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  • Queen Victoria

  • Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow
  • By: Lucy Worsley
  • Narrated by: Lucy Paterson, Lucy Worsley
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 63

Best-selling author and historian Lucy Worsley tracks a new course through Queen Victoria's life, examining how she transformed from dancing princess to the Widow of Windsor and became one of Britain's greatest monarchs along the way. Taking 24 significant days from Victoria's life, from her birth, her wedding and her coronation to her husband's death, and many more in between, allows us to see Victoria up close and personal, examining how she lived hour to hour. Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth, this major new biography will celebrate Queen Victoria as a woman of her time, who lived an extraordinary life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Throughly enjoyed

  • By Mrs. M. D. Rickards on 31-10-18

Queen Victoria

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

Reviewed: 11-01-19

Utterly ruined for me by the narrator - her rhythm of speech was so - off - that it felt as if she hadn't read ahead so didn't know what was coming. As a book it's fine, although nothing really new. Is there anything new about Queen Victoria? I enjoyed the Jane Austen book a lot more.

  • The Clockmaker's Daughter

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Joanne Froggatt
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 322
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared, a priceless heirloom is missing and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins. Over 150 years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable!

  • By Mrs. A. Hemsworth on 30-09-18

The Clockmaker's Daughter

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

Reviewed: 05-10-18

I enjoy Kate Morton's novels, although they do tend to be quite samey, but the quality of the writing certainly saves them, and this one was no different. But what a revelation Joanne Froggatt is as the narrator. I was so impressed, and she made the story ten times better.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Glimpses of the Moon

  • By: Edmund Crispin
  • Narrated by: Philip Bird
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 71

Death and decapitation seem to go hand in hand in the Devon village of Aller. When the first victim's head is sent floating down the river, the village's rural calm is shattered. Soon the corpses are multiplying and the entire community is involved in the murder hunt. While the rector, the major, the police and a journalist, desperate for the scoop of the century, chase false trails, it is left to Gervase Fen, Oxford don and amateur criminologist, to uncover the sordid truth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such fun!

  • By PFK on 07-04-13

Glimpses of the Moon

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

Reviewed: 03-03-18

I adore these books - they are witty and wonderful and never less than entertaining. The great shame is that there aren't more of them. This is a particular favourite and l have listened to it countless times. Philip Bird is excellent - the perfect voice. Highly recommended.

  • Black Ship

  • A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery
  • By: Carola Dunn
  • Narrated by: Lucy Rayner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

In September 1925, Scotland Yard DCI Alec Fletcher inherits a large house on the outskirts of London from a recently deceased great-uncle. Fortunately so, as he and his wife, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher, are the recent proud parents of twins, and their house is practically bursting at the seams. Though in need of a bit of work, this new, larger house seems a godsend - set in a small circle of houses, with Hampstead Heath nearby, the setting is idyllic. Idyllic, that is until a dead body shows up half-hidden under the bushes of the communal garden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not my favourite audio book.

  • By G. Faye Page on 10-01-18

Black Ship

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

Reviewed: 02-01-18

Any additional comments?

I'm a great fan of this kind of cosy mystery, and I would definitely read further stories by the same author, but unfortunately the narrator of this one has put me off listening to any more. She was so affected and so stilted in her reading that it felt almost as if she was patronising both the author and the listener. I realise she was being 'posh' on purpose simply because the main characters are, on the whole, 'posh', but it felt as if there was an undertone running all the way through it. So it may have put me off listening, but not off reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Queen Victoria's Granddaughters: 1860-1918

  • By: Christina Croft
  • Narrated by: Fleur Edwards
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

On 6 July 1868, when told of the birth of her seventh granddaughter, Queen Victoria remarked that the news was "a very uninteresting thing for it seems to me to go on like the rabbits in Windsor Park". Her apathy was understandable - this was her 14th grandchild, and, though she had given birth to nine children, she had never been fond of babies, viewing them as "frog-like and rather disgusting...particularly when undressed".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really intriguing

  • By EM on 19-07-17

Victoria's Granddaughters

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

Reviewed: 18-07-17

What did you like best about Queen Victoria's Granddaughters: 1860-1918? What did you like least?

Interesting story - how can it not be? Let down by the dreadful narration.

Would you be willing to try another one of Fleur Edwards’s performances?

No. She seemed to manage the tough Prussian and German names really well and then spent a period of times pronouncing 'Cannes' as 'Cans'. It just threw me completely. And she also seemed to need to take breathy pauses in the wrong places. Not impressed at all. Great shame.

Any additional comments?

This will never fail to be interesting as a history - the way that Victoria knitted Europe together with her breeding programme, but I really feel it was let down by the narrator, and very badly so. Such a shame.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Five Families

  • The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires
  • By: Selwyn Raab
  • Narrated by: Paul Costanzo
  • Length: 33 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374

Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo, and Lucchese. For decades these Five Families ruled New York and built the American Mafia (or Cosa Nostra) into an underworld empire. Today, the Mafia is an endangered species, battered and beleaguered by aggressive investigators, incompetent leadership, betrayals, and generational changes that produced violent, unreliable leaders and recruits.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Superb"

  • By William on 18-03-16

Five Families

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

Reviewed: 31-05-17

What did you like most about Five Families?

Really interesting story - fascinating insight into the Mafia and the way it began and was run through the decades. Not always easy to keep track of all the names, but a lot of that is down to the narrator, alas.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Unfortunately the narrator was dreadful. He paused in all the wrong places so quite often you lost track of the sentence. He also had a few vocal tics which became very annoying in such a long book. A real shame. Somebody like Richard Ferrone would have done a much better job.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Young and Damned and Fair

  • The Life and Tragedy of Catherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII
  • By: Gareth Russell
  • Narrated by: Jenny Funnell
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109

England, July 1540: it is one of the hottest summers on record, and the court of Henry VIII is embroiled once again in political scandal. Anne Cleves is out. Thomas Cromwell is to be executed and, in the countryside, an aristocratic teenager named Catherine Howard prepares to become fifth wife to the increasingly unpredictable monarch.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Short Lived Queen Consort

  • By S. Morris on 17-01-17

Young and Damned and Fair

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

Reviewed: 07-02-17

Did Jenny Funnell do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

She does an okay job, although she loses her way sometimes with the punctuation and pronunciation, but not really enough to be off-putting.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this book very much, but at the end of the day, we hardly know anything about Catherine Howard (nice to have a Tudor we don't know everything about!) and so if you're reading/listening to this to learn more about Catherine, then I think you'd be disappointed. But what is interesting are the politics around her and the machinations of the families, which is always interesting, and vaguely horrific when you realise how people were moved around like pawns on a chess board to help their families improve their political clout. Henry VIII remains an odious beast (and odorous by this point of course) with vaguely perverted tastes when it comes to a fresh young thing like Catherine, and I still believe that his reaction to her (possible) adultery and (possible) pre-contract was that of an old man who can't believe that anybody could ever prefer anybody over him. He, who was the young god of the courts, in effect usurped by other, younger men in positions of much less power. Interesting for the questions it brings up more than for its supposed subject, perhaps.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Conclave

  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: Roy Mcmillan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,250
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,070
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,062

The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, 118 cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next 72 hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bizarrely gripping

  • By Biker on 12-01-17

Conclave

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

Reviewed: 27-01-17

Any additional comments?

Really, really enjoyed this book - thoroughly recommended. Although it's slow to get going as we meet all the various Cardinals arriving for the conclave, I actually found that part very interesting. Reall interesting to hear about the ancient (and outdated, perhaps?) rituals involved with the election of a Pope, and although by no means a rabid feminist, it was fascinating to find out how insignificant females are and how menial their roles. On the whole the behemoth that is the Catholic church came across as being very out of touch and outdated, and that made the whole book more fascinating. Really, really good. Bravo!

  • The Common Lawyer

  • By: Mark Gimenez
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Andy Prescott is the most laid-back young lawyer in Austin, Texas. Specialising in traffic law, he operates from a small room above a ramshackle tattoo parlour. He rides a trail bike and spends way too much time drinking beer in the sunshine. Ambition has never been Andy's strong point - he prefers to take it easy. That is, until one of Texas's wealthiest men walk into his office.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Jolly Good Yarn!

  • By Janice on 02-03-15

The Common Lawyer

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

Reviewed: 24-01-17

Any additional comments?

I enjoy Mark Gimenez's books and this was no exception - although it took a while to get going so that we knew about our character - we seemed to spend a long time establishing just how 'cool' he is, but once it got going, I enjoyed it - certainly easy listening. However, the narration was dreadful - Christopher Ragland absolutely gabbled his way through it at top speed as if he had somewhere more exciting to be. A shame.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Mistresses of Cliveden

  • By: Natalie Livingstone
  • Narrated by: Carole Boyd
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

From its dawn in the 1660s to its twilight in the 1960s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue. Conceived by the Duke of Buckingham as a retreat for his scandalous affair with Anna-Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury, the house later served as the backdrop for the Profumo affair. In the 300 years between, the house was occupied by a dynasty of remarkable women each of whom left their mark on this great house.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much More Than A Book About A House

  • By Alison on 28-02-17

Great tale, dreadful narrator.

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

Reviewed: 09-08-16

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this but no I wouldn't listen to it again. I would read it though. The house itself has a wonderful history and it's fascinating to hear about it, but the narrator seems to be trying to turn it into some kind of drama - swooping and emoting all over the place. She treats it as if it were a work of fiction and it gets very, very annoying very, very quickly. I would far rather that she had simply read the book as a work of non-fiction. The story is dramatic enough without her trying to help.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful