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Lesley Mac

Victoria, Australia
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  • 19
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  • A Picture of Murder

  • A Lady Hardcastle Mystery, Book 4
  • By: T E Kinsey
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Late October 1909, and the season of ghouls and things that go bump in the night has descended on the village of Littleton Cotterell. Lady Hardcastle and her trusted lady’s maid, Florence, find themselves hosting a colorful cast of actors whose spooky moving picture, The Witch’s Downfall, is being shown to mark Halloween. But things take a macabre turn when the first night’s screening ends with a mysterious murder, and the second night with another. One by one the actors turn up dead in ways that eerily echo their film.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Utterly brilliant!

  • By Lesley Mac on 30-03-2019

Utterly brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 30-03-2019

This is the fourth in the series of Lady Hardcastle mysteries and all I can say is that T E Kinsey is amazing! But T E Kinsey and Elizabeth Knowelden combined is sheer magic!

There are so many laugh out loud moments, but the mystery does not suffer for all of the comedic moments that abound. The interaction between Lady Hardcastle and her lethal (though tiny) sidekick is priceless. All of the characters are beautifully drawn and brought to high-definition-colourful life by Elizabeth Knowelden. Her performance is superb; her arsenal of voices and accents are eminently listenable.

I πŸ’• this series and look forward to more.

  • Conceit & Concealment

  • A Pride & Prejudice Variation
  • By: Abigail Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Klett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Six years after Napoleon's invasion of England. Fitzwilliam Darcy is a traitor. He even admits to collaborating with Napoleon's troops. And Elizabeth Bennet despises all traitors. But she can't make sense of Darcy. He doesn't act like a traitor. He risks his own safety to save young women from the French. And how can she despise a man who loves puppies? Something about him doesn't add up - and she finds him far too attractive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By Lesley Mac on 12-02-2019

Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 12-02-2019

I baulked at buying this book for the longest time because I could not bear to read a story where England was under French rule.

The main reason I finally succumbed was the fact that I already own so many P&P variation audiobooks, I can no longer find one that interests me enough to buy. Either the storyline, or the fact that the book is only two minutes long, or the narrator turns me off buying.

Whatever the reason, I am so glad that I finally bit the bullet, because this book is amazing. Abigail Reynolds has truly surpassed herself. Her imagination knows no bounds as she shows us an England under French rule and makes it truly believable. You also cannot help being invested in her characters, not least Darcy and Elizabeth.

I won’t go through the ins and outs of the plot because the synopsis tells all, and if that is not enough, there are plenty of other reviews giving glimpses of the plot.

I would not have succumbed to the lure of this book though if the narrator had been any one other than Elizabeth Klett. She is one of the main narrators of Abigail Reynolds’ works, and she is by far the best.

Definitely a winner and I definitely recommend.

  • The Subsequent Proposal: A Tale of Pride, Prejudice & Persuasion

  • By: Joana Starnes
  • Narrated by: Stevie Zimmerman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

Characters from Jane Austen's novels are thrown together by fate, and all manner of unwise decisions are taken at this vulnerable time. But then their past creeps up upon them - and what is there to do but face it, and hope that their convoluted paths will finally lead them to their proper place? Friends, rivals, foes, wrong choices, and a duel - Fitzwilliam Darcy's life is never dull! The Subsequent Proposal - a story that is primarily about him - follows Mr. Darcy in his struggles to decipher the troubling enigma of Elizabeth Bennet's feelings - and to correct the worst misjudgment of his life....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another winner.

  • By Lesley Mac on 30-01-2019

Another winner.

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

Reviewed: 30-01-2019

This is another wonderful book by Joan’s Starnes bought to brilliant life by Stevie Zimmerman.

I love all Joana’s work and Stevie Zimmerman is one of my favourite narrators.

The Subsequent Proposal is a very clever premise that melds P&P with Persuasion. It is written around the newly broken heart of Darcy and the old wound that Anne Elliot has lived with for 8 years. The title indicates what Darcy commits himself to and the story is what ensues when Elizabeth is thrust back into Darcy’s life and his anguish when he is told that his Lizzy is close to being proposed to by a naval officer who has distinguished himself in battle and has amassed quite a fortune in the spoils of war.

I won’t go into detail but urge you to buy this audiobook if you love P&P and Persuasion, a tortured Darcy—whose is the POV the story is written from—and lots and lots of angst.

Full marks! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

  • The Darcys of Pemberley

  • The Continuing Story of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • By: Shannon Winslow
  • Narrated by: Marian Hussey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

A sequel faithful to Jane Austen's beloved masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have been married for almost a year, and their heated arguments are a thing of the past. All that passion is now directed into more satisfying pursuits. But how long can the honeymoon last? The Darcys of Pemberley is the tale of two romances: the continuation of Darcy and Elizabeth's story, and the courtship of Miss Georgiana.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane Austen would be shocked

  • By Ngaire on 24-04-2018

Top Marks. βœ…

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

Reviewed: 20-01-2019

I have listened to this story many times and each time I fall in love with it all over again. After many, many peeks into the lives of the relatively newly married Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy, I never tire of listening to this story. The story covers about a twelve month and Lizzy and Darcy have been married about a year when the story begins, and it begins shockingly with the inauspicious death of Mr Collins; Lady C’s fault as he was hurrying his meal so as not to be late to a summons from her ladyship, and he chocked on a piece of mutton.

The Darcy’s marriage, at first seemingly idyllic, begins to unravel; at least, they both begin to realise that one is keeping things from the other. There is no open warfare, but they are both miserable. Wickham is up to no good, and Georgiana is having problems in the romance department.

All of the regular cast make appearances and three new players are added to the ensemble.

I have developed a strict adherence to finally reviewing all of my audio and eBooks, no matter how long ago I purchased them and I can strongly recommend this one. Marian Hussey’s narration hits most of the right notes, but I occasionally find some of the dialogue to be too slow, especially some of the men’s voices. But this slight criticism is not enough to deduct any stars.

If you love Lizzy and Darcy, you will love this continuation of their lives after marriage. πŸ‘β€οΈ

  • A Pemberley Medley

  • Five Pride & Prejudice Variations
  • By: Abigail Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Klett
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

It's the best of all worlds - five short Pride & Prejudice variations by best-selling writer Abigail Reynolds gathered in one volume. Can Mr. Darcy win Elizabeth Bennet's heart... or will they misunderstand each other forever? Can he stand by and watch Elizabeth lose everything she holds precious... including him?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loves Fool!

  • By Lesley Mac on 16-01-2019

Loves Fool!

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

Reviewed: 16-01-2019

These five short stories are all very similar. True, each has its own plot, but they all lead in the same direction. I found Darcy in each of these stories to have very little restraint and he is totally uncaring for propriety. To put it succinctly, he is a sex crazed fool. Lizzy, supposedly a sheltered, well brought up young gentle woman, is not much better.
The 'plot' rears its head every now and again in each story, but mostly, it is just punctuation separating one scene of unbridled passion and another.

In the second last story, Mr Collins rears his ugly head and causes strife for ODC. I was hoping for there to be some kind of confrontation between him and Darcy, but pent up passion wipes every other thought from his head, and Mr Collins does not get any kind of comeuppance. I was really hoping for that scene.

Elizabeth Klett does an excellent job with the subject matter

  • The Meryton Murders

  • A Mystery Set in the Town of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice
  • By: Victoria Grossack
  • Narrated by: Erin Evans-Walker
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

Elizabeth Darcy receives a letter from her father informing her that her sister needs her. So Elizabeth travels from Pemberley to her old neighborhood to do what she can to support her sister in her time of distress.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • OK mystery, but little feeling between characters

  • By Lesley Mac on 15-01-2019

OK mystery, but little feeling between characters

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

Reviewed: 15-01-2019

The intrigue part of this book is interesting enough, though partway through the story, It is not too difficult to work out who the perpetrators of the various crimes are.

The things I disliked though, were the total lack of romance between the relatively newlywed Darcys and the rigid formality of address between relations by marriage—an example of this is Jane calling Mr Darcy, 'sir'. Also, the narrator within the story never just speaks of, 'Darcy ', or 'Bingley', but always uses their titles, as well as the titles of the married females. It makes the story very stiff in my opinion. I know it was a very formal age, but I refuse to believe that sisters and brothers in-law, particularly when there is affection, cannot address each other by their Christian names.

Neither Lizzy nor Darcy exhibit any dejection over the fact that they will be separated for an unknown period of time and when they are eventually reunited, other than a kiss on the cheek, there is no passion. I am not suggesting anything licentious, but some indication of their love for each other would have been nice to see. Whilst writing a letter to Darcy, Lizzy ruminates about what a good and upright man her husband is and how much she respects and admires him, but not once does she actually think upon the fact that she loves him. I know the story is a mystery and not a love story, but by dint of the fact that the story centres around the relatively newly married Lizzy and Darcy, and Jane and Bingley, I do not see why a little understated romance could have been incorporated.

I found the narration to be a bit of a bugbear—For me, it is very disconcerting to listen to such a quintessentially English story narrated in an American accent. Erin Evans-Walker tries to sound a little British, but the only way she accomplishes this is by exaggerating the pronunciation of many names and words. Occasionally, she even sounds Irish, at least to my ear.

Overall, 3 stars.

  • Love Never Fails: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

  • By: Jennifer Joy
  • Narrated by: Stevie Zimmerman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Mr. Bennet dies, and Mrs. Bennet's desperation to secure her daughters' futures reaches new levels. When Elizabeth Bennet's home is lost to her, she finds herself in the clutches of a wealthy widow with too much time and money on her hands. Stuck between an obstinate mother and an eccentric woman intent on creating mischief, Elizabeth's only comfort is in Mr. Darcy and his ever-present handkerchief.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • J J never fails. πŸ‘πŸ»

  • By Lesley Mac on 13-01-2019

J J never fails. πŸ‘πŸ»

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

Reviewed: 13-01-2019

Love Never Fails is another winner from the pen of Jennifer Joy, bought to life by the wonderful voice of Stevie Zimmerman. It has it all: a swoon-worthy Darcy, a feisty—if subdued, due to grief —Lizzy, and all the characters very much as we know them from canon.

Highly recommend. 😊

  • The 26th of November

  • A Pride and Prejudice Comedy of Farcical Proportions
  • By: Elizabeth Adams
  • Narrated by: Brigid Lohrey
  • Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

The Netherfield Ball: classic. Predictable. Immortalized. But what if Elizabeth were forced to relive it over and over and over again? Night after night after night? Elizabeth: clever. Witty. Confident. Suddenly, her confusion and desperation make her question things she long thought she knew. Mr. Darcy: proud. Unapproachable. Ill-tempered. In this world where nothing is as it seems, Elizabeth must learn to see through new eyes. Including a man she thought she hated.Β Let the hilarity ensue.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth Bennet’s Ground Hog Day

  • By Lesley Mac on 13-01-2019

Elizabeth Bennet’s Ground Hog Day

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

Reviewed: 13-01-2019

Such an entertaining story. Elizabeth is an absolute delight. Her antics as she tries to rein in her family’s worst excesses are absolutely hilarious, as are her means of dealing with Mr Collins and Miss Bingley. Me Wickham also falls prey to her clever tongue.

Take away all of the restraints placed upon a well bought up gentleman’s daughter in Regency England and you have Lizzy Bennet in this story—essentially, she is Lydia, but with a brain and decorum when in public. 😁.

Darcy is in love with Lizzy, has been for a long time, but when he can stand his deprivation no longer, he still has to go and seek his great uncle, the judge’s advice! Truly, the man has to let go of his restraint!
In the end, love conquers all, but our dear Darcy certainly makes a welter of it. Thank goodness for the judge!

The only down side to this audiobook for me was parts of the narrator’s performance. Her young women were fine, but the voices of the men and also Mrs Bennet didn’t hit the mark. I deducted 1/2 a star because of this.

  • Mr. Darcy's Journey

  • A Pride & Prejudice Variation
  • By: Abigail Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Klett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

Mr. Darcy is at his wits' end. Elizabeth Bennet, the woman he can't live without, overhears him insulting her family. Now she won't even listen to his apologies. Then his old friend Sir Anthony Duxbury tells him two of their friends are in terrible danger. If Darcy wants to help them, they have to leave for Yorkshire immediately.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating story

  • By Lesley Mac on 08-01-2019

Fascinating story

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

Reviewed: 08-01-2019

This audiobook/story is more than a Lizzy/Darcy love story, it is a history lesson, wrapped up in a brilliant story that prevents it from becoming a dry historical tome.

Abigail Reynolds has taken a bit of poetic licence to fit the events that happened in the north of England in 1812 into a very entertaining story.

The characters, both those established by JA in P&P and those newly minted by Ms Reynolds, are so wonderfully portrayed, they just jump off the page, and are bought to superb life by the amazing talent of Elizabeth Klett. This native of New Jersey seems more British than many a native Briton; her accents—cultured female as well as male, to the more provincial accents of the poor and uneducated masses from the north of England—are absolutely spot on. Her talent is prodigious, and any of Abigail Reynolds’ works narrated by Ms Klett are amongst my favourite audiobooks. I wish all of Ms Reynolds’ works that are recorded into audiobook format were narrated by Ms Klett.

Me Darcy’s Journey is satisfyingly long, has plenty of excitement and enough Lizzy/Darcy interaction to satisfy. My favourite character is Lady Matlock, a truly magnificent character. In fact, her ladyship could well be an aristocratic, older and more worldly version of Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Though Lizzy would probably not be so very interfering!

Highly recommend. πŸ‘πŸ˜€

  • The Blood Road

  • Logan McRae, Book 11
  • By: Stuart MacBride
  • Narrated by: Steve Worsley
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

What drives someone to murder? Logan McRae's personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards he's policing his fellow officers. When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the drivers seat of a crashed car, it's a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago. They buried him. Or they thought they did. As an investigation is launched into Bell's stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what's so important that he felt the need to come back from the dead?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome

  • By Jeff White on 24-01-2019

Brilliant, as Usual!

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

Reviewed: 28-07-2018

Love Stuart McBride!
Love Logan and Roberta et al!
Love Steve Worsley!
If you are a fan of Stuart/Logan books, then The Blood Road will not disappoint. Steve Worsley brings an already suspenseful police procedural to wonderful, Scottish life.
Please hurry with the next Logan McRae book, Stuart. And please don't change your narrator. πŸ‘πŸ‘