David Ignatius, Bloodmoney, read by Firdous Bamji

At what point are you willing to pay for an audiobook?

  1. When you encounter a quote by Kipling that you have never heard before, and you want to memorize it …
  2. When the reader has such a faraway voice, with a thousand ligatures, selective, discretionary accents, which gives a d that extra bit of blow, can do Urdu as well as Pashto, in a tribal croak and a traitor’s castrato…
  3. When the author has such impressive inner knowledge based not on the ‘facts’ that he could have google-plagiarized in 2 minutes, but on what are not and will never be facts, on things people know that it is not necessary to say, on what would once have been called ‘common sense’ or ‘local knowledge’ … Not to mention that the author has an international, jocular sensibility  about governmental organizations, Yale, and truth.
  4. When you’ve already gobbled up another, later book, which was slicker, better or more brutally edited, and gobbling it down only made you hungrier for more…
  5. When you start to remember your fifth grade teacher pulling down the oil-skin map from its rolled up position over the green blackboard, before picking up her long wooden pointer and positioning it over some small bright orange blob on the bottom right third of the map… which was perhaps the last time you were curious about the geography of Pakistan ….

The Coroner by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush read by Sophie Amoss

From the very first paragraph, when she almost breaks her tooth on something hard that her mouth found in her peanut butter cupcake, Emily is interesting. Yes, she says yes to an engagement ring. But this is not another goofy romance in which the female not only saves the universe but also spends a lot of time thinking and talking about her lust for various male bodily bits.

Emily is a physician, a surgeon, and the estranged daughter of a medical examiner in a small town. She goes home to see after her father after his heart attack and becomes involved in a murder investigation… with her old boyfriend from highschool.  A good mystery – hopefully the first of a series.

 

Lane by Peter Grainger read by Henrietta Meire

Grainger has a way of ‘teasing out’ the most annoying characteristics of altogether too familiar personality types (aka ‘too old intransigent & traditional to live’, ‘career girl with delayed children’, ‘bureaucratic ox’, ‘resentful government serf’, ‘the thug who will not die’, ‘the devotedly inattentive son’…) and presenting them in living glory under a perfectly charming Cornish sun.

As in the Charlie Gallagher books where threats to family are used to manipulate police and criminals alike, Lane tells the story of a detective’s oldish mother, some thugs who want to punish her, and the inscrutable neighbor that comes for a visit just as trouble begins.

This is not so much about Cops and Their Mothers but rather about Two Women of Different Ages, and what they become when confronted by an odd and evil circumstance…

 

Making It Right by Catherine Bybee read by Cristina Panfilio

After much too much silly shitty giggly girly fiction, this clever, sharp, unpredictable novel about a small town female Sheriff who meets a man at a Quantico training course is a delight. The dialogue between the coupling law enforcement agents is witty, original, delicious; the supporting characters are curious and unpredictable, the clean story line is etched out like an Ed McBain procedural. Spare, lean action. Fast, frank language. No coincidences.

No Questions Asked by Ross Thomas read by Malcolm Hillgartner

An old book, a tits and bits insurance agent, an ex-intelligence bully, a rich chick on Malibu beach, a bitter ex-girlfriend somebody called “Virgie”, a short tight crooked alcoholic cop, and a Go-Between man who gets an Eviction Notice and a letter from the Wall Street Journal saying he could get rich if only he subscribed for six months.

In six months and a week, Philip St. Ives has earned $75,000, received 2 invitations to live and play with a woman, one in NYC and one on Malibu Beach, failed but then found an old book, but not before somebody shot a bullet through it.

At the end, on his way back to New York, his trusty helper asks him if there’s anything he can study in University to help him become a Go-Between man. St. Ives thinks about it for a while and says “Ethics, you might study Ethics.”

Moving Day by Jonathan Stone Performed (!) by Christopher Lane

Painfully resonant, funny, wise: legacy. Whose legacy?: the immigrant’s, the jew’s, the orphan’s, the escape artist’s. Brilliantly performed by Christopher Lane with all the accents right: Bronx, Harlem, Brooklyn, Westchester, Polish, German and of course Santa Barbaran.

The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby read by Gabrielle de Cuir

Utterly charming, surprising, and fascinating story about … not only the NOT Pink but Raspberry Suit worn by Jackie Kennedy but about dressmaking in Paris and New York in 1960, the fabrics, the materials, the chalk, the little Irish seamstresses. the acid smelling  old women who ran the  sewing shop that knocked off the Chanels, the Nina Riccis, the Diors, worn by the New York and Boston society wives, daughters, sons, set. And of course, by Jackie.