A Novel of Manners with a Modernperspective

He Taught Me to Hope: Darcy and the Young Knight’s Quest (Unabridged)

Author: P. O. Dixon Date: 2013 Narrator: Pearl Hewitt Provider: P. O. Dixon Running Time: 8 h 34 min Audible Enhanced Audio What if Elizabeth is promised to another when she meets Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the one man who captures her heart and imagination like no other? What’s more, Darcy has an entanglement of his own–an engagement of a peculiar kind. As dire as their chance for “happily ever after” seems, there is a measure of hope by way of a strong and enduring bond between them … The legend of King Arthur meets the timelessness of Miss Jane Austen’s endearing works in this delightfully entertaining Pride and Prejudice adaptation that takes you back to a magical time of enchantment and romance and lets you fall in love with Darcy and Elizabeth once again


Over the past few years, I have noticed a number of “fan fiction” works inspired by the brilliant prose of Jane Austin, particularly her Pride And Prejudice.  I have been curious to see whether modern writers could approach her writing skill, and just how modern writers would manage novels of manners.  While I won’t be visiting this sub-genre much, this book was well written, and retained much of the grace of the original.  One thing that I did find interesting, and even endearing was that, even though this story is told from a more modern perspective, it was true to the nature of 19th century novels, in that it was never quite explicit, while still managing to present intimacy, mostly through implication and innuendo.


The story itself is well told, and kept my interest throughout the book.  This was due, in no small part, to very good character development and presentation, especially of the main characters.  True, many of the young ladies reminded me of chattering sparrows, and reading about them was more tolerable than having to associate with them (just), but they flitted in and out of the main story so didn’t distract.


Such novels are a pleasant change from time to time, just as are occasional afternoons spent in ornate tea rooms, enjoying a full English tea with friends.


The narrator provided a professional narration in all ways, although some of the “sparrows” tended to be indistinguishable.


I received this book in exchange for this unbiased review from Audiobookblast dot com.


Read one, get 2


Deceitful Moon: Manny Williams Series, Book 2 (Unabridged)

Author: Rick Murcer Date: 2015 Narrator: DJ Holte Provider: Rick Murcer, LLC Running Time: 8 h 10 min Audible Enhanced Audio Detective Manny Williams and his partner, Sophie Lee, are called to the scene of a disturbing and gruesome murder at Lansing’s local adult playhouse, the White Kitty. The circumstances surrounding the murder rocket deeper into the bizarre as the forensic evidence reveals more questions than answers. As he begins his investigation, Manny is interrupted by a phone call that shakes his world. His nemesis, serial killer Dr. Fredrick Argyle, has killed again and sent the evidence to prove it. Argyle’s heinous actions force Manny and Sophie back to the Caribbean. All the while the body count rises in his home city. Two serial killers. Each threatening to change his life forever. One succeeds.


This is an extremely well plotted mystery thriller with 2 beautifully constructed mysteries, and vibrant characters.  It is the second book in the series (I read the first book some years ago), and, while this book can be read as a standalone novel, I think it best if the reader reads this series in order, because these stories interlock so closely.  However, even if you read this one first, I think you will find it absorbing.


There are 2 sets of villains, and 2 sets of violent crimes that must be solved as quickly as possible, and one set of crimes affects every major character in the book in stunningly surprising ways.  The villain who is carried over from the 1st book reminded me of Hannibal Lecter in his viciousness and brilliance.  He is a bit less stable, or rather, unstable in very different ways, but his instability in no way impairs his effectiveness.  Of such characters nightmares are born!


There is a fairly large cast of characters to keep track of, and all of them are important, and contribute significantly to the development of the plot.  Some are wonderfully sympathetic, and a few are not only that, but charmingly quirky, as well, and the author presents them with verve and compassion.  Not only are these people law enforcement professionals, but they are extremely decent, good individuals, as well, and that makes investment on what happens to them on this reader’s part inevitable.


I do have one quibble with the plot, and seeing it surprised me, because the author is so meticulous in every other detail.  When a police officer, of any rank, is either wounded or killed in the line of duty, his family is NOT informed by phone.  Officers are sent to her home or wherever she happens to be, she is told personally, and then escorted to the hospital.  In addition, the closest waiting room will be packed with other police officers, on or off duty, to provide support to their fallen comrade and his/her family.  If the wounded officer is in the ICU and the ICU waiting room cannot accommodate them, they will find the closest available place, and pretty much make it their own. 


Mr. Holte provided a stunning narration, the excellence of which fully complimented  this very, very fine book.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of Audiobookblast dot com