8/22/13

Dixie Divas by Virginia Brown, Narrated by Karen Commins

Dixie Divas
Author: Virginia Brown
Narrator: Karen Commins                            
Publisher: Belle Books, Inc.
5 hours 57 minutes:






Virginia Brown author of Dixie Diva's
Virginia Brown, author

Karen Commins narrates Dixie Divas
Karen Commins, Narrator


Narrator, Karen Commins, has an excellent reading voice, nice pitch, and does keep the various
characters sorted nicely. I liked her southern accent, it is not exaggerated, or phony sounding. Some narrators do excellent supporting characters and less well on reading the text. Karen Commins, does both with flair. Her reading is upbeat, flows along without any distractions in cadence. I thoroughly enjoyed her narration of Dixie Divas. It is important that a narrator read at a conversational pace, not racing through the story at a breath gasping pace, nor so slow you quit listening and doze off. Which is why I consider Karen Commins ace, at this skill, and she sounds like she is enjoying what she's reading. She has a good, strong, clear voice making it an easy listen. Ms.Commons does the wide variety of women and ages so well that you can easily identify each one.


Book Review:

Dixie Divas written by Virginia Brown is a fun listen about some older Southern women who form an √©lite club named the Dixie Divas, limited to twelve members and entry is by invitation and unanimous vote. The Diva's are completely loyal to one another. When they have their, often ribald, meetings, it's Katy bar the doors, anything and everything can happen. These monthly meetings are closed to men. Except the men they hire as entertainment. Threats to these men  are severe enough they don't dare to ever tell what went on during a Dixie Divas meeting.

Bitty Hollandale, and her lifelong best friend and cousin, Trinket Truvine, have their hands full when Bitty finds her ex-husband Senator Philip Hollandale dead. Bitty leaves him where she found him and later worries about her fingerprints being on the statue that was used to clobber him to death. She finagles cousin Trinket to return to the scene of the crime to wipe her finger prints off the murder weapon, but when they get there the body is gone, the place is whistle clean and there's not a drop of blood anywhere. They wipe off any new prints they made and get the heck out of there.

In the next days Senator Hollandale is reported on the news as missing. It doesn't take long before the police are at Bitty's door to question her as everyone including the police are familiar with the bitter divorce between Bitty and the Senator. While the police are talking with Bitty, Trinket discovers the Senator's body in the closet, so she very quietly and coolly closes the door on him and tells Bitty what she found.

After the police have gone they decide that they need to move him somewhere else away from Bitty's house. Who else would they call but the Dixie Diva's to help them. They settle on leaving him at the cemetery temporarily till they can move him to a final location after dark. One of the Diva's is a curator for the genealogy and history department and has a key to the cemetery gates,  people are use to seeing her around there at all hours. She can get them in without arousing any curiosity. That night when they go to collect his body and it's gone. 

This is not going to be the only time that the Senator's body returns to Bitty's house and these plucky Southern gals have to move him. Someone wants to pin this murder on Bitty and the Diva's are having none of this. They defeat the murderer at every turn until they solve and exonerate Bitty. I personally enjoyed the tidbits about antebellum houses, and descriptions of antiques and architecture. This is a fun book with lots of laughable quips in it and Bitty and Trinket make an entertaining duo.

The book is very long which made it a bit hard to pull all the different side stories together. In the end I'm not sure I know the motive for murdering Senator Hollandale. I also found if not troublesome, perplexing, that a fifty one year old woman hasn't visited her parents in so long that she's constantly surprised by their advanced age.
Still it is a fun read or listen and well executed by Ms. Commins. If you become a fan of the series, which is not difficult to do, there are three more in the series. Drop Dead DivasDixie Diva BluesDivas And Dead Rebels

Dixie Divas


8/21/13

David Rosenfelt's On Borrowed Time, Narrator, Chris Ensweiler



On Borrowed Time
by David Rosenfelt
Narrator: Chris Ensweiler
Duration: 7 hours, 0 minutes
Publisher: Listen & Live Audio, Inc.








David Rosenfelt Author of On Borrowed Time
David Rosenfelt Author

Chris Ensweiler Narrator for David Rosenfelt's On Borrowed Time
Chris Ensweiler Narrator

      
Chris Ensweiler as narrator of Richard Kilmar, captures the soul of the character. Richard Kilmar is a typical guy, not a hero by any means. He is not boisterous or overbearing, he's just a kind of quiet guy who as a writer takes notes and pays attention to details of things around him. Ensweiler brings this mild mannered persona out very smoothly, and when Richard has sudden unexpected moments of bravery Ensweiler expresses this well too, while giving Richard a touch of awe at his own actions. Ensweiler's reading was excellent in building up tension and fear. His reading pace was right on, keeping in line with the story.


Book Review: On Borrowed Time
by David Rosenfelt

On the final credits I smiled to myself and said gosh darn, that was one good book. From the first paragraph to the last I was completely drawn in and  hanging on every word. A true winner of a 5+ rating. I have listened to all of David Rosenfelt's books and love all the Andy Carpenter series. Comparing the two genre I have to say that Rosenfelt only gets better and better no matter which books he writes.

Richard Kilmar, is writer of mainly magazine articles this is what he tells Jen Ryan, when he first meets her. The meeting was not spectacular but it turned into a whirlwind romance that leads Richard Kilmar asking her to marry him. Joyous and in high spirits the couple go for a ride when a  freakish storm causes them to have an accident. Richard escapes from the car but can't find Jen. Sure that she had to have been thrown out of the car, he searches all over, the police and passers by search, and no one can find Jen.

Upset, puzzled, and rapidly becoming very scared, Richard returns home only to find that none of his buddies seem to know who Jen was. Richard is sure he is not crazy and his memories of Jen are real, all he feels he needs to do is find Jen. In his unrelenting search for Jen, he finds Alison Tynes, who's a dead ringer for Jen. This only increases his frustration and confusion. His feelings for Alison are muddled and who's wouldn't be if their beloveds look alike had a very different personality and background. His tenacious pursuit to find Jen, leads him down a chilling road of intrigue, mystery and terror. This is a must read book.

On Borrowed Time by David Rosenfelt