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Agatha Istanbul

Chapel Hill, NC USA (and world traveler)
  • 53
  • reviews
  • 59
  • helpful votes
  • 71
  • ratings
  • An Hour Unspent

  • By: Roseanna M. White
  • Narrated by: Liz Pearce
  • Length: 14 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 55

Once London's top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker's daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold. Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiance to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can't help being interested.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Barclay's Story is Everything Worth Waiting For

  • By åslaug on 11-06-18

Liz Pearce, narrator, has a grating voice!

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

I don't know how I got through this book ? The story was okay, but simplistic in many parts. The woman main character is supposed to be an independent woman, who fights for causes she supports.... but she is one of the stupidest, headstrong women about which I've read! She doesn't use her mind to think ahead, but just stubbornly jumps into situations and AFTERWARDS quizzes herself (and therefore the listener on Audible) with hundreds of questions she should have thought about in the first place! I became very frustrated with her! I kept thinking that no intelligent, forward-thinking woman would act so stupidly! She's not prejudice against race or lower class people, but is prejudice against one's background?? That doesn't make sense. As I was getting more and more irritated with the grating, forceful, breathy voice of the narrator, Liz Pearce, who always has this false urgency to her voice, and often sounds like her mouth has a wad of saliva in it that she is talking over, it came to me that perhaps the author sanctioned this terrible narrator to cover the faults with her book! I really don't like authors that use the ploy of the character asking themselves questions over and over again, as it assumes the UNINTELLIGENCE of the reader! The author thinks that by the character asking questions, she is directing the reader where she wants them to go. As if the reader doesn't have the intelligence to follow the story without that help!!
I have listened to other books narrated by Liz Pearce and she narrates them all the same - with a whiny, forceful voice that makes nothing urgent because she makes EVERYTHING urgent. I think this book is a light, fluffy, romantic book for less-than-intelligent people.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Unlikely Event

  • By: Judy Blume
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
  • Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,259
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,122
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,123

When a series of passenger airplanes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey, within a three-month period in 1951-1952, Judy Blume was a teenager. "These events have lingered in my mind ever since," says Blume. "It was a crazy time. We were witnessing things that were incomprehensible to us as teenagers. Was it sabotage? An alien invasion? No one knew, and people were understandably terrified."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "HOPE FOR THE BEST... PLAN FOR THE WORST"

  • By Tracy P. on 09-21-15

True story - sad but sweet.....

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

This was a fictionalized version of a true story that happened during the time Judy Blume was growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey. During a 3 month period, 3 planes crashed into buildings in Elizabeth, NJ as they were either leaving or landing at the Newark, NJ airport. This books is about how the plane crashes affected the people of Elizabeth, especially the young people - and in particular those who witnessed the plane crashes as they were going about their normal lives - and how it changed the trajectory of their lives. It was written very well, and the narrator did a wonderful performance. It's a sad story of true events that most people have either forgotten, or are too young to have even known about. Even though I usually don't like listening to tragic stories, because I feel that stories should either be entertaining, or lift you up higher in thought ----this book was composed so well that one really got into the characters, and therefore swallowed that bitter pill of tragedy in order to stay with the characters. I think it is a book well worth reading or listening to on Audible.

  • Emma

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Jane Austen, Anna Lea - adaptation
  • Narrated by: Emma Thompson, Joanne Froggatt, Isabella Inchbald, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,430
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,768
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,714

This Audible Original production of Jane Austen’s Emma is narrated by Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), with a full supporting cast including Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar), Morgana Robinson (The Windsors, Walliams & Friend, Morgana Robinson's the Agency), Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, War & Peace), Joseph Millson (Casino Royale, The Sarah Jane Adventures), Alexa Davies (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and rising star Isabella Inchbald as our eponymous heroine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well, that was wonderful

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-07-18

Very good performance!

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

I'm sure most people have either read the book Emma by Jane Austen, or seen a movie version of it... but this radio-style play of the book was great! The character's voices were spot-on, and they voice-acted the story out so entertainingly! I loved listening to it! I really liked the way the play was divided up in sections - giving the listener (and the actors) a small rest to think about what had just happened. Each person voiced their part so true to what I imagined they should be. I really loved listening to this, and glad that it is in my library so that in future, I may listen once more!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The House at Tyneford

  • By: Natasha Solomons
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 799
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 723
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 727

It’s the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When Kit, the son of Tyneford’s master, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford - and Elise - forever. An irresistible World War II story of a forbidden romance in a great English country house.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Recommend This Book

  • By Martha on 09-15-13

I guess ANYONE can be a narrator - even bad ones!

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

Reviewed: 10-22-18

I am only on Chapter 3 of listening to this book and already I am disliking the voice of the narrator! She has a very nasal, whiny voice, and it is so grating on my nerves! I hope that I can finish this book, but not sure! The beginning, as far as I've listened, is about a Jewish family getting ready to leave Austria at the very beginning of Germany's mistreatment of the Jews. The parents and one daughter are going to the U.S. but the other daughter is to go to London..... why? I don't know. There is no explanation of why one daughter must be left behind. Maybe a quota? But the author does not say??? So it begins by being confusing. I will probably stick with the book at least until I find out where she ends up in London and what she ends up doing there. If the narrator's voice is just too, too grating to go beyond that, I will have to give up on this book.........
I JUST FINISHED LISTENING TO THIS ENTIRE BOOK - and my opinion has not changed. This was a tragic, unlikable book. The author must think that people don't have enough tragedy in the world and want to listen to more! Not me. The narrator's voice was irritating throughout the entire book - very nasal and depressing. She kept her voice low and never varied it. There were very few happy moments in this book, and even those were tinged with sadness. It's not often that an author makes their protagonist unliked, but this author certainly did. When the book was finished, all I could think to myself was that I had wasted a lot of time listening to it.

  • Longbourn

  • By: Jo Baker
  • Narrated by: Emma Fielding
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,082
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,001
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,002

In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extraordinary book (even w/o Pride & Prejudice)

  • By MP on 10-13-13

Most depressing story ever!

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

You might think that this book, with the title "Longbourn" might be one of the books that try to mimic the writing style of Jane Austen - but not so! This is a story of the "downstairs" workers, as opposed to the "upstairs" characters in the Jane Austen book "Pride and Prejudice". The name of the house is where any similarity ends. Whereas in Jane Austen's book the characters are written with wit, with clever quips about the social structure in England; and include funny situations and intelligent observations - in this book every character and every situation is depressed! I kept waiting for the story to pick up and for at least one thing happy to happen in the story, but it never did! The only reason I listened to the whole thing was the expectation that there MUST be some good in this book! But there was't. It was filled with unhappy servants, severe punishments, terrible background stories for each character, and a lot of complaining. IF you want to read/listen to a book that is depressing, I'm not saying that the author, Jo Baker, isn't a descriptive writer of such things - but when I read or listen to a book I want to laugh, or figure out a mystery, or hear interesting anecdotes, or learn new things! When this book ended, I gave a big sigh of relief!

  • That Summer

  • By: Lauren Willig
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 560
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 518
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 514

When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it’s a joke. She hasn't been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house - with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas - bits of memory start coming back.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • disappointed

  • By laura on 08-17-16

Did not like the ending

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

Reviewed: 08-22-18

Lauren Willig writes formulaic novels in that almost all of them go back and forth between the past and present. That tactic isn't bad if there is some connection or resolution in the present, but in this book there isn't. This book had a very depressing resolution to most of the character's lives. A man, Arthur, who preys on young girls, one young girl who hastily marries him against her father's better wishes and has to pay for it her entire life - who never finds out what happened to her lover - who lives in a hostile environment her whole life. The thing that I wish is that the author would have at least given us a family tree outline so that we would know exactly who was descended from Oliva. I did not like the modern day, Julia's, outlook, say basically "Who cares what happened to these people. It was a long time ago." Well then why did Ms. Willig even have the past story in the book?! I think the part i liked best was when Julia's father finally opens up to her and tells her of the past and what happened. It was a nice reconciliation between them and also her stepmother. The narrator was good.

  • The Winter Garden Mystery

  • A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery
  • By: Carola Dunn
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 699
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 457
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 456

In this second installment of Carola Dunn's cozy mystery series set in 1923 England, plucky Daisy Dalrymple embarks on another assignment for Town and Country magazine and discovers that daffodil bulbs aren't all that's buried in a country estate's flower bed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Can't wait for more

  • By Wadie on 02-05-10

Storyline good

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

It's strange, but this female narrator, Bernadette Dunne, did the male voices better than the female! I don't much like Daisy's voice.
The story was pretty good, but unless I can't find anything better to read, I probably won't listen to anymore of these books.

  • A Name Unknown

  • Shadows Over England, Book 1
  • By: Roseanna M. White
  • Narrated by: Liz Pearce
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 192

Peter Holstein writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Spy Mystery 🌼

  • By 🇺🇸🌸DARA on 08-23-17

Story was great - - narration was mostly good

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

I really enjoyed the storyline of this audible book by Roseanna M White. It might be a "Cinderella" story, but it had an interesting twist of her having a very difficult life before coming to spy on this aristocrat. She comes to supposedly prove him an un-loyal person of German heritage in the years leading up to WW I. But ends up, of course, falling in love with him and he with her.
The narrator was okay. She did all the character's voices well, EXCEPT for the main female character! For some reason, she made her voice very loud, grating, harsh and annoying! She also read the general narration in the same tone! It was very hard to listen to! Why did the narrator, Liz Pearce, use such an unpleasant voice for the main character?? If she could make the secondary characters have pleasant enough voices, why make the female main character's so awful? It makes me want to shy away from her narration of any books.
But other than that, it was a good book to listen to........

  • A Study in Treason

  • A Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Book 2
  • By: Leonard Goldberg
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300

When an executed original of a secret treaty between England and France, known as the French Treaty, is stolen from the country estate of Lord Halifax, Scotland Yard asks Joanna, Dr. John Watson, Jr., and Dr. John Watson, Sr., to use their detective skills to participate in the hunt for the missing treaty. As the government becomes more restless to find the missing document and traditional investigative means fail to turn up the culprit, Joanna is forced to devise a clever plan to trap the thief and recover the missing treaty. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great performance- Easy to Solve Case

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-29-18

Very good narration by Steve West! Good story!

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

I do like these two books of Leonard Goldberg has written on Sherlock Holmes daughter. He writes a masterful mystery. And I like the characters he's created of Watson and Sherlock Holmes' daughter, Joanna Blalock Watson. However, I am beginning to very much DISlike the character of Watson's son/Joanna's husband John Watson Jr. because he is so dense! He continually, throughout the entire book(s), asks stupid questions of his wife and father. I am not a detective, and even I understand the conclusions that his wife, (Sherlock Holmes' daughter) is talking of - but he rarely seems to be able to think his way to the correct conclusion. I just cannot imagine that an ultra intelligent woman with a keen deductive sense, would marry such a dunce! Also, by just reading Leonard Goldberg's two books, I think they are very formulaic - an intelligent detective against police that want the easy conclusion and are completely dense themselves!
Aside from those character points I've raised - I DO like Steve West's narration! He is very good at voicing each character, and reads at a good pace..... his voice is not annoying, as some Audible narrators are, and he reads so well that you almost forget that he is narrating and think you are reading! THAT is the sign of a good narrator!
Overall, I like the books' stories, and do hope that Leonard Goldberg continues this series (with some of his character's flaws overcome!). It is a very good concept - The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes.

  • An Unlikely Match

  • By: Sarah M. Eden
  • Narrated by: Aubrey Warner
  • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39

The future has never looked brighter for once penniless Nickolas Pritchard. Now in possession of an unforeseen legacy from a distant cousin, he can finally woo the exquisite Miss Castleton, belle of the London Season. What better setting for matchmaking than Ty Mynydd, his ancestral home nestled in the untamed hills of Wales? Ideal, indeed...except for the ghost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Patiotoole on 05-31-17

Good story..... enjoyed it's unfoldment

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

Reviewed: 07-17-18

I do like the fact that Sarah M. Eden writes stories that are based on a belief in God. It makes her stories more powerful and more believable. This was an interesting premise - a human and a ghost falling in love, and the author brought the story to a very satisfying and believable conclusion.
I'm still trying to decide if I like or not Aubrey Warner's narrations. She seems to do a good job narrating some books (I have to take the word of another reviewer that she pronounced the Welsh words correctly, as they're a mystery to me!) however I do not like her English accent - she sounds like an American trying to do a British accent - which is exactly what she is. And although I do not like a slow reader, I sometimes feel that she is reading too fast and find it difficult to hear what she's just said. Maybe she will improve with more experience??