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Publisher's Summary

On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes. More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple’s shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener’s notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?
©2013 Sarah Jio (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Terrific . . . compelling . . . an intoxicating blend of mystery, history, and romance, this book is hard to put down.” ( Real Simple)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    28
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kim Barker
  • FLEMING ISLAND, FL, United States
  • 06-11-13

Addictive

This book was addictive from the minute I started it. I just loved they mystery and intrigue in The Last Camellia. And when I thought I figured the mystery all out and the ending, Sarah Jio surprised me with something I wasn't expecting.

This was my first Sarah Jio novel and I think I've become addicted to not only this book but her as well. Now I am going to listen to all of her previous books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Beyond Terrible!

What would have made The Last Camellia better?

Characters who behaved in a reasonable and believable manner to life's events. A narrator who isn't as difficult to listen to as fingernails on a chalkboard. Seriously, there is no way to make it better. It is just too terrible for words.

Has The Last Camellia turned you off from other books in this genre?

Just other books by this author and narrator.

How could the performance have been better?

Get a voice coach. Work on dialing down the whine.

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

Well, I didn't finish this book which is UNHEARD of for me. I quit listening when a character witnessed the murder/manslaughter/killing of a toddler and decided not to report it. Really? That is how you would react? There are so many other unbelievable reactions that come earlier in the book. The one I mentioned was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Any additional comments?

I hated this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Beautiful Dual Time-Line Fiction

I have to admit that I know next to nothing about flowers and gardening. For that very reason, I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this book which mystery surrounds a rare Camellia. I actually looked up camellia photos on line to help me prepare for the story. Let me tell you... this was a great dual time line story. The suspense was intense in both the modern tale and the historical story. I thought the character development was superb. Whether you know flowers or not, mystery fans will love this book. I remain a fan of Ms. Jio!!
The performance by Justine Eyre was pleasant and she kept each character sounding individual - which I find amazing!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

good story but bad narrator

good story but the narrator sounds like she is whining when doing the main character voice

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

Listen to the sample first - the narrator’s voice isn’t for everyone

I made the mistake of not listening to the sample first and after buying the book, I found that I just couldn’t get past the narrator’s style. It’s very breathy and waivers between bored and turned on. Some people probably won’t mind it and may even like it but I suggest listening to the sample first. :) I didn’t finish listening but I’m going to get the actual book from the library so I can finish the story because it was interesting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kept me intrigued!

Loved this book! Well done to the author as well as the narrator. Great storyline.

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

Had to get past the narrator

Justine Eyre has a lovely voice but during certain parts (especially the beginning) she did this annoying breathy-purr thing - almost like she was nearly falling asleep. I don't know if she stopped doing it further into the book or if I got so into the story that I was able to ignore it. The villain's accent/voice was awful. The book was typical Sarah Jio so I enjoyed it.

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

Worthwhile

It took me a little while to get interested in the story but my interest increased as the story continued. Also, I found a certain inflection in the voice of the narrator annoying but I got used to that after my interest in the story picked up. The narrator was pretty good at changing voices and accents. All considered, I enjoyed the story so it was worth my time listening to it.

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

Good story

What other book might you compare The Last Camellia to and why?

It reminds me of some Kate Morton books. I like the way the story is woven of the past and present.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked when she finally came clean about her past. I understand why here having a secret was important to the story, but it felt forced that she wouldn't speak of her past openly.

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

No extreme reactions, but I did like it.

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

SURPRISED AT THE GREAT STORY LINE.

THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS YOU HAVE TO BE PATIENT, AND THEN SLAM, BANG, YOU ARE REVOLVING BETWEEN TWO TIME PERIODS THAT MESH PERFECTLY. THE STORY IS SPELL BINDING, OR I WOULD NEVER HAVE STUCK WITH IT. THIS IS A NEW AUTHOR TO ME, BUT I WILL BE SURE TO CHECK OUT HER OTHER BOOKS. A GREAT LITTLE MURDER MYSTERY THAT COVERS TWO FAMILIES, AND OVER 70 YEARS. LOVED, LOVED THE ENDING. JUSTINE EYRE DID A FABULOUS JOB, IN COVERING SO MANY PEOPLE AND ACCENTS SEAMLESSLY. SARAH JIO YOU ARE SOME WRITER, THANK YOU FOR A SUNDAY OF GREAT SUSPENSE.