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Kirstine

Midlothian
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  • helpful votes
  • 709
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  • The Chessmen

  • By: Peter May
  • Narrated by: Peter Forbes
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,192
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,883
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,872

Fin Macleod, now head of security on a privately owned Lewis estate, is charged with investigating a spate of illegal-game hunting taking place on the island. This mission reunites him with Whistler Macaskill - a local poacher, Fin's teenage intimate and possessor of a long-buried secret. But when this reunion takes a violent, sinister turn and Fin puts together the fractured pieces of the past, he realises that revealing the truth could destroy the future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Masterclass in Storytelling

  • By MISS E J BIRD on 19-02-13

Engrossing end to a fine trilogy

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

Reviewed: 19-01-19

I've just listened to all three books in this great trilogy and wish there were more in the series as I've become engrossed in the lives of the characters living in the Outer Isles of Scotland. Though all three books have a crime as the hook upon which the story hangs the stories are far more about human relationships and the way of life in these remote islands. Part of the pleasure is the evocation of the sometimes harsh environment with it's mercurial climate, but also the beauty of the islands and the influence of the past on life there. Any of the books can be enjoyed as stand alone stories but I think one gets more by listening in chronological order as the back-stories impinge on the the narratives that follow.
Peter Forbes is an ideal narrator as he gets the various Scottish accents just right.

  • Dreams from My Father

  • A Story of Race and Inheritance
  • By: Barack Obama
  • Narrated by: Barack Obama
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 831
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 679
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 678

Dreams from My Father is a masterpiece: a refreshing, revealing portrait of a young man asking the big questions about identity and belonging. The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama recounts an emotional odyssey. He retraces the migration of his mother's family from Kansas to Hawaii, then to his childhood home in Indonesia. Finally he travels to Kenya, where he confronts the bitter truth of his father's life and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspiring

  • By Mr. Elbow on 04-10-16

An extraordinary rise to the top

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

Reviewed: 17-01-19

An amazing story of a boy from a broken home, facing discrimination and relative poverty rising to the highest office in the land. He came to the top-job with so much experience of the vicissitudes of life that made him more a representative of the people than most holders of the Presidency. What a contrast to the present incumbent! I found his story extraordinary and written so well and movingly but was surprised that he is not a good narrator of his own words. His speeches are inspirational, but I'm often struck how even great actors are not necessarily good narrators. The latter is a special skill.

  • The Deceiver

  • By: Frederick Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 265
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242

Sam McCready is The Deceiver, one of the Secret Intelligence Service's most unorthodox and most valued operatives, a legend in his own time. The end of the cold war has, however, strengthened the hand of the Whitehall mandarins, to whom he seems about as controllable as Genghis Khan, so Sam is to have his fate decided at a special hearing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • superb short stories

  • By Brodie on 29-06-14

Vintage Forsyth

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

Reviewed: 13-01-19

A compilation of five different clandestine operations by an under-cover agent of the British secret service kept me entertained for many hours. The stories given extra credence by the inside knowledge and personal experience of the author. With the added pleasure of being delivered by one of the best narrators in the business.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Bloody Chamber

  • By: Angela Carter
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 134

A collection of short stories, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories was first published in 1979 and awarded the Cheltenham Festival Literary Prize. This Audible exclusive adaptation is narrated by legendary actors, Richard Armitage and Emilia Fox, who take on different chapters of the audiobook. Among these are 'The Bloody Chamber', 'The Courtship of Mr Lyon', 'The Tiger's Bride', 'Puss in Boots', 'The Erl-King', 'The Snow Child', 'The Lady of the House of Love', 'The Werewolf' and 'Wolf-Alice'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing alternatives to well known tales

  • By Ms. L. M. Haynes on 10-07-18

Adult versions of fairy tales

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

Reviewed: 08-01-19

Fairy tales are remarkably savage and violent and these more adult versions of some of the well-known stories make them even more creepy and disconcerting. Beautifully and evocatively written and narrated,

  • Letter from America: The Essential Letters 1936-2004

  • With additional narration by BBC American correspondent Matt Frei
  • By: Alistair Cooke, Matt Frei
  • Narrated by: Alistair Cooke
  • Length: 25 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 45

All six volumes of The Essential Letters from America, brought together for the first time in this definitive chronological collection of Alistair Cooke's finest broadcasts. Alistair Cooke was the doyen of foreign correspondents and a radio legend, entertaining millions of listeners for over 50 years in his weekly Letter from America. It was the longest-running show in radio history, and every show was a virtuoso performance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Consummate story-teller

  • By Kirstine on 08-01-19

Consummate story-teller

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

Reviewed: 08-01-19

I really enjoyed this journey down memory lane having listened to Letter from America for most of my adult life. In his amiable style Alistair Cooke ranged in topics from the mundane to world-shattering events. A compilation of his broadcasts to treasure.

  • The Vanishing Box

  • Stephens and Mephisto Mystery 4
  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Luke Thompson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113

Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter, Ruby, are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked 'living statues'. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens' investigation into the death of a quiet flower seller, but if there's one thing the old comrades have learned it's that in Brighton, the line between art and life - and death - is all too easily blurred....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful period detail

  • By Joy on 18-11-17

Engaging characters in an imaginative story

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

Reviewed: 04-01-19

Over the last two weeks I've read/listened to all four books in this series and am eager to hear what happens in the lives of the main characters as they have really come to life in the last two books. Like the author's Ruth Galloway series the narratives are are greatly enriched by the revelations about the character's lives almost making the detective element of secondary importance. The narrative strongly evokes what life was like in the 1950s in a sea-side town and the uncertainty and rootlessness of the peripatetic existence of theatrical performers. The imaginative story kept me listening and was made all the better for avoiding many of the clichés of more modern detective fiction.

The narrator added to the pleasure and had a remarkable range of different voices that really made the characters feel like real people.

  • The Blood Card

  • Stephens and Mephisto Mystery, Book 3
  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Luke Thompson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138

Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are enough for him to put Stephens and Mephisto on the case.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mephisto gets his 3rd outing

  • By Alexander James Hawley (Hawley Reviews) on 07-06-17

An intricate and engaging mystery story

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

Reviewed: 01-01-19

I've only recently got into this series and think the author has really got into her stride with this third book having created a web of intersecting strands involving magic, gypsy culture, various variety acts, an anarchist plot, the birth of television all with the backdrop of the Coronation in June 1953. The main characters are now well-established and, rather like the Ruth Galloway series, hearing about their lives forms much of the narrative. It's an imaginative and highly enjoyable book that brings back memories of the 1950s.

Like another reviewer my only criticism is over the recording that has too many phone conversations where one side has very poor sound, authentic but very annoying.

I'm glad to say that the new narrator does a grand job.

  • Smoke and Mirrors

  • A Stephens and Mephisto Mystery
  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168

Brighton, 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing on the snowy pier, with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin. But Max's headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. With fairy tales in the air, it's not long before the press have found a nickname for the case: 'Hansel and Gretel'. DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The missing girl, Annie, used to write plays and perform them with her friends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another first rate crime novel from Elly Griffiths

  • By peter on 27-11-15

An enjoyable listen

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

Reviewed: 30-12-18

I've listened to, and enjoyed, all the author's Ruth Galloway novels but had up to now resisted the Stephens and Mephisto series as the pairing of a magician and a detective inspector as main characters didn't appeal. However, I borrowed the first book in the series, Zig Zag Girl, from my local library and found it most entertaining so downloaded Smoke and Mirrors. If anything, it's better than the first in the series not least thanks to the introduction of detectives Emma and Bob. As with the Ruth Galloway novels the stories have imaginative scenarios and interesting characters with less emphasis on detection, which is all to the good in this over-populated genre. Set in 1950s Brighton the narrative resonates with the aftermath of the Second World War and the shabby surroundings and dull food that most people had to endure. I shall be continuing to following the exploits of this band of detectives helped by the eccentric magician, Max Mephisto. So far the Ruth Galloway novels appeal to me more, but time will tell how the present series develops.

I see that the narrator changes with Book 3 so I hope he is as good the narrator of book 2.

  • The Fourth Friend

  • A Jackman and Evans Thriller
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 528
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 495
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494

Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl. Police detective Carter McLean is the only survivor of a plane crash that kills his four best friends. He returns to work, but he is left full of guilt and terrible flashbacks. So for each of his four friends he decides to complete something that they left unfinished....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellis Gets Into The Groove!

  • By Simon on 07-12-18

Surpringly boring

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

Reviewed: 27-12-18

I enjoyed both of the author's earlier books in this Jackman and Evans series, however I've given up on this book after 4 hours bored by too much amateurish psychology padding out the narrative. I didn't feel engaged by the characters or the various unrelated story-lines, none of which seemed to be going anywhere. A waste of an excellent narrator.

  • The Murderer's Son

  • A Jackman and Evans Thriller
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 916
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 905

Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl. Twenty years ago: a farmer and his wife are cut to pieces by a ruthless serial killer. Now: a woman is viciously stabbed to death in the upmarket kitchen of her beautiful house on the edge of the marshes. Then a man called Daniel Kinder walks into Saltern police station and confesses to the murder. But DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland Constabulary soon discover that there is a lot more to Daniel than meets the eye.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No Sitting On The Fens About This One!

  • By Simon on 17-10-18

5 Star until the finale

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

Reviewed: 22-12-18

I'd enjoyed the second book in this series and so wanted a bit more of the back-stories of the lead characters introduced in this first book. It's an intriguing story that kept me guessing. Populated by strong characters it is a enjoyable listen until the final few chapters where the murderer is revealed. The explanation for his motivation too preposterous even for detective fiction.

The narrator is excellent giving the different characters distinctive voices.