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Deader Homes and Gardens

A Claire Malloy Mystery
By: Joan Hess
Narrated by: Rachael Warren
Series: Claire Malloy, Book 18
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Back from her somewhat unusual honeymoon, Claire Malloy must face the harsh reality of life with her new husband, police chief Peter Rosen, and her teenage daughter Caron—three people simply can’t fit into her cosy two bedroom apartment. After a week of fruitless looking, she finally finds the perfect place—a well preserved large house on a large plot of land in an area called Hollow Valley. There are only a few problems. Such as the real estate agent disappeared mid-showing and hasn’t been seen since. And the last owner died in circumstances labeled “accidental” but were actually both “mysterious” and “dubious.” The family that owned the estate is now suing the lover of the dead owner over the rights to the property. Oh, and it isn’t really for sale. When the previous owner’s lover dies practically at her feet, Claire decides to take matters into her own hands. After all, to get the house of her dreams, first she has to find a killer. And all’s fair in love, war, and real estate.

©2012 Joan Hess; 2012 AudioGO

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  • Overall
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Joan Hess fan VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

NO. I have read or listened to everything Joan Hess has written regardless of the series. I love her books, LOVE THEM, but this one has to be an exception. I don't know if it's just the narrator on this one which I find dull and lifeless or the story or the combination of the two but I just can't listen to it. I have wasted my money. It took me several days to get through part 1 (I kept trying because I love Joan Hess' work so much) which I usually do in one day because it is so difficult to tolerate the sound. I will note who narrated this one and will not purchase anything else she reads. It's of course not personal, I'm sure she's a lovely woman but as far as being a narrator I think maybe she should do text books or something. It just sounds so monotone and you often can't tell when the speaker changes because the voice is the same. I also found the story (the first few hours anyway because I won't force myself to try and listen to more) to be not up to her usual standard.Overall I'm very disappointed and regretful that I made this purchase but having loved all that Joan has written I didn't think twice about the purchase and now I know to pay attention when it's a different narrator than usual for the author.I don't wish to be negative but I feel that other Joan Hess fans should be warned. I wish I could trade it for something else, because I would in a heartbeat.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joan Hess again?

Yes but I will check to see who is narrating it first.

What didn’t you like about Rachael Warren’s performance?

It was dull and lackluster which made the book difficult to follow because you often can't tell when the speaker changes. I'm a long time Audible customer but will not buy anything else she reads. If Joan Hess continues with her I will buy the book and read it instead. This was far below the standards I have come to expect from Audible.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Don't know.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Lackluster performance of a great story

If this narrator had performed all the stories, I would not have listened through the first one. Thanks to C.J. Crit, the delightful performance of the previous books carried me through this one.

The story is wonderful and I’m glad I was able to get through it.
Rachael just missed the fact that these books are comedies, not dramas.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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The Worst Book I've Ever Listened To

I'm not sure which was worse - the story or the narration. After much consideration I decided that the writing was so dreadful that no narrator could possibly improve the story. I gave it 1 star because they don't offer a minus score. The main character came across as selfish, arrogant and downright unappealing. After 5 chapters I fast forwarded to the end just to find out "who done it" and felt glad to wipe this book out of my memory and my iTunes. I'm so sorry I wasted my money on it. Take my word - it's a complete waste of time. Purchase at your own risk.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Summer reading fun

As with all of Joan Hess books, she takes a humorous look at her heroine, the foibles of modern society and southern characters.