereign in history, Queen Victoria was a figure of profound paradox who has mystified historians for over a century. Now in this magisterial biography, A.N. Wilson rebukes the conventional wisdom about her life - that she was merely a "funny little woman in a bonnet" who did next to nothing - to show she was in fact intensely involved in state affairs despite a public façade of inaction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful

  • By Jean on 03-05-15

Sleep soundtrack

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

Reviewed: 09-09-16

The narration is... sedate? Every sentence has the same cadence and it felt like a newscaster reading off headlines. I got two chapters in before calling it quits. (I had to relisten twice because I kept falling asleep)
The book itself seems okay, but I won't be listening to it any time soon. I think it's a little bit dry and impersonal.

  • The Private Lives of the Tudors

  • Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty
  • By: Tracy Borman
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble, Sandra Duncan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 223
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203

The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed. These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So good

  • By Suzan on 08-09-16

Inconsistent

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

Reviewed: 08-31-16

I found this book to be inconsistent with it's bias, presentism and research. It was okay; it's an easy listen while cleaning and doing mentally undemanding activities. The narration was soothing and slow.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful