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M. W. Baker

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  • 5
  • reviews
  • 22
  • helpful votes
  • 13
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  • The Poisoner's Handbook

  • Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
  • By: Deborah Blum
  • Narrated by: Coleen Marlo
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,026
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,488
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,477

In The Poisoner's Handbook, Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • CSI eat your heart out

  • By Aaron - Audible on 10-12-11

Love this book

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

Reviewed: 11-25-14

Would you listen to The Poisoner's Handbook again? Why?

I've listened to it at least three times. It's excellent. It has history, medicine, and true crime. It's well written and the narrator's voice is very pleasant. There's so much information that each time I listen I'm reminded of some cool part I forgot from the previous listen.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Well, the true crime stuff is probably the most compelling. It's interesting to hear stories of people trying to get away with poisoning and how most of them were caught. But the interweaving of the chemistry behind each poison was some of my favorite stuff. Learning that radium is so horrible when ingested because it follows the same pathway as calcium was fascinating.

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

I haven't listened to other performances by her but I thought this narration was very good.

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

Nothing too extreme. Loved Norris and Gettler.

Any additional comments?

The book was inspirational too. What Norris and Gettler created in New York was very impressive. They seemed like such hard workers and innovators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Destiny of the Republic

  • A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
  • By: Candice Millard
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,184
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,740
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,734

James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard

  • By Mel on 02-08-12

Good one

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

Reviewed: 06-24-12

Would you listen to Destiny of the Republic again? Why?

I would listen to this book again. Really interesting. Loved learning more about Garfield and what medicine was like during that time period. It's well written and well narrated. Fascinating stuff.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I knew nothing about James A. Garfield before listening to this. I really feel like the nation missed out in losing him so soon after he took office.

Which scene was your favorite?

I thought that the descriptions of how the doctors took care of Garfield were so interesting. I don't want to spoil these scenes by describing them further, but it really is horrifying and tragic.

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

Yes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Black Orchids

  • By: Rex Stout
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 363
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

A remarkably rare black orchid at a flower show lures Nero Wolfe from his comfortable brownstone. But before the detective and his sidekick, Archie Goodwin, can stop and smell the roses, a diabolically daring murder puts a blight on the proceedings. The murderer to be weeded out is definitely not a garden-variety killer.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Great words and performance - HORRIBLE audio!

  • By Brian on 11-02-09

mystery with history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-21-07

I love the authentic slice of New York in the early-to-mid 1900's that Rex Stout books supply - the way characters talk and dress, the lack of computers and cell phones; it's all very quaint and creates a cozy atmosphere for solving murders.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Murder By the Book

  • By: Rex Stout
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 343
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

Leonard Dyke's writing style didn't offend. But all of his work featured unhappy endings: murders. When four people die, including the author, police finally call on Nero Wolfe. Wolfe baits a trap, and when it springs shut, he finds that truth is stranger (and bloodier) than fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good stuff

  • By M. W. Baker on 04-21-07

Good stuff

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-21-07

Michael Pritchard is one of the best voices out there for audiobooks and he's perfect for Nero Wolfe mysteries. This one has a pretty good plot and is worth a listen.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Historian

  • By: Elizabeth Kostova
  • Narrated by: Joanne Whalley, Martin Jarvis, Dennis Boutsikaris, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 804
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 156

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I give the book a five but I won't buy it...

  • By S A on 07-20-05

The Historian

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-07

This was really awful. The presentation with the music and the silly "I-vant-to-drink-your-blood" voice for the main vampire made the story seem even more silly than I think I would have found it if I had read it rather than listened to it. Overall I do not think the story was worth reading or listening to. It was full of cliches and incredibly predictable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful