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Stephen

WORCESTER, MA, United States
  • 47
  • reviews
  • 79
  • helpful votes
  • 52
  • ratings
  • Death Distilled

  • A Whisky Business Mystery
  • By: Melinda Mullet
  • Narrated by: Gemma Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 727
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 674
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 673

It's been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep - all within the first 24 hours. Still, nothing's more stressful than murder....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Flocks, Old Rockers, Bones and Blood

  • By Debbie on 01-22-18

Better Whisky Business

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

Reviewed: 01-05-19

This novel continues, and IMHO, improves on the Whisky Business series. Ms Mulltett seems more comfortable with the characters and develops a terrific plot line starting with the opening paragraph.

Ms Dawson's performance is strong, but I would like to see her slow down in the sections that are more about explanation than action or dialogue. Those sections need the most attention from the reader because they are the sections most likely to make the listener fall asleep. And a lot of the mystery's heavy lifting goes on in those sections.

This book propels the reader to the next book in the series. Can't wait.

  • Single Malt Murder

  • A Whisky Business Mystery
  • By: Melinda Mullet
  • Narrated by: Gemma Dawson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,690
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,467
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,459

When Abi inherits her uncle's quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot - but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it's clear that someone wants her out of the picture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Read with Excellent Characters

  • By David on 01-22-18

Unexpected Gem

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

I got this book through an Audible 2-1 sale. As a single malt Scotch drinker and reader of mysteries it was a no-brainer. What a surprise. My expectations were for a cozy-style mystery, but it turned out to have some edge. The characters were well drawn and complicated. The plot had plenty of twists - lots of dead ends. In the end, the solution to the crime was unexpected and the reveal started a last flurry of action for the closing chapters of the book. My preference is for more hard-boiled mysteries, but I could appreciate the woman's touch in this book and the inevitable love interest that is germinated in this book will not be unwelcome in the rest of the series.

Ms Mullet does a great job with this title and I am anxious to see how well she is able to sustain interest in the later novels in the series. The performance of Gemma Dawson is admirable. She has a bit of trouble with the men's brogues, but she pulls it off believably enough. I often don't like women readers, but Ms Dawson does a good enough job for me.

Not a criticism of Ms Mullet, but I always like references to real geographical landmarks. Aside from a few references to Stirling and Edinborough, there is no sense of place for Abbey Glen.

  • Long Road to Mercy

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Brittany Pressley, Kyf Brewer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,514
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,476

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe. It's seared into Atlee Pine's memory: the kidnapper's chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared. She never saw Mercy again. Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She's the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon. So when one of the Grand Canyon's mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon - and its rider missing - Pine is called in to investigate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Damn, Baldacci is good!

  • By Wayne on 11-14-18

The Plot Point Is Too Much`

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

Reviewed: 12-13-18

Without giving too much away, Baldacci went too far this time. Its possible that I just wasn't willing to suspend disbelief this time, but it made the whole second half of the novel a disappointment to me. I liked the new character and think it might be possible for her to carry off her own series. The boyfriend could be good too if Kyf Brewer didn't make him sound like a slacker. The secretary I liked except that Baldacci periodically writes lines for her that would be better coming out of a nursing home resident. Yes, we understand she is an older woman, but we want her to be the vital, supportive side-kick to Atlee Pine, not a dotering old fool on a walker.

I expect I will keep reading Baldacci, but I think he may be on autopilot where writing is concerned.

  • A Time to Kill & The King of Torts

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Michael Beck
  • Length: 28 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,510
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,204
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,198

The life of a 10-year-old black girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless young men. The mostly white town reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime, until her father acquires an assault rifle and takes justice into his own outraged hands.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lively voices tell gripping plot

  • By Paul Cragin on 11-05-12

Uncomfortable

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

In _A_ Time_To_Kill_ my main take-away is that I was quite uncomfortable by the number of times the "N" word is used. It would be one thing if the word was used by black characters, but it is most often used by white characters and often used by the author when no character is speaking. Another thing that made me uncomfortable is the (I assume) white reader speaking in the voices of black characters from Mississippi. Too many times the characters sound cartoonish and tat seems insulting to me.

  • Break In

  • By: Dick Francis
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,456
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,318
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,317

Dick Francis was a jockey and horse trainer for many years. His experience gives his questrian mysteries an authenticity that has attracted fans around the globe. To honor him, the Mystery Writers of America named Dick Francis a Grand Master for his impeccably crafted contributions to the genre. Jockey Kit Fielding has been riding the de Brescous horses in a succession of triumphs on the race course. But this winning streak is about to end. Kit’s twin sister, Holly, has come to him in desperation. Threatened by financial scandal, she and her husband may lose their training stables.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really very good!

  • By Nancy on 01-15-14

Delightful Surprise

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

I have known about Dick Francis novels since the 70's and never read one. Finally, the first Dick Francis appeared in an Audible.com sale so I bought it. What a surprise! I loved the way the plot developed. The characters are lovely. People will tell you that Dick Francis books are all about horse racing. Maybe they are, but I think it is refreshingly different from cops and detectives, or FBI / CIA agents. The reader is terrific.

  • Saving Faith

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,306
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,977
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,960

Not far from Washington, D.C., in a wooded area of Northern Virginia, a small house at the end of a gravel road serves a secret purpose. With its sophisticated security apparatus and hidden miniaturized cameras, it is being used by the FBI to interview one of the most important witnesses the agency has ever had, a young woman with an incredible story to tell. But a few people know about the secret meeting. And for them, a violent drama is about to begin.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed.

  • By B. Yardley on 08-25-16

Skip It

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

I generally like Baldacci novels. He must have gotten better as he got older. Saving Faith seems to be a fairly old novel. There are a lot of things about the book I really didn't like but it comes down to ridiculous premise; poorly drawn characters; unrealistic relationships. In the middle of the book is a sexual assault that is followed the next night by dinner, dancing on the beach and finally consensual sex between the same people. The relationship comes out of the blue too - no build up, no hint that this might happen. Note even any clue that the characters have any interest in each other at all. Another problem is that a career FBI agent has the bureau turn on her in a weird outgrowth of her divorce. What sense does that make? So, I would recommend skipping this book - read something better. Parenthetically, I did not like the reader either, but I can;t be specific about what I didn't like.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fallen

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Kyf Brewer, Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,476
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,355
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,296

Something sinister is going on in Baronville. The rust belt town has seen four bizarre murders in the space of two weeks. Cryptic clues left at the scenes - obscure Bible verses, odd symbols - have the police stumped. Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are in Baronville visiting Alex's sister and her family. It's a bleak place: a former mill and mining town with a crumbling economy and rampant opioid addiction. Decker has been there only a few hours when he stumbles on a horrific double murder scene.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This was supposed to be a VACATION!!!!

  • By shelley on 04-17-18

Disapppointing For a Baldacci

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

Reviewed: 05-03-18

I am a David Baldacci fan, but this book was disappointing. It has what seem like all the right elements to make for a good story, but it never seems to take off. The verbal explanation at the end, which wraps up loose ends and explains how mos Decker solves the crime (sorry, did that spoil it?) is waaaay too long. Its like Baldacci didn't want to figure out how to work it all into a natural course of plot development, or would have created a 1,000 page novel. Whatever.

The readers are familiar to Amos Decker followers on Audible and they do a credible if not great job. I have developed a real disklike for Orlah Cassidy's voice, especially the southern accent characters. All of her voices make character sound either pathetic or angry.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • New York Station

  • By: Lawrence Dudley
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

In August 1940 - 18 months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor - Anglo American MI6 agent Roy Hawkins is mysteriously rushed from Nazi-occupied Paris to New York. Enraged at being ordered away from what he believes is the real fight against Nazism and Fascism, he wants to get back to Paris as soon as possible, even though he knows it means almost certain death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deja Vu

  • By Stephen on 02-25-18

Deja Vu

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

Reviewed: 02-25-18

Mr Dudley tells a fascinating spy story set in 30's. With remarkably constructed period detail, Dudley dishes up an utterly believable story of New York (City and upstate) intrigue.

The narrator, Christopher Lane, does a great job with both men's and women's voices and manages the various accents. He brings Mr Dudley's story to life.

[Full disclosure: I knew Mr. Dudley at one time]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Midnight Line

  • A Jack Reacher Novel
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,801
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,923
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,884

Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reacher doing what Reacher does!

  • By shelley on 11-07-17

He's Baaaack

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

For Reacher fans, this novel is worth the wait. I think the story line is terrific because it stays true to the serendipitous events that usually kick off a Reacher novel, and it also captures the typical plot trajectory of a modest inquiry that uncovers a whole mess of trouble.and complexity. Reacher's background in the military again plays an important role, but in this case it is not central to the plot. I think Lee Child does women characters better than most male writers of this genre and this novel is continues the track record with a twist as well. Unlike some of the earlier Reacher novels, this novel has less violence. I really liked the West Point plot point.

Dick Hill continues his track record of great renderings of Lee Child novels, which I was glad to hear. The last story I heard him read was not done well, and I thought he had gotten too old. He's still got it.

Highly recommend for Reacher fans. For others, it will still be good, but some color will be missing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Cuban Affair

  • By: Nelson DeMille
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,244
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,874
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,852

Daniel Graham MacCormick - Mac for short - seems to have a pretty good life. At age 35 he's living in Key West, owner of a 42-foot charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the army as an infantry officer, with two tours in Afghanistan. He returned with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, scars that don't tan, and a boat with a big bank loan. Truth be told, Mac's finances are more than a little shaky. One day Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West, contemplating his life....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Lloyd on 10-15-17

Where's the Beef?

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

Reviewed: 11-02-17

There was a lot I disliked about this novel, but still rated it above average. DeMille writes reasonably well (I have not read his earlier works), but this story lacks . . . so much. The main character is not fashioned like after the hard-boiled detective. Rather, he looks like the modern highly skilled military veteran, but he acts and sounds like a 50's neanderthal. The entire first half of the novel he is consumed with getting laid, particularity by Sarah Ortega, who has a lot to offer beyond being the object of Mac's sexual fantasies. Mac seems t be bungling through the story aided mainly by dumb luck, although there are some allusions to be protected by God.

The plot is driven by the promise (hope?) of suspenseful conflict between Mac and the Cuban police; the big payoff; and a difficult escape back to Key West. The only one of these that happens is the difficult escape, which occurs in the few chapters. All the rest is a series of uneventful plot developments with no excitement, no suspense and no anticipation. The author pops your balloon before you even knew there was a balloon to be popped.

The narrator apparently (listen t the interview that follows the book) has read many books by the author and he speaks eloquently about how he works to bring out the author's voice. While I can accept that the reader intended to do that I am not convinced he can hear himself, or that he actually tapped into the author's voice. If he did, it speaks poorly for the author.

There are enough pluses about the book to recommend it with qualifications. Buy it on sale if you can.