The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly Peter Giles Narrator

The Fifth Witness

Michael Connelly

A Mickey Haller series, book 4

Narrator: Peter Giles

Publisher: AudioGo
Imprint: Hachette Audio
Length: 13 hrs. 54 mins.

Peter Giles does a superior narration for The Fifth Witness. His voice is very masculine and sometimes is a little whispery with a smooth  yet gravely sound , which is very sexy. For the character of Mickey Haller it's just perfect. Giles gives a tone of authority and strength to Haller, that would make one feel confident in Haller's knowledge and abilities as an attorney.

Narrator: Peter Giles
Peter Giles Narrator

The Fifth Witness is a rather long audio book and Peter Giles shows no signs of fatigue or change in voice as some narrators do when they become tired. A narrator that reads for too long before getting a break will show some fatigue in the volume and quality of what they are reading. When they come back from break there is a noticeable change in their voice for both quality, volume and enthusiasm.  He does excellent transitions between characters. His range of tonal qualities and varieties of voice are pleasing to the ear. I like Peter Giles smooth sexy voice so much that I'll be looking for him on other audio books.

Audio Book Review: The Fifth Witness

This is the first book I've listened to written by Michael Connelly. Turns out to be a winner. Moves along fast from the very beginning with no let up to catch a breath between each alarming event. Mickey Haller. is a clever and smart attorney. As Haller finds less and less work coming his way from his usual practice because of the economic turn down, he concentrates his skills into a fairly lucrative business, representing people that are being foreclosed on.

Battling banks and foreclosure mills, gaining each client,  months or even a year before they will have to move and forfeit their house. One particularly obnoxious client, Lisa Trammel proves to be an annoying and pesky person that he forebears as best he can. With her near daily calls, and hysterical screaming outburst, she can't be satisfied with letting Haller do his job as her attorney.

The Fifth Witness Author Michael Connelly image
Michael Connelly
Not content with running constant interference, she soon starts a website to rally followers against unjust foreclosings and starts picketing the bank. Mitchell Bondurant the mortgage banker, is soon part of her focus, she sees him as the person wanting to take her house from her. When someone murders Bondurant and Trammel is arrested for it, she calls Mickey Haller to defend her.

Lisa Tammel is pushy, brash, and has screaming and crying fits with anyone that opposes her. You'd think a little over five foot, school teacher would be docile and sweet natured and Lisa Tammel is definitely not that. I found the way Haller prepares his defense exciting and fast moving. Usually I don't care for long court scenes that are in so many mystery books but Michael Connelly mixes it up with lots of interesting gathering of evidence and investigation of witness's backgrounds.
Michael Connelly books listed in order.


As the Pig Turns by M. C. Beaton, Penelope Keith as Narrator,

As the Pig Turns by M. C. Beaton

As the Pig TurnsM. C. Beaton
Narrator: Penelope Keith
Publisher: AudioGoDuration: 6 hrs. 36 mins

I was concerned about Penelope Keith reading Agatha Raisin, as it turns out she does not disappoint. Donada Peters narrated most of the Agatha Raisin books beginning with the first one. Donada Peters captured the personality of the feisty, and sometimes mean spirited Agatha to perfection. I was quite addicted to Peters being the voice of Agatha. Often when they change a narrator of a long continuing series I find it disturbing as each reader influences the final outcome of the heart of the book and characters.

Penelope Keith, British actress and narrator
Penelope Keith, actress and narrator

Penelope  Keith does not lose any of the Agatha's plucky personality. She also reads the text perfectly and at a good pace. Giving due meaning to the intention of the author. Which in itself is a special talent. She does an excellent rendition of older people. Capturing their touchy and mulish behavior. Mrs Bloxby comes through as intended as the goodie two shoes vicar's wife. Her voice drips with kindness and concern. Penelope simpers and whines Roy's lament when he's kidnapped beautifully. Tightfisted and carefree Charles sounds just as manipulative and petty as when Peter's narrated the Agatha books. Penelope Keith has an excellent range of engaging voices.

As the Pig Turns is the 22nd. in the Agatha Raisin series. Agatha gets a ticket for blowing her nose by deputy Gary Beech. This leads Agatha to find out that he's the most hated deputy on the force. So many hate him it's hard to tell who killed him. Agatha surely wanted to. A big pig roast is planned for Varda a neighboring town. Agatha gets some friends to go with her and when the pig is brought out she sees something that isn't pig like. She yells for them to stop just as they're dropping the pig into the pit. She examines it closer and see's the pig head has been sewn on to a torso. 

Agatha investigates and uncovers many suspects and motives of people who hated the victim. Agatha becomes a suspect herself, when a neighbor with an ax to grind, reports to the police she over heard her complaining about officer Gary Beech, saying he deserved to roast on a spit like a pig or words to that effect. Agatha is of course inclined to find out who did the murder if for no reason other than to exonerate herself. Agatha is a bit more weepy than in past books, but still as deliciously outspoken.
M.C. Beaton Author, Aka Marion Chessney photo
M.C. Beaton Author

I suspect that M.C. Beaton does not get the recognition she deserves as a talented and outstanding author. Beaton uses Agatha Raisin as a vehicle to bash the nanny state, the ridiculousness of bureaucracy and indifferent companies, and the stupidity and rudeness of the police department. She even throws in social injustices from a more human and personal point of view such as the manual, the furnace man leaves is " a handbook in 6 languages, the size of a Bible."  Agatha says rude things the few people are willing to say but secretly think.

As the Pig Turns is a action packed and fun as all the other Agatha Raisin books are. I've loved every one of them.


Narrator: Rebecca Gibel, Through the Grinder, by Cleo Coyle

Through the Grinder

A Coffeehouse Mystery, book 2.
Author: Cleo Coyle

Narrator: Rebecca Gibel 

A Coffeehouse Mystery, book 2
by Cleo Coyle
Narrated by Rebecca Gibel

Publisher AudioGO

Duration: 8:08:44

Narrator Review: Rebecca Gibel
 Rebecca Gibel, narrator for Cleo Coyle imgae
Rebecca Gibel Narrator

It was a pleasure listening to Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle. Rebecca Gibel is an excellent reader and a good match for the character of Claire. I had to laugh a couple times when Ms. Gibel's is reading the character's thoughts about his murder plans. She does a good job with the scary, conniving voice of a murderer then it's the end of chapter and in a happy upbeat voice she says 'Chapter 21'. She had no trouble with rapidly switching between characters which was impressive. Her male voices are never over done. 

She is not just reading the book she is making it come to life and giving every character a unique voice. Conversational parts sound normal, with normal inflections that anyone might use saying the same phrases. She is so expressive and convincing that you're easily carried away listening and seeing the story in your minds eye. I really loved her narration of this book. Any author who has Rebecca Gibel narrating their book is lucky indeed. She is very skilled in her craft.

Cleo Coyle author photo

Cleo Coyle Author

Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle is a new series for me and I liked Through the Grinder very much. It has enough suspense to please any cozy or light murder mystery reader. There is enough plot to keep a person interested. I liked that the perspective was from the murderers point of view. The romance isn't drifting into overly explicit details. There were some very funny lines in the speed dating, online dating scenes. She joins the same dating online service that her daughter joined so she can make sure she is not meeting any jerks, perverts or other undesirables. 

Claire meets Bruce and they hit it off, soon Claire feels she's in love with Bruce. Unfortunately Bruce is a prime suspect for the murders. How can Claire come to grips with her feelings and that tiny bit of doubt that lingers in her mind. She tries to find the real killer to take the heat off Bruce. What else would a good sleuth do? An excellent narration by Rebecca Gibel, of a fun and quick moving book.


My love affair with audio books

iambik audiobooks & audiobookjukebox

My early book memories are of having my own library card when I was in about the 2nd. grade. I remember being disappointed that the books were short and mostly pictures. I soon went through all that the small, very small, local library had. Later when we moved to a city I was thrilled with the huge selection of children's books but soon gobbled them up too. I read everything they had by 5th & 6th grade. I resorted to the adult section for more to feed my lust for books. I've not stopped reading hard covers but have in the past number of years switched to loving audio books even more.
Narrators make a story pop or sizzle. The older I get the less time I have to turn those pages and the eyes are growing dimmer. Hit age 39 and voila, glasses are needed and it turns out to be difficult reading in bed with glasses on. Never got the hang of sticking something in my eye like contacts. So I've had a love affair with books since before I could even read. I think if you're a book lover you may like audio books as they leave you free to do chores, drive, or play a computer game.
     I'm loving http://iambik.com/ and recommend you visit them. I found several books I want and their prices are very reasonable. Also found two new narrators that I immediately loved. Cori Samuel.  Narrating Around the World in Stilettos. What a voice, I absolutely love listening to her and the book sounds great. I was doubly impressed that the sample is the first chapter. The other narrator is Xe Sands, narrating Step on a Crack by Mary Anderson. At first I wasn't that intrigued by the subject matter in Step on a Crack but Mary Anderson reads it so well I was rapidly drawn into the story and have to get it.
So please do visit http://iambik.com/ and for a big selection scout out audiobookjukebox.com for other audio book reviewers websites and blogs.


The Apothecary by Samantha Jillian Bayarr

An Ebook available from Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/6359ylq

The Apothecary  is a good mixture of romance, ghosts, and mysteries from the past. Claire Mayfield discovers on her mother's passing that her mother had many secrets that she didn't share with anyone. So it came as a huge shock to find out that she is to inherit a haunted mansion, an orphanage, a cottage and a lot of ghosts.  Her mother's attorney stops Claire as she's leaving the cemetery and gives her his business card and tells her to contact him.
Claire insist that her mother didn't have much when she passed and thinks this attorney has the wrong girl or is just confused. Her best friend Emily, later convinces her that she has nothing to lose by making an appointment and after all he was attractive. Claire nearly faints when she snoops through the paperwork on the attorneys desk because she'd been having terrible nightmares about a house that looks like a photo in the folder. Already stressed from losing her mother and having nightmares she rushes out of the office. Feeling very scared and confused she's sure she doesn't want to see the attorney again. Emily keeps her balanced and sane and once again gets her to investigate what the attorney has to tell her. When she does, she's not sure she wants to accept the inheritance. After all who wants a mansion that the father was accused of killing all his children in and they've haunted the place for the past 100 years. No one's lived in it since. Spooky, very spooky. Overall a fun story and I am always a sucker for a ghost here and there.

Terri Clark Linden Narrator of The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

Wendy McClure author
Terri Clark Linden Narrator
The Wilder Life
Wendy McClure
Terri Clark
Duration:   10 hours, 37 minutes
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Terri C. Linden does such and excellent reading of this book that I had to check that it wasn't being read by the author. She definitely has a handle on Ms. McClure. Ms.Linden reads flawlessly, and manages to convey so much in her voice that it literally sets the mood.  This is one of the most outstanding narrations I've heard as she not only captures the personality of the author but the feel of the story. The story leaps to life under her amazing talent as a narrator.

The Wilder Life is about McClure's quest for getting a sense for the real Laura Ingalls Wilder from The Little House on the Prairie series. Wendy McClure's revived interest in Laura World as she calls it, comes from regaining her childhood books and reading them again. She then looks on Ebay to locate a butter churn to have a first hand experience of what it's like to churn your own butter. She searches the internet to gather as much information as possible about Laura and she takes us on that journey talking about the blogs, the books and her contacts with some of the authors. We are taken back in time as she visits many of the museums and places where the Wilder family lived and played out their lives. We even have a quest for the simpler life on a working farm that's run like it might have done in the days of the Wilders.

My favorite part was the overnight stay in a covered wagon. With no electricity, they used flashlights to find their way around to bunk down for the night. In the wee hours a horrendous storm was pounding and lashing all around them. Lightning was striking too close for comfort. As little shelter that the covered wagon gave them they were glad they were not outside in a tent. Chris, her boyfriend was such a sweet and supportive guy that when the storm woke him, he immediately said, "what about the crops".  He was so good at getting into the role playing to please Wendy. What a guy. Weather was always a concern for the Wilder's as they did and could lose their crops from heavy hail and high winds.

I had to overlook the frequent snipes, as so many things said, that were nice, were followed with or preceded by a curt comment. This was so frequent that it kind of lessened the pleasure of reading the book. I would like to have had more details about some of the locations like Plum Creek as I never watched Little House on the Prairie, and did not read the books. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book and was impressed with how well Ms. Linden narrated it.