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ThePuss

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  • Tombland

  • The Shardlake Series, Book 7
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 37 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 701
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 640
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 632

The nominal king, Edward VI, is 11 years old. His uncle Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford, rules as Protector. The extirpation of the old religion by radical Protestants is stirring discontent among the populace while the Protector’s prolonged war with Scotland is proving a disastrous failure and threatens to involve France. Worst of all, the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb - Samson’s best yet

  • By Jim__Leeder on 26-10-18

Rather too long, but historically fascinating

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

Reviewed: 06-01-19

Like many other reviewers, I really enjoy the Shardlake series (much less so Sansom's "Dominion"...).
Steven Crossley is an excellent narrator, almost without fault!

However, this latest book (#7) at over 37.5 hours really is a bit of a slog.
Several times I considered giving up... or at least fast-forwarding, but I persisted, and overall I did enjoy the book.

The actual "murder" seems to be secondary this time, to a greater amount of "historical docu-drama", and while with hindsight the description of "camp-life" (which forms most of the middle of the book) is very interesting, it could have been shortened (by about 12 hours narration time!!!).

I am glad I got through to the end though, as the "Epilogue" and following historical notes which take up perhaps the final 2 hours of the book, are fascinating in their own right, and cover a period and subject of English history of which I was almost totally ignorant.

This is not an easy read or listen, but ultimately I found it rewarding.

  • Munich

  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,045
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 962
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 956

Set over four days against the backdrop of the Munich Conference of September 1938, Munich follows the fortunes of two men who were friends at Oxford together in the 1920s. Hugh Legat is a rising star of the British diplomatic service, serving in 10 Downing Street as a private secretary to the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. Paul von Hartmann is on the staff of the German Foreign Office - and secretly a member of the anti-Hitler resistance. They have not been in contact for more than a decade.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • excellent, shame a key passage was missing!

  • By Toast Cartoons on 02-10-17

Pretty good for a novel about talking...

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

Reviewed: 22-10-17

But is there a bit missing where the German guy is supposed to meet chamberlain...?

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Death at Wentwater Court

  • By: Carola Dunn
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

This first installment of a cozy mystery series transports listeners back to the bygone era of 1923 Britain, where unflappable flapper and fledgling journalist Daisy Dalrymple daringly embarks on her first writing assignment, and promptly stumbles across a corpse.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • good book, terrible reader

  • By Trudie on 06-09-06

Actually... I enjoyed the accent...

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

Reviewed: 11-01-17

I know a lot of reviews (here and Amazon) make comments about an American accent for a 19202/30s quintessentially English novel, but while I thought it might detract, I really enjoyed it. Ms Dunne (probably no relation to the author) does not have a perfect English accent but she is very good at demonstrably separating the "voices" / characters, which is an important part of audio-narration for me.

In fact, there were some wonderful pearls from her reading, such as "respite" pronounced "Rez-pit", and I especially enjoyed the the "UK-US-UK" translation of "silly ass" (which in the 1930s would certainly have been "ass" as in donkey), and "silly arse" because a US person reading a UK character "today" would expect UK=ass to be pronounced as "arse" today... but not from a semi-gentile lady in the 30s.

I have read other books in the series, but will switch to the audio books for a while.

Enjoy!

  • Murder Has a Motive

  • By: Francis Duncan
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Beevers
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 287
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 257
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 253

Amateur sleuth Mordecai Tremaine is back in another classic mystery from the author of Murder for Christmas. When Mordecai Tremaine emerges from the train station, murder is the last thing on his mind. But then again, he has never been able to resist anything in the nature of a mystery - and a mystery is precisely what awaits him in the village of Dalmering.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you like Miss Marple you'll enjoy this.

  • By Nicky on 09-02-17

A partial review... An unfair but honest opinion

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

Reviewed: 27-12-16

I dearly want to "get into" this book, and author, but try as I do, I just cannot. I listen mainly in the car while driving, and there is something about this book that "doesn't click"...

I have listened to the first few chapters at least 3 times, and beyond there being a character called "Mordecai" I really cannot recall any detail.

I *think* it is the narrator and the pace - it may require more attention that I can give while driving. It may be the content, but I am not prepared to give up just yet.

It may be a mixture of: slow start to the story, slow pace to the narration, and, frankly, while very well enunciated, very boring tone of voice.

I don't want to be harsh on the narrator, but I think he either needs to read this as a book, with no attempt at distinguishing the parts though "voice", or do the complete opposite. As it is read at the moment is, to me, just monotonous.

Sorry - This may not help as a review, but if there is an option to listen to a sample before purchasing, I strongly suggest you do that!

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Counter-Measures Series 1

  • By: Paul Finch, Matt Fitton, Ian Potter, and others
  • Narrated by: Pamela Salem, Simon Williams, Karen Gledhill, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

After the mysterious events at Coal Hill School, the British government has created the Counter-Measures group, a specialist team that investigates strange phenomena and dangerous technology. Their first missions will involve a haunted warehouse, a groundbreaking artificial intelligence, a mysterious new town and a threat to the future of the country.... Four full-cast audio dramas plus a behind- the-scenes documentary.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Offshoot from BBC’s Doctor Who series

  • By Nigel on 06-07-17

Like retro 60s sci-fi...? Give it a punt !

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

Reviewed: 25-09-16

I had never heard of this series, but after a little background reading found out it came out of a single Dr Who episode from (I think) the late 80s. While written and broadcast from 2012, the whole thing is set in the 60s and does indeed do a good job of actually sounding like it was written and produced in that era.... except perhaps from the point of view that two women would not likely have been cast in the leading roles in this type of drama back then.

Series 1 includes a set of "production notes and cast interviews" at the end, which explains a lot of the way the series came about, the feel they wanted to achieve, etc, which is interesting if you haven't heard of the series before.

The 4 episodes of Series 1 are quite diverse, but all Sci-Fi-y in nature. I think my favourite is the final episode dealing with the Wilson Government of the mid-60s... I vaguely recall the resignation of Wilson when I was very young, so "sort of" identify with this, if you see what I mean.

For all the blog-chat and cast interviews about similarities with Dr Who, UNIT, etc, I have to say that I found major parts of this to remind me of "Doomwatch", an early 70s BBC TV series. There are definite parallels in "The Pelage Project". The series also has an element of the "Quatermass" series (from the late 50s) about it, too.

Like other reviewers (on Audible and on other internet sites) I totally agree that part of the audiobook suffer from shockingly bad audio reproduction, so much so that it sounds like some characters are behind a door in a different room delivering their lines. If this really was a 1960s production, that might be excusable, if not acceptable, but this was produced in 2012. Some put this down to the Audible version of the media... I don't know. But a "remastering" should really be considered to correct this short-coming.

In spite of this, I will be getting series Two.

Enjoy.

  • Towards Zero

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Hugh Fraser
  • Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103

What is the connection between a failed suicide attempt, a wrongful accusation of theft against a schoolgirl, and the romantic life of a famous tennis player? To the casual observer, apparently nothing. But when a houseparty gathers at Gull's Point, the seaside home of an elderly widow, earlier events come to a dramatic head. It's all part of a carefully paid plan for murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hugh Fraser + Agatha Christie = Fantastic

  • By Miss on 06-06-15

A not bad Agatha Christie

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

Reviewed: 07-02-16

Hugh Fraser does a really good job on the voices. Nice twist in the tale... tail. Easy to listen to and a not at all well known story so nice to hear for the first time.

  • The Mayfair Mystery: 2835 Mayfair

  • By: Frank Richardson
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 6

The first in a new series of classic detective stories from the vaults of HarperCollins involves a disappearing corpse, a supernatural theory, and a genuinely shocking finale. The Detective Story Club, launched by Collins in 1929, was a clearing house for the best and most ingenious crime stories of the age, chosen by a select committee of experts. Now, almost 90 years later, these books are the classics of the Golden Age, republished at last with the same popular cover designs that appealed to their original readers.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Is there even a detective in this book???

  • By ThePuss on 21-01-16

Is there even a detective in this book???

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

Reviewed: 21-01-16

I had been finding it incredibly difficult to get into this book, and thought that it was me... I rewound sections to play again to be sure I hadnt just skipped them or passed out, gone to Mars, or been abducted by aliens, but...

I have just read another review on Audible UkK and one on Amazon US, and now I understand that actually there does not seem to be much plot, content or even detective mystery.

I might persevere with this and I might try another in the series... but its not looking good so far.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Lacey Confession

  • The Locator, Book 2
  • By: Richard Greener
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Finding people who don't want to be found is a young man's game. But when a beautiful celebrity begs semi-retired Walter Sherman to locate her nephew, he can't refuse. In his search for Harry Levine, Walter soon discovers that others are desperate to find him and willing to kill for what he has: the written confession by the mastermind behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book

  • By Amazon Customer on 15-06-18

I liked it... some didnt - Listen to Book 1 first.

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

Reviewed: 21-01-16

If I had gone purely on the Amazon and Audible US reviews I would never have selected this book, but I came from the background of the US TV Series (short-lived) "The Finder" very loosely based on the main character.

The "Locating" aspect of his character in this book is not really put to any great tests, but the premise - basically a big and dangerous treasure hunt - is enjoyable, and although there is back-filling for those who didnt read Book 1, this did occasionally get in the way for those who did.

However, it was enjoyable and I am rather sad that the author hasnt written any other books in this series.... although understandable as the leading character must be about 60 and has some medical issues.

  • The Holiday Murders

  • By: Robert Gott
  • Narrated by: James Millar
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

On Christmas Eve, 1943, the newly formed but undermanned Homicide division of the Melbourne police force is called to investigate the vicious double murder of a father and son. When Military Intelligence becomes involved, Homicide's Inspector Titus Lambert must unravel the personal from the political. If only the killings had stopped at two. The police are desperate to come to grips with an extraordinary and disquieting upsurge of violence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Murder Mystery set during WW2 in Oz

  • By ThePuss on 21-01-16

Good Murder Mystery set during WW2 in Oz

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

Reviewed: 21-01-16

I saw this as a "dead tree edition" in my local library and decided to look it up on Audible. It was there and I took it. I wasnt disappointed. Its a good solid policing mystery... I think I read somewhere that it has a basis in fact from around the latter part of WW2 in Melbourne, Australia.
Its "mildly grizzly" in places and I think is winds-up a little too quickly (a bit like my school essays once I had reached the 2000 word mark!) but a good yarn all the same.

One observation... if you asked me to describe how I envisaged the leading police characters, they would all come out like the actors in "Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries" !!!

  • Moriarty

  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt, Derek Jacobi
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,077
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,078

Sherlock Holmes is dead. Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Twist and Shout!

  • By Simon on 15-10-15

THE best book I have heard in a long time!

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

Reviewed: 26-09-15

I have to say that I have not been a fan of Julian Rhind-Tutt on TV/film, but this is the second time I have heard him on an audio book and he is just excellent. I bought this book because Anthony Horowitz many other books have been very good. This story, with Julian Rhind-Tutt's narration and excellent voices is just so good I have listened to it again - in spite of already now knowing the fantastic twists in the plot.

Thoroughly Recommended.