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Maggie

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  • Lethal White

  • Cormoran Strike, Book 4
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,503
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,128
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,099

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most epic Galbraith/Rowling novel yet

  • By Mikey on 19-09-18

This series goes from strength to strength

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

Nothing at all I can say that hasn't been said already. It's brilliant, and takes the Cormoran / Robin saga one step forward - but where it will end up is anyone's guess. The mystery itself is less gory than the previous books, but just as fascinating.
The author certainly knows how to pick narrators. Robert Glenister is as perfect for this series as Stephen Fry was for Harry Potter. I read the book on publication, then listened. As always, Glenister's narration highlights points that in the rush to read on release your eye may have slid over.
Please, let this series continue. Cormoran Strike is the best new fictional character I've read in a long long time.

  • The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous

  • Rutshire Chronicles, Book 4
  • By: Jilly Cooper
  • Narrated by: Sherry Baines
  • Length: 26 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 38

Lysander Hawkley combined breathtaking good looks with the kindest of hearts. He couldn't pass a neglected wife without rushing to the rescue, which invariably led to ecstatic bonking, which didn't please their erring husbands one bit. Let loose among the neglected wives of the ritzy county of Rutshire, Lysander causes absolute havoc. But it is only when he meets Rannaldini, Rutshire's King Rat and a temperamental, fiendishly promiscuous international conductor, that the trouble really starts.... 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant performance and story

  • By amanda c. on 09-08-18

Suspend belief - it's ludicrous, but it's such fun

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

Like so many, I've loved Jilly's Rutshire Chronicles since Riders was first published, more years ago than I care to remember. This one is probably the daftest in the stable, but that doesn't mean it isn't really enjoyable. The basic premise that anyone, however rich, would spend Thousands of pounds employing a handsome, not that bright, young man to hang around just to make their husbands jealous? On some planets, maybe. Personally, if the husband's taking that many liberties, I'd rather spend the money on a good lawyer to get shot of him...
But we aren't meant to take the Rutshire Chronicles seriously. Dickens it ain't. This is Jilly world, where we can all retreat when the real world gets bit difficult, and wallow in some great characters, dreadful puns and happy endings, and as always some of the nicest characters that we grow to love the most are those who are not beautiful, gifted or rich. They are like Kitty, overweight, overworked, kind and generous, or Ferdie, forever fixing, wheeling and dealing, always the good and loyal friend but never the hero.Jilly always makes the misfits the most lovable, and in this case Lysander himself is no exception.
So many great characters in this book, Marigold, Larry, Georgie and Guy, Flora, the ghastly Hermione with her lovely husband Bob - the list goes on. And as with every book in the series, Rupert and Taggie appear as well. It simply wouldn't be Rutshire without them.
Listen for yourself, because it may be ludicrous, but as Patricia Hodge in Miranda would have said - it's such fun!

  • Appassionata

  • Rutshire Chronicles, Book 5
  • By: Jilly Cooper
  • Narrated by: Sherry Baines
  • Length: 29 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

Abigail Rosen, nicknamed Appassionata, was the sexiest, most flamboyant violinist in classical music, but she was also the loneliest and the most exploited girl in the world. When a dramatic suicide attempt destroyed her violin career, she set her sights on the male-dominated heights of the conductor's rostrum. Given the chance to take over the Rutminster Symphony Orchestra, Abby is ecstatic, not realising the RSO is composed of the wildest bunch of musicians ever to blow a horn or caress a fiddle. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • My favourite JC novel

  • By Angela Kenneth on 04-02-19

The one where we all learn to love Marcus...

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

The Rutshire Chronicles continue with one of the most memorable books. For those who have been reading about Rupert Campbell Black, Taggie and all the other inhabitants of Cooper-world for years, this is the one where Marcus finally comes into his own. The rather overlooked, wimpy son of the earlier books (and with a mother like the self obsessed Helen who can blame him?) finally establishes his own character, and his relationship with his father.
Yes, it's fascinating for the picture of how giant orchestras work (or sometimes don't). Yes, it's great to see Rannaldini grow in villainy so we can mentally get to boo and hiss, to meet another self obsessed but undoubtedly gifted character, Abby, and to all fall a little in love with Viking. Nice to see Flora get a happy ending as well. But - for me, it's Marcus's book, and I love it.
Sherry Baines had grown into the narrators role pretty well. I still find her habit of breaking sentences and phrases can be annoying but as the books progress, we get used to that. Compared to the earlier, withdrawn, recordings she's wonderful! I can't imagine how long the poor girl must have spent in the studio this year to record all the series, but I'm grateful she did.

  • Wildfire at Midnight

  • By: Mary Stewart
  • Narrated by: Lucy Paterson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

The pioneer of romantic suspense, Mary Stewart leads her listeners on an unforgettable ride across the Isle of Skye in this tale perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym. Following a heartbreaking divorce, Gianetta retreats to the Isle of Skye hoping to find tranquillity in the island's savage beauty. But shortly before her arrival a girl's body is found on the craggy slopes of the looming Blue Mountain, and with the murderer still on the loose, there's nothing to stop him from setting his sights on Gianetta next....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An old friend, now updated with great narration

  • By Maggie on 12-08-18

An old friend, now updated with great narration

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

I was so pleased to discover that after all these years Mary Stewart's stand alone novels appear to be being recorded, one at a time. I've already listened to This Rough Magic, and it seems that Emilia Fox will be reading Madam, Will You Talk for us by November. Based on the first two releases, if all the books are likely to follow, it seems we could be in for an enjoyable winter!
This book is set in 1953, during the Coronation, a lifetime ago for so many, but it's still a murder mystery with a difference and whilst sorry to disagree with the other reviewer on Audible.com who also first read it in her teens, I think it does stand the test of time. It's of its time, and that was a different world, but that doesn't mean the story no longer works. It does.
The risk to climbers in the Cuillins hasn't changed, nor has the changing weather and sudden blanketing mists on Skye. It's the classic small group of people in one place (here a hotel) who have a dawning realisation that accidents are not accidents but murder - probably by one amongst them - and that slowly builds the tension. No spoilers, just give it a go.
Wildfire has never seemed, for me, to be one of the best of Ms. Stewart's stand alone novels, and the characters in the book aren't as strong as in some (such as This Rough Magic,The Ivy Tree or My Brother Michael) but they are strong enough to hold the story together. All in all, it still works
The narration is really good. I hope Lucy Paterson is commissioned to read some of the others, hopefully still to come.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • This Rough Magic

  • By: Mary Stewart
  • Narrated by: Helen Johns
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

The pioneer of romantic suspense, Mary Stewart leads her listeners on a thrilling journey to a Mediterranean island paradise in this tale of mystery, murder and intrigue, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym. Lucy Waring, a young, out-of-work actress from London, leaps at the chance to visit her sister for a summer on the island paradise of Corfu, and what's more, a famous but reclusive actor is staying in a villa nearby. But Lucy's hopes for rest and romance are shattered when a body washes up on the beach and she finds herself swept up in a chilling chain of events.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Serendipity... as ever was

  • By Maggie on 12-08-18

Serendipity... as ever was

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

Perfect timing. This summer I've been on a Mary Stewart jag, re-reading my favourites, all her stand alone novels from Madam, Will You Talk to Touch Not the Cat. They all stand the test of time, and I've loved revisiting them. My only regret was that none of them had ever been recorded in Audible. There were a few of the later, rather lighter, books but even narrators like Jenny Agutter can't make up for the fact they are abridged.
Then, by chance, I checked again - and there was one of my all time favourites, This Rough Magic, together with Wildfire at Midnight - and it seems Madam, Will You Talk is to follow so hopefully Hodder and Stoughton have commissioned the lot and they will all be new, unabridged recordings. Brilliant...
This is one of her 3 Ionioan based books, often linked with The Moonspinners (set on Crete) and My Brother Michael (set in Delphi) for that reason, but they all stand as separate and it doesn't really matter what order you read them in. The setting isn't that long ago but might seem it to some, no mobile phones or instant e-anything.
It's long been one of my favourites as the characters are all so well drawn, from Lucy herself to Phil, Max and Sir Julian Gale, Godfrey Manning and I've always had a soft spot for the lovely, but surprisingly tough, Adonis. It brings Corfu to life as well but sadly I'm sure if I went to some of the quiet fishing villages described, they'd be very different today. Great story ... has everything from tension and mystery to humour to romance as all Mary Stewart's books do, and is still gripping after several re-reads over many years, but no spoilers.
The links to The Tempest are interesting but it isn't necessary to know Shakespeare to enjoy the book. If you do know and love the play it certainly adds another dimension, and the 'this rough magic' speech, in the hands of the right actor, could reduce anyone to tears. (|My vote would go to Roger Allum at The Globe).
I wasn't entirely sure about Helen John's voice at first, she seemed a bit wavery at the outset but it soon grew on me and I really enjoyed having this old favourite read out loud.
Now moving on to Wildfire at Midnight on Skye, and so looking forward to the rest as they are published...

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Imogen

  • By: Jilly Cooper
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Courtney
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

As a librarian, Imogen read a lot of books, but none of them covered real life on the Riviera. Her holiday with tennis ace Nicky and the whole glamorous coterie of journalist, playboy, photographer was a revelation. But the path of a jet-set virgin in that lovely wicked world was a hard one. Imogen began to wonder if virtue really was its own reward....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Spoilt by terrible narration again!

  • By amanda c. on 14-07-18

Another time, another world... but still fun

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

Reviewed: 26-07-18

After so few of Jilly Cooper's books recorded, we've had an explosion of them in the past few months, involving both the Rutshire Chronicles (for which Jilly is best known) and these, the shorter single name novels of the 70s, of which Imogen was always my favourite.
I know I keep repeating this but it's always worth mentioning for anyone just searching to see if Jilly Cooper has any new books published. These books were written a long time ago, long before Rupert Campbell-Black made any appearance. Imogen was first published in 1978, 40 years ago so I can understand why anyone younger, hooked on the Rutshire saga, has been disconcerted if they listened to Emily, Harriet, Octavia etc.. under the impression they are new novels. They aren't and they reflect the attitudes and morals of the time.
For me, and those of my generation they are great; revisiting our youth. Matthew O'Connor, in this book, and Gareth Llewellyn in Octavia are my two favourite male characters but neither are really well served by the narration and accents, though Matt comes out of it better than Gareth did.
For those born in the 21stC they must be very confusing - why on earth does Imogen need her parent's consent to go on holiday with friends? Why all the panic and secrecy of going on the pill? Would anyone seriously set out for the South of France and pack Lady Jacintha's moth eaten red swimsuit, donated to the church jumble sale?
Read it and you'll find out.
It was a different time, a different world, in some ways more innocent but in other ways a lot more fun. Not the greatest of narrations, but acceptable.

  • Rivals

  • Rutshire Chronicles, Book 2
  • By: Jilly Cooper
  • Narrated by: Sherry Baines
  • Length: 27 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 60

Into the cutthroat world of Corinium television comes mega-star Declan O'Hara. Declan soon realises that the Managing Director, Lord Baddingham, has recruited him merely to help retain the franchise for Corinium. Baddingham has also enticed Cameron Cook, a gorgeous, domineering woman executive, to produce Declan's programme. As a rival group emerges to pitch for the franchise, reputations ripen and decline, true love blossoms and burns, marriages are made and shattered and sex raises its head at almost every throw....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Audible, thanks for listening... this one works

  • By Maggie on 26-07-18

Audible, thanks for listening... this one works

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

Reviewed: 26-07-18

Whilst not wishing to rake up old problems, most of us who have read Jilly Cooper's Rutshire Chronicles over the years were puzzled why so few were recorded, and those out of order. So when Polo and Rivals were released not long ago we were delighted - until we heard them. The reviews were pretty unanimous, but it seems Audible really did listen as both recordings were eventually withdrawn.
Now books 2,3,4 and 5 (Rivals, Polo, The Man who made Husbands Jealous and Appassionata) have appeared, with book 6 (Score) to follow, all by a fresh narrator, Sherry Baines, so we have consistency - but what about the quality?
Relax, we seem to be in safe hands with this one
I only downloaded Rivals this morning and was reassured by pleasant, clear narration from the start. Slightly slow and laboured at first but soon got into its stride. Then we got to the Becher's Brook for narration in Rutshire: the divine Taggie. Sherry Baines has given Taggie a soft, gentle, low Irish accent exactly as described in the books and as I imagined Taggie to sound, so thanks to all concerned for the re-recording.
Of all the Rutshire books I think this is my favourite, Rupert continues to be Rupert, Billy and Janie Lloyd-Fox put in another appearance, and the new characters introduced are some of the best in the whole series. The O'Hara family above all, then the lovely Freddie and ghastly Valerie Jones, LIzzie Vereker who is far too nice to be lumbered with James, but whose life is immeasurably changed during the course of the book, Bas, Monica, Dame Enid... and so many others. And the whole process of putting together a bid for an independent television franchise is fascinating, and detailed. It's a great read.
I know I haven't heard it to the end yet, but I know and love the book and I've heard enough to be reassured. I was one of those who were pretty scathing about the previous recording, so in fairness I want to say "thank you for listening Audible, - and this one works”
Gerri Halligan, who recorded books 1 and 9, seemed to be everyone's favourite, but hasn't returned. Sherry Baines isn’t Gerri, but she does a good workmanlike job. If Sherry has been contracted to read up to book 6, please give us consistency by getting her to record books 7 and 8 (the only unrecorded books) as well.
So, with Rivals part heard, and Polo, Lysander, Appassionata and eventually Score waiting in the wings, it's back to the headphones... this time with a smile

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Prudence

  • By: Jilly Cooper
  • Narrated by: Louise Barrett
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

A lighthearted, fun and romantic romp from the much-loved classic author Jilly Cooper. Prudence had been overjoyed when Pendle invited her home for the weekend to meet his family. Then she met his brother, Jack - handsome, married and only too ready to take over with Pru if Pendle didn't get a move on. It was only when she noticed the way Pendle looked at Jack's wife, Maggie, that it began to dawn on Pru that this weekend looked like a nonstop game of changing partners....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Love Jilly usually, but disappointed

  • By Lucius on 09-04-18

Nostalgic, but a delight

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

Reviewed: 03-04-18

I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed reading Prudence all those years ago. Yes, it’s of it’s time, but then we don’t cavil about period books from the 20s and 30s, so why not the 70s?
When Prudence meets Pendle (named after the hill so sort of gets away with it) in London it’s a slow start, but once they visit his family, the Mullhollands, in the Lake District the story comes to life. What is meant to be a weekend visit lengthens for Prudence, as she’s stuck there with a heavy cold.
A great cast of characters, both adult and children, a light and enjoyable read, what’s not to like? I particularly love the horrendous Berenice, a ghastly member of the food police well ahead of her time.
A book that’s fun, with a load of typical Jilly phrases and jokes, and the reliable happy ending.
Thank you Audible for recording all these books. I just wish there was some consistency to the narration standards, because some are great but some considerably less so.
Ideal choices: Louise Barrett (who reads this) for all these single novels - one of my favourites, Imogen, hopefully is still to come so may as well ask...
And Gerri Halligan for the missing Rutshire Chronicles please!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Octavia

  • By: Jilly Cooper
  • Narrated by: Anna Parker-Naples
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

As soon as Octavia caught a glimpse of Jeremy, she knew she just had to have him. It didn't matter that he'd just got engaged to an old school friend of hers, Gussie. An invitation to join Gussie and Jeremy for a cosy weekend on a canal barge came like a gift from the gods. However, the other part of the foursome was tycoon Gareth Llewellyn, and he certainly managed to thwart her plans....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Is this really 40 years ago? Still fun...

  • By Maggie on 02-04-18

Is this really 40 years ago? Still fun...

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

Reviewed: 02-04-18

All of a sudden, so many of Jilly Cooper's well loved novels are being recorded, and that's great. Thank you Audible.
Amongst them are the set of 'single name' books Jilly wrote 40 years ago. Anyone hooked on the Rutminster Chronicles may not realise that these, the Harriet / Prudence / Octavia's etc pre-date Riders and Rupert Campbell Black by a long way. All of them are of their time, novels of the 70s, and that shows..
Octavia is not nearly as nice a person as, say, Harriet or Imogen, two of my favourites in the series. She is someone who is beautiful, has always been rich without having to work for anything, and is accustomed to getting anything she wants. In this case her old school friend's boyfriend, and she has no qualms about how she does it.. But it's a classic case of beware of what you wish for...
Even after this time gap it's still an enjoyable read with a cast of character sketches so clear that you can visualise the people exactly (I think we've all met a ghastly Pamela), and as Octavia is forced to turn over a new leaf in her own life eventually reaches the usual Cooper happy ending.
The only fly in the ointment of this new Audible drive to record Jilly's novels is that there seems to be no consistency to the narrators, and the standard does differ. I found this narration a bit flat, with Gareth in particular, who should be a really forceful character, anything but.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Angel

  • Ruth Galloway Mysteries, Book 10
  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 578
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 526
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 527

Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He's discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village near Rome but doesn't know what to make of them. It's years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great listen, excellent work!

  • By Jude on 09-02-18

Wow! Magnifico: I wasn’t expecting that

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

Reviewed: 19-02-18

At the end of Book 9 we were left with significant cliffhangers in the relationships of Ruth, Nelson, Michelle - and Tim. I was naive enough to think I could predict the outcome. I was totally wrong. This book picks up the same day the previous ended; Clough and Cassandra’s wedding. It then runs the length of their honeymoon, so is pretty much a Dave Clough free zone. Look forward to seeing him back next time round.

Without spoilers: Elly Griffiths then copes neatly with the issue of “how many archaeology related murders can one county sustain?” by moving Ruth, and Kate, to Italy for a short working holiday project. From then the events back in Norfolk and the events in Italy mirror each other in a very cleverly written way. The only bit that didn’t quite work for me was Nelson and Cathbad’s rush to Italy. Felt more like a slightly clunky plot contrivance rather than a natural progression. That’s the only reason for 4 rather than 5 overall.

The ending, when it arrived, was totally unexpected. Far sadder, yet in an strange way far more glorious, than anyone could have imagined, and leaving even more cliffhangers than the end of Book 9. Far from running out of steam, the characters continue to develop, the series goes from strength to strength, and Jane McDowell’s consistently professional narration adds the final polish.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful