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Elisabeth Carey

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  • Captive on the Fens

  • DI Nikki Galena Series, Book 6
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 272
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 272

A young woman's body is found in a remote barn on the Fens. Before she was killed, one of her fingers had been cut off. Who is inflicting this violence and why? The young woman in the barn had been kept captive for some time. And the case shows strong similarities to an unsolved murder in Derbyshire. When another woman is found alive with similar injuries, the case grows even more complicated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Author Joy Ellis never disappoints!

  • By Wayne on 09-15-17

Dead young women & gangsters with unknown motives

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

DS Jospeh Easter's daughter, Tamsin, is about to marry Niles, a young detective constable with the Greenborough police force. Freddie Carver, a vicious criminal boss formerly based in London and more recently hanging out in Spain, is apparently in Greenborough and planning to stay. Joseph and DI Nikki Galena are determined to catch him before he becomes a fixture in their district. Two dead young women have turned up, both apparently held prisoner and tortured for some time before being killed and dumped.

And because their lives aren't exciting enough yet, a young man storms into the station demanding that finally, once and for all, they find his missing twin sister, who is believed to have simply run off, which is the right of any adult to do. He's certain she didn't, and is in danger.

There's a lot going on here, and some outstanding plot threads from previous books get more attention here. There are dangerous signs that hardnosed Nikki might be mellowing a tiny bit, duty takes Cat into Derbyshire, where she meets a detective sergeant she might have a future with. Joseph's ex-wife arrives in town for the upcoming wedding, and might be a source of future trouble. Nikki's biological mother, on the other hand, may be turning into a real asset.

The plot is excellent as always, but, also as always, the real reward here is the ongoing development of the characters as they continue to live their lives while doing their challenging and dangerous jobs.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

  • Bloodlines: Cove Point Manor

  • By: William B. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

Alex Tinsdill never thought a simple DNA test would lead to a $250 million inheritance and Cove Point Manor, a massive estate built during the Gilded Age on the Gold Coast of Long Island, New York. Alex's inheritance doesn't come without a cost however, as two greedy relatives soon show up, determined to separate Alex from his new found riches. Cove Point Manor has a dark past, and a sinister secret which is about to be revealed!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bloodlines

  • By Deedra on 06-20-18

A disappointment

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

Alex Tinsdill takes a Y-chromosome DNA test, hoping to learn more about his paternal family prior to his great-grandparents. Not long after uploading his results, he's contacted by a New York City lawyer, telling him he is the long-sought heir to a fortune and a large estate on Long Island.

With little to hold him in Toronto, he figures it can't hurt to go to New York and check this out. Having learned the truth about his ancestry--his great-grandparents made creative use of the truth, though what they said certainly wasn't all lies--he goes to Long Island to see his new property. There he meets Maggie, the property manager who has maintained the property for years, having inherited the job from her father and grandfather.

The counterpoint to how good things are looking with his new property, new wealth, and new friend Maggie, are old family "friends," Brenda and her daughter, Connie. Brenda is the sister of an actual good friend of his now-deceased mother. That sister is also deceased, but Brenda and Connie still expect Alex to handle all their problems for them, including providing money when needed. When they figure out he's inherited a fortune in the US, they can't get from Toronto to Long Island fast enough.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. It has potential. Alex, Maggie, the New York lawyer Julia Wentworth, and others, are quite likable, interesting, and real.

Brenda and Connie, on the other hand, are stereotypes of the "poverty is result of bad character" variety. You can't like them; they are actually bad people. Yet I kept wanting to say, no, wait, you can't be serious...

The plotting is perfectly decent, and the characters we're supposed to like are decently written. Even the cheap targets, Brenda and Connie, are written well-enough that you can't just say, the wrong people have been labeled the villains.

And yet.

None of these people speak normally. There never use contractions. None of them. Ever. No one says "I can't." They always say "I cannot." They say "I will," not "I'll." And that's just the simplest thing to point out. All through, the language is too correct, too clear, no normal contractions or elisions or sloppy, casual phrasing. What individuality the characters have in their speech is entirely due to the narrator, who infuses them with emotion and personality.

And yet.

The narrator is a benefit, but not an unmixed blessing. He speaks with such precision that he misses the chance to subtly lessen the effects of the writer's placing unnaturally correct speech in the mouths of his characters. He's so precise it's distracting.

Overall, not recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator.

  • Leverage in Death

  • In Death Series, Book 47
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,167
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,077
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,076

For the airline executives finalizing a merger that would make news in the business world, the nine a.m. meeting would be a major milestone. But after marketing VP Paul Rogan walked into the plush conference room, strapped with explosives, the headlines told of death and destruction instead. The NYPSD’s Eve Dallas confirms that Rogan was cruelly coerced by two masked men holding his family hostage. His motive was saving his wife and daughter - but what was the motive of the masked men? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting story and uniquely J.D Robb!

  • By Anonymous on 09-05-18

Another great Eve Dallas murder mystery

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

Dallas, Roarke, Peabody, and the rest are confronting a nasty pair of killers, smart, capable, but definitely not pros, engaged in a bizarre and deadly form of market manipulation. The very first victim is a man who walks into the meeting where the luxury airline he works for and an economy airline are going to finalize their merger, and blows himself up with a suicide vest, killing eleven other people and injuring more.

He had absolutely no discernible motive to do this. He was heard to say to the president of his company, right before he detonated the bomb, "I'm sorry, I don't have a choice." He had plans for celebrations after the meeting, first with his own staff, and then with his wife and daughter.

The wife and daughter are found, alive but somewhat battered, and bound with zip ties, at home.

Dallas is challenged at first to even work out what the motive for the crime is, but both one of her men, Baxter, who invests his own money cautiously in the stock market, and her very own "expert consultant, civilian," Roarke, who has gotten very rich understanding not just his beloved computer systems, but also markets, explain what will happen to the two companies' stock. First it will crash. Then it will be announced that the merger is still on, and it will climb in value again. There will be a narrow window when someone who is prepared to move immediately can make a very handsome profit.

With the first success, it seems inevitable that the killers will strike again, but where? There aren't that many high-profile mergers close to completion at any one time, especially since there's evidence suggesting the killers are likely to want to stay local. What else can they manipulate the same way?

They find out all too soon.

As with any case involving multiple murders and a killer or killers who don't plan to stop, it's a tense and stressful time. I'm reminded again in this book how both Dallas and Peabody have grown into their roles, and how both Dallas and Roarke have tackled their own personal issues, and the challenges of two such strong personalities from such different backgrounds being married to each other.

Dallas is also mastering a role that comes much more naturally to both Roarke and Somerset: being part of the extended family of Mavis and Leonardo's young daughter, Bella. I think it is maybe even not freaking Dallas out quite so much that she's starting to understand Bella!

But the new stress in this book is that the movie based on tv reporter friend Nadine's book about the Icove case, The Icove Agenda, is up for an Oscar. Well, several Oscars. Best Movie, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song (Mavis, of course.) Probably several others, too, but these are the ones stressing Dallas out!

Somehow she keeps all the balls in the air, as she always does, and it's another satisfying visit with Dallas and company.

Also, I was struck this time by just how much Susan Eriksen is just the right voice, and the right reader for the In Death series.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

  • The Coming Storm

  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael Lewis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,707
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,012
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,984

Tornadoes, cyclones, tsunamis… Weather can be deadly – especially when it strikes without warning. Millions of Americans could soon find themselves at the mercy of violent weather if the public data behind lifesaving storm alerts gets privatized for personal gain. In his first Audible Original feature, New York Times best-selling author and journalist Michael Lewis delivers hard-hitting research on not-so-random weather data – and how Washington plans to release it. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why you shouldn't ignore the weather forecast

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 09-10-18

Why you shouldn't ignore the weather forecast

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

The age of Big Data is upon us, and mostly what we hear are the troubling and potentially terrifying consequences of business and government having easy access to all of our data. That's a real problem that we have to devote time and attention to dealing with.

Yet Big Data can do many other things, many of them very beneficial. The misnamed Department of Commerce collects enormous amounts of data about, among other things, the weather. Before the growth of the internet into its modern form, that data mostly sat on paper, and later on tape, and eventually some of it on servers, in the bowels of NOAA--the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, inside the Commerce Dept. Then a grad student with the foresight to see how useful vast stores of data could be went looking for weather data to test out a theory for his research, and stumbled upon a hole in the Commerce Dept. systems that let him download that data and work with it.

He didn't even know that it was the Commerce Dept. he'd gotten into. He had no idea NOAA was part of Commerce.

This book is a discussion of how much weather forecasting has improved because of NOAA's research and data collection, and what they and other clever people have been able to do with it.

It's about why people still discount National Weather Service warnings that could save their lives.

And it's about the private corporations that are trying to lock up that data so that, after you the taxpayer have paid for that research and data collection, you would then be required to pay again, to for-profit companies, for any use of that weather, including getting weather forecasts.

You may think you get your weather news from your local tv station or Accuweather or the Weather Channel, or your favorite weather app (I have several, for different purposes), but all that data comes from the National Weather Service, which is to say NOAA.

I happen to like how the Weather Channel repackages that information, but you and I and everyone with internet access can get the same information directly from NOAA's websites.

Also, Accuweather is lying to you when they say they're more accurate than NOAA. They're cherry-picking particular dates and locations when their meteorologists did a better job of interpreting NOAA's data than the National Weather Service did. That will happen sometimes; someone who knows nothing about horse racing will sometimes bet on the right horse when the expert picks the wrong one. It happens.

With weather forecasting, it doesn't happen often. And that data? Accuweather wouldn't have it if your tax dollars hadn't paid for NOAA to gather it.

Michael Lewis gives us a clear, lucid discussion of what's going on and what it all potentially means.

And also why you should not roll your eyes at the weather forecast, no matter whether you get it from the National Weather Service, or from one of the for-profit companies repackaging it for you.

Highly recommended.

I received this audiobook at no cost from Audible as part of their Audible Originals program, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Restriction

  • The Rise of Magic, Book 1
  • By: CM Raymond, LE Barbant, Michael Anderle
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

She didn't mean to use magic. She didn't even know she had magic. She just wanted to save her brother, who was dying in her arms. Accused of using illegal magic, and sentenced to a cruel death at the hands of the city's guards, Hannah has no choice but to trust in the aid of a strange old man who wields unimaginable power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent start to the series

  • By Rabid Reader on 09-17-17

An interesting take on high fantasy

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

Reviewed: 09-09-18

This is the first book of a trilogy, set in the already well-developed fictional universe of the Kurtherian Gambit, which is founded on (Arthur C.) Clarke's law, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

I haven't read any of the previous Kurtherian Gambit books, so some of what I say that relates to previous events may be imprecise or just wrong.

The invention and escape into the wild of nanotechnology caused major changes in humanity, changes which allowed some people to attain powers not easily distinguishable from magic, some became vampires, ore werewolves, and others to just go completely mad and turn into cannibals. This is called The Age of Madness, and it lasted entirely too long. There was a long-ruling vampire named Michael, and faces with yet another attempt to overthrow him, he recruits Bethany Anne. She becomes, among other things, one of the major mythic figures of the world that will follow her. I think this is when humans start to get real control of the "magic" that is now inside every single human.

And all this matters because it's the background for the world Hannah, a young woman living in the "Queen Bitch Boulevard" slum area of the city of Arcadia, has grown up in.

Except one more important person came along, maybe half a century ago, roughly. Ezekial is revered as the Founder--the founder of the city of Arcadia and its school of magic. He got everything on the right path, with peace and prosperity, along with magic, breaking out all over, and then he left his best student, Adrian, in charge of the school, someone else as governor of the city, and left. Adrian turned out not to be who Ezekiel believed him to be. Arcadia is an old-fashioned, oppressive plutocracy. And unauthorized use of magic is illegal.

Hannah didn't mean to use magic; she didn't know she could. But her brother was having a seizure, and she wanted to help him--wanted to so badly that she reached into herself and tapped the magic she didn't know she had. Unfortunately, some of Adrian's Hunters were nearby, and she's quickly running for her life. Ezekiel has finally returned, and is appalled to see what has happened to Arcadia--and is in the right place at the right time to rescue Hannah.

When he understands what she's done, untrained, he recognizes her as possibly key to his hopes of restoring Arcadia. Hannah is potentially an even more powerful magician than he is.

Ezekiel, Hannah, her brother William, her friend Parker, and Ezekiel's assorted friends who are still around and haven't followed Adrian's path, are interesting and worthwhile characters. I have some serious questions about what "Earth" and certain other seemingly obvious terms mean in context in this book, but some of that may simply be not having read previous books. It is a weakness for this book as a starting point, however, and it may be more rewarding for people already at least somewhat familiar with the Kurtherian Gambit world. It's also the first book of a trilogy, and while there is somewhat of an ending, it would really be helpful to have that next book lined up.

Nevertheless, it is enjoyable.

Moreover, the narrator, Kate Rudd, is just fantastic, and added significantly to my enjoyment of the story, and even the three authors' notes at the end.

Recommended if you like high fantasy and are looking for a different take on it.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from one of the authors, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

  • Just Add Water

  • Hetta Coffey Series, Book 1
  • By: Jinx Schwartz
  • Narrated by: Beth Richmond
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 142
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 122
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 121

Hetta Coffey is a globe-trotting civil engineer with attitude who is working on coming of age, a little late. Pushing forty and still single, Hetta is the epitome of the "B" word: bold, bossy, brassy, breezy, and brash. After leaving a lifelong swath of failed multinational affairs in her jet stream, it is no wonder Hetta prefers living with her dog, R.J. But old habits die hard, and trolling for triceps is Hetta's hobby....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful!

  • By Ginger on 11-18-15

Mixed bag. The dog dies.

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

Reviewed: 09-02-18

Hetta Coffey is an engineering consultant who, at the beginning of this book, is working for an American consulting company in Japan. Her fiancée, an American whom she met after arriving in Japan, is working at another company.

When he is found to be stealing from the company and using company shipments to smuggle stolen goods, he gets out ahead of being arrested, and along the way cleans out her bank account. The only thing he can't get is the key to a certain locker, that he left in her innocent keeping, which she wears on a chain around her neck.

Five years later, she's back in the US, owns a house in Oakland, and has her own consulting business. She still wears the key, as a reminder that men can't be trusted. The only male in her emotional life is a yellow Lab, adopted from a shelter, whom she calls RJ.

Then strange and interesting things start to happen.

She and her friend Jan meet the Jenkins brothers, Lars and Bob, a.k.a. "Jenks." She and Jenks initially really don't like each other, but you know immediately where that has to go. Especially since Jenks runs a security company, and Hetta is going to be needed security, very soon...

She starts getting hangup calls, and strange things seem to be happening around her house, including her dog getting out of his very secure enclosure to harass the mailman, and someone seemingly having gone through her jewelry box.

Hetta and Jan are from Texas, and they don't like "Yankees." Lars and Jenks are Yankees, and since Boston is mentioned at some point, that doesn't mean they're just fans of the New York Yankees baseball team. Hetta and Jan find repeated need to mention their dislike of Yankees. What fun.

Hetta repeatedly exercises quite impressively bad judgment, and, for a woman who prides herself on being strong and independent, and despite a willingness to be quite impressively rude sometimes, other times is depressingly polite when she needs to be assertive, because the plot requires her to agree to something a little normal rudeness would help her avoid.

She is also, for a woman who says men can't be trusted, amazingly trusting of men trying to put something over on her.

Honestly, I'm being a bit unfair. The plot would be fun if I didn't find Hetta so annoying. Also, the dog dies. Not by violence, or so Hetta can prove she's a responsible adult (good thing!), but still a cheap grab for emotion. Too many writers find it far too easy to kill the dog, and I don't like it. I would not have picked up this audiobook if I knew that there was a dog who would die in it.

But for people who don't find Hetta annoying, and who don't have my reaction to writers killing dogs for the easy emotion, this is probably a fun book.

I bought this audiobook.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Quiet Side of Passion

  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 66

Isabel Dalhousie grapples with complex matters of the heart as she tries to juggle her responsibilities to friends, family, and the philosophical community. With two small boys to raise, a mountain or articles to edit for the Review of Applied Ethics, and the ever-increasing demands of her niece, Cat, who always seems to need a helping hand at the deli, Isabel barely has any time for herself. Her husband, Jamie, suggests acquiring extra help, and she reluctantly agrees. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wish publishers would publish more intellectual women’s mysteries

  • By Alexis☺ on 08-04-18

Isabel Dalhousie is back

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

Reviewed: 08-30-18

Charlie is now attending nursery school, and Isabel and Jamie take turns delivering him and picking him up. Thus it happens that Isabel is there at the gate one day, to meet Charlie's new friend, Basil Phelps, Jr., and his mother, Patricia, a musician whom Jamie occasionally works with.

Patricia seems unusually eager to make friends.

That night, Jamie shares the unexpected information that Basil Phelps, Jr., is rumored to be the unacknowledged son of a prominent organist, Basil Phelps. Jamie has worked with each of them, and they are both well known in the Edinburgh music community.

The next few weeks are a flurry of confusing events. Professor Lettuce has an unexpected proposal for her. She's increasingly feeling the burden of being the owner, editor, and only staff of the Journal of Applied Ethics and mother of two young children, even though Jamie more than pulls his weight a householder. Grace happily shifts her efforts to child care, especially of young Magnus, but as a result, is not doing nearly as much cleaning.

Jamie encourages her to get an au pair to help out with the house, and also to consider hiring a part-time assistant for the Journal.

When she stumbles across evidence that Basil Jr. may really not be the son of Basil Sr., who is paying child support, Jamie also encourages her to not get involved. Yes, maybe Phelps the organist is being taken advantage of, but Isabel can't put the whole world right.

Of course she is not much restrained by the second piece of advice, although she does heed the first advice, about getting help.

Predictably all of this gets very, very complicated.

Isabel, Jamie, and all their friends, including Isabel's often difficult niece, Cat, owner of a deli, continue to be our old friends, while continuing to grow and develop. Most importantly, Isabel continues to seek to do the right thing by everyone within her social circle, and to give much careful thought to what that is. This remains true even if I do think that she overlooked the obvious regarding hiring an au pair: adding to the household staff is a thing that would work much better if she discussed it with Grace first, and had Grace's knowledge, input, and agreement on who was being hired to do what.

Also, of course, Grace can balance out Isabel's tendency to want to believe the best of everyone, and not ask enough questions before something happens.

It's another good addition to the series, and will be enjoyed by anyone who usually enjoys these books.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

  • Lost Library

  • An Urban Fantasy Romance
  • By: Kate Baray
  • Narrated by: Kelsey Osborne
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 51

John Braxton arrives unannounced on Lizzie Smith's doorstep looking for answers she doesn't have. She may have a magical book, but she hasn't a clue what to do with it - or even how to read it. And John's revelation that he's a Lycan isn't making the job any easier. Before the code to the book can be cracked, Lizzie and John stumble into the middle of a power-hungry mastermind's plan. Caught up in one man's search for power, Lizzie soon begins to uncover surprising secrets about her past and powers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lost Library audio

  • By Phyllis on 08-28-16

Fun but far from perfect

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

There's a lot to like about this book.

Lizzie Smith and John Braxton are likable, interesting characters. The Lycan don't act out a stereotypical and scientifically disproven version of wolf dominance. The story is exciting, and keeps moving. The way magic works is interesting, and even the bad guys are somewhat interesting.

But.

You knew there was a "but" coming, right?

When Lycan John Braxton starts hanging around Lizzie's home (for good and sufficient reason), naturally the local dogs go nuts over the presence of the wolf. This includes Lizzie's two dogs.

Lizzie sees the wolf the first night, and mistakes him for the neighbor's dog, Spencer, a big, friendly, affectionate malamute.

Notice how much we know about the neighbor's dog. We know his name, his breed, his personality.

Guess what we know about Lizzie's dogs. Not just at this point in the book, but by the end of it, we still know only that they are dogs, and there are two of them. No names, no breeds, not even any dog type, and no clue where they came from or why she has them, something most dog owners can tell you at length and in as much detail as you seem up for tolerating.

Lizzie never talks about her dogs. She is concerned that someone gets them fed and walked at a point where she, without spoilers, genuinely can't herself. She tells us she's happy to be back with them when that happens. But it's very superficial, and none of it feels real.

My initial impression was that Baray must not be a dog owner, but apparently she is. She has pointers and bloodhounds. That makes this even weirder. Why does the otherwise likable Lizzie have dogs she doesn't even bother to name? Seriously.

Maybe the pointers and bloodhounds are a Clue. Maybe she decided that Lizzie's dogs must be small dogs, and that, as it does for many Big Hunting Dog people, makes them "not real dogs" for her.

And maybe not. But that's a huge lapse, for a dog-owning writer to make her protagonist's dogs anonymous, faceless, personality-free props.

There's a lot I liked about this book. But the dogs being there apparently solely for Lizzie to be really, really annoyed that they bark at, first the wolf outside, and then the guy that she initially doesn't trust at all, is weird and distracting and annoying, and really kicked me out of the book every time they were referred to in passing (they never got more mention than that.)

I liked it. I did, honestly, when I was allowed to forget the cypher-dogs.

But some serious eye-rolling happened.

Important note: No dogs die in the telling of this story.

I bought this audiobook.

  • Stalker on the Fens

  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303

Detective Inspector Nikki Galena's close friend Helen Brook is involved in a serious accident where she is trapped in a collapsed cellar. After her hard-won recovery, Helen is still getting flashbacks to a man she says was down there with her and who confessed to a murder. But no trace of this man can be found. Then Helen tells Nikki that someone is watching her. But is all this in her friend's imagination and part of her post-traumatic stress?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this English police procedural series!

  • By Wayne on 08-29-17

Gripping mystery with great characters

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

Reviewed: 08-22-18

DI Nikki Galena's friend, Helen Brooks, thinks she's being followed.

Helen was badly hurt in a building collapse a year ago, including some brain damage, and she's got some odd memories that don't seem supported by evidence. For instance, she thinks there was a man also in that collapsed basement with her, on the other side of a wall, who talked to her for a while before Nikki and Sergeant Joseph Easter, by chance the two officers closest to the scene, arrived. Yet no one else was in the building, nor was any evidence found that there had been.

So is she really being followed? Or is she still feeling the effects of the trauma and brain damage?

Helen's boyfriend, Andrew Gregory, is certain it's the latter. Nikki isn't sure he's right--but she's definitely not sure he's wrong. And every piece of evidence that seems to support Helen's story is quickly exploded--for instance, a scruffy young man who is seen hanging out near her flat, when picked up, turns out to be the unapproved boyfriend of a young woman in a neighboring house. Dad doesn't approve, so they have to sneak around.

Meanwhile, Nikki and Joseph are sure their old nemesis Cox is back in the area, but he's as elusive as ever. And there's a tension in the rougher part of town, that might be related to the Leonard family, whose patriarch, and unlikely friend of Nikki's, is dying. As much as she wants to help Helen, she's both very busy, and not at all sure how to help, or what kind of help Helen really needs.

Of course, everything changes when Helen is found dead.

This is a gripping, absorbing story, and Nikki, Joseph, their colleagues and friends, are all interesting people worth getting to know better. This is a series where the characters keep growing, becoming richer and more interesting as their experiences change them.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

  • Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch

  • By: Richard Hine
  • Narrated by: Aaron Abano
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6

Russell Wiley is in deep trouble. A media executive for the failing Daily Business Chronicle, his career is teetering on the brink of collapse, and his sexless marriage is fast approaching its expiration date. With his professional and personal lives floundering, it’s no wonder Russell is distracted, unhappy, and losing faith in himself. Making matters worse are his scheming boss, a hotshot new consultant, and the beguiling colleague whose mere presence has a disconcerting effect on Russell’s starved libido.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light, funny, enjoyable

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 08-19-18

Light, funny, enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

Russell Wiley spends his work life selling ad space in the Daily Business Chronicle, which is a print-only daily business newspaper with declining circulation. There are clear disadvantages to this, but it's not made easier by his boss, Henry, who is determined to make no useful changes, the hotshot new consultant who is trying to turn this short-term gig into a permanent job, the poor hiring choice Russell made a few month ago who is dead weight for his department but whom his boss thinks is Da Bomb...

Oh, and his marriage is falling apart, too.

Clearly, Russell has to make some major changes.

Making a mistake in a spreadsheet, a mistake that is going to cost the company millions of dollars, wasn't the major change he would have chosen.

This is light, funny, a great distraction from paying attention to today's news!

Really, it's just a lot of fun. Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.