A Single Man, by Christopher Isherwood, narrated by simon Prebble, produced by Highbridge audio, downloaded from audible.com.
This is a rather sad book...moreA Single Man, by Christopher Isherwood, narrated by simon Prebble, produced by Highbridge audio, downloaded from audible.com.
This is a rather sad book about a gay man in 1961 surviving after the death of his partner, Jim. George and Jim have not allowed most people to know about their relationship, and now George doesn’t allow people to know that Jim is dead. He tries to carry on with his life, teaching classes, eating dinner periodically with a female friend who would like to have a relationship with him, and living a very depressing and suppressed life. Then he and one of his students do the wild thing of going swimming in the middle of the night. The result is tragedy, or closure, however you want to look at it. Extremely well written. I haven’t seen the movie, but in my opinion the book is always better than the movie.
A Bitter Veil, by Libby Fischer Hellman, Narrated by Diane Pirone Gelman, Produced by Libby Fischer Hellman Publishing, downloaded from audible.com.
An...moreA Bitter Veil, by Libby Fischer Hellman, Narrated by Diane Pirone Gelman, Produced by Libby Fischer Hellman Publishing, downloaded from audible.com.
Anna and Nouri, both college students studying in Chicago, fall in love despite their very different backgrounds.Anna grew up in strange circumstances. Her father was a scientist from Nazi Germany repatriated to the U.S. after the war because the government wanted his scientific knowledge. Her mother, a citizen from India, divorced her father after she learned of his war activities and moved to Paris, leaving Anna with her father in the U.S. Due to this background, where she never felt loved as a child, Anna is more than happy to return with Nouri to his native Iran, to be embraced by his wealthy family, with his father being a known supporter of the Shah of Iran. . Beginning their married life together in 1978, their world is abruptly turned upside down by the overthrow of the Shah, and the rise of the Islamic Republic.Under the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Republican Guard, life becomes increasingly restricted and Anna must learn to exist in a transformed world, where none of the familiar Western rules apply. Random arrests and torture become the norm, women are required to wear hijab, and Anna discovers that she is no longer free to leave the country. As events reach a fevered pitch, Anna realizes that nothing is as she thought, and no one can be trusted? Not even her husband. Then things get even worse when her husband is murdered, Anna is framed for the murder and thrown into the worst prison in Iran. This is an excellent book with Hellman’s expert touch of putting you right in the middle of political events, never letting the tension ease until the very end. This will be one of my best books of the year. It’s not really a murder mystery though. I consider it a novel. (less)
Unraveled Sleeve, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, Narrated by Susan Boyce, Produced by Audiogo, Downloaded from audible.com.
This is one of the earliest Bets...moreUnraveled Sleeve, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, Narrated by Susan Boyce, Produced by Audiogo, Downloaded from audible.com.
This is one of the earliest Betsy Devonshire Crewel World mysteries. In this one, she is having nightmares after having untangled a mystery. She decides to go with Jill to a rustic lodge on the north shore for a “stiching” weekend, enjoying with other women learning needlecrafts. When she gets there, she has a short discussion with another guest. Then, when she goes to her room, she finds the same woman dead lying on the bed. She goes down to report the crime, and when the manager walks her back upstairs to her room, where they find Jill napping, she realizes she had gone to the wrong room previously. They go back to that room, find the ex-husband of the woman who says his ex-wife is not there, and her body is indeed gone. And no one else has seen her there. But she was supposed to come, and in fact her car is there. So Betsy starts digging to find out what happened, and to put her own mind at rest, that she wasn’t dreaming up the dead body. It’s quite good, although Betsy can get quite annoying with her prying on occasion, not unlike Jane Marple and Jessica Fletcher.
Leave a Message for Willie, by Marcia Muller, b-plus, Narrated by Laura Hicks, Produced by audiogo, downloaded from audible.com.
This is no. 5 in the S...moreLeave a Message for Willie, by Marcia Muller, b-plus, Narrated by Laura Hicks, Produced by audiogo, downloaded from audible.com.
This is no. 5 in the Sharon McCone series. Sharon’s boss at the Legal Coop in San Francisco, sends her to the flea market to help a buddy from the Vietnam War days. Sharon is asked by Willie to find someone who is stalking him. Willie fences stolen goods, as do some of the other vendors in the flea market. Some Torah scrolls were stolen in the flea market. As Sharon attempts to help Willie, she finds herself in danger from what appears to be a para-military group. Another in the early part of the series. Although not as well written as later books in the series, I consider the early ones the best. (less)
A Murderous Yarn, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, Narrated by Susan Boyce, Produced by audiogo, downloaded from audible.com
In this edition to the Betsy Devo...moreA Murderous Yarn, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, Narrated by Susan Boyce, Produced by audiogo, downloaded from audible.com
In this edition to the Betsy Devonshire mysteries with Betsy and friends from the Crewel World yarn shop, Betsy agrees to sponsor Jill’s husband in an antique car race. She becomes very involved in the antique car history, and we as readers learn a lot of interesting facts about antique cars, when they were made, different kinds of cars, etc. But ultimately when the race takes place, one of the racers doesn’t turn up at the finishing line. They go back through the route and find him in a lay-by, dead and burned underneath his car which exploded. He had been having car trouble all day with his head under the hood, so at first everyone thought that there had been an accident and the car had exploded. But then they found that he had been shot in the chest, and so it was murder. Betsy had spent most of the day with the man’s wife and turned out to be her best alibi. Otherwise she would have been the main suspect. Betsy had to find out what happened. The suspects included the victim’s oldest son along with a very good friend of the family, whom Betsy believed to be in love with his wife. As she and the police figured out what happened, we too were treated to a satisfactory conclusion. These books are quick and easy reads after the very heavy books I’ve been reading. (less)
Bruno, Chief of Police, by Martin Walker, A. Narrated by Robert MacKenzie, produced by Recorded Books, downloaded from audible.com.
This book is seemin...moreBruno, Chief of Police, by Martin Walker, A. Narrated by Robert MacKenzie, produced by Recorded Books, downloaded from audible.com.
This book is seemingly about a French village with a one-man police force, Bruno, whom the villagers insist upon calling their chief of police. Although at least 50 years have passed since the end of WW II, the memories are long of those who represented the French resistance against both the Nazis and the Vichy government collaborators. The Chief’s main job is to see that parades run smoothly and that people in the town act lawfully. He and the village alike see the laws of the European Union as an inconvenience, and some of the kids slash the tires of the EU police whenever they come to town. Bruno knows who is doing it, but instead of publicizing it, he has a word with their parents. But all this peace and placidity changes on May 8th, the day each year when a parade is held to celebrate Charles de Gaulle’s speech urging the resistance to fight on, a speech made in 1940. On this May 8th, a grisly murder is committed in which a former citizen of Algiers, who fought with the French and who had lived in France for at least 40 years, brings Bruno into an investigation which has the possibility of tearing his placid village in half. Many of the Frenchmen in the village feel that the Algerians and other North Africans who have settled there are not “real Frenchmen” and should go home. Bruno will need to figure out who committed the murder, and by the same token, keep his village from erupting into violence. A very good book with a good dose of the history of the Vichy collaborators vs. the resistance movement. (less)
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go r...moreaudible.com.
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to help illegal refugees. But when Nina's friend, Karin, asks her to help her, and gives her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, begging her to collect its contents. Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet. Because inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive. Nina's natural instinct is to rescue the boy, but she knows the situation is risky. She sees a large threatening man from Eastern Europe who is angry when he finds that locker empty, and he sees Nina and rightly suspects she has the boy , the reader finds out that the man was supposed to deliver the boy and receive money-something Nina doesn’t yet know. Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is hunting him down. When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy's are in jeopardy, too. A very good all-engrossing book, well narrated. (less)
Witness, by Cath Staincliffe, a-minus, Narrated by Julia Franklin, Produced by Soundings, (Isis) downloaded from audible.com.
This story follows the li...moreWitness, by Cath Staincliffe, a-minus, Narrated by Julia Franklin, Produced by Soundings, (Isis) downloaded from audible.com.
This story follows the lives of four people who witness a murder, and what they must go through before they can come forward and identify the murderers. Fiona is a midwife who has just helped a woman give birth at home when she hears a shot. She looks out the window, sees a teenage boy fall to the ground, and rushes out to see if she can help save his life. The car with the shooter in it almost hits her trying to get away, and she sees the face of the shooter. Mike, a delivery driver, just happens to be passing on the street when he sees a boy jump out of a car, and shoot the teenager in cold blood. His wife becomes convinced that gang members are involved and that they will be punished if Mike testifies. Cheryl is a single mother from the neighborhood who knows the two gang members involved. She has just talked to the teenage boy when she sees the two gang members go by, and then hear the shot and knows they shot the boy. She knows how dangerous the boys are and tries to stay out of the way. Zack is a burglar who, while burglarizing an apartment, hears a shot, looks out the window, and also sees the gang members, whom he also knows from the neighborhood. Eventually all four of these people end up going to the police. Fiona has panic attacks afterward and has to take anti-depressants. Mike has to lie to his wife when he decides to testify, and also loses his job. Cheryl must decide to testify even though she loses her best friend. And Zack cuts a deal on a crime he committed in order to go into the witness protection program to give evidence. The four witnesses testify behind a screen so they aren’t identified to the gang members, and the defense lawyers tear them apart. An excellent psychological novel. (less)
Deadly Reunion, by Geraldine Evans, b-plus, Narrated by Gordon Griffin, Produced by Soundings, Downloaded from audible.com.
A 20-year class reunion of...moreDeadly Reunion, by Geraldine Evans, b-plus, Narrated by Gordon Griffin, Produced by Soundings, Downloaded from audible.com.
A 20-year class reunion of the class of graduates from the prestigious Griffin School culminates in the death of a high profile former student, DI Joseph Rafferty and his partner, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn, are called in to unearth the truth. The man was poisoned with hemlock from local plants. Was it suicide, or was he murdered? As they begin looking at the dead man’s classmates for a clue as to how or why he died, they unearth a lot of secrets from the class, and yet another person is murdered, again with hemlock. DI Rafferty has another problem too. His mother has decided there should be a Rafferty family reunion. It starts small, but then she finds lots of lost relatives on the internet and invites them all. She then commandeers the two extra rooms in her son’s house for some of the relatives. Rafferty and his honeymoon bride aren’t thrilled with having guests, particularly when one of them turns out to be a fundamentalist preacher from the U.S. The family part of the book is funny and touching, and the relationship between Rafferty and his sergeant,Llewellyn, is great fun to watch. And ultimately they solve the murders. An entertaining read. (less)
The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro. A. borrowed from Library for the Blind, talking book. Available also on CD and from audible.com.
Another of t...moreThe Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro. A. borrowed from Library for the Blind, talking book. Available also on CD and from audible.com.
Another of the wonderful Ishiguro books. In this one, Stevens, the butler for Lord Darlington and Darlington Hall for 30 years, is reviewing his life while he travels across England at the behest of his new employer who told him to take a vacation. The time is the mid 1950’s. We see, as the book unfolds, that Stevens has been so intent upon the profession of being a butler, that he has allowed most things in his life that would have caused anyone to have emotions or feelings, to go by the wayside while he kept up the house and followed all Lord Darlington’s orders. Not a great deal happens in this book. It is a character study. Although we are dealing here with a butler, the story is not unfamiliar for workaholic professionals today.
Mercy, by Jodi Pecoult. B-plus. Borroed from Recorded Books, also available through audible.com.
Two distinct plots go on here, each having to do with l...moreMercy, by Jodi Pecoult. B-plus. Borroed from Recorded Books, also available through audible.com.
Two distinct plots go on here, each having to do with love. Cameron McDonald is chief of police in Wheelock, Mass. Where he has lived his whole life. He is well respected and has a comfortable life with his wife, Allie, who runs a flower shop. Then two things happen. First, Cam’s cousin, Jamie McDonald arrives in town. He asks to speak directly to Cam, and confesses to killing his wife. Her body is right in the car with him. Cam is torn between sympathy for his cousin, who killed his wife because she was in the last stages of cancer, couldn’t stand the pain, and entreated him for months to kill her. But Cam must uphold the law, so he arrests Jamie who is then tried for murder. So one question regarding love is: is it fair to ask someone to assist you in taking your life? The second question regarding love comes about because of another new person who comes to town, Mia Townsend. She appears in Allie’s flower shop, shows incredible skill at arranging flowers, and Allie hires her. But Mia and Cam are mutually attracted to each other. Cam finds himself, for the first time in his life, in an extramarital affair. If Allie should find out, would she be justified in leaving him? Would he be justified in leaving Allie for this new love, Mia? As usual, very well-drawn characters and a thought-provoking book.
The Devil’s Feather, by Minette Walters. A. Downloaded from audible.com. I have only read one other of her books, and this one is quite different from...moreThe Devil’s Feather, by Minette Walters. A. Downloaded from audible.com. I have only read one other of her books, and this one is quite different from the first one I read, “The Ice House.” The protagonist is named Connie Burns, and she is a journalist for Reuters who usually follows various wars. While working in Sierra Leone, she became aware that prostitutes were being killed. She also came across a security guard whom she recognized from another job in Africa. He is very violent, clearly hates women, and other women turned up dead at the first place she remembered him from. She made it very clear to him that she didn’t like him. He made her a promise that she would regret not being friendly to him. Then two years later, she recognizes him again in Iraq. She attempts to turn him in and no one will believe her. Then she disappears for three days. He has kidnapped her and holds her in a cellar where he terrorizes her for three days and then lets her go. She returns to England and gets a house as buried in the country as possible because she believes he’ll come after her again. The ensuing terror as the book unfolds is spine-tingling. The ending is somewhat ambiguous which, in this case, I really liked.
In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, by James Lee Burke. A. Borrowed from the Library for the Blind, talking book. Available on Audible.com as w...moreIn the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead, by James Lee Burke. A. Borrowed from the Library for the Blind, talking book. Available on Audible.com as well.
This is a wonderful book about Dave Robicheau in New Iberia perish. In this book he is working for the sheriff’s office. The sheriff asks him to go see a suspected mobster who originally came from New Iberia, and whom Dave had grown up with, and ask him to leave town. Then, it became known that this man was fronting the money to produce a movie, and the movie would be produced in New Iberia. The businessmen didn’t want him run out of town. In the meantime, Dave is investigating two cases where girls have disappeared and have been found later severely tortured before death. The sheriff calls in the FBI, and he finds himself working with a woman, Rosie Perez. The murders and the doings of the mobster are found to be related. Dave, as usual, is investigating in a nonconventional way. And, to top it off, he keeps dreaming about, or even seeing when he’s awake, a general from the Rebel Army with his troops. He converses with the general and discusses the problems of his case along with ethical dilemmas. Everyone believes him crazy except an actor and his daughter, Allafair who can also see the soldiers. This is a spell-binding book. When woo-woo is involved, it is easy for a mystery, or any fiction, to get out of hand, but this did not happen here. This was Burkes’ usuall wonderful almost poetic writing with a wonderful character, Dave Robicheau. It’s amusing to me that his adopted daughter in these books has the same name as the author’s real daughter. I definitely recommend this read. (less)
Atonement, by Ian McEwan. A. Borrowed from Library for the Blind, available on CD's and from audible.com.
Another author who doesn’t usually disappoint....moreAtonement, by Ian McEwan. A. Borrowed from Library for the Blind, available on CD's and from audible.com.
Another author who doesn’t usually disappoint. In this book we have a 13-year-old girl, Briany, who wants to be a writer. She writes a play which she wants to have her cousins perform with her. Her cousins are staying with the family because their own parents are getting divorced, and they, especially the twin boys, are very lonely. The rehearsals don’t go as Briany expects and she abandons the play. The twins become so homesick that they run away trying to get back home. Everyone goes out looking for them, including Robbie, the house cleaner’s boy whom the family had taken in and educated. Robbie is in love with the older daughter, Cecelia. While they are searching for the twins, Lola, the other cousin, is raped. Briany convinces herself that Robbie raped Lola and never veers from this belief, so Robbie is arrested, tried, and serves over three years in prison. This changes his life. When he leaves prison, he goes into the army, but he and Cecelia remain steadfast to each other, and Cecelia leaves the family because they believed Briany and thought Robbie guilty. As the book unfolds, we see things from various points of view. Briany, in writing down what happened, is trying to atone for the crime of falsely accusing Robbie when she couldn’t be at all certain he was guilty. It is a very compelling book.