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Carol Mello

San Jose,CA USA
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  • Stranger on the Shore

  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Jeremy York
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 346
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 345

Twenty years ago little Brian Arlington was kidnapped from his family's Long Island estate and was never seen again. The trail went cold, but investigative journalist Griff Hadley has always thought there was more to the story - much more. When the Arlingtons' patriarch invites him to stay at their estate to research his true crime book, Griff can't say no. It's the story of a lifetime. But not everyone is happy about Griff's presence. Relatives and staff alike regard him coldly, including Pierce Mather, the Arlingtons' attractive lawyer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Possibly the most enjoyable mystery romance I've ever read! Quintessential Lanyon!

  • By Christopher P. on 09-19-15

I like the non-series Josh Lanyon books

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-19-18

Another really enjoyable non series mystery gay romance novel. Griffin is an investigative newspaper writer who has become obsessed with the The Great Gatsby and with a child kidnapping that took place in the 1990s. He gets permission from the head of the Arlington family to write a book about the kidnapping and do some investigative research. Jarrett Arlington says he wants to know what happened to his grandson, Brian, presumed dead, whose body was never found. At the estate of the Arlington family, he meets handsome but arrogant and distrustful family lawyer, Pierce Mathers. Most of the family would prefer not to know what happened to the four year old child Brian. There is a lot of annoying resistance to Griffin's efforts to do research to write the book. Someone even arranges an accident on a foot bridge for Griffin. Meanwhile, Pierce and Griffin are attracted to each other but do not trust each other. It is a sticky situation. As the relationship between Griffin and Pierce becomes stronger, the case of the missing child becomes more dangerous, especially for Griffin. The mystery is well done. (A kidnapped child is a classic mystery novel plot. It has been done by many well known golden age mystery writers and even some modern mystery writers.)

The narration is very good. It is not at all annoying the way some narrations are: too fast or too slow, weird voice characterizations, or characters all sounding the same. It was just right.

  • Among the Living

  • PsyCop, Book 1
  • By: Jordan Castillo Price
  • Narrated by: Gomez Pugh
  • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 662
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 626
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 625

Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who's more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves. He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or "Stiff") from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner's retirement party, and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer surfaces who can change his appearance to match any witness' idea of the world's hottest guy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect narrator for one of my favorite books!

  • By Jesi Lea Ryan on 08-17-14

Book 1, Victor Blayne series, recommended

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-16-18

I am not into creepy but this series was recommended by another reviewer in a review of a Josh Lanyon ebook/audiobook. This author, Jordan Castillo Price, this series, Victor Blayne. It was creepier than I expected (remember, I have a low creep factor threshhold). The characters were each unique and interesting. Some I liked immediately. Victor Blayne grew on me.

I had to stop part way through, take a one day break to steel myself for the ending I foresaw coming. I finally was ready and finished the book. It is really good. It would make a terrific TV series, if they would do one about a gay psychic cop in Las Vegas on broadcast or cable TV. It will have to be an independent production for streaming. It is that good.

Not sure if I could watch. With that darn low creep factor threshold of mine, viewing the psychic monsters might freak me out so bad that I would have nightmares for weeks. It happened once when I was a child.

Different type of mystery book for me than usual (the psychic monster, not the gay relationship). It was very very good. Good detective work by Blayne.

  • Elephants Can Remember

  • A Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Hugh Fraser
  • Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 317
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 313

"The Ravenscrofts didn't seem that kind of person. They seemed well balanced and placid..." And yet, twelve years earlier, the husband had shot the wife, and then himself - or perhaps it was the other way around, since sets of both of their fingerprints were on the gun, and the gun had fallen between them. The case haunts Ariadne Oliver, who had been a friend of the couple. The famous mystery novelist desires this real-life mystery solved, and calls upon Hercule Poirot to help her do so.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hugh Fraser is awesome!

  • By Mandy Cruze on 04-24-15

Ariadne Oliver and Poirot investigate old murders using old memories

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-14-18

Not a fast moving mystery, nor one with lots of action.

Poirot is old, perhaps retired. Mrs. Oliver's goddaughter, Celia, needs her help. Mrs. Oliver visits Poirot and tells him what Celia needs to know. Because her boyfriend, Desmond, is getting pressure from his overbearing adoptive mother to break up their, Celia and Desmond's, relationship. Why is she dragging up old history? What is Mrs. Burton-Cox up to? What really happened all those years ago to Celia's beloved mother and father?

Mrs. Oliver hunts up elephants, the memories of old people who might know something about the past. Poirot assures her that even if they do not remember correctly, whatever the elephants remember is helpful. Poirot consults the detective who investigated the case (he is now retired and devoted to his roses) about everything he remembers about the case. Poirot puts the puzzle pieces together to assemble the truth about the past because after talking to both Celia and Desmond, he realizes they need the truth in order to marry; Celia is afraid to marry without knowing the truth.

Poirot also meets Mrs. Burton-Cox and investigates her! He finds out the truth there too. It is a good thing for Desmond that he does because she has been lying by omission. (This part surprised me. I am so naive sometimes.)

At the heart of the novel are identical twins, Molly and Dolly. If I say any more, I might spoil your chances of solving this mystery yourself, as I did. Listen carefully. The clues are there, this is a fair play mystery.

There are a lot of conversations in this novel which is why it moves slowly. However, the resolution is very satisfactory and solving this one is satisfactory too. I also enjoy the Christie novels containing Mrs. Ariadne Oliver. She is so amusing. Her scenes with her new secretary in this one are quite funny.

  • Murder Takes the High Road

  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138

Librarian Carter Matheson is determined to enjoy himself on a Scottish bus tour for fans of mystery author Dame Vanessa Rayburn. Sure, his ex, Trevor, will also be on the trip with his new boyfriend, leaving Carter to share a room with a stranger, but he can’t pass up a chance to meet his favorite author. Carter’s roommate turns out to be John Knight, a figure as mysterious as any character from Vanessa’s books. His strange affect and nighttime wanderings make Carter suspicious. When a fellow traveler’s death sparks rumors of foul play, Carter is left wondering if there’s anyone on the tour he can trust.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining mystery tour in Scotland with romance

  • By Carol Mello on 09-08-18

Entertaining mystery tour in Scotland with romance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-08-18

Carter stubbornly refuses to give his expensive mystery tour ticket, booked years in advance, to his ex-lover Trevor to use for Vance, Trevor's new partner. Carter is still bitter a year after the breakup. Trevor and Vance are really obnoxious. It is always fun when there is an awful ex around in romance novels to hate. Carter gets an unexpected roommate for the tour. John, the roommate, acts suspiciously but Carter is attracted to him and John is attracted to Carter. Rumors fly that one of the passengers on the previous tour died. Then, a passenger on Carter's tour dies.

Good surprises in the mystery tour and a good new romantic partner for Carter. I really enjoy Josh Lanyon's novels.

  • The Magician Murders

  • The Art of Murder, Book III
  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Kale Williams
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121

Jason West, hot-shot special agent with the FBI’s Art Crime Team, is at the Wyoming home of Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Sam Kennedy, who is recuperating from a recent hit-and-run accident, when he’s asked to consult on the theft of a priceless collection of vintage magic posters. But before Jason can say “presto change-o”, the owner of the art collection turns up murdered in a national forest. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • things are heating up!

  • By B on 06-28-18

Very enjoyable mystery/suspense and gay romance (Jason and Sam)

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-06-18

I enjoyed Josh Lanyon's Holmes and Moriarty (sp?) novels. This is my first listening or reading of one of The Art of Murder series books. There are four mystery cases confronting Jason West (and to a lesser extent Sam Kennedy).

1. Who attacked Jason West in the parking lot of the Chinese restaurant?
2. Who killed the unlikable magician who was divorcing his wife?
3. Who stole the same magician's collection of valuable magic memorabilia? The magician himself or his wife or someone else?
4. Was the death of the other magician, Santos, a suicide or murder, i.e. Is there someone killing magicians in Cheyenne?

I enjoyed listening to this tremendously and will probably re-listen to it again in the future which is why I have given it 5 stars.

  • Vengeance in Death

  • In Death, Book 6
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,870
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,308
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,314

He is an expert with the latest technology...a madman with the mind of a genius and the heart of a killer. He quietly stalks his prey. Then he haunts the police with cryptic riddles about the crimes he is about to commit - always solved moments too late to save the victims' lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Winner from J.D. Robb

  • By Nancy J on 07-08-13

This book was truly a turning point in the series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-24-18

I do not own all of the In Death Series audio books. I started acquiring them along about three years ago due to visions problems in one eye. Audible books for bestsellers can be expensive. I was going backwards at first. Then I switched my acquisition strategy. So, I still do not have them all.

Susan Ericksen does a good job and she got better over time. The only voice I do not care for is Trina's, the hair and beauty expert Eve meets through Mavis. Generally, it is a pleasure to listen to her narration of the In Death series of books. Reviews often reflect the plot of the individual books rather than Ms. Eriksen's adept narration.

So recently after skipping around between my favorite plots, after listening to Rapture In Death, I thought, gee, Carol, why not listen to the series from the start? I have many of the earliest books by now. So, about two weeks ago, I began my goal.

I had forgotten many minor details of the early novels. They are not as polished as the later mid series novels. Eve is more of just another detective in the murder division rather than its titular head as she is in the later books. She is micro-managed a lot by Whitney and Tibble. Damn irritating. She is so good at her job. Why can't they trust her as they do a year or so later? I had forgotten the insult of their lack of trust, the micro-managing of a skilled investigator with "killer" instincts. I had forgotten Eve's often lack of self assurance. So Naked In Death, Glory In Death, Immortal In Death, and even the two following In Death books, were frustrating (even though Rapture is one of my favorites). So many characters doubting her or second guessing her. She takes so many emotional slings and arrows from others. She is more fragile than she is later. I felt a little too much of her pain in those earliest Eve Dallas books. In reading this book, I felt the later Eve emerging from the fragile Eve. Her assurance is finally increasing and she is emerging from her horrid past because she is finally truly loved, feels loved, feels worthy of that love. That is what I hear in this book more than in the preceding books. It stands out for me. Because it is stronger here, I feel less pain for Eve because she is stronger because of the love. She is a stronger warrior with love behind and around her. I see it, hear it, in this book. I remembered it was good. It is good, very good, better than I remembered.


  • Fantasy in Death

  • In Death, Book 30
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,317
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,717
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,722

Bart Minnock, founder of the computer gaming giant U-Play, enters his private playroom, and eagerly can’t wait to lose himself in an imaginary world, to play the role of a sword-wielding warrior king, in his company’s latest top-secret project, Fantastical.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Home Run!

  • By Judy on 02-23-10

One of my personal favorites, both ebook and audio book.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-19-18

My career before I retired was a geeky one. This is Eve Dallas novel has a geeky plot which is a big plus for me personally. I loved it when I read it first as a hardback book on its original publication day. It has some funny lines in it (though not as funny as Born in Death) which is another plus. There is lots of Eve and Roarke together (another plus) plus Peabody, McNab, Li Morris, Dr. Mira, Mavis, and Nadine. Plus some of her more lovable murder squad detectives. There are epiphanies for Eve about relationship rules so she moves forward, a little, as a character.

The victims are people we care for rather than unsympathetic characters. At the same time, the murders are not as graphically described as in other of her novels, which is good for me personally again because I never had to pause reading not listening due to an unhappy emotional reaction to parts of the novel. I have only been able to read or listen to some of the other novels once, only once, because I became too emotionally upset by the murder cases, the victims and the murderers, to experience them a second time even though they are fiction.

I know from reading reviews that I may be in the minority in getting emotionally distraught by fictional events in a novel (and even more distraught when I know I am reading non-fiction, such as history). People reading my reviews must take that into consideration. If you are more hard boiled and can handle more intense plots, then this one may not be thrilling enough for you.

  • Salvation in Death

  • In Death, Book 27
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,936
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,505

As Eve pieces together clues that suggest identity theft, gang connections, and a deeply personal act of revenge, she hopes to track down whoever committed the unholy act of murdering a priest. Until a second murder, in front of an even larger crowd of worshippers, knocks the whole investigation sideways.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Winner

  • By Share Faerber on 11-23-08

Murder cases involving religious leaders and gangs

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-18

I have read this novel in paperback twice. This is the first time I have listened to the audio book version. Excellent narration by Susan Ericksen.

Father Flores is murdered by poison in the wine chalice at a Roman Catholic funeral mass at a Spanish Harlem church. Jimmy J. Jenkins, an evangelical preacher of his own church (corporation/organization), is murdered by poison in his water bottle during a full house religious service at Madison Square Garden.

One murder is simple. The other is very complex. When listening to this entry in the series, think about the Seven Deadly Sins. Good cop work by Eve who has very good instincts. Lots of love and support between Eve and Roarke. I like the discussions of ethics between Eve and Roarke, Eve and Peabody, Eve and Father Lopez, and finally Peabody and McNab. It is good for readers to think about ethical issues. Got to think about them constantly to make sure your own ethics are in good working order. Also, that your compassion is in working order too.

Also includes some character discussion about salvation, which is why it is in the title. Very enjoyable. A good entertaining distraction from the troubles in one's own life.

  • Delusion In Death

  • In Death, Book 35
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,404
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,010
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,991

It was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks, complained about the boss, maybe hooked up with someone for the night. Until something went terribly wrong. At first it was just a friction in the air. The noise intensified. The crowd seemed oppressive. Some sharp words were exchanged, some pushing and shoving. Then the madness descended. And after 12 minutes of chaos and violence, 80 people lay dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Robb, Dallas & Ericksen - what a Fantastic Combo

  • By Lisa on 09-17-12

Behold, a red horse (an in Death novel about religious cults)

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-18

This in Death novel is about mothers, children, the choices people make, and religious cults. The specific religious cult is one called Red Horse (reference Book of Revelations in the New Testament), dating back to the Urban Wars which took place earlier in the 21st century.

Eve is still recovering emotionally from the traumatic events that took place with McQueen in Dallas. The NYPSD Murder Squad ends up with a doozy of a case involving a biochemical agent that causes exposed people to go bat sh*t crazy and kill each other.

Another good one. Well narrated.

  • Celebrity in Death

  • In Death, Book 34
  • By: J. D. Robb
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,013
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,672
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,667

Her career in homicide has taken her into the darkest depths of New York City’s underground - and sometimes Lieutenant Eve Dallas feels more comfortable in those kinds of places than in the high-rise, high-society world of her billionaire husband, Roarke. But while she’s no party girl, she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating the debut of The Icove Agenda. This time it’s Eve, not Roarke, who’s a guest of honor, since the film is based on one of her famous cases. Her partner, Peabody, is practically giddy....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan Ericksen is amazing!

  • By Amy Huber on 02-22-12

Peabody appreciation and violence in the film industry

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-01-18

Susan Ericksen, as always, does a great job narrating this In Death book.

Because the death is an actress who looks like Peabody and is playing Peabody in the movie version of the Icove Agenda, the book starts with a bunch of Peabody appeciation. The character Peabody deserves it. She is a dear young woman. Then we have, as always, the deep love between Dallas and Roarke which is a feature appreciate by female readers/listeners of this series. The case in this book, in my opinion, is a good one. No freaky serial killer who kills strangers out of blood lust, but a killer who kills for money and hate, the normal motives for the vast majority of murderers. This means one can approach the case logically, rationally. I am so tired of the fact that so many contemporary mystery novels are about abnormal serial killers. I am starting to avoid, for the most part, borrowing or buying weird serial killer mystery novels. The In Death series has some of those weird killers but not this one, thank goodness, which is why I like this one so much.

Off topic: I wish Robb would allow medical examiner Morris to fall in love again and get married. I get sad all over again whenever he makes his first appearance in each novel. If the author could tie the Morris new love affair with a suspect (innocent of course) in a case or a survivor in a case, so we had another book that featured Morris, that would be nice. Morris could save her, then fall in love.