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  • Lowcountry Bonfire

  • Liz Talbot Mystery Series, Book 6
  • By: Susan M. Boyer
  • Narrated by: Loretta Rawlins
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 348
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 315
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316

Private Investigators Liz Talbot and Nate Andrews have worked their share of domestic cases. So when Tammy Sue Lyerly hires them to find out what her husband is hiding, they expect to find something looney but harmless. After all, this is the guy who claims to have been a DEA agent, a champion bull rider, and a NASCAR driver. But when he turns up dead the morning after Liz and Nate deliver incriminating photos, Tammy Sue becomes the prime suspect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How much I love Lowcountry

  • By Karen M. Troutner on 12-14-17

I want to live in Stella Maris

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

Reviewed: 08-14-17

This is a series you read to take a vacation into another world. While it is ostensibly about detectives, murder, and mysteries, it's really about Liz Talbot and family, southern food, and the ambiance of an idealized Southern world (dead bodies notwithstanding). The plots are the backdrop and thus I cut them some slack. The narrator is important in setting the stage as the accents need to reflect the Charleston lilt. Loretta Rawlins does the characterizations well (but I'm not southern). The range of characters are charming, from the southern bell mother to the love interest (spoiler for book 1) Nate, who is, of course, handsome, kind, patient and supportive, and the stars sparkle over the breaking waves as you sit on the deck with sweet tea pondering who committed various dastardly deeds. A cozy mystery for sure, but lovely fun. Look forward to the next installment.

  • Tilt-a-Whirl

  • John Ceepak, Book 1
  • By: Chris Grabenstein
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,614
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,834
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,819

There isn't much fun in the sun when a billionaire real estate tycoon is found murdered on the Tilt-a-Whirl at a seedy seaside amusement park in the otherwise quiet summer tourist town of Sea Haven. John Ceepak, a former MP just back from Iraq, has just joined the Sea Haven police department. The job offer came from an old Army buddy who hoped to give Ceepak at least a summer's worth of rest and relaxation to help him forget the horrors of war. Instead, Ceepak will head up the murder investigation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • the reader makes this book

  • By L. Haight on 08-30-07

Love the series and characters of Ceepak and Boyle

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

Reviewed: 08-14-17

This is a series you read/listen to for the characters rather than the stories. The mysteries are fine, some better and less obvious than others, but Danny Boyle and John Ceepak are great characters with a subtle but powerful dynamic that is evident over the course of the eight books. Narrated through the voice of Danny Boyle, the narrator can make or break a book. Woodman does an excellent job of giving both Boyle and Ceepak voice (literally and metaphorically). In many ways, it's a coming-of-age story as Danny Boyle goes from ex-beach bum/summer cop to full-fledged copy due to the influence of John Ceepak. It's charming, not heavy. I hope there's a book 9 and more.

  • Spotless

  • Spotless Series, Book 1
  • By: Camilla Monk
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 439
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 413

Island Chaptal - nerdy IT engineer by day, romance novel junkie by night - just walked into her messy New York apartment to find Mr. Right waiting for her. No, wait...Mr. Clean. A gentleman professional killer with a bad case of OCD and zero tolerance for unsorted laundry, March isn't there to kill her...yet. He wants the diamond her late mother stole for a sinister criminal organization. Island agrees to help him find it, facing the kind of adversaries who dismember first and ask questions later. Good thing she's got March to show her the ropes. And the guns. And the knives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous!

  • By Chela Masters on 08-29-16

Shallow characters, painful plot and narration

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

Reviewed: 08-13-17

Encouraged by all the five-star reviews, I was hoping to find a new series to enjoy. Unlike Stephanie Plum, Her Royal Spyness, Phryne Fisher and other quasi-cozy mysteries, Spotless was a severe disappointment. The characters are so poorly and thinly drawn that it's hard to have empathy. The main character, Island, has childish temper tantrums, doesn't ask obvious questions and yet belabors asking other "inconvenient questions" by her own reckoning. The humor falls flat. The plot, which is likely part of the joke given the torrid fake romance novel quotes, is a series of unexplained and unwarranted events. The narrator makes Island sound a petulant 12 not 25 and March the assassin's alleged British accent is unbelievably bad. If you are willing to suspend disbelief and supply a lot of your own hopes and fantasies to backdrop the storyline, then this will work for you. If you like the author to paint a world and develop characters with some substance and to create a experience where you can "visit", this will be most likely be a miss.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Fatal Waltz

  • Lady Emily, Book 3
  • By: Tasha Alexander
  • Narrated by: Charlotte Anne Dore
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 167
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 160
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159

At her friend Ivy's behest, Lady Emily Ashton reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of a man she finds odious. But the despised Lord Fortescue is not to be her greatest problem.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story- if you can get past the narration

  • By Oh Good Grief on 05-20-15

Fan of the series, not of this narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-24-17

I have listened to and enjoyed all the other Lady Emily books. I like Tasha Alexander's work, the history, the construction of characters and plots. I am, however, struggling with this one because the narration is SO awful. It's always hard when you are used to a certain voice giving life to characters and I am trying to be open-minded, but the pacing of the words is uncomfortably slow and certain characters, such as Margaret Seward's American accent, are beyond awful. I know British people think Americans all talk with nasal accents, but Margaret is supposed to be NY money, not Bronx Bomber. And for heaven's sake, how hard would it be to find out how to pronounce Bryn Mawr? It's disappointing. If this is your first Lady Emily, don't give up. Others books in the series via Audible are much better.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 198,480
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 185,318
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184,922

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

Outstanding performance of great book

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

Reviewed: 11-17-16

While the core message may be deep (i.e. living virtual vs "real"), Cline weaves a fascinating story with meticulous detail of pop culture from the 80s that is as engaging and entertaining as a thriller, not a morality play. Wheaton's performance is so good that I have listened to it twice. The characters are well-drawn and relatable in spite of the tech talk and pop culture trivia. I am not a gamer (although I do remember the 80s) nor am I an 18 yr old but still enjoyed all the texture that detail added. Just as the Oasis is a compelling journey, so is this book.

  • Imprudence

  • By: Gail Carriger
  • Narrated by: Moira Quirk
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 959
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 889
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 887

Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England's scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue's best friend, Primrose, keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types. Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue's beginning to suspect what they really are...is frightened.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I loved previous series, but...

  • By Pamela on 09-20-16

I loved previous series, but...

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

Reviewed: 09-20-16

I loved the Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School series. In both cases, the narrators Emily Gray and Moira Quirk respectively, brought the series to life. However, the choice of Ms. Quirk here, is a mistake. The Custard Protocol as read by Ms. Quirk, makes Prudence sound like Sephronia and the secondary characters we came to love under Ms. Gray's voice (Akeldama, Alexia, Lord Maccon, Floote, Biffy) completely unrecognizable for the devoted listener. In some cases, the pronunciations were so different (Rabiffano, BUR as "bur" not B-U-R) that it was beyond disconcerting. Akeldama sounded exactly like Professor Braithwaite. Some consistency at the very least would have been good. There was also little vocal differentiation between Rue and Primrose, so at times it wasn't possible to tell who was speaking by their voice. Unusual given Ms. Quick's deft vocal handing of Sephronia and her best friend Dimity. I would have had Ms. Gray continue the Alexia-based storyworld. While these things don't speak to the plot, the interfere with the ability to transport into the story, making the experience less satisfying at the outset. However, the problems with Imprudence went deeper than just the narration.

Unlike Sephronia, Prudence, or Rue, has little to recommend her that make us really care about her. While Imprudence was slightly better in this regard than the previous book Prudence, the plot was thin. The amount of time that Rue and Quesnel spent sexually exploring emphasized the YA nature of the series. While the Finishing School was YA also, the plots were more engaging, clever and intricate, the characters were uniformly much better developed. In Imprudence, many interesting angles were unexplored (i.e. the were-lion island, the Templars, Floote's life in Egypt, etc.)

I started it once and lost interest, but came back again due to my regard for the author. It was disappointing relative to the cleverness of previous books. My guess it that it's hard to satisfy readers/listeners who have expectations from previous works, but this was not up to previous standards. Without the significant backstory from the Protectorate books, this would have been an even thinner experience. Listen knowing these shortcomings and you will probably enjoy Gail Carriger's unique voice.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Lowcountry Bombshell

  • A Liz Talbot Mystery
  • By: Susan M. Boyer
  • Narrated by: Loretta Rawlins
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 672
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 605
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 603

Liz Talbot thinks she's seen another ghost when she meets Calista McQueen. She's the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe. Born precisely fifty years after the ill-fated star, Calista's life has eerily mirrored the late starlet's - and she fears the looming anniversary of Marilyn's death will also be hers. Before Liz can open a case file, Calista's life coach is executed. Suspicious characters swarm around Calista like mosquitoes on a sultry low country evening: her certifiable mother, a fake aunt, her control-freak psychoanalyst, a private yoga instructor, her peculiar housekeeper, and an obsessed ex-husband.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Liz Goes Shooting With The Wild Hogs

  • By Takeyabue on 10-13-14

Good Cozy, Great Narration

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

Reviewed: 07-14-16

Susan Boyer does a good job of creating a world to escape to, characters to empathize with, and plots that, if not a bit far-fetched, are entertaining. The narrator does a great job of capturing a Southern voice (at least for the ears of a non-Southerner) and I doubt the books would be quite so appealing to read as they are to listen to, thanks to the voice artistry. The plot captures the allure of small town, big family cocoons where people eat fried food, walk on the ocean and don't seem to worry about paying the bills. The continual reference to sex between Liz and Nate seems gratuitous beyond establishing the power of the attraction, but overall this is a very enjoyable series and I look forward to listening to them all. So many cozy mysteries aren't written well enough to suspend the reader/listener's disbelief and let you take a journey into their world. This one definitely does that. Listen in order as the characters make more sense that way.

  • Louisiana Longshot

  • A Miss Fortune Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Jana DeLeon
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,750
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,442
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,422

It was a hell of a long shot.... CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever - in Sinful, Louisiana. With a leak at the CIA and a price placed on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off-grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved it

  • By Dawn on 06-21-16

Clever, funny and fun

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

Reviewed: 06-08-16

Finding Miss Fortune was a happy accident. While a fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, I gave up on Evanovich's audio books because the reader is so awful (and so NOT New Jersey). Jana DeLeon's Miss Fortune is equally silly, but the character line-up of Fortune, Ida Belle, Gertie, Carter LeBlanc and the rest are so appealing that you find yourself willingly going along for the ride with their hairbrained antics. The narrator (voice actor) Cassandra Campbell does a great job of capturing each character uniquely in all the southern glory. The books are not 'deep' and Fortune, however much she may be conflicted about being an assassin is no "troubled soul." She is more of the "woman with a gun" model who's ready to lock and load and take on any challenge. In a bizarre kind of way, given that few of us are trained in armed combat, sharp-shooting or other deadly arts, Fortune is very endearing and a little inspiring. I love that her two best friends are octogenarians. Gertie is forever the comic relief (sometimes to overkill), but the real trump card for me is Ida Belle. The characterizations, between the text and skill of the narrator, quickly engage your imagination and empathy and are hugely enjoyable. Read them in order as the story progresses. They are terrific long car-ride or computer (or walk the dog) books. I'm a fan of the Miss Fortune series, but could not make the leap to DeLeon's Mud Bug series which had too much romance and silly, not enough character development.

49 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Buried in a Bog

  • County Cork Mystery Series, Book 1
  • By: Sheila Connolly
  • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 412
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 380
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 381

Honoring the wish of her late grandmother, Maura Donovan visits the small Irish village where her Gran was born-though she never expected to get bogged down in a murder mystery. Nor had she planned to take a job in one of the local pubs, but she finds herself excited to get to know the people who knew her Gran. In the pub, she's swamped with drink orders as everyone in town gathers to talk about the recent discovery of a nearly 100-year-old body in a nearby bog.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Atmospheric Irish Mystery

  • By Sara on 03-15-14

Enticing setting almost overcomes a weak story

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

Reviewed: 05-25-15

The setting in rural Ireland and the romantic notion of finding lost family, a sense of history and a place in a cocoon-like (in the good sense) community make this book a good, but not great listen. The narrator does a nice job of the Irish accents and an abysmal job of that of South Boston--which seems to come and go depending on whether or not there's a stereotypical opportunity to stick it in. It would have been better to leave it off entirely as it is 1) unnecessary as Maura is already an outsider by being American and no one there recognizes South Boston from any other US accent and 2) creates one of the narrative breaches that nearly bump you out of the world you are visiting. However, the rest of the voice work is pleasing and conducive to the journey. The story itself has a predictable storyline and lacks a lot of depth -- we don't have much description of the main character other than an occasional "running her fingers through her hair" in lieu of a comb. We don't know if she's short, tall, light, dark, attractive or not. We have way too much repetitive angst over "I don't know if I even want to stay" that could have been better spent building out the storyworld for the reader/listener with more detail. Many characters remain thin and undeveloped. I had hoped they would be fleshed out in future books but they don't at all in Book 2. It is ultimately, a bit frustrating because all the time you WANT to be part of this world, you are left feeling a little on the outside--and not as some psychological metaphor to replicate the main character's position, but as a result of lack of character development. This is a shame because many of the characters could have great appeal. I listened to the second, but am unlikely to go on to the third, especially given reviews that say she is still wondering about things like licensing in the pub which are simple questions that any legal counsel could answer with a phone call. Even in Leap. I wanted to like it more than I did. The audio version makes it more engaging than it would be in print, Southie accent notwithstanding.

  • Prudence

  • By: Gail Carriger
  • Narrated by: Moira Quirk
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,540
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,420
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,411

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama ("Rue" to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do: she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India. Soon she stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pronunciations and character voices are Different!

  • By Andrea C on 03-17-15

Disappointing for Parasol Protectorate fans

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

Reviewed: 04-03-15

I love Gail Carriger's work. If this is your first audio, then you will likely enjoy it. It reads more like a young reader book such as the Finishing School series than the clever Parasol Protectorate (PP). The problem here lies in the translation to audio and using the narrator from the Finishing School series (who was excellent in that) to continue with characters from the Parasol Protectorate (PP). It seems that Moria Quirk (narrator) never listened to Emily Gray, the previous reader. More bothersome is that Gail Carriger didn't step in recognizing how much social capital is being destroyed. It is very disconcerting (painful) to have beloved characters not only sound different but have their names pronounced differently (or mispronounced to my ear). Some of my favorite characters, Lord Akeldama and Sandalio de Rabiffano (the former Biffy), not to mention Lady Maccon, sound so 'out of character' that it destroys the continuation of narrative coherence that I had enjoyed and so beautifully achieved in the PP. (As devout fans will know, Lord Akeldama was misprounded in book 1 and then corrected in the following books). As another reviewer noted, Moira Quick has transformed the Prudence characters into variations of the Finishing school series characters almost across the board. For example, Lord Akeldama, so brilliantly portrayed in PP, now sounds like Professor Braithwaite and Percy is interchangeable for Pillover, Prim for Dimity and Rue for Sephronia with less empathy. Most disturbing was to lose the humanity of Lady Maccon by turning her into a battle axe with no depth or warmth that had been so well portrayed in the PP. Not to mention stripping Biffy of his poignance and humanity and him into Uncle Rabiffano (ra-BIF-fano in stead of rabi-FAN-o) and referring to the BUR as "bur" and not B-U-R. Ironically, as much as I liked the character of Sephronia, Rue doesn't have her endearing qualities nor does her brashness have context like Alexia's. We know Alexia's backstory which makes her demanding, straightforward personality make sense. Rue comes off as a spoiled rich kid who has done little to recommend herself other than manage her skills as a metanatural. I continue out of my affection for previous Carriger works and have hopes that at least the pronunciation errors will be corrected when they convert Book 2 of the Custard Series into audio. SOMEBODY PLEASE LISTEN!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful