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  • 7
  • reviews
  • 35
  • helpful votes
  • 11
  • ratings
  • Island of the Mad

  • By: Laurie R. King
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 602
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550

With Mrs. Hudson gone from their lives and domestic chaos building, the last thing Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, need is to help an old friend with her mad and missing aunt. Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, since the loss of her brother and father in the Great War. And although her mental state seemed to be improving, she’s now disappeared after an outing from Bethlem Royal Hospital...better known as Bedlam.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • a little let down but still worth the listen.

  • By Victoria L Snyder on 07-03-18

As vapid as the time written about

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

Reviewed: 07-12-18

I have read all the Mary Russel books. Gone from this one was the wit and repartee exhibited by the main characters. It was replaced by teenage snark by Russell, a depreciating view by her of Holmes, and loads of King's own political views on the sexes, which became very tedious. This book is one not to enjoy, but to be endured until Russell finally catches on to the key revelation that any halfway astute reader would have made many chapters ago. I thought the Pirate King was her worst book,. King has topped (bottomed) that one with a novel as vacuous as the empty heads she describes on the Lido beach. Preposterous Cole Porter song inspirations coming from the mouth of Holmes and Russell's almost instantaneous instructing on the physics of water skiing within moments of its nascent introduction to Venice beaches. Ridiculous stretches of literary device that lose the reader. Then for Russell to declare that she loves blackmail at the end of the book when in the just previous novel, the Murder of Mary Russell, King writes how Holmes HATES blackmailers. Where was her editor during all this!?!?!? King needs to get back to her roots and off her podium. A little more subtlety, a lot more mystery and investigation, and much less pontification.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Three Seconds

  • By: Anders Roslund, Börge Hellström, Kari Dickson (translator)
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 141
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 144

In this dark and gripping novel from number-one best-selling Swedish writing duo Roslund and Hellström, Piet Hoffman is the Swedish police’s most valuable secret operative. His cover is that of a lieutenant inside the ruthless Polish mafia, trying to take over amphetamine distribution within Sweden’s prison system. With this, his most dangerous assignment, success will mean a new identity and the freedom to start a new life with his wife and young sons.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Forget the comparision - enjoy the read

  • By Howard on 02-28-11

OMG STOP!

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

Reviewed: 12-07-14

Great concept of a time worn "good guy trapped in a prison"plot. Well thought out in terms of premise. Unforturnately the execution is horrible. First the authors tell us what will happen. Then they tell us what is happening. Then they tell us what just happened. And if we didn't get it the first three times, they come back and run through the series again! This book needed an editior badly, but then it would only be a third as long. It's a shame because you really care about the characters. It is just glacial....

  • The Keeper of Lost Causes

  • Department Q, Book 1
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,528
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,055
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,033

Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's premier crime writer. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in northern Europe, and he's won just about every Nordic crime-writing award, including the prestigious Glass Key Award-also won by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Jo Nesbo. Now, Dutton is thrilled to introduce him to America.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic New Scandinavian Series!!

  • By L. O. Pardue on 09-12-12

What are people thinking?

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

Either the bar is very low or folks can't recognize hackneyed plot lines and "oh, no, don't go in there" cliched literary devices. Wished that this book was over many times during the narration and stayed in it only to see how the author wound up the book. What the author needed was a very good editor. Cut this book down from 15 plus hours to a solid 9 would do wonders for the story. And lose the danish accents - distracting at best and insulting at worse.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The House of Silk

  • A Sherlock Holmes Novel
  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,056
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,767
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,773

Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective in literary history. For the first time since the death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a new Holmes story has been sanctioned by his estate, whetting the appetites of fans everywhere. Information about the book will be revealed as deliberately as Holmes himself would unravel a knotty case, but bestselling novelist and Holmes expert Anthony Horowitz is sure to bring a compelling, atmospheric story to life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • PLEASE tell me there are MORE !

  • By Debra J Pekin on 01-17-12

Cheesy plot devices

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

Reviewed: 05-05-14

What did you like best about The House of Silk? What did you like least?

The narration - Derek Jacobi is very good, though his portrayal of Holmes was his weakest characterization. Very whiny.

Would you recommend The House of Silk to your friends? Why or why not?

No - Not very Holmesian. The characters are there, the setting is there but the heart of what makes Holmes is missing.

Did The House of Silk inspire you to do anything?

Ran some sections of the narration at triple speed - just too cheesy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

The book jumped the shark for me when Horowitz resorted to the lamest of plot devices: putting the protagonist out on the highest of tree limbs. He has Holmes set up for murder in the most unHolmesian way - the old "don't be an idiot and go in that door, Oh he went in that door" type of set up. Holmes would never go into that circumstance without utilizing all of his resources, having worked out plans B though F. Horowitz instead had Holmes acting as an B movie idiot. Very disappointing.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • The White Lioness

  • A Kurt Wallander Mystery
  • By: Henning Mankell, Laurie Thompson - translator
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 17 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 717
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 450

The execution-style murder of a Swedish housewife looks like a simple case, except that there is no obvious suspect. Wallander follows a lead on a determined stalker. But when his alibi turns out to be airtight, Wallander begins to realize that what seemed a simple crime of passion is actually far more complex and dangerous. Eventually, his search uncovers an assassination plot, and Wallander soon finds himself in a tangle with the secret police and with a ruthless foreign agent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great boo.

  • By Amelie on 01-17-08

Plodding Tedious Poorly Crafted

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

Reviewed: 01-13-14

What disappointed you about The White Lioness?

From the tedium of the writing to the plotting of the character arcs to the silly insipid contrivances to advance the plot. Writer lacks the basic imagination to go from plot point A to plot point B. Then the repetitive peachiness of the political situation at the time of Mandela and DeClerk. The Author ruined what could have been a first rate thriller..

Has The White Lioness turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, only this author

How could the performance have been better?

Take some acting lessons.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The White Lioness?

Too numerous to mention. This work could have be done in 20 chapters.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Carrie's Run

  • A Homeland Novel
  • By: Andrew Kaplan
  • Narrated by: Penelope Rawlins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 55

Expert in recognizing and anticipating behavioral patterns - a skill enhanced by her bipolar disorder she keeps secret to protect her career - Carrie is increasingly certain that a terrorist plot has been set in motion. She risks a shocking act of insubordination that helps her uncover secret evidence connecting Nightingale with Abu Nazir, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Determined to stop the terrorist mastermind, she embarks on an obsessive quest that will nearly destroy her.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Hugely disappointing!

  • By Gina on 09-14-13

Trying to capitalize on the TV series

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

Reviewed: 11-04-13

What would have made Carrie's Run better?

A different writer and narrator. Penelope Rawlins sounds like she is 14, didn't research the narrative - misprounouced Patron and Acela (it's long "O" on Patron, and A-cel-a, not Ace-la). Her male characterization are laughable. The writing is simply lame, again high schoolish, with long redundant descriptions that seems to be written towards word count only.

Would you ever listen to anything by Andrew Kaplan again?

No.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

How didn't she. Never use her again, please.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was cheap.

Any additional comments?

Do I need to?

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Pirate King

  • A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
  • By: Laurie R. King
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 960
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 845
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 847

As Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes embark on their 11th adventure together, they find themselves immersed in the world of silent filmmaking. Here, the pirates are real—and unlike the shooting done with a camera, this sort can be deadly.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not my favorite Mary Russell

  • By chris on 10-01-11

Why? For the love of God, Why???

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

Reviewed: 09-10-13

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

There is no possible way this deviation from the norm could have been a 4-5 star book. From the boring, laborous extremely long set up to the cardboard cutout supporting characters, the author indeed, to use Holmes words in the being of this drivil, "conducted an experiment". It failed miserably. It got to the point where I was daydreaming, missed some plot, and DIDN'T CARE. Just wanted it to end.

And end it did, with a abysmal Hollywood wrapup, shallow and contrived. This was simply a "pay the mortgage" piece of work, done purely for revenue or to sastify a contractual obligation.

What could Laurie R. King have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not write it. That being said, Russell on her own is simply not a strong enough character to carry a plot for such an extended time. It is her interplay with Holmes, much like Nick and Nora, and other detective couples of note, that makes the work have legs. Too little Holmes and all the rest of the trappings sag into tedium. Russell's independence streak becomes annoying, the exigious on the historical milieu become irritating and the pacing become lumbering. Stay true to your original muse, Ms. King and you will create a portfolio to rival and yea, surpass Robert Parker. "Experiment" at your peril.

Which character – as performed by Jenny Sterlin – was your favorite?

Holmes. But even he could not save this work.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Pirate King?

A third of the first 2/3rds. But then it would have become a short story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful