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Bronwyn R

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Fun Entertainment

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

Reviewed: 19-10-2020

While some of the content can be rather gruesome, it is all woven in in a very acceptable manner, and the interaction and dialogue generally is extremely entertaining. It's great to see the main characters supporting each other and not dwelling on the 'bad side' of their experiences, and the twists and turns keep the reader enthralled from cover to cover. I am enjoying this series and shall continue to work through it as long as it makes me smile as much as it does already... Also, I love 'travelling' around London, and occasionally locations further afield, with them. In the current Covid world, it is a nice way to get the nostalgia fix I need until I can be there again. I admit I do struggle with the 'current day' grammar (".... me and Lesley...." eg) but I must forgive Peter, or abandon an otherwise great saga.

Jolly Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 10-10-2020

I very much enjoyed this introduction to Ben Aaronovitch's storytelling prowess. It was certainly entertaining, and great fodder for a lover of British history (however rapidly it was covered, backwards) and London itself. From go to whoah... I was very happily entertained by the humour woven into the tale of wizardry mixed with every day London. I definitely look forward to continuing my discovery of this series.

So Welcome!

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

Reviewed: 11-09-2020

I was so thrilled to see another Gamache volume appear in early September, and surprised but only slightly concerned at some of the less enthusiastic early reviews. Personally, and much as I absolutely adore his spending so much time based in his beloved Three Pines, I feel it works very well to every so often set his adventures in logically alternative locations that have been factored in as an extended part of his life in past volumes. I didn't find it protracted or boring, perhaps partly because I adore Paris, and every reference to places I have known personally delights me, and this even extends to St Paul de Vence, in Provence, where I have been on more than one occasion (a truly delightful hilltop village where I would certainly be thrilled to live, myself!) . To me, the reader is invited to share the warmth and interaction of the Gamache family unit as though one was in fact one of the family, which is perhaps part of the particular appeal I have never encountered in any of the other crime thrillers I have read over the years, regardless of how impressive I thought they were overall. Not for the first time, I found myself choking up towards the end as certain events unfolded, and this means I was totally 'in the moment' - casting aside the inevitable reminders to self that - hey, this is just a story - remember!? Loved it, as always!

Captivating

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

Reviewed: 30-08-2020

This true story is, amongst other things, very much a testament to the dedication and resolve of the author to see an agonisingly long project through, for the sake of the 'victims' (extended family left behind). The implied culpability of many characters in a position of power and influence, along with the more dubious or obvious suspects, is certainly shocking and deplorable. It is certainly sad that in this modern day, so much corruption and deceit can remain buried deeply for decades... Definitely an intriguing read. I shall certainly be following the issue on its fb page in the hope that the final piece of the puzzle is put in place before it's too late.

Very scary

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

Reviewed: 23-08-2020

This was a difficult story to work through, quite brutal, which is what I have come to expect of the ordeals Ben Hope puts himself through but also wondered why the reader was allowed to foresee the doom-laden issues that the characters did not... Ben Hope is usually right up there on a knife's edge, anticipating the challenges, but this one showed him more fallible than usual. A preview of the following volume is included at the end and I intended to go directly to the next story, however I could not find it anywhere in the search options available and eventually had to skip to volume 5, which is disappointing as I prefer to read them in chronological order, for the background continuity. I have had to pause listening to volume 5 as I needed to read something more lighthearted to balance things out. Maybe volume 4 will materialise while I put 5 on hold.....??

Riveting

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

Reviewed: 23-08-2020

A heady mix of breathtaking manoeuvres, spice, global experiences and cringe-worthy experiences.... Ben Hope is certainly built to deal with the worst the world can offer but thankfully open to some tender moments to lighten the darker side. Packed with drama and intrigue, very cleverly composed. Highly recommended.

Gamache has set a very high standard

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

Reviewed: 26-07-2020

I am broken-hearted to finish this last instalment in the series... it really has set a very high standard in entertainment value by my reckoning, and I was dismayed, upon returning to other authors and reading some of their newer series, to feel very dissatisfied and let down by the 'lightweight' calibre of story telling compared with Louise Penny's Gamache series. Definitely the absolute best series I have ever read, and I have been a bibliomaniac and bibliophile most of my life (now in my 60s).... I can only hope Ms Penny is able to create a new crime thriller hero or give Gamache an injection of fresh enthusiasm for protecting Three Pines for another few years at least! Highly recommend this series, it is FABULOUS!!

THANK YOU LOUISE PENNY!

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

Reviewed: 21-06-2020

It has been wonderful to hear Louise Penny describe how these incredible stories come together, and quite amazing to hear that so much of what we learn is due to her own background experiences (even while I appreciate that this is what good writers generally dip into to create a worthwhile novel)... she must have had an incredibly rich life (and be a very thorough researcher in some areas) to be so knowledgeable in so many areas. It also helps to understand her intention in the flow of the storylines and regular characters.... It is very refreshing that she focuses more on the personalities and relationships than the actual crime itself, which is, even so, woven in in amazing detail, and wrapped around the personalities like a perfectly fitting glove. I can only thank Ms Penny for some of the most entertaining reading (listening) I have ever had and that is throughout nearly 6 decades of passionate reading. PS: 'Ruth Zardo' adds a dimension to these Gamache tales that is THE most delightful and entertaining experience, even outside of the criminal element of the story itself.

Fascinating

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

Reviewed: 21-06-2020

I am reading all of the Gamache series, and absolutely loving it. This is indeed a fascinating insight into the background of the Gregorian Chant, whether one is a 'fan' of same or not... the Inquisition, and aspects of the Church in general. It took me as a reader into areas I would never in my lifetime have any experience of otherwise, and was truly fascinating. It did become increasingly sad, and frustrating, at times, but this, only through following an individual deterioration of human resilience in the face of brutality and spite, and certainly left me desperate to find out what happened next. A wonderfully unique veering off from the general mould of Gamache's experiences, into a completely different world, which works extremely well for me, and certainly safeguards against the risk of a potential for predictability. Ms Penny is absolutely a mistress of keeping me, for one, wanting more! I would certainly recommend to other readers to follow Gamache's story in chronological order, as much of the history is woven into subsequent tales, giving it great depth and a sense of wonderful familiarity with the characters that return many times over, and who are always very welcome (mostly).

STUNNING!

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

Reviewed: 21-06-2020

I am reading all of the Gamache series in chronological order, as I was hooked from the first. I have been an avid reader all my life (now in my 60s), and while I have been hooked on a few good authors along the way, Louise Penny;s Gamache series has won my heart massively. It's hard to describe how impressed I am at her insight and incredible craft with the dialogue and general banter between the characters, especially when set in the village of Three Pines... the subtle humour woven in, the background knowledge in so many technical as well as general aspects of her story lines is truly stunning. This particular story has gripped me even more than any before it, and they have all been great, but I found myself holding my breath with anxiety and fighting back tears of joy in places, hardly able to bear to leave the story to get on with my own life, and returning to it at every possible opportunity. MUCH respect for Ms Penny indeed, and I already know I shall be totally devastated when I have finished the last instalment of the Gamache series, but am very glad I still have plenty to be getting on with for now.