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J. M. Varner

Sun City, AZ
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 21
  • ratings
  • Murder at Hartigan House

  • A Ginger Gold Mystery, Book 2
  • By: Lee Strauss
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Klett
  • Length: 5 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

After a weeklong passage over the Atlantic from Boston to Liverpool, Ginger Gold arrives at her childhood London home--Hartigan House--to find decade-old remains from some poor woman on the floor in the attic. Ginger's Boston terrier, Boss, noses out a missing phalange from under the bed. It's a mystery that once again puts Ginger alongside the handsome Chief Inspector Basil Reed. Who is the victim? And how did she end up in Ginger's home?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Suspense and fashion

  • By J. M. Varner on 09-26-18

Suspense and fashion

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

Reviewed: 09-26-18

Lee Strauss has penned a fun and quickly paced cozy mystery. Well developed characters, plenty of twists, and enough suspects to keep you guessing. Elizabeth Klett narration was perfect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Picture Miss Seeton

  • A Miss Seeton Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Heron Carvic
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 87

When Miss Seeton walks out after a performance of Carmen and witnesses a real-life stabbing, all she can recall is a shadowy figure. But how could she have guessed that her latest artistic endeavor is a picture-perfect portrait of the killer? Her sketch puts her in a perilous position, for back at her recently inherited cottage in Plummergen village, she's fated to be a sitting duck...for murder most foul!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • HISS for the Villain!

  • By Betababe on 08-17-17

Fun, light cozy mystery

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

Reviewed: 08-28-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this book to another person who likes cozy mysteries. The plot is fast paced, the characters are beginning to be developed and their is some very humorous moments as Miss Seeton can be quite oblivious to her surroundings. However, her "intuition" is always spot on when she allows herself to demonstrate it in her drawings.

What other book might you compare Picture Miss Seeton to and why?

Fixing' To Die by Tonya Kappes is a cozy mystery set in a small town with quirky characters and a "touch" of paranormal.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was when Miss Seeton was trying to walk home from the town square. To avoid being hit by the car she ran off the road and then fell into a pond.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I definitely wanted to listen until the end and I actually did that after 3 days of only listening to it for about 1 hour.

Any additional comments?

I do enjoy this series as Miss Seeton's life and adventures always provides me with an enjoyable and engrossing read. The gossips in the village are just quirky enough to cause me to laugh out loud often as Miss Seeton goes blithely along her own way solving a mystery, saving a life and yet never quite understanding how she does it.

  • A Christmas Code

  • The Code Breakers Series, Book 2
  • By: Jacki Delecki
  • Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
  • Length: 2 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 71

Lady Gwyneth Beaumont has long awaited the opportunity to show Viscount James Ashworth that she is no longer the impetuous child who dogged his footsteps. Now a much sought-after debutante, she is determined to prove to the hard-headed rake that she is a grown woman and a worthy participant in both the spy game and the game of love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love

  • By Rae on 03-24-17

Quick and fun novella

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

Reviewed: 01-09-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it was a fun read to listen to while I was walking. I loved the interactions between Gwyneth and James as I found them to be amusing since at the beginning of the story they were at cross purposes.. I thought Gwyneth was quite brave for such a young woman and I could easily understand James' concerns for her safety. The twists of the plot kept me guessing as to who was the villains until the reveal.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Christmas Code?

When Gwyneth was trying to save James' life after he had been poisoned. I hadn't realized her herbal knowledge until that time. I also was shocked regarding the reveal of Brimsley at this time.

Have you listened to any of Pearl Hewitt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. She did another great job of providing each character with their own distinctive voice and attitudes which made it easy to appreciate each character.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This is a book that I did listen to in one sitting. It's a short novella and easily can be done in one sitting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Code of Love

  • The Code Breaker Series
  • By: Jacki Delecki
  • Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 52

Threatened by French spies, assassins, and calculating suitors, can Lady Henrietta Harcourt trust the infamous rake, Lord Cordelier Rathbourne, with her carefully guarded family secrets? In his new, undisclosed position as Director of English Intelligence, Cord faces more peril keeping the brilliant Harcourt family of code breakers safe than he did as undercover spy in Napoleonic France. Cord's passionate attraction for the indomitable Henrietta hasn't diminished in his four years abroad, but neither has Henrietta's memory of his libertine past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Code of Love Bk 1

  • By Deedra on 07-16-15

Romance and adventure

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

Reviewed: 01-09-16

If you could sum up A Code of Love in three words, what would they be?

Romance, adventure, characters

What did you like best about this story?

The complex characters that I got to know as the story unfolded. Ms. Delecki provided each character's background clearly so that you could easily understand their motives and their attitudes.

Have you listened to any of Pearl Hewitt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, this was the first audible book that I have listened to narrated by Pearl Hewitt.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me smile often when Henrietta and Cord were verbally dueling and sigh when they finally understood each other.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Karma Inc.

  • A Paranormal Romantic Comedy
  • By: Melanie James
  • Narrated by: Hollie Jackson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 191

There comes a day when enough is really, truthfully, enough already. For Kelly and Esmeralda, two snarky single witches, that day was yesterday. After applying their witchcraft to dish out a little magical payback, they realize they have a penchant for the dark art of revenge. And who's to say a witch can't make a few bucks with a talent like that?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Laughed untilit Hurt.

  • By Rhonda on 01-16-16

Fun and sexy paranormal

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

Reviewed: 12-24-15

What did you love best about Karma Inc.?

The narrator, Hollie Jackson, had a distinctive voice for each character which made them come to life as I listened. The story is fast paced with fascinating details regarding Ms. James paranormal world.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kelly is my favorite character because she is independent, smart, honest and snarky. She doesn't apologize for who she is but accepts full responsibility for her actions.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Gertie was stoned after inhaling some of Max's "cigar" smoke. Gertie made me laugh out loud with her remarks as she was experiencing being high.

Who was the most memorable character of Karma Inc. and why?

Barney, the imp, is totally irreverent and totally shameless. He is what he is and makes no excuses for himself.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Time and Again

  • Book 1 in the History Mystery Series
  • By: Deborah Heal
  • Narrated by: Michelle Babb
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 116

Abby Thomas is spending the summer in a run-down old house with a bratty pre-teen named Merrideth she is supposed to tutor. Not a dream job. But it does come with perks. There's John Roberts, a devastatingly attractive neighbor who is almost too wonderful to be real. And there's the new computer program Beautiful Houses - also too amazing to be real. No one knows how it works, but with it she can rewind and fast-forward the lives of all the people who ever lived in the house, including Charlotte Miles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unique Story with Dual Time Lines

  • By Debbie on 12-31-14

Sweet YA story

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

Reviewed: 12-07-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you like young adult fiction with a touch of paranormal and great historical information regarding the midwest during pre-Civil War and Civil War times, you are going to enjoy this book. The narrator does an excellent job in giving each character their own voice.

What other book might you compare Time and Again to and why?

I can't think of any book that I have read that would compare to this one.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Meredith and Abby are talking after Meredith thinks Charlotte has died and Abby realizes the extent of Meredith's complex character.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions to this book. It wasn't extremely sad or humorous but it was filled with some emotional highs and lows as Meredith and Abby both become more involved with the history of the house. There is also some touching moments when Meredith shows to Abby how vulnerable she has become.

  • Cold Fear

  • Cold Justice Series, Volume 4
  • By: Toni Anderson
  • Narrated by: Eric G. Dove
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

When old evidence turns up on a fresh corpse, ASAC Lincoln Frazer is determined it won't delay the execution of a convicted serial killer. But when more young women are brutally slain, it becomes clear - this new killer is intimately familiar with the old murders.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another great installment

  • By TR on 01-25-16

First rate suspense

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

Reviewed: 12-01-15

What did you love best about Cold Fear?

Ms. Anderson did a remarkable job in guiding the reader to meet and get to know the complex characters as the story progressed.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Izzy because she was so strong and yet so vulnerable throughout the story.

Have you listened to any of Eric G. Dove’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes and this one is equally as good as any story that I have had the pleasure to listen to. He does a great job in making each character distinctive.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I will confess that I cringed at times when inside the mind of the serial killer.

  • A Cold Dark Place

  • Cold Justice, Book 1
  • By: Toni Anderson
  • Narrated by: Eric G. Dove
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366

Former CIA assassin Alex Parker works for The Gateway Project, a clandestine government organization hell-bent on taking out serial killers and pedophiles before they enter the justice system. Alex doesn't enjoy killing, but he's damn good at it. He's good at dodging the law, too--until a beautiful rookie agent has him wondering what it might be like to get caught.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Total thrilling Suspense that kept me on the edge

  • By Cyn on 02-07-15

Chilling and gritty suspense

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

Reviewed: 11-10-15

What made the experience of listening to A Cold Dark Place the most enjoyable?

The narrator, Eric G. Dove, did an excellent job of providing each character with their own voice and in portraying the emotions of each character during the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Cold Dark Place?

When Mallory was under hypnosis and remembered some of the events of the night her sister was abducted.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Mallory met Alex in the motel and confirmed who he was and what he did under his contract with the Gateway Project.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Chilling romantic suspense

  • That Wasn't Chicken

  • Until the Fat Ladies Sing Cozy Mystery Series, Book 4
  • By: Linda Kozar
  • Narrated by: Michelle Babb
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

Murder, mystery meat, and morning sickness! Hudson and Lovita are expecting, and she's having trouble keeping food down for the first time in her life. Her best friend, Sue Jan, is busy juggling mommyhood. The Crown of Glory Beauty Salon and Boutique is busier than a one-toothed man in a corn-on-the-cob-eating contest. Things are great until a handsome law intern disappears after an argument with their top stylist's once-upon-a-time wayward son.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Book 4

  • By MeDi on 11-03-16

Quirky cozy mystery

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

Reviewed: 10-25-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this audiobook. It's filled with fun and quirky characters. The plot is filled with twists and some unusal food. The narrator did an excellent job of giving each character a distinctive voice and the emotions that would be expected during the story.

What other book might you compare That Wasn't Chicken to and why?

There isn't one particular book that I could use for comparison. Linda Kozar's cozy mysteries contain humor, mystery and the love of family and friends.

Have you listened to any of Michelle Babb’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I have listened to another book by Michelle Babb. This one is equally as good as the previous one. She provides the Texas twang for the Wachita natives as well as the British accent for Hudson. Each character has a distinctive voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Lovita and Sue Jan had a long overdue discussion about their friendship and their differences.

  • Guardian for Hire

  • By: Christine Bell
  • Narrated by: Julia Motyka
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 81

With her reputation in tatters, she can't imagine things getting worse, until her former co-workers are rubbed out, and a bad-ass, ex-Army Ranger shows up hell-bent on protecting her. She shows him the door, perfectly content with letting him go find someone else to brood over. Right up until her car explodes into a ball of flames...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Love a book that leaves me all much inside!

  • By Lilian on 03-15-15

Action and hot romantic suspense

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

Reviewed: 10-11-15

Would you listen to Guardian for Hire again? Why?

Yes, I would listen again to this title because Julia Motyka did a fabulous job of narration. Her characters were distinctive and she did great with Gavin's accent.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Guardian for Hire?

The confrontation scene with the mob, Gavin, Maddie and Sarabeth stays in mind as memorable because each one of the characters were clear and well played as they faced off in a finale' of good versus evil.

Which character – as performed by Julia Motyka – was your favorite?

Maddie was a favorite character for me even though she is only a secondary character. When she was "on the page" I found myself listening to her. She was strong, independent and smart.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I had the time to listen to any audiobook in one sitting, this would be an easy one for me to listen to because it was fast paced and smoothly plotted.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful