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Valerie

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  • 30
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  • The Ghost of Marlow House

  • Haunting Danielle Series, Book 1
  • By: Bobbi Holmes, Anna J. McIntyre
  • Narrated by: Romy Nordlinger
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 506

When Danielle Boatman inherits Marlow House, she dreams of turning it into a seaside bed and breakfast. Since she's never visited the property, Danielle's not sure what awaits her in Oregon. She certainly doesn't expect to find one of the house's previous owners still in residence. After all, the man has been dead for almost 90 years - shouldn't he have moved on by now? Charming Walt Marlow convinces Danielle the only way he can move on is if she solves the mystery of his death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Beatrice on 03-18-17

A cozy ghost story with somewhat poor narration

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

The characters and story are enjoyable, with a decent mystery, and very interesting historical facts. I would give it a five-star if it were not for the female narrator. Her two female protagonists have identical voices, but that's not really a problem, because of all the Danielle said and sidekick said, which keeps listeners on track. While appreciated in the Audible version, I can't help but wonder if the written version would have driven me crazy. Worst of all, the narrator's voice occasionally screeches for no reason at all. I stomached it because it wasn't too often and I liked the story, but every screech made me wince.

  • Trickery

  • Curse of the Gods, Book 1
  • By: Jaymin Eve, Jane Washington
  • Narrated by: Vanessa Moyen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,852
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,648
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,643

In Minatsol, being a dweller means that you are literally no better than dirt. In fact, dirt might actually be more useful than Willa. Her life will be one of servitude to the sols, the magic-blessed beings who could one day be chosen to become gods. At least her outer village is far removed from the cities of the sols, and she won't ever be forced to present herself to them... Until one small mistake changes everything, and Willa is awarded a position to serve at Blesswood, the top sol academy in the world - a position that she definitely did not earn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WHAT WAS THAT!!!!

  • By Sarah on 06-27-17

For Molly Harper fans

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Our heroine's internal dialogue is hilarious and her klutziness only adds to both plot and overall fun. The plot touches on serious issues, which our heroine will, I hope, eventually solve. Her sidekick is likeable and adds that all important second viewpoint of an alien civilization. The fantasy world is interesting and not like others.

I immediately added the second book to my wish list, but since I alternate genres I didn't immediately buy it. Too bad for me! Later, while going through my wish list, which I try to keep at 28 pages of 20 books each, I listened to the sample of the second book - and was completely disgusted by the sample. Later still, in desperation for something to read, I listened to the first book again - remembered how much I liked it and immediately bought the second book. And the third and the fourth - and am now waiting in frustration for Audible to acquire the final book in the series. If you are wary about the reverse harem element, don't worry. You have to wait until the end of the third book for any sex and it is not at all intrusive. However, now that I've discovered the world of reverse harem romance, which should really be labelled polyandry, I'm finding it exceedingly enjoyable. None, however, matches the ease and fun of this series.

  • Look to the Lady

  • An Albert Campion Mystery
  • By: Margery Allingham
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

The Gyrth family had guarded the Chalice for hundreds of years. It was held by them for the Crown. Its antiquity, its beauty, the extraordinary legends that were connected with it, all combined to make it unique of its kind. It was irreplaceable. No thief could hope to dispose of it in the ordinary way. And indeed no ordinary thief would dream of trying. But there are others besides those who make their living by robbery, others whose immense wealth and passion for collecting render them less immune to the practical considerations that must guide even the less honestly minded citizens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love the start to this one, like the reader

  • By Meep on 11-16-13

Our first encounter with Amanda

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

The writing in this fun mystery is delightful. The story is one that I read decades ago and bought again without realizing which one it was. I was pleased to discover that it was one I had enjoyed and remembered fairly well. This can't be said for most of the mysteries I buy and listen to these days. I often get to listen to them at least twice before remembering anything about them. The story is, in essence, pretty silly but our heroine is a delight and the writing is first-rate. The opening and many of the scenes are indeed memorable. I think Amanda appears only in one other novel (also a good one), but she does show up somewhere in an afterward that cements her importance in our hero's life. FYI, I think Allingham's best novel is Tiger in the Smoke.

  • Wife by Wednesday

  • Weekday Brides, Book 1
  • By: Catherine Bybee
  • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,065
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,809
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,811

Blake Harrison: Rich, titled, and charming…and in need of a wife by Wednesday. Blake turns to Sam Elliot, who isn’t the businessman he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, beautiful and feisty with a voice men call 1-900 numbers to hear. Samantha Elliot: Owner of matchmaking firm Alliance and not on the marital menu…that is, until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. And there’s nothing indecent about this proposal. The money will really help with her family’s medical bills. All Samantha will need to do is keep her attraction to her new husband to herself and avoid his bed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Romantic love story

  • By J on 04-29-15

This was a turnoff for me

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

The beginning seemed interesting, but I couldn't finish it. Like Alice, I'm very willing to believe the unbelievable when it comes to my reading pleasure. However, I found it disgusting that the excuse for a millionaire wanting a property and more millions included the argument that non-profits are all such slimy, untrustworthy organizations that it would be throwing good money away to allow them to inherit anything. I kept on reading, but the requisite misunderstanding between lovers and subsequent ending were so predictable that I stopped in boredom just when I should have felt unbearable tension and compassion.

  • The Curiosity Keeper

  • By: Sarah Ladd
  • Narrated by: Jude Mason
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 234

Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She’s done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille must allow a mysterious stranger to come to her aid. Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content to work as the village apothecary. But when his brother’s death made him heir just as his father’s foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession -- a ruby called the Bevoy -- can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop -- and the beautiful shop girl who may be the answer to his many questions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Many Faceted Historical Romance

  • By Patiotoole on 07-30-15

Somewhat disappointing

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

It's listed as historical fiction, but from the description I expected a bit of mystery and romance, as well as discussion of antique curios. There was no mystery and no discussion of curios. The historical descriptions were interesting, but somewhat limited. There is a HEA, but the romance was so realistic and subdued that I had to look twice to make sure I hadn't purchased a "Christian romance".

  • The Love Letter

  • By: Lucinda Riley
  • Narrated by: Camilla Rockley
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 356
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354

1995, London. When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of 95 he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, so devastating that it could rock the English establishment to its core. Joanna Haslam is an ambitious young journalist assigned to cover the legendary actor's funeral. The great and the good of the celebrity world are there. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind, the contents of which others have been desperate to conceal for over 70 years. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!

  • By Martha on 09-09-18

An annoyingly good writer

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

I really cared for each of the characters and I couldn't tell you why, which is annoying. They were definitely 3-dimensional and, for the most part, perfectly ordinary, with good intentions and characteristics that could be both bad and good, and sometimes influenced by others and sometimes not. The main character is a strong woman who is completely believable as a real human being. The mystery is interesting and frustrating in that there are side-issues and dead ends and vague hints galore. I had to keep reminding myself that it was set in the 1990's, because otherwise I'm not sure anyone would really care about "the truth".
I stopped in the middle, glad for a break and sure that I could leave the story be for a while. Unfortunately, I started listening again and was immediately sucked in by my concern for the characters.

  • Trail of Lightning

  • By: Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Narrated by: Tanis Parenteau
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is its last, best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The person you hire when the heroes fail

  • By Cynthia on 08-09-18

Superb world-building, but trigger-warning

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

Reviewed: 09-29-18

This book has an interesting new fantasy setting and I was glad I finished it. I almost didn't because there is an early, violent death of a child. That stopped me and I didn't listen to more until I was desperate for another book. I don't buy books about kidnapped children or abused children, etc. Sorry, but I just can't. The heroine is strong and smart, which I like. Her sidekick has complementary strengths. The underlying mythology is interesting. So, I'll probably buy the next in the series. However, I'm not looking forward to it with excitement like I am to the next in the Akita Witch series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Come to Dust

  • Booktrack Edition
  • By: Emma Lathen
  • Narrated by: Deaver Brown
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Come to Dust: Booktrack Edition adds an immersive musical soundtrack to your audiobook listening experience! This the eighth of 37 Emma Lathen best sellers featuring John Putnam Thatcher, SVP of the Sloan Guaranty Trust. This time involves fundraising for the old Ivy league college, Dartmouth in fact, with various goings-on related to missing checks, possible embezzlement, and more. It's windy twisty road to the solution made by John Putnam Thatcher. Good fun, witty, and informative.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Love Lathen Hate production

  • By Valerie on 07-27-18

Love Lathen Hate production

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

I kept listening to the end, because this is the one Lathen I haven't read, but it was an excruciating experience. The background "music" is a terrible, just audible, humming and thrumming - except when it becomes excessive traffic noise. The whole thing sounds like the narrator is standing in a subway station and taking the elevator up once in a while. Lathen writes smoothly. John Thatcher is a smooth detective. The narrator has a gravel voice that should be used for noir, except that he can't narrate - literally, can't narrate. He sounds like a man who is trying to read a book without his glasses. There are lots of tripped over words and silences in all the wrong places just in one measly sentence. Multiply that by every sentence and I can only hope that Audible did not pay much for these sorry productions. Perhaps Deaver Brown was an enthusiast and produced these by himself because he's poverty stricken? That's the only reason I can see for him to be reading any book aloud. If I could give the production a zero rating, I would. Which saddens me, because Emma Lathen is a modern classic.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dead Can Wait

  • By: Robert Ryan
  • Narrated by: Richard Burnip
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

Dr. John Watson is back home, fresh from his time in the trenches of Flanders Fields. The horrors of war weigh heavy on his mind, and now his task is to help rehabilitate soldiers suffering from the crippling effects of shell-shock.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good but ...

  • By Valerie on 02-01-18

Good but ...

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

Reviewed: 02-01-18

The author's depiction of her aging characters is excellent. The plot is complex, interesting, and grounded in historical fact. However, she pushes the plot into the realm of modern excess by carrying the story beyond the believable. There are at least two good points where the book could have ended and it would have seemed a great addition to the Holmes cannon. Instead it starts to feel like a modern swashbuckling or sci-fi series, where the characters perform more and more difficult feats in the face of overwhelming odds and opportune coincidences.

Then I find it unforgivable that there is no discussion at the end of the book about the historical facts upon which the story is based. In order to separate fact from fantasy I had to resort to a couple hours with Wikipedia, satisfying only one of my three-subject questions.
Meandering on Wikipedia is not a bad thing, except that I listen to books because it is hard on my eyes to read text. And it appears that the name she assigns her villain is that of a real person, who does not appear to be at all villainous in real life. And, I'm sorry, but I think she needs to address that out of respect. Did she do it on purpose or by accident?

This is a good book with very good narration, but it left me weary, in a temper, and disinclined to listen to the next book in the series.

  • Fata Morgana

  • By: Steven R. Boyett, Ken Mitchroney
  • Narrated by: Macleod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,879
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,767
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,758

At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling, and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world. Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book had it all

  • By Magnus on 10-14-17

Much more than a love story, it's a joyous romp

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

Reviewed: 12-16-17

One reviewer called this a love story, and it is. It's a love story to a 1940's view of ourselves as Americans. It's a love story to the incredible valor and endurance of airplane crews during World War Two. It's a love story to flying. It's even a love story to the concept of our world as our home. This book is crammed with such romance.

But there's even more. There's clever science fiction, with an exceedingly good plot device. And, of course, there are descriptions of air battles.

The writing is excellent, and if I occasionally mixed up supporting characters, it was no big deal, because the plot propelled me along. In fact, I couldn't stop listening as the action reached crisis proportions toward the end. The epilogue is on the long side, but it contains critical information, so keep going to the end.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful