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Kathleen C.

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  • 54
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  • 41
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  • Hightail It to Kinsey Falls

  • Kinsey Falls Series, Book 1
  • By: Gayle Leeson
  • Narrated by: Renee Dodd
  • Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Jade Burt can do without her grandmother’s meddling in her love life. But when Millie finds an abandoned baby possum, it leads her to Caleb Young. Caleb would be perfect for Jade! When Jade meets Caleb, it’s hard to argue with her grandmother’s choice. Still, Jade is determined to push Caleb away, but his friendship with Millie concerns her. What if he’s a slick con man trying to take advantage of a sweet old lady? Jade needs to figure Caleb out before he breaks her grandmother’s heart…and Jade’s too!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Review of Hightail It to Kinsey Falls audio

  • By Laura on 03-02-19

Earns 5/5 Perky Possums...Perfect!

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

Reviewed: 02-12-19

It started with a rescue of a little possum and an introduction to a handsome young man…then a suspicion of his intentions… Gayle Leeson penned a delightful audio-ella. For 3-1/2 hours, listeners are transported to Kinsey Falls with Grandma Millie meeting the handsome Caleb Young and deciding he may be perfect for her granddaughter “Jittery” Jade Burt, but Jade isn't quite sure of his intentions. I loved it! Very reminiscent of my favorite Hallmark romance telemovies with budding romances, conflicts, misunderstandings, and ultimate silver linings. Narrator Renee Dodd greatly enhanced Gayle’s entertaining story going beyond a traditional reading with a very pleasant, slightly southern tone for the third-person narrative. Gayle’s delightful banter was punctuated by Renee’s great performance of the various voices to illustrate ages of the female characters. I am a stickler about how well a female narrator handles the challenge performing male voices. Renee did a satisfactory job with it. This is the first book in Gayle’s Kinsey Falls series available on audio, but there are two other books I suspect will one day be available…I'm in for that!

  • Witch Chocolate Fudge

  • Bewitched by Chocolate Mystery Series, Book 2
  • By: H.Y. Hanna
  • Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
  • Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120

Since arriving in the tiny English village of Tillyhenge, Caitlyn is discovering that there are lots of perks to being a witch (although sadly, magic still can't make your thighs thinner or stop you acting like an idiot every time you meet handsome Lord James Fitzroy). But when the nasty housekeeper at Huntingdon Manor is murdered and Caitlyn becomes the main suspect, she finds herself surrounded by suspicious villagers. With the help of her sassy American cousin and a mischievous black kitten, Caitlyn sets out to clear her name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Charming Cozy Will Enchant Your Chocolate Cravings

  • By LilMissMolly on 03-18-19

Earns 5/5 Magical Chocolate Butterflies…Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

It’s H.Y. Hanna’s story that has “bewitched” me. To start Caitlyn overhears the curmudgeon housekeeper accuse one of the maids of stealing a Fitzroy family heirloom. But when the housekeeper is found murdered, investigators still suspect Caitlyn. She was near the crime scene, and when her alibi flakes, it’s easier to focus on her opportunity and means. Not again! The ‘cozy’ murder mystery is clever with interesting suspects, plausible motives, secrets, mythology behind the heirloom, and more than murder at the Huntingdon Estate. But threading through this is the continuing mystery of Caitlyn’s parentage and the culture of witchcraft. The paranormal theme is realistic, not hocus pocus, just some incantations to enhance the delicious confections and to get out of a few predicaments. Her relationship with Widow Mags is improving, and Caitlyn is beginning to show some aptitude for witchcraft, and of course, creating delicious chocolate delights. But there seems to be some hidden secrets that could lead to more magic, more ritual, more witchcraft. Her snooping uncovers more about her elusive family, a photo album, an old picture, and more questions. And her newly discovered inner strength comes in handy when gossip turns to anger.

It is always delightful to revisit the magic H.Y. Hanna brings to this series by listening to the audio version once again expertly narrated by Pearl Hewitt. Her voice artistry has always greatly enriched my experience with a her marvelous British dialects bringing to life each of residents and visitors of Tillyhenge. The story is a third-person narrative, so her natural British style dialect was pleasant and enjoyable. With the dialogue I enjoyed Caitlyn’s voice that showed a reticence or self-conscience manner, and with minute changes to her tone, she illustrated well a mature age for Widow Mags and the housekeeper, the education or status of Lord Fitzroy, and millennial youth like Pomona, and an Irish brogue for the gardener. Its been an education to hear so many different ways to speak “British.” I really enjoyed her East European dialect for multi-centuries-old Viktor, the sometime vegetarian vampire. The “male voice challenge”? Pearl did a very good job of that gender issue. I love Pearl’s voice and narration skill that I wish she could read to me 24/7!

  • Priced to Kill

  • Cindy York Mysteries, Book 2
  • By: Catherine Bruns
  • Narrated by: Amy Deuchler
  • Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried forever. Real estate agent and super sleuth Cindy York has always been haunted by thoughts of her childhood friend, Paul Steadman, who committed suicide 25 years ago. A high school reunion and the prospective sale of his former home - where Cindy was the one to discover his lifeless body - bring the memories back in full force. But Cindy gets more than she negotiated for when new information comes to light that convinces her Paul’s death was anything but self-inflicted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great cozy mystery

  • By Delta Stet on 02-20-19

Earns 5/5 Cold Case Conundrum…Clever & Engaging!

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

When listening to an audiobook, the narrator, of course, is key to one’s enjoyment, but if the story doesn't check off all your boxes, then it doesn't matter how the story is being told or by whom. So, we start with Catherine Bruns’s story…

New boss, new company, better success for Cindy York, but her past comes knocking…well, phoning. Twenty-five years ago Cindy was devastated to find the body of her high school friend Paul Steadman; authorities labeled his tragic death a suicide. And now? Paul’s older sibling Ben, is hosting a high school reunion dinner. He reminded Cindy of the time capsule they plan to open along with his hopes she take the lead to sell the family’s Victorian, the same house in which she found her dear friend’s body. Wow! Fans will be thrilled and newbies will be hooked when circumstances surrounding Paul’s death turn from suicide to murder. Karma has been biding it's time for the killer to be brought to justice, but better late than never, I always say! The cold case was very engaging with a wonderful first-person narrative and descriptive style, along with delightful dialogue and interactions with her loving husband, hand-full twins, typical teenage daughter, and the epitome of a “monster-in-law”! Karma is a common theme in Bruns’ work for us to vicariously enjoy, but when is the mother-in-law going to be served a big dose! She desperately needs it!

Ok, now for the cherry on top! Amy Deuchler greatly enhanced Catherine’s story with her artistry. Right off Amy is challenged performing voices for three male characters. It's always something female narrators struggle with, but she met the challenge well. Her performance goes beyond a traditional reading as she does well with emotions (more than a few groans, squeals, and screams) and illustrating personalities with her tone (I knew the mother-in-law was annoying and the teenager? Amy made it all too real). She did very well changing her voice for many of the characters varying voices for age and gender. Very entertaining! This is one of the reasons I love audiobooks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Baked to Death

  • Cookies & Chance Mysteries, Book 2
  • By: Catherine Bruns
  • Narrated by: Siobhan O'Day
  • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

Baker-turned-reluctant-amateur-sleuth Sally Muccio’s finally found the happiness that’s eluded her for years. She’s in love with a great guy, her bakery is thriving, and now she and her best friend Josie Sullivan are gearing up to appear on the popular reality baking show, Cookie Crusades. But a visit from Sal’s greedy ex-husband Colin, who's looking to cash in on the bakery’s dough, changes everything.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 stars

  • By Beatrice on 02-09-19

5/5 Award Winning Cookies…Totally Engaging Fun!

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

Reviewed: 01-28-19

Catherine Bruns takes us on another enjoyable taste in her Cookies & Chance mysteries. Sally’s Samples is doing quite well, and the “icing on the cookie” is the news they’ve been selected as contestants in a Food Network reality baking competition. But, the “cookie crumbles” when Sally’s ex-husband shows up threatening to take half of her successful business, but of course, he’ll take $20,000 to make his claim go away. Oops! The Ex turns up dead, the boyfriend is arrested for murder, and her amateur sleuthing turns up former girlfriends, questionable characters, very competitive competitors, and more than a few avenues of interest. The drama at the baking competition was exactly how I thought it would be since I am a Food Network fan, and Sally’s difficulties with the death of her ex and dealing with her former in-laws were written very well. I really felt bad…where’s Karma hiding from book 1? Oh, he shows up!

This story is well worth a second helping! Catherine’s Bruns’s work is always the main force, but Siobhan O’Day’s narration enhanced my “redo” with a very pleasant voice for Sally’s “I” perspective. Her voice artistry goes well beyond the traditional reading making entertaining changes in tone, emotion, and varied dialects and accents to illustrate the different characters. Josie’s “New Yawk” twang was so delightful! The Italian accent for Grandma Rosa and her nemesis Mrs Gavelli were different and spot on. All female narrators have the challenge to mimic a male voice, and Siobhan’s efforts didn't go unnoticed. I was really looking forward to hearing her artistry with the different generations. The differences between a youthful or aged tone is important, and Siobhan was great! My only complaint is that you miss out on the recipes…so I make sure to pick up the eBook for those!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dough Must Go On

  • Oxford Tearoom Mystery Series, Book 9
  • By: H.Y. Hanna
  • Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

Showbiz comes to Oxford in the form of Britain's hottest new talent show, and tearoom owner Gemma Rose gets a peek behind the scenes when she's asked to cater for the event. But with the Old Biddies, entering the contest as England's first "granny band", and her little tabby, Muesli, stealing the limelight, Gemma soon ends up with more than she bargained for... and that's before she comes across a frozen dead body! Now, she's on the trail of a murderer, with four nosy old ladies giving her a helping hand, while also dealing with her embarrassing mother, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I am a fan

  • By cstardancer on 02-27-19

Earns 5+/5 Granny Bands...Entertaining, Engaging!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-19

H.Y. Hanna’s Oxford Tearoom Mystery series is my absolute all-time favorite, and her newest ninth book does not disappoint taking her wonderful characters into reality television. The Little Stables Tearoom has been hired to cater for the “From Pleb to Celeb” reality talent show which will definitely improve the bottom line and maybe facilitate some raises and vacations, but the “Four Biddies” as contestants? That is worth seeing up close. But Gemma’s behind-the-scenes perspective leads her to witness squabbles, accusations, hair pulling, and…murder! Once again Gemma and her octogenarian sidekicks sift through a plethora of suspects and motives, but don't forget magic acts, a surprise judge, Muesli on stage, and enough peril for all. Enriching her signature first-person narrative with Gemma’s inner thoughts and descriptions, Hanna pens delightfully entertaining banter with the “Four Biddies” continue to make me laugh at their antics. I also enjoy the interactions between Gemma and her parents and her realistic attention to the various personalities creates an almost eavesdropping sense for the reader. It was so entertaining, and well worth revisiting with the audio format.

I am an eager fan of H.Y. Hanna’s audio versions and always ready to revisit her stories, especially when it's my favorite narrator Pearl Hewitt at the microphone. Pearl’s marvelous artistry goes way beyond the traditional reading by providing the perfect voice for Gemma, four distinctly different dialects for the “Biddies,” and a sly, if not a bit devilish, “meow” from Muesli. All female narrators find challenge with mimicking the male voice, but Pearl did more than a satisfactory job. She enriches H. Y. Hanna’s story portraying the tone, emotion, and personalities for great entertainment. Like I always say, “Murder seems better with an English accent!”, especially when it's Pearl Hewitt!

  • Bombshell: An Ava Romantic Mystery

  • What Doesn't Kill You, Book 9
  • By: Pamela Fagan Hutchins
  • Narrated by: Chanté McCormick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

A musical career in the making. A murdered childhood friend. One chance to catch the killer. Ava dreams of building a better life for her daughter through her island pop songs. Her new temp job leads to a once-in-a-lifetime shot at a record deal, but before she can pack her bags for New York, she discovers a dead body outside her office building. Horrified, Ava recognizes the murdered sex worker as her childhood friend. The single mother finds herself torn between pursuing her life’s passion or justice for her murdered friend. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyed the Narration

  • By BookLover on 07-13-18

Earns 5/5 Caribbean Conundrums…Clever!

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

Ava Butler, a thirty-something, single mom, is very excited about her new temp assignment with a virtual currency company, but her first day doesn't go smoothly. A run in with a pothole forces her to get a lift to work which leads to a side trip down an alley and the discovery of a dead body. Although a few years apart the murder victim attended the same Catholic school. The memories of her own time there reopens old wounds about her tragic “Me, Too” experiences she believes the dead girl shared. Then more young women are dead, her employer has issues, law enforcement has issues, a possible record deal is dangled, and another tragedy is more a horrific déjà vu memory…this can't be happening!

As an all-time multi-tasked, I greatly enjoy audiobooks, and “listening” to Pamela Fagan Hutchins’s book was the perfect opportunity to go a bit outside my “cozy” comfort zone. With a lot to unpack in Pamela Fagan Hutchins’s story, the plot is engaging addressing contemporary themes, edgy with sexual innuendo and a few adult situations and language to match. It is less mystery in a “cozy” sense and more a suspense thriller expanding into different directions with rich characters including a jumbie spirit? But it all links with more than a few perilous situations and a “Wow!” ending that made me eager to read the rest of Ava’s trilogy.

Chanté McCormick is quite the narrator. She went beyond a traditional reading enriching Ava’s first-person narrative with a pleasant natural voice, but it's the fun and very entertaining dialogue for the “Calypso” accent of Ava and the other island residents, southern drawl from Ava’s BFF, and variants in common American that Chanté did well. For female narrators mastering the male voices is quite a challenge, but Chanté did more than a satisfactory job. I found the audiobook very entertaining, and well-worth picking it up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Killer Transaction

  • Cindy York Mystery Series, Book 1
  • By: Catherine Bruns
  • Narrated by: Amy Deuchler
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

All struggling real estate agent Cindy York wants is the home listing that was promised to her. But her deceitful co-worker, Tiffany Roberts, has other ideas, and she always manages to get what she wants. Tired of being manipulated, Cindy tells her to back off - or else! But when Cindy stumbles upon Tiffany’s lifeless body, she suddenly finds herself front and center in a deadly investigation. Now everyone from her kids' classmates to her monstrous mother-in-law is sold on the idea that Cindy's guilty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent first book in real estate cozy series

  • By Julesy on 01-13-19

Earns 5/5 Cozy Commissions, Thank you, Karma!

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

I am a big fan of Catherine Bruns who skillfully wields “Karma,” and in “Killer Transaction,” the first book in her Cindy York Mystery series, she has given karma a lot from which to choose. Cindy York is a real estate agent who just wants to provide the best service to clients wishing to sell their home and make a fair living for herself and her children. However, a demanding boss who owes her coffee and lunch money and a “scruples free” colleague costing Cindy commission on a big sale is her biggest obstacle. But she'll regret standing up for herself with a message ending with “Unless you want to die soon,” when she finds the dead body. Ok, Karma, thank you!

The mystery was clever with enough twists and turns, motives and opportunities to challenge my inner amateur detective, and the well-written narrative kept me engaged. However, it's the insights into Cindy and her family in which I have invested my interest. Catherine provides rich characters to solicit varying emotions and satisfaction…some profess innocence too loudly, others deserve a “karmic bite,” teenage angst sounds familiar, sibling antics need a time out, a husband’s support enduring, and lots of buyers and sellers to round out the fun. When the first in the series has you eager for more…you know it's good!

I am a multi-tasker extraordinaire and a big audiobook fan, so I was eager to listen to the new release of Catherine Bruns’s Cindy York Mysteries, “Killer Transactions.” Amy Deuchler, narrator extraordinaire, is a very talented voice artist enriching Bruns’s work and my experience. She isn't challenged by accents, but she did very well performing the different American dialects and speech patterns to highlight the various female characters. She really nailed the annoyances of Tiffany and is that a Jersey Donna? As for the challenge to mimic male voices, kudos, she made a valiant effort. I love Jacques! Amy Deuchler does a great job, and this is an entertaining way to enjoy Catherine Bruns’s work!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Dark, Witch & Creamy

  • Bewitched by Chocolate Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: H.Y. Hanna
  • Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213

Caitlyn's world changes when she learns that she was found as an abandoned baby and adopted by her American family. Now, her search for answers takes her to a tiny English village where a man has been murdered - and where a mysterious shop selling enchanted chocolates is home to the "local witch".... Soon Caitlyn finds herself fending off a toothless old vampire, rescuing an adorable kitten and meeting handsome aristocrat Lord James Fitzroy...not to mention discovering that she herself might have magical blood in her veins!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Earns 5/5 Chocolate-Covered Pearls...Excellent!

  • By Kathleen C. on 10-28-18

Earns 5/5 Chocolate-Covered Pearls...Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 10-28-18

Some books are worth revisiting, and when Pearl Hewitt is the one to read it to you, it is entertainment X 10! H. Y. Hanna penned a marvelous introductory to her Bewitched by Chocolate series that earned from me a 5/5 rating and a nod as a Top Ten all-time favorite series. Caitlyn Le Fey is shocked to discover she is adopted learning she had been born in the Cotswold village of Tillyhenge. Curiosity wins over the pleas for caution from her cousin, and she decides to visit and explore her roots, but the revelations about her family and background are more than she could ever imagine…a witch? Then there's the mysterious death, ancient stone circle, vampire bodyguard, handsome Lord of the Manor, and everything mouthwatering chocolate.

I am so deliciously in love with this book (and the series): descriptive third-person narrative, entertaining banter, engaging characters (some quirky), and a mysterious secret that begins to develop. And listening to it with the artistic talent of my favorite narrator Pearl Hewitt, Hanna’s vision now has audio! Emotions, tone, and personalities all come alive. Pearl has always entertained me with her ability to perform various British dialects along with American, and here she is at the top of her game with Hanna’s various characters from the villagers to the Manor household, from female to male, young or old, good or bad, and even a couple of “fur” friends, too. Everyone seemed different and very entertaining! It was Caitlyn’s vampire protector Uncle Viktor’s East European accent, however, that I was eager to hear…she nailed it! Audiobooks are not just a convenient way to multi-task with your favorite book, narrators take your favorite book and bring it to life! Pearl Hewitt has breathed life into H. Y. Hanna’s marvelous stories…a partnership that I get to enjoy.

"Disclosure: I received an ARC. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments."

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Apple Strudel Alibi

  • Oxford Tearoom Mysteries, Book 8
  • By: H.Y. Hanna
  • Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218

When Gemma’s romantic holiday with her boyfriend is cancelled, the tearoom sleuth finds herself heading to Vienna instead with her cat Muesli and the nosy Old Biddies for company. And it’s not long before they stumble across a murder right in the heart of Austria’s historic capital. A handsome art critic dies suspiciously at their hotel, and the Old Biddies are determined to sniff out the killer. Is it the bitter hotel owner nursing a grudge? The critic’s jealous mistress wanting revenge? Or even the American horse trainer who seems inexplicably nervous around the police? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Holiday fun with a twist

  • By April Goldman on 08-20-18

5+/5 Strudel-ishious Murder Mystery

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

Ahhh, Vienna! The thought brings up images of a romantic waltz, Von Trapp family, museums, palaces, mouthwatering desserts, and…murder? Gemma Rose gets a marvelous surprise. Her tearoom scones were secretly entered in the Euro Tearoom Baking Contest and won! A few wrenches pop up, but she decides to travel to Vienna to pick up the award with Muesli and the Four Biddies in tow. There they are confronted with a hotel filled with delightful, some suspicious, guests, pompous critic known for scathing reviews, friends, foes, and hotel owners hoping to build a good reputation for their hotel. These all collide into murder, and Gemma with her octogenarian entourage take on the case.

H.Y. Hanna doesn't disappoint with her signature clever mystery, well-written descriptions, engaging dialogue, and rich, well-developed characters from all walks of life. I enjoyed the change of setting from the comfortable British countryside to the hectic European city, and much like what one would find in a book one, she spends extra time immersing the reader into the culture and history before diving into the murder mystery. It took a bit longer than I normally like for the “dead body” to arrive, but I didn't mind the delay because I enjoy Gemma and the “Biddies,” and was very entertained following them around the city. But, Hsin-yi doesn't rely on the narrative alone nor turn it into a travel log, she offers entertaining banter between the “Biddies” and Gemma. Ok, Mable is such a hoot! Although this is the eighth book in the series, there aren't any spoilers and enough background and characters connections to make this an entertaining standalone. But…do not miss the rest of the series! You'll love it!

You'll love the audiobook version even more! The key to an audiobook’s popularity and review ratings is how well the narrator reads the story and captures the interest of the listener. Is it a traditional basic performance, or do they provide more of a radio-play with accents, dialects, tone, and sound effects? Pearl Hewitt’s extraordinary voice artistry greatly has enhanced H.Y. Hanna’s first-person narrative giving an entertaining voice to Gemma Rose’s dialogue and inner thoughts including bringing out her emotion and personality. She effortlessly changes between each of the different British dialects and tone to illustrate the four octogenarians, Gemma’s mother, and along with a good effort at the tricky “woman doing male” voices (kudos on Herr Wagner!), she performed varying delightful Austrian accents, varying tourists like a Chinese family and Americans, and Museli’s “Meorrw!” All marvelous attributes for an entertaining experience courtesy of Pearl Hewitt!

The only negative, which isn't much, is the fact that the wonderful traditional British Tearoom treats found in print and eBook copies is missing in the audiobook. I vote for Pearl reading the recipe for the Traditional Apple Strudel in this print/eBook copy. I can write it done on a recipe card. Just saying…

  • Gypsies, Traps & Missing Thieves

  • Bohemian Murder Manor Mystery Series, Book 1
  • By: Rachael Stapleton
  • Narrated by: Sarah Breidenbach
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Fortune Teller Madam 'Nana' Vianu and her gifted Bohemian Lake girls, Mallory and Danior, have an unparalleled weekend planned for the guests of their family-owned-and-operated lakeside manor resort. Or so they think until a dead body is found at the bottom of the manor's secret staircase. Rumors abound of past indiscretions and a ghost's revenge. It could all be part of the show but as the weather worsens so do their chances for survival. Snowed in with a killer, the Vianu girls must use their paranormal gifts and follow the clues to decipher what is real in this game of make-believe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such a fun audiobook!!

  • By tarafarah7: Tara Brown on 07-01-18

5/5 Magical Spells...Clever and Engaging!

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

Mystery murder weekend? Real murder weekend? A bit of witchery? Entertaining. Engaging. Rachel Stapleton has woven together in her third-person narration the perfect blend of magic with a clever murder mystery to challenge one’s inner Sherlock. Several possible conclusions were available, and I thought I'd figured it out, but the final reveal turned out to be a delightful surprise! The characters are enjoyable and seemingly well-developed for a first in the series which I attribute to the writing talent of Rachael Stapleton. Mallory is a favorite, but I really enjoyed Nana’s attitude and personality. All of this was greatly enriched by the voice artistry of Sarah Breidenbach.

I am a big fan of audiobooks, and this one was produced extremely well with 5/5 stars in all categories. At five hours, it is well worth the price of a credit, and the perfect length for a quiet couple of days. However, it was Sarah’s performance that made it hard to stop and finish household chores or go to bed. She went well beyond a traditional reading out loud with speed and emotions to add to the suspense, tone and accents (excellent voice for Nana’s Romanian dialect) to illustrate personality, and although the male voices can be tricky and some I've listen to have struggled with that, Sarah made a valiant effort for which I commend her. Her variety made it easy to recognize each character. The audio version was very reminiscent of a radio play adding some sound effects like phones ringing, dogs barking, the approaching storm to increase the overall enjoyment of the performance. I highly recommend Rachael Stapleton’s book in any form, but I was so entertained by Sarah’s voice talent, I recommend you go for the audio version!

"Disclosure: II received an ARC. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments."