LISTENER

Nancy F.

Sierra Foothills, Northern CA
  • 113
  • reviews
  • 322
  • helpful votes
  • 166
  • ratings
  • Stalking the Angel

  • Elvis Cole - Joe Pike, Book 2
  • By: Robert Crais
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 436
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 400
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 390

Hired by a hotel magnate to locate a priceless Japanese manuscript, L.A. private eye Elvis Cole encounters the notorious Yakuza, the Japanese mob, and is drawn into a game of sexual obsession, amorality, and evil.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not Crais’ Normal Standard

  • By Nancy F. on 01-12-18

Not Crais’ Normal Standard

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

Reviewed: 01-12-18

I enjoy Robert Crais’ characters and storylines. This book didn’t rise to his normal excellent plots. It will be satisfying for Elvis Cole fans but is not a strong enough story to be a stand-alone example of his normal excellence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Natural History of Dragons

  • A Memoir by Lady Trent
  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,022
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,015

You, dear listener, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart - no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments - even at the risk of one's life - is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten….All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastical, Scientific, and Captivating Joy Ride

  • By Abbygail on 03-06-16

A Solid Beginning

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

Reviewed: 01-06-18

This first book in the series gives a solid understanding of Lady Isabella’s upbringing and maturation through her teenage years. This is a fantasy book and not set in any real historical time period, however the attitudes and requirements for a proper young lady are very Victorian. This provides an entertaining backdrop for a very smart, willful and adventurous teenage girl. The majority of this book focuses on setting up the background and development of (what in future books will become) the mature Lady Isabella, renown adventurer and chronicler of dragons. The narration suits Isabella perfectly. I gave the story only 3 stars because I wished for more storyline and a little less development. Although I won’t rush to download the next book, I will definitely listen to it at some point.

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  • By: Mark Haddon
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,984
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,019
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,041

Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Unexpected Gift.

  • By Amanda on 12-07-11

Compelling ...

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

Reviewed: 11-16-17

... and simultaneously disturbing. The ‘inside the mind’ presentation of a boy with asperger’s syndrome was very effectively done. Both the writing and the narration were very well done. The helplessness that confronts those who have a child or loved one afflicted with this disease made it a difficult listen. I recommend listening to this book for the necessary education if not for the entertainment.

  • A Quiet Life in the Country

  • A Lady Hardcastle Mystery, Book 1
  • By: T E Kinsey
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,808
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,167
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,158

Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they've just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There's a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation...

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A nice cozy read!

  • By BikeVON on 11-30-16

Predictable Storyline

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

Reviewed: 11-07-17

The narration was very good. It fit the tone of the era nicely. The story was quite predictable without any excitement.

  • Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener

  • Agatha Raisin, Book 3
  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Penelope Keith
  • Length: 4 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 903
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 816
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 815

When Agatha returns home after a sojourn in the capital, she finds a new woman ensconced in the affections of her attractive bachelor neighbor, James Lacey. The newcomer, Mary Fortune, is superior to Agatha in every way, especially when it comes to gardening. With Carsely Open Day approaching, Agatha longs for some fascinating crime to remind James of her genius for investigation and to distract him from Mary. Soon a series of assaults on the finest gardens is followed by murder when Mary herself is discovered buried upside down in a terracotta pot....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By Carol on 11-03-17

You Have To Be In The Right Frame of Mind

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

Reviewed: 12-12-16

This series is heavily dependent on its primary characters. They are charming and true to type with almost no complexity. I have an irritating head cold right now and wanted something soothing without any real intellectual demands. This book fit the bill perfectly.

This is the 3rd book in the series and so far they have followed a basic formula: quaint village residents, local color and events, a murder, Agatha and her neighbor go sleuthing, a couple red herrings and voila Agatha figures it out. All the while the local constabulary warns Agatha to not get involved with a hint of fond indulgence.

I will continue with this series, listening when I want an undemanding, comfortable book to keep me company.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Introducing Agatha Raisin

  • The Quiche of Death and The Vicious Vet
  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Penelope Keith, Diana Bishop
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158

Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely, and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest. Despite the fact that Agatha has never baked a thing in her life, she is sure the pie she has secretly bought from an upper-crust London quicherie will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when the judge not only snubs her entry―but falls over dead!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Really enjoying this series!

  • By bigdjunta on 03-04-18

Quirky and Cozy

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

Reviewed: 11-25-16

This download was books 1 and 2 of the Agatha Raisin series. Agatha is a cantankerous, quirky, and thoroughly charming, ex-PR professional from London. Having retired and moved to a small bucolic town, she finds herself getting involved in and solving local crimes. The two books have different narrators, both excellent, yet quite different in their approach.

The charm of these books lies in getting to know the primary characters: Agatha is a pragmatic businesswoman who has bouts of teenage love fantasies. Bill is the local young police detective who genuinely likes Agatha, while being nervous about her meddling and sleuthing. James lives in the cottage next door. He is a handsome, retired army colonel who joins Agatha in her adventures but shies away from any romantic attachment. In addition there is a host of local ladies who add all sorts of warmth and color to the comings and goings.

If you love cozy British mysteries, this is a must listen. However if you are looking for edge of your seat mysteries with complex and fascinating plot lines, this series won't be for you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Lost Among the Living

  • By: Simone St. James
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,291
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,190
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,188

England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss. Working as a paid companion to Alex's wealthy, condescending aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo travels to Wych Elm House, the family's estate in the Sussex countryside. But there is much she never knew about her husband's origins...and the revelation of a mysterious death in the Forsyths' past is just the beginning.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Story

  • By Isobel on 05-07-16

Enjoyable Mystery

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

Reviewed: 11-04-16

This book is an intriguing post WW1 mystery story set in the English countryside. Although there are ghostly elements, it would be a stretch to call it a ghost story. Slow to take shape and set up the story line, it requires the listener to be patient until around the 4 hour mark at which point it takes off and doesn't let up until the conclusion.

I would caution prospective listeners to listen to the sample first. Justine Eyre's narration has a distinct affectation. It took me a while to get used to it and not find it distracting. However, once the pace picked up, I found her voice suited the characters and story well.

Even though I had to suspend disbelief periodically, the book had twists and plot shifts that kept me guessing and pleasantly entertained. If you can get past the narration style I think you will find this to be an enjoyable mystery.

  • Hostage

  • By: Robert Crais
  • Narrated by: James Daniels
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,011
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,007

Jeff Talley was a good husband, a fine father, and a frontline negotiator with LAPD's SWAT unit. But the high stress, unforgiving job took an irreparable toll on his psyche. After a despondent father murders his wife and son and takes his own life, Talley hits bottom. His marriage ends, he resigns from SWAT, and he struggles to escape from his former life. But Talley's pursuit of peaceful small-town life is about to change.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful clarity of plot and character

  • By David on 07-15-13

Crisp and Suspenseful

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

Reviewed: 08-21-16

The storyline centers on one jam packed day. Crais does his usual excellent job of tightly weaving diverse storylines, with their own casts of characters, into one compact story arc. In this case, there are 3 primary forces all colliding and converging on one family: 3 amateur crooks, law enforcement and the mafia. I find Crais' plots enjoyable because they are crisply written leaving out all non-essential filler stuff. He also does an excellent job of using lots of diverse characters without confusing the listener. As you would expect the plot twists just keep coming. Crais does not signal his surprises such that the listener does not anticipate them. This all comes together to be a fun read that is truly hard to put down.

A word about James Daniels' narration. I wouldn't describe him as a voice actor, although he probably is an excellent one. Instead, his approach is one of moving the story along without interfering with the action. I know the book is being read to me but his work is analogous to a movie projector. He puts it up on your internal screen so you can see it clearly without being constantly reminded that a projector is making it happen. A valuable talent.

I highly recommend this book. I only gave 4 stars because I reserve 5 stars for books where I'm stirred to a deep emotion. The fact that this book didn't do that is just fine by me.

  • The Tales of Max Carrados

  • By: Ernest Bramah
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 825
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 746
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 742

Exclusive audio collection. Eleven Max Carrados stories - narrated by national treasure Stephen Fry. Max Carrados featured in a series of mystery stories that first appeared in 1914. Carrados featured alongside Sherlock Holmes in The Strand magazine, in which they both had top billing. The character often boasted how being blind meant his other senses were heightened. This exclusive audio collection features 11 Max Carrados stories.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Very Difficult Thing to Do Properly

  • By John on 11-30-16

Charming Early 20th Century Stories

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

Reviewed: 08-16-16

This collection of stories, written in the early 1900's, is charming and highly engaging IF the listener is ready to give the book undivided attention. The stories are populated with interesting characters and unusual crimes presented as rather dense logic puzzles. Once I adjusted my expectations to fit the style and time period I really enjoyed my time with the charming Max Carrados. Stephen Fry's narration is perfection in this setting.

If you are looking for a plot with lots of action, sustained character development and stories which let the reader anticipate 'who dun it', then I don't recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Waters

  • Elemental, Book 1
  • By: Rain Oxford
  • Narrated by: Todd Menesses
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 960
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 914
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 910

Devon Sanders, a private investigator known for his efficiency and discretion, has no interest in getting involved with the paranormal community. Unfortunately for him, the paranormal community does have an interest in him, or at least in his secret. Devon is exceptional in solving cases using his uncanny intuition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such a GREAT Listen!!!

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-30-15

Too Grotesque To Merit Finishing

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

Reviewed: 07-08-16

I am not faint of heart or overly squeamish. My rating is based on the totally unnecessary violence, torture and murder. I finally asked myself why I was still listening to this book. I found the plot line to be silly, none of the characters stirred any empathy or sympathy in me. I didn't like the narration either, but finally reached the conclusion that he was stuck reading a truly bad book and was probably just clenching his jaw throughout the performance. When I realized there was absolutely no rationale for continuing, I shut it off and removed it from my iPad.

1 of 10 people found this review helpful