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Hathor

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 58
  • ratings
  • P. D. James BBC Radio Drama Collection

  • Seven Full-Cast Dramatisations
  • By: P. D. James
  • Narrated by: Greta Scacchi, Hugh Grant, full cast, and others
  • Length: 16 hrs and 37 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 339
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 296

Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations of P. D. James' acclaimed mysteries, plus P. D. James in Her Own Words. This collection includes: Cover Her Face, A Taste for Death, Devices and Desires, A Certain Justice, The Private Patient, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull Beneath the Skin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • enjoyable

  • By sue glason on 18-03-18

A mixed bag I am afraid

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

Reviewed: 25-02-19

The quantity is superb, full casts and good sound effects. It is the outdated ideas, preoccupations and language that got to me and, crucially for me, this is not something that would stand up to repeat listening so am going to return it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Cherringham - A Cosy Crime Series Compilation

  • Cherringham 10-12
  • By: Matthew Costello, Neil Richards
  • Narrated by: Neil Dudgeon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301

Here local priest Father Byrne meets his unexpected demise. Jack and Sarah investigate - who could harm the beloved Father? And what secrets did he take to the grave? The Cherringham Regatta is shaken when vandalism of boots turns into bloody murder. And when a murder suspect is freed from prison after 25 years, it's apparent someone in Cherringham wants him to continue serving his sentence - to death. But Jack and Sarah start to question... did he commit the crime in the first place?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love these stories

  • By linda on 21-03-17

A step too far into fantasy village life

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

Reviewed: 29-12-17

Having previously enjoyed Cherringham audio books on the understanding that the stories and characters have very little to do with real life and that Neil Dudgeon's voice is great to listen to when trying to get to sleep I bought this volume on the 40% off offer. Despite this I am returning the book as the plots are now too unrealistic even for one who occasionally watches and sometimes enjoys Midsummer Murders! The characterisation is wooden and stereotypes abound. As a friend of a couple of nuns the last straw was the story in the convent which has little resemblance to reality. I shall have to go back to Agatha Christie novels and although I will miss the comforting tones of the narrator I do like my plots to have some foothold in reality. If you like easy going, not having to think too hard plots then the previous ones are worth trying but this is not.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Body in the Thames

  • A Thomas Chaloner Adventure, Book 6
  • By: Susanna Gregory
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

In the dilapidated surroundings of the Savoy, a delegation from the Netherlands is gathered in a last ditch attempt to secure peace. Thomas Chaloner is horrified at the violent aggression shown to the Dutch by ordinary Londoners, but he is more worried by the dismissive attitude with which they are greeted by the King's officials. Then the body of his former brother-in-law is found in the Thames, and Chaloner discovers enigmatic clues pointing to a motivation for his murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Sleepyhobbit on 05-05-15

Excellent plot, well read, worth an audible credit

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

Reviewed: 12-11-17

The Body in the Thames delivers a constant and evocative narrative full of atmospheric historical details from buildings to the importance of dress, manners and social standing to the lies and deceptions of governments.

The Body in the Thames is an excellent read and listen and I gave it five stars without hesitation. Griffin excels himself this time in his range of Anglo Dutch accents, which to my untutored ear all sound plausible and in giving the the cast, of which there are many, individual voices which helps to keep track of them all.

Without all the historical detail this would still be an excellent murder mystery - with it it is a delight to hear.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Murder on London Bridge

  • By: Susanna Gregory
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

The murder of a man on London Bridge is the first indication that the Earl of Clarendon's fears of a rebellion may be well-founded. His spy, Thomas Chaloner, suspects the assassin may be a member of a group dedicated to seeing the return of Puritanism, and at the same time he learns of a faction determined to bring back the Catholic Church.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A good theme.....

  • By Valerie Martin on 07-07-14

Atmospheric narrative with good narrator

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

Reviewed: 12-11-17

Unlike Susanna Gregory's other series staring Matthew Bartholomew, the Thomas Chaloner 's books took me a while to get into as the main character is not an easy person to like, tending to be taciturn, remote and aloof, but, after all, Chaloner is a spy not a monk and a physician as in Gregory's other series.

The narration is good, with Gordon Griffin successfully managing an array of different accents and both female and male voices. The plot is solid, with good historic details and enough atmosphere for you to picture the scenes, smell the - often noxious - odours and understand that we are reading about a time that although is not that dissimilar from our own, is nevertheless different.

Not a five star review though as the plot is not one of the best in this long series but certainly worth a listen if you are working your way through all the books and it has stood up to repeated listens.

  • An Order for Death

  • The Seventh Matthew Bartholomew Chronicle
  • By: Susanna Gregory
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76

Believers in the theory of nominalism have set some Cambridge colleges at the throats of those who believe them to be heretics, and Michael, the senior proctor, has his work cut out to keep the peace. When a nominalist is murdered during a riot, Michael is certain he will easily find the killer amongst the Dominicans, but before he can get any sense out of them his junior proctor, Walcote, is found hanged, and he discovers that his trusted ally had arranged secret meetings at the St Ragelund Convent....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Sarah on 08-11-18

Good story but terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 29-06-17

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

The book is well plotted and has good characterisation - it is the narration that really lets it down with uneven and sometimes damn strange interpretations of the main characters. If you enjoy murder mysteries with nice historical touches then I would recommend reading the book rather than listening to it.

What other book might you compare An Order for Death to, and why?

Sorry, didn't know how to answer this one.

How could the performance have been better?

Thorpes interpretation of some of the monks can be strange and in this particular case embarrassing. When voicing one of the adult monks, described in the book as the size of a child, Thorpe produces a high pitched whiney voice similar to a truculent two year old, making for a truly cringeworthy listen. I do like how he gives voice to Mathew Bartholomew, one of the main protagonists but remain unsure about the other, Brother Michael.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

In between the moments of cringing the story was interesting but I am returning the book as I can't bear to listen to the narrator anymore. For me this is one book I will stick to reading rather than listening.

Any additional comments?

The stories are getting better as they go along but the narrator killed this one for me I am afraid. I can only hope that somebody has a discreet word with Thorpe and tell him to adapt his narration style otherwise I may be returning a lot of audio books back to Audible.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Plague on Both Your Houses

  • The First Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew
  • By: Susanna Gregory
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 221
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 202
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 203

Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • If I could give 3.5 I would. Entertaining enough

  • By Louis Hall on 05-06-17

Not a great listen- the later books are better

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

Reviewed: 25-06-17

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I like Susanna Gregory's writing but the first couple of Mathew Bartholomew book suffer from weak characterisation and a poor narrator and the combination of the two is unfortunate. The good news is that the later books do improve and the narrater becomes slightly more bearable and are worth a credit but this, alas, isn't and I will be returning it.

What was most disappointing about Susanna Gregory’s story?

Having read all of Gregory's books the earlier books are definitely the weakest in the series, with poorly sketched characters, unrealistic dialogues and although the historical detail is interesting it isn't enough to keep the reader/listener engaged. As I have said above, the later books do get a lot better but this one, particularly with the terrible narration, is one to avoid.

Would you be willing to try another one of David Thorpe’s performances?

Unfortunately Thorpe is the assigned reader for the Bartholomew books so I can only hope he, or the publisher, take notice of listeners comments and change/adapt his narration because, honestly, I can't bear to hear some of his interpretations of the monks and in particular Michael. In answer to the questionable, seeing Thorpe's name on an audio book would put me off.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Plague on Both Your Houses?

Not really applicable - it was the first book written a long time ago and Gregory's writing has got better with time, so just take this as an early attempt, not really worth a credit unless you are want to hear how it all started or you are prepared to return it if you don't like it.

Any additional comments?

A different narrator would have made all the difference but we have what we have and it is good that the whole back catalogue is been made available.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Summer of Discontent

  • The Eighth Matthew Bartholomew Chronicle
  • By: Susanna Gregory
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 19 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69

Matthew Bartholomew jumps at the chance to travel to Ely with Brother Michael, as it will give him a unique opportunity to study in the richly stocked library of the Benedictine priory. Michael has been summoned to the city by his bishop, but it isn't until they arrive that they discover the reason - the bishop has been accused of murder. The charge seems ludicrous, but Michael takes the investigation seriously and energetically sets about his task. Almost immediately he discovers that there appears to have been a series of unexplained deaths in the area.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellently researched & read Medieval who done it

  • By B. A. Chapman on 13-09-18

A good listen with nice historical detail

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

Reviewed: 25-06-17

If you could sum up A Summer of Discontent in three words, what would they be?

Historical + detective = interesting

What did you like best about this story?

The mystery, although slightly predictable, was nevertheless interesting, in some places amusing and the interplay between the two main characters had depth. I feel as if the author has finally got into her stride and, having already listened to the newly published books, this is the first book I can say I thoroughly enjoyed all the way through.

What about David Thorpe’s performance did you like?

Thorpe does a pretty good job of Bartholomew but has a strange interpretation of some of the other characters, especially female voices and one of the monks who is small in the previous book. Nevertheless, in A Summer of Discontent this is one of Thorpe's better performances.

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

Not a comedy but there were moments between Bartholomew and Michael that did make me laugh, other than that it was an interesting read/listen.

Any additional comments?

If you have found the earlier books hard to get through then start with this one as both the books and the narrator get significantly better from here on in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nightingale's Lament

  • Nightside, Book 3
  • By: Simon R. Green
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

Taylor is the name. John Taylor...My card says I'm a detective, but what I really am is an expert on finding things. It's part of the Gift I was born with as a child of the Nightside - the hidden heart of London where it's always three a.m., where inhuman creatures and otherworldly gods walk side-by-side in the endless darkness of the soul. Assignment: Find out why the local diva called the Nightingale has cut herself off from her family and friends.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Weirdly transphobic

  • By C. Dayson on 22-01-19

Weakest of the Nightside books so far.

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

Reviewed: 04-07-16

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who doesn't mind poor writing, weak characterisations and has a short attention span.

What was most disappointing about Simon R. Green’s story?

The plot. Predictable and at some points boring.

What didn’t you like about Marc Vietor’s performance?

At this point Marc Vietor hasn't nailed down the voices of characters other than the main protagonist. Vietor does get better in the later novels but at this stage he was working with shallow depictions of the characters.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

As always with Green's books there are some interesting and redeeming qualities, just not enough in this book to make me keep it. If you want an interesting and engaging listen then skip this (I wish I had) and go to the later Nightside novels.

Any additional comments?

By all means give it a go but I can't recommend it as either a good listen or interesting enough to spend a credit on it. When you look at other urban fiction out there, this particular book is low quality.

  • Hell to Pay

  • Nightside, Book 7
  • By: Simon R. Green
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

The name's John Taylor. I'm a PI, though what I really do is find things that are lost. I work the Nightside, the city within the city of London, where the sun never rises and where the human and inhuman go to get their kicks, provided they're willing to pay the price in whatever currency the seller demands. In the wake of the war that almost brought the Nightside to total ruin, there's a power vacuum begging to be filled - and some think I should take charge. I don't agree. Neither does the immortal known as Griffin.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun story, suspect reading

  • By Druttercup on 02-03-13

Hell to listen

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

Reviewed: 08-06-16

Would you try another book written by Simon R. Green or narrated by Marc Vietor?

Yes I would but with reservations

What was most disappointing about Simon R. Green’s story?

The story was overly simplistic, the main character wooden and incredibly dense when it came to clues and the story line slightly disjointed as it moved staggered from one scene to the other.

How could the performance have been better?

The Nightside series is supposedly set in a London (Soho) inspired parallel city and yet Vietor's understanding of English pronunciation ranges from the slightly odd to the downright bizarre and in some cases, is not consistent. The plummy bad villain accent Vietor uses for the main protagonist John Taylor means that any other villain or powerful antagonist ends up sounding like a Mary Poppins sidekick.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Mild irritation followed by disappointment due to the thinness of plot, characterisation and detail for the environment that John Taylor works in.

Any additional comments?

I wouldn't say this was enough to stop me from purchasing any more from this series but if the next one is as poor as this one then that's it - I will move on to a different author.

  • A Grave Concern

  • The Twenty Second Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew
  • By: Susanna Gregory
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

Identifying the murderer of the Chancellor of the university is not the only challenge facing physician Matthew Bartholomew. Many of his patients have been made worse by the ministrations of a 'surgeon' recently arrived from Nottingham, his sister is being rooked by the mason she has commissioned to build her husband's tomb and his friend, Brother Michael, has been offered a bishopric which will cause him to leave Cambridge.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • So disappointing

  • By SEB on 15-10-16

We all have bad days ...

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

Reviewed: 05-06-16

What would have made A Grave Concern better?

A return to the witty, interesting, vivid and engaging writing that S Gregory has previously shown in her Matthew Bartholomew books.

What was most disappointing about Susanna Gregory’s story?

I have read/listened to other S Gregory books and this one just doesn't match up to the usual strong story line and interesting details that her other books have maintained. The relationship between the two main protagonists Matthew and Michael are dull, repetitious and even the usual characters like William, Edith and the delightful Clispby seem routine and formulaic.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of David Thorpe?

Out of all the narrators David Thorpe has been the best and for once my complaint is not with the narrator but with the writing.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Unfortunately, having listened to the whole book I am returning it, the first time ever for a S Gregory book. Redeeming qualities? The last part of the book became more interesting but I just didn't care what happened to the characters I normally love and invest time and effort.

Any additional comments?

I am hoping this is just a blip in the work of an author that so far has been consistently refreshing to read.