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Jill Besterman

Jersey, Channel Islands United Kingdom
  • 96
  • reviews
  • 294
  • helpful votes
  • 898
  • ratings
  • A Murder to Die For

  • By: Stevyn Colgan
  • Narrated by: Rula Lenska
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

When hordes of people descend on the picturesque village of Nasely for the annual celebration of its most famous resident, murder mystery writer Agnes Crabbe, events take a dark turn as the festival opens with a shocking death. Each year the residents are outnumbered by crowds dressed as Crabbe’s lady detective, Millicent Cutter. The weekend is never a mild-mannered affair as fan club rivalries bubble below the surface, but tensions reach new heights when a second Crabbe devotee is found murdered. Though the police are quick to arrive on the scene, the facts are tricky to ascertain as the witnesses, suspects and victim are all dressed as Miss Cutter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliantly funny crazy village crime caper!

  • By S N Parnell on 27-06-18

An Overdose of Whimsy

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

Reviewed: 20-07-18

I gave up halfway - I find that I prefer some blood and guts to pseudo Olde English cuteness.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Winter Solstice

  • By: Rosamunde Pilcher
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 122
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

Elfrida Phipps loves her new life in her pretty Hampshire village. She has a tiny cottage, her faithful dog, Horace, and the friendship of the neighbouring Blundells - particularly Oscar - to ensure that her days include companionship as well as independence. But an unforeseen tragedy upsets Elfrida's tranquillity: Oscar's wife and daughter are killed in a terrible car crash, and he finds himself homeless when his stepchildren claim their dead mother's inheritance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Marvellous

  • By Penelope on 20-02-18

Re-meeting an old friend!

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

Reviewed: 31-01-18

Any additional comments?

It is many years since I first read this book and listening to the audible version, beautifully read by Jilly Bond, was an ideal way of revisiting the delightful story of the build-up to Christmas, experienced by a disparate group of characters in Cornwall. I enjoyed the story every bit as much the second time around.

  • More of Poirot's Finest Cases

  • Seven Full-Cast BBC Radio Dramatisations
  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: full cast, John Moffat
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 573
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 500
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 497

John Moffat stars as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in seven more BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations. The stories in this volume are: Evil Under the Sun, Sad Cypress, Murder in Mesopotamia, Lord Edgware Dies, Halloween Party, Murder on the Links and Five Little Pigs. Based on the original novels by Agatha Christie, these superb adaptations feature a cast of outstanding actors playing an array of likely suspects.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic,but why not compiled in broadcast order?

  • By Nigel on 03-03-18

The Unstimable Poirot

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

Reviewed: 30-12-17

Any additional comments?

A longtime viewer of Poirot on TV I found these audible versions of his stories delightful and very true to the originals.

  • Other Countries

  • A British Police Procedural (Gabriel Ash, Book 4)
  • By: Jo Bannister
  • Narrated by: Jane Copland
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars 1

Returning to work after an extended leave of absence, Detective Constable Hazel Best's first task is to shadow TV historian Oliver Ford, who has arrived in Norbold to open a new museum. What should have been a routine assignment takes a decidedly dramatic turn, however, when Hazel saves Ford from a murderous attack that would appear to be an act of jihad. But why would someone fly thousands of miles to firebomb an obscure little museum in a quiet English village? Hazel can't help but think that there's something more to this case than meets the eye.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I gave up about halfway!!

  • By Jill Besterman on 15-12-17

I gave up about halfway!!

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

Reviewed: 15-12-17

Any additional comments?

There is probably a decent story in here somewhere but I found that about halfway through I had tuned out and lost interest completely.

  • The Diary of a Provincial Lady

  • By: E. M. Delafield
  • Narrated by: Georgina Sutton
  • Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79

'Lady B. stays to tea. (Mem.: Bread-and-butter too thick. Speak to Ethel.) We talk some more about bulbs, the Dutch School of Painting, our Vicar's wife, sciatica, and All Quiet on the Western Front. (Query: is it possible to cultivate the art of conversation when living in the country all the year round?)' If the question suggests a qualified answer, there is no doubt that the art of diary writing is alive and well and very, very funny in Devonshire in the 1920s. At least in the hands of E. M. Delafield.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Never disappoints

  • By Jane M St Aubyn on 15-03-17

Really amusing!

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

Reviewed: 01-05-17

Any additional comments?

The Lady outlines her struggles and a few (minor) triumphs in her battle with her husband, children, servants and the social mores of her times in England between the wars. Told amusingly and beautifully narrated, this book gave me several hours of sheer joy.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Summary Justice

  • By: John Fairfax
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 376
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355

The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson, she was a law student on work experience. He was a 21-year-old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He'd said he was innocent. She'd believed him. Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger's in Spitalfields.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book for a very long time. And I'm 67.

  • By Grumpy Scot on 12-03-17

Making a vailid point!

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

Reviewed: 09-03-17

Any additional comments?

I have read many other, far better legal thrillers. I had little sympathy with either of the main characters, both of whom I found rather boring. However the book makes a valid point re the rehabilitation of criminals. The "hero", a convicted murderer, has served his time and now, having studied for a a law degree during his time in prison, is appointed to act as defence counsel in a murder trial, against a lot of opposition.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • High Rising

  • A Virago Modern Classic
  • By: Angela Thirkell, Alexander McCall Smith - introduction
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

Successful lady novelist Laura Morland and her boisterous young son, Tony, set off to spend Christmas at her country home in the sleepy surrounds of High Rising. But Laura's wealthy friend and neighbor, George Knox, has taken on a scheming secretary whose designs on marriage to her employer threaten the delicate social fabric of the village.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A deliciously amusing tale of English village life

  • By Jill Besterman on 25-02-17

A deliciously amusing tale of English village life

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

Reviewed: 25-02-17

Any additional comments?

This book has been my introduction to the novels of Angela Thirkell and what a pleasure it has been. The main character, Laura, a contented long-time widow, lives with her youngest son, Tony, a high-spirited, very loquacious railway enthusiast (!), in Barsetshire, where she has a full and busy life, She is the author of a series of popular novels but is also deeply involved in the lives of those around her. There is some romance and a great deal of humour in her story which was beautifully narrated by Jilly Bond.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Hamish Macbeth: Death of a Ghost

  • Hamish Macbeth, Book 32
  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: David Monteath
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

There are many ruined castles in Scotland. One such lies outside the village of Drim. Hamish begins to hear reports that this castle is haunted and lights have been seen there at night, but he assumes it's some children or maybe the local lads going there to smoke pot, or, worse, inject themselves with drugs. Hamish says to his policeman, Charlie 'Clumsy' Carson, that they will both spend a night there.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • MacBeth is back on the best!

  • By Jim Herd on 23-02-17

Hamish goes from strength to strength

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

Reviewed: 24-02-17

Any additional comments?

Much as I enjoy Angela Raisin, Hamish Macbeth remains my favourite Beaton character. He once again outthinks the brains of Strathbane Police as he deals with deaths occurring after smuggling is suspected off the Sutherland coast, plus the continuing departmental struggles between his superiors, with the help of a new sidekick. Priscilla and Elspeth appear briefly but Hamish remains a bachelor, notwithstanding the efforts of the ladies of Lochdubh!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fatal Frost

  • By: James Henry
  • Narrated by: Stephen Thorne
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109

May, 1982. Britain celebrates the sinking of the Belgrano, Jimmy Savile has the run of the airwaves and Denton Police Division welcomes its first black policeman, DC Waters -- recently relocated from Bethnal Green. While the force is busy dealing with a spate of local burglaries, the body of fifteen-year-old Samantha Evans is discovered in woodland next to the nearby railway track. Then a fifteen-year-old boy is found dead on Denton's golf course, his organs removed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Like a Comfy Pair of Old Slippers

  • By Simon on 29-03-16

The Frost Prequels

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

Reviewed: 07-02-17

Any additional comments?

As a long-time devotee of the R. D. Wingfield books about DI Frost I have enjoyed James Henry's prequels, this being the third in the series and the best so far. Henry has managed to capture the essence of life in the Denton Police Station and the characters of Jack Frost (and Superintendent Mullet !) ring true to those in the original books (being less sanitised than those in the TV series). I believe there is a fourth book in preparation and I look forward to reading it in due course.

  • The Last Kashmiri Rose

  • By: Barbara Cleverly
  • Narrated by: Terry Wale
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

India, 1922. In Panikhat, 50 miles from Calcutta, the wives of officers in the Bengal Greys have been dying violently, one every year and always in March. All the deaths are bizarre and seem accidental. The only link between them is the small red roses that mysteriously appear on the women’s graves on the anniversaries of their deaths. The first victim perished in a fire, the second was bitten by a cobra, another was thrown off her horse into a ravine, while the fourth drowned.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • really good

  • By Jennifer Chennell on 27-11-16

Period mystery in India between the wars

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

Reviewed: 02-01-17

Any additional comments?

My first book by Barbara Cleverly, certainly not the last. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Joe Sandilands as he investigated a strange series of deaths in an Indian military town in the period before Independence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful