Audiobook Review: 4/5 The Golden Hour by MK Graff Narrated by Nano Nagle

 

What’s new?

After a pretty long hiatus, I am back with reviewing audiobooks. Let’s start with a cozy British mystery.

Summary:

Nora Tierney gets caught up in a complicated case of international terrorism.

Additional Comments:

– Loved the narrator’s voice. (Nano Nagle’s performance is strong.) British accent is usually charming.

– Nora and Declan’s relationship seemed contrived at points, but it’s still a feel good type story.

– Honestly, Nora annoyed me at points. (She seemed superfluous.) I think that might be a pitfall of cozy’s in general – she’s not a detective so her involvement with the case has some pretty shaky threads.

– This isn’t the first in the series, but catching up was pretty easy. The series as a whole would likely be more enjoyable from the beginning though.

– The book started very strong but kind of dragged in the end.

– The plot’s kind of complicated but I really enjoyed the terrorism angle.

Conclusion:

A well-narrated cozy mystery.

 

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)


Audiobook Reviews: Introducing Gertrude, Gumshoe by Robin Merrill

Introduction:

Something flavorful for cozy mystery fans.

Summary:

Meet Gertrude. She’s an eccentric, cat-loving, cranky, coot with mild kelpto tendencies who toddles around with a walker and finds plenty of trouble.

Additional Comments:

– We don’t really know much about Gertrude or how she got to be where she is in a tiny trailer park. Maybe more of her past comes out in future story. I only mention that because she’s occasionally delightfully and occasionally eye-brow raising sort of naïve. (i.e. stars in a Thai restaurant, existence of P.I. licenses, etc)

– She’s willful, opinionated, and nosy, but she cares. While that might rub some readers the wrong way, I think it’s part of her charm.

– The cranky part of her character manifests as rude at times, but there are parts where her better nature shines through.

– I heard the audio version. The narrator handled voices superbly, but her normal reading tone sounded pretty robotic.

– The salt shaker collection’s a tad weird.

– We don’t actually see much of her cats, which is odd given she has so many of them.

– The side characters are intriguing but could be fleshed out more. I’m assuming there will be some recurring characters throughout the series.

Conclusion:

It’s a solid start to a cozy mystery series. There’s a definite flavor here. Many will find it amusing.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

A Mysterious Collection of Cozy, Clean, Free Mysteries

Love this cover.

Introduction:

After so much strangeness, I’m pleased to present something sort of normal. Okay, so people die, but what’s life without a little mystery. Each of these little gems is categorized as cozy, except the last, which I’d say is more suspense.

Winner of the most interesting title award:

Raining Men and Corpses by Anne R. Tan

An amateur sleuth becomes the prime suspect in her professor’s murder.

A Close Runner up to most interesting title award:

middle finger of fate

The Middle Finger of Fate by Kim Hunt Harris

I love the series title. The dog in the corner is cute. Okay, so I lied on the little part. This behemoth clocks in at 391 pages. Still, looks like a fun ride.

Cozies Come in Threes…

Actually kind of a gruesome cover if you think about it.

Sunny Side Up by Sonia Parin

Ex-husbands and handsome detectives. 168 pages in length.

And they’re getting shorter still …

Yes, I like the cover. Me = biased.

The Collins Case by Julie C. Gilbert

A pair of FBI agents race against time to rescue a kidnapped family. Fits in the Christian mystery novella category.

Conclusion:

Well, there ya have it folks: a fine collection of clean, murderous freebies.

*Note, the following section contains associate links.

Looking for more?

Prime Student

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Fantastic Fall Freebies and Fun Stuff

First up – Paperbacks

Don’t miss this grand opportunity to grab some awesome books. Ebooks are lovely things, but let’s be old fashioned and pick up the real thing. Join over twenty indie authors and enter for your chance at one of 10 prize packs full of swag and paperback books. (Full details available at this site. Also, go there to check out the goods.)

8 Scifi, YA, and Fantasy Books

Official giveaway ended a couple of days ago, but I was told the offers should still be good so grab ’em while they’re hot.

7 Free Romance, Mystery, and Dystopian Books

Oh, look, preview. Technically, this one isn’t running yet, but I twisted some arms and gotcha a sneak peek. Seriously, people, if you can’t find something to love within this oddball (I mean awesome!) collection, dunno what to tell you. Pretty sure 90% of the genres are covered by at least one of these giveaways.

 

The usual litany of Amazon affiliate links.

 

Prime Student – Basically, Prime is awesome but super expensive, so if you’re a student, take advantage of the lovely opportunity to save big.

Kindle Unlimited – Never tried it, but then my personal reading time is severely limited by that the need to work for a living. Why can’t anybody just pay me millions for being cute?

Amazon Prime – Okay, so all those of use who are official adultified, here’s the real deal.

Free Kindle Reading App – Got nothing to lose on this one. Just a way to READ MORE BOOKS.

Audible – And for those of us addicted to stories who don’t have reading time, there’s always Audible.

Audiobook Reviews: 4/5 Polly Parrett Pet-Sitter Cozy Mysteries Collection by Liz Dodwell

Predictable but Charming

Summary:

A series of short cozy mysteries (yeah, there are bodies but nothing’s described in gruesome detail or anything.)

Additional Comments:

– Main character – Polly was basically Stephanie Plum lite – a clumsy disaster magnet with gorgeous boyfriend who saves her repeatedly.

– Side characters – including pets were very well fleshed out and added a nice layer to the story.

– I heard the audible version, which I definitely recommend over simple reading. Narrator did a decent job with the performance.

– I enjoyed how the stories built on one another. (Would not recommend reading the series out of order.)

One thing that bothered me: the main character/narrator broke the fourth wall (talked to the reader; ala – “now, I know what you’re thinking” style) numerous times. Once, I get (simple mistake/stylistic choice), but any more than that is just annoying.

– Plots ended up being unique if a little “convenient” from time to time, but that’s sort of the nature of a mystery novella.

Conclusion:

If you’re looking for short, fluff mysteries with minimal curses, this is a good choice.

 

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

Kindle Unlimited

Free Kindle Reading App

Amazon Prime

Audiobook Reviews: Next Stop, Chancey by Kay Dew Shostak

3.5/5 A Look at Small Town Life

Summary: Carolina Jessup panics after she finds condoms in her daughter’s purse. She sells her house, packs up her family, and moves them to a small town, all the while hating small towns as she’ll repeatedly let you know

 

Additional Comments:

  • There are a lot of characters to keep straight, but the audio performance was well-handled. Male voices sort of sound the same, but the main characters have distinct voices and the narrator does the female Southern accent very well.
  • The main character complains a fair amount in the book. She’s constantly doubting her decision to move the family, even though she knows her husband enjoys the new place and the fact that it’s near trains.
  • The book’s essentially a small town soap opera. The gossip flies fast and the muffins are fine. Everybody knows everybody else’s business. The teenage daughter finds herself competing for the top social slot. The boy finds a new friend and sort of disappears into the countryside to reappear from time to time and ask for food.
  • There’s the added intrigue of the ghost story, but to be honest, the explanation sort of ruined it. Maybe I’m just too much a fan of paranormal twists to books.
  • The main character does sort of find out what she wants by the end, but it was a pretty arduous mental “I should be happy here” journey.
  • I love the cover!

Conclusion:

If small town gossip’s your thing, then this is just the book for you. It’s a study in small town modern suburban existence.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Please, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

Can’t get enough audiobooks?
Audible

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba

 

4.5/5 Fame’s not what Cassidy thought it would be

Summary:

Cassidy’s stint on a hot new reality TV show, Sink or Swim, propels her into unwanted stardom and earns her a stalker. She misses the million by five points, but still winds up with more attention than she’d like.

 

Additional Comments:

  • It’s a predictable yet enjoyable story.
  • I heard the audiobook, and the narrator’s performance was very good.
  •  I like the concept of the reality TV show and the idea of stalker angle. It went on a tad longer than it truly had momentum for, but there were some interesting red herrings. It’s not really about the TV series, but that’s a neat angle.
  • Her family dynamics worked for me. Mother and father divorced amiably and a devoted kid half-brother. I enjoyed the fact that the family wasn’t picture perfect with a white picket fence.
  • The murder angle was okay, but I think it distracts from the terror caused by the stalker.
  • The gun thing was kinda dumb, but I can forgive the character under pressure some irrationality.
  • I didn’t get a big “personal trainer” vibe from Cassidy. I’m not sure the book describes her running once, though I do remember her lifting weights or something. I haven’t had a personal trainer, but I think a lot of their job is the mental piece. I would have expected some of that disciplined mindset to bleed into her thought process while dealing with the stalker.

Conclusion:

Intriguing stalker book.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Please, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

Kindle Unlimited – Keep that Kindle Happy. 30 FREE trial

Free Kindle Reading App

Audiobook Reviews: 3.45/5 Stars The Girl in Seat 24B by Jennifer Peel

 

Summary:

Carly’s left to fend for herself emotionally and practically become a single mom because her husband, Michael Bishop, decides to pursue some career opportunities.

Additional Comments:

– It’s predictable.
– There’s excellent character development in everybody but the main characters. I love Joseph Xavier and his family. Even the in-laws progressed believably. Michael, not so much. Carly … yeah, I can believe her character development.
– I was really hoping it’d turn into a murder mystery at several points. That says a lot for the author’s skill to make realistic characters, but annoyed typically isn’t the vibe you want for 95% of the book.
– I heard the audiobook and the narrator did a lovely job. There weren’t too many voices she needed to do, but there were quite a few emotional moments that she captured nicely.
– I had to take the book in small doses, but luckily, I had a scifi study in ridiculousness to balance out this family drama thing.
– Although the characters were pretty realistic, their circumstances were not. Besides the major plot of “I don’t love you anymore” Michael walking out for 80% of the book, everything else works out like a dream.

  • Carly has 0 wants for money. Her business just flourishes from nothing to she’s turning down jobs left and right. She’s a social media hit with her wonderful pictures, and so forth. Even Michael, as he pursues his new career goals, he gets plush assignments and book deals thrown at him. The two kids are wonderful in every way. Oh, there are a few references to crankiness, but otherwise they’re little angels who love each other. There’s references to trouble with the in-laws but throughout this journey they’re nothing but supportive and loving.
    Content warnings – a few curse words; adult themes
    – I can’t speak to grammar because I heard it read to me, but aloud, it flowed decently well.

Conclusion:

If family drama’s your thing, you’ll probably enjoy this. It’s basically one woman’s journey to survive a stint of single motherhood while her husband’s an idiot then her battle to forgive him once he comes to his senses. (All that can be gathered from the book description.)

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 stars Mail Order Mishap by Barbara Goss

 

Summary:

The American Civil War leaves behind a shortage of men in the South. Wanting a husband and children, Amber Wakefield travels to Hunter’s Grove, Kansas in answer to a mail order bride ad. There, she finds not everything is as it seems.

 

Additional Comments:

  • The narrator handled the Southern accent very well.
  • Romance typically isn’t my genre, but I found this enjoyable.
  • It’s totally predictable from the cover right down to the conclusion, yet that does not detract from the fun factor.
  • Parts made me laugh out loud. That’s always a plus.
  • It’s short enough that it didn’t frustrate me. (A story like this where the two main characters dance around each other being miserable has the potential to get old real quick. But the length of this story was perfect to let the characters get flustered to a point then bring everything to a satisfying conclusion.)
  • Adult themes are handled tastefully. I’d consider this a “clean” book.

Conclusion:

A nice, light, inspirational romance story.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Audiobook Reviews: An Inner Fire by Jacki Delecki

4/5 Stars Romantic Suspense Story with Fun Characters

Summary:

Grayce Walters, paranormal vet, gets a vision from Mitzi that Ewan Davis is in danger. He, of course, is a hot fire investigator who’s looking into a suspicious fire down at the wharf.

Additional Comments:

  • Writing quality is very strong overall.
  • The mystery itself is fairly straightforward. It’s not a police procedural or anything so the main character’s investigation is confined more to generic snooping. She does do some pretty stupid things overall, but it’s all because she loves her man … I guess we can at least understand the why of it.
  • The repeated use of strong language got tedious for me. (But I will say that the narrator did a nice job with the performance.)
  • The touch of paranormal in here was well done. I think more could have been done with the connection to Grayce’s sister, but the dreams/visions were decently described.
  • Twist at the end kind of cheapened all the character(s) did to investigate up to that point.
  • The idea of doing acupuncture on pets is intriguing. I know zip about acupuncture in general, but the descriptions sounded reasonable.
  • Fun side characters – Davis’s aunt and Grayce’s friend James are outlandish in their own ways
  • Content warnings: very strong language, adult content goes beyond the “mild” setting (I’d probably categorize it as medium level in at least 1 scene)

 

Conclusion:

Good romantic suspense/ mystery story if you can handle the descriptions of sex and the repeated strong language.

As Always …

You should still join Audiobook Readers’ Edge, but this book will not be featured in the regular list. It will be available by Matchmaker. Sign up then email me. (Devyaschildren @ gmail.com).

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.