LISTENER

Julia Irzyk

Sherman Oaks, CA
  • 27
  • reviews
  • 30
  • helpful votes
  • 33
  • ratings
  • Murder in Park Lane

  • The Detective Lavender Mysteries, Book 5
  • By: Karen Charlton
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 156
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141

London, 1812. At a fashionable address in leafy Mayfair, a far cry from Detective Stephen Lavender’s usual haunts, a man is found dead in his room. He has been brutally stabbed, but the door is locked from the inside, and the weapon is missing. The deceased is David MacAdam, an Essex businessman with expensive tastes. As Lavender and Constable Ned Woods travel between London and Chelmsford seeking to understand MacAdam’s final hours and unearth the grisly truth, they uncover a tangled web of deceit behind his stylish facade. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Brilliant Mystery

  • By Julia Irzyk on 03-10-19

Another Brilliant Mystery

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

Reviewed: 03-10-19

I thought after Plague Pit and River Bones, I wouldn't like another one of the Det. Lavender mysteries as much, and I was thankfully wrong. The series keeps getting better.

The books are terrific and made even more wonderful by the terrific narration of Michael Page.

If you like a mystery, where you don't need to have Sherlock's deductive powers to solve it, you will enjoy this. Just follow the evidence!

My only regret is that Karen Charlton can't turn these books out faster. More please!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Hollow of Fear

  • The Lady Sherlock Series, Book 3
  • By: Sherry Thomas
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,194
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,104

Under the cover of "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective", Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don't. When the estranged wife of her dear friend Lord Ingram is discovered dead on his estate, all signs point to him as the murderer. With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to find out the truth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love this series

  • By Jane on 10-02-18

Best in the series... so far

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

Reviewed: 01-10-19

I was really sad when this book came to an end. The sign of a great audiobook is that I immediately look for other titles by both the author and the narrator, and in this case I did both.

If you love Sherlock Holmes, you'll love this series. If you love strong women, you'll love this series. And the voices are distinct, and you'll fall in love with the characters.

I cannot wait for the next book in this series! I wish they came out more often!!! BRILLIANT!

  • The Night Crossing

  • By: Robert Masello
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163

Bram Stoker kept secret a tale even more terrifying than Dracula. It begins among the Carpathian peaks, when an intrepid explorer discovers a mysterious golden box. She brings it back with her to the foggy streets of Victorian London, unaware of its dangerous power…or that an evil beyond imagining has already taken root in the city. Stoker, a successful theater manager but frustrated writer, is drawn into a deadly web spun by the wealthy founders of a mission house for the poor. Far from a safe haven, the mission harbors a dark and terrifying secret.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Did not enjoy this narrator. His delivery was dry and didn’t do the story justice.

  • By Anonymous User on 01-22-19

Edge of your seat with familiar characters

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

Even if you aren't a fan of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" you can enjoy this audiobook. The reader is excellent, the characters are compelling, and the historical figures depicted will be very familiar if you like the Victorian Era. Very exciting, full of mummies, soul suckers, vampires, and adventure. I highly recommend it!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets

  • An Audible Original
  • By: John Woolf, Nick Baker
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,893
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,866
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,820

On the surface, the Victorian age is one of propriety, industry, prudishness and piety. But scratch the surface and you’ll find scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice and murder. Presented by Stephen Fry, this series delves deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. The stories we’re told offer a different perspective on an era which underwent massive social change. As education, trade, technology and culture blossomed, why was there an undercurrent of the ‘forbidden’ festering beneath Victorian society? 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Please, have mercy and cut out the sound effects

  • By Areader on 11-29-18

Hope there are more in the series

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

Loved it with one notable exception (below). Stephen Fry lends his considerable talents to a very enlightening and amusing history of those quirky Victorians.

One section I very much disagreed with, as a disability law attorney and author: In the chapter on the Freak Show, the expert says that the "freaks" were not people taken advantage of because of their disabilities because they "didn't have disabilities because they had the ability to earn a living." Unfortunately, she misrepresents what it is to be a person with a disability. A disability is a "substantial limitation on a major life activity." You can most certainly be a person with a disability and have the ability to make a very successful income. But when your living depends on people poking and prodding your body or throwing things and/or heckling you because of your physical disability, you are very much a person with a disability being exploited by reason of that disability. And saying that because the "freaks" chose the freak show instead of the workhouse is hardly as though they had a lot of free choice. This one "expert" aside, the book is otherwise excellent, and I didn't wish to in any way penalize the rest of the book for a poorly thought out and reasoned opinion by someone who has misdefined the terms.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Die by the Blade

  • By: James Mace
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Waters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

The year is 77 AD. On the frontier of the Roman Empire, a Dacian man named Verus is captured and enslaved during an imperial raid north of the Danube. He is sent to a rock quarry known as The Pit, as one among thousands of fresh slaves needed to mine marble for Emperor Vespasian's new amphitheater. Funded by spoils taken during the Siege of Jerusalem, the Emperor promises it will be the largest gladiatorial arena ever; his personal gift to the people of Rome. Requiring years of herculean labor and millions of cubic feet in stone, Vespasian's son, Titus, worries if his father will live.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Confusing cast of characters but great performance

  • By pjsvoice on 12-14-18

Takes awhile to get into it, but worth the wait

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

The book starts a little slow, and I could have skipped the perspective of the Legion as they are planning to go on their raid, but once we got to the Ludus, it really picked up steam and I was very invested.

The characters could have been a little more well rounded and less one dimensional, but it was very clear that the author did extensive amounts of research all the way from the big points about the Roman Emperors to the small things like Romans eating stuffed doormice (true, and gross). As a history nerd I really appreciated the amount of detail that went into the book.

The reader was solid, although his pronunciation of the Danube is bizarre. And a couple of other words were pronounced strangely. But that aside, I really appreciated that his female voice for the "Lady of the Sands" wasn't a caricature. I usually don't like men attempting women's voices, but this was very well done.

Overall I recommend, but you need to give it a couple hours before it really picks up steam. I would definitely give a sequel in the series a listen.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • DragonMan: The Awakening

  • By: Ted Lazaris
  • Narrated by: Gareth Johnson
  • Length: 5 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

In the distant past, long before people populated the Earth, and before animals roamed the planet, something terrifying and cunning made its home in the vegetation covering the planet like a soft green blanket. Lying in wait for millions of years, this species continued to evolve, patiently crossing over and manipulating the genetic code of different species. And now, this perfect omniscient being, born from oblivion, has awakened and is ready to feed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Science Fiction Fun

  • By Spooky Mike on 11-16-18

Did I miss something?

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

Reviewed: 10-29-18

The story is fine, engaging, interesting, unique. The reader is very over animated, sometimes a little over the top, and pretty bad at American accents, but I appreciate the difference in the voices and the excitement he brings (even if it can be a little much).

The problem I had is that it seems like there were definitely previous installments in the series, although nothing in the description of the book indicates that this isn't the first. There are characters with VERY complex back stories that they all seem to know about each other, or in some cases not. Powers and artifacts and stones and whatnot that are very complex and seem like they must have been explained in some other book and are quickly summed up, the way they sort of catch you up to speed at the beginning of a third book in a series, just in case you started with that book or haven't read the first two in a long time. But I think in this case without the previous story about Luke, it's just confusing. I think with that story under your belt, this could make a whole lot more sense.

So, if there are previous books in this series, I think that needs to be more clearly explained in the description of this book. (e.g. Book 3 of the Dragon Man Series) If there aren't, I think there should be.

Not bad overall, but a little too much en media res for me.

I was given this book in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • I, Ripper

  • By: Stephen Hunter
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 139
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 140

In the fall of 1888, Jack the Ripper slaughtered five prostitutes in London's seamy Whitechapel District. He did not just kill - he ripped with a butcher's glee - and then, after the particularly gruesome slaying of Mary Jane Kelly, he disappeared. For 127 years, Jack has haunted the dark corners of our imagination, the paradigm of the psychotic killer. We remember him not only for his crimes, but because, despite one of the biggest dragnets in London history, he was never caught.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I REALLY wanted to love this book; I really tried.

  • By CFuller on 06-14-15

Very Clever

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

Reviewed: 10-27-18

I am angry with this book... because I got no work done until I finished listening to it.

It was fantastic!

I always like Michael Page as a narrator, this was absolutely no exception. Brilliant as always. Very different voices for the characters and great pacing. In fact, I only bought the book initially based on the narrator. I'm so glad I did.

I don't want to give away any plot points, but the twists and turns were fantastic. And I especially liked the device of getting the story from the Ripper's viewpoint. Brilliant writing choice.

If you like Jack the Ripper, you will get a lot of little gems from history, such as the origin of the Dear Boss letter. They were a treat.

Highly recommend if you like suspense, don't mind gore, and like Victorian era historical fiction.

  • Damned Women

  • Sinners and Witches in Puritan New England
  • By: Elizabeth Reis
  • Narrated by: Susan Marlowe
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 7

In her analysis of the cultural construction of gender in early America, Elizabeth Reis explores the intersection of Puritan theology, Puritan evaluations of womanhood, and the Salem witchcraft episodes. She finds in those intersections the basis for understanding why women were accused of witchcraft more often than men, why they confessed more often, and why they frequently accused other women of being witches. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too much in the weeds

  • By Julia Irzyk on 10-27-18

Too much in the weeds

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

Reviewed: 10-27-18

I really wanted to love this book, because I am a student of history and my late grandfather is from Salem... However... it came across like a graduate thesis that became a book. I'm not sure if it was because the reader was so monotone or because the material was so dry and heavy on what were essentially footnotes within the material.

In addition to the reader being incredibly one note, she over enunciated most of the words in the book, with a couple of strange exceptions, such as Satan, which she pronounces Sa-en without the T. That sort of thing doesn't usually get to me, but a book about witches was heavy on Satan, and so it was really noticeable.

I don't think I would have found the material so dry if the reader had put more inflection into the narration. I think even quote and reference heavy history can be made less dry by a good reader and I think the combination of the narrator and the material made it pretty dull.

I found the central thesis of the book fairly compelling, although again, it seemed a bit like a graduate thesis in that she has a viewpoint and in addition to explaining why she doesn't agree with scholars with a different viewpoint, she stuck heavily to her argument. I find that history this complex is rarely single factor, and while I think she is correct that the way Puritan religion in New England was structured, women were likely to find sin in themselves easily and self blame as well as the community being set up to blame them, I think it is probably not so one dimensional. I think a lot of the other factors, which she attempts to disprove were also probably contributing factors such as women acquiring property against normal social order. I found the book a little one dimensional.

I wish I could be less critical, but I was given this audiobook in exchange for my honest review, which is what I have given.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Indignities of Being a Woman

  • By: Merrill Markoe, Megan Koester
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 598
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559

The Indignities of Being a Woman candidly traces the history of womanhood and investigates how much things have really changed for womankind. By carefully x-raying areas such as body image, marriage, mental illness, fashion, and politics, this audiobook examines what it was like to be a woman in the past versus what it’s like now, when women are constantly told equality between the sexes exists but reality proves otherwise. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not for,everyone..but I laughed A LOT!

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-11-19

Yaaaassss Queens

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

Can't shout out my love of this book enough (mostly because my husband may hear me and chastise me for my loudness of volume). A hilarious and horrifying trip through time. Please make more of this series. I will buy them all. I will force "allies" to listen to them. And I will quiz them relentlessly. As a former stand-up comic and current talent agent (and lawyer), I could 100% relate to the entertainment industry section. Nothing like being mansplained my job by some dude half my age with a tenth of my education and life experience. There is nothing about this I didn't love. Except putting the laundry away. The songs were great, the idea of putting laundry away, not so much.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Fire Catcher

  • Charlie Tuesday, Book 2
  • By: C. S. Quinn
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256

Charlie Tuesday is the city's best thief taker. But one case still eludes him, a mysterious key entrusted by the mother he barely knew. The key opens a chest of priceless papers - papers said to hold the dark alchemy of a lost Brotherhood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Book 1 earned 5 stars; this one is better!!

  • By Wayne on 04-07-18

C.S. Quinn is on FIRE!

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

Reviewed: 09-24-18

I loved the first book in this series, and if you haven't listened to it, I strongly suggest it. I listened to this one in 2 days. I couldn't stop! Most of our favorite characters are back. The villains are more villainy. And we get some really great back story that was hinted at in the first book. I'm excited for the next, although nervous about switching readers. Napoleon Ryan is brilliant. But I'm open minded. This is a great adventure in a well described and fully realized historical landscape. Kudos!