The Social Climber of Davenport Heights by Pamela Morsi read by Isabelle Gordon

A conspicuously intelligent society wife with perfect manners and an unfaithful husband is driving home from the country club and her BMW is hit by a huge truck. Stuck inside the car,  she  promises the Gods to do good, if only she does not go up in flames. She does not. Jane is saved by an elderly man with a knife from a nearby nursing home, and she keeps her promise. Suddenly, everything changes… Or maybe just Jane changes.

A sweet, engaging, well plotted, well told tale about how a woman can use her good sense and good appetites to do good. Enchantingly read by Isabelle Gordon.

Moving On by Anna Jacobs read by Penelope Freeman

Charming English tale about a newly divorced English mother with ungrateful children and a lying, wretched, smarmy ex-husband. She talks to her neighbor about renting her lovely old house, and finds a job selling pretty cottages for a land developer… Sweet tale about moving on.

A Small Indiscretion by Denise Rudberg translated by Laura Wideberg read by Joyce Bean

A well upholstered, crisply intelligent middle aged police inspector newly widowed from her faithless, politically agile husband, is called back to work after many years. She colors her hair, tries to eat less, and reconnoitres her domestic life across and through the  investigation of a murder, the enmity of the young office bitches,  the appreciation of her male colleagues, and the sideline of society parties and friendships accompanying her old world inherited wealth.

No Questions Asked by Ross Thomas

There weren’t any cabs of course. There weren’t any cabs  because it was 4:35 in the afternoon and the government workers were streaming out of the Library and the Capital and the Senate and the House office buildings and besides that, it was snowing. They haven’t yet decided what to do about snow in Washington…When it snows really hard the government shuts down, the schools close and everybody goes home and waits for it to melt. It was snowing hard now.

 

When its snowing at the beginning of a Ross Thomas chapter,  there’s a senator or a cop by the end.

Jodi Thomas Welcome to Harmony Narrated by Julia Gibson

“Look, Preacher, I don’t need saving; I’m not interested in dating, and I’d just as soon not be your friend. So why don’t you go peddle ‘let’s be friends’ somewhere else,” she tells Noah when he tries talking to her at lunchtime at school.

 

We have the perfect subject of the unconscious: a 15 year old orphan, a little tough, a little charming, a little liar with a heavy need for home. “Regan Truman” walks into old Jeremiah’s life as though she belongs there, makes a deal, and stays. Harmony is a town that happens when she makes the town her home.

 

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy read by Rosalyn Landor

A serious Swede, heir of a prestigious Accounting firm, talks to his tour bus driver who must, like him, return to an unwanted fate, a little farm waiting for him to take it over: “I’m no good at going out looking for sheep that have got stuck on their back with their legs in the air, and turning them the right way up…” .
And somehow the Swede finds himself in a nearby village, at a wonderful old Irish House, eating supper at the same hotel table as a displaced, twice-divorced Hollywood movie star, a bitter retired schoolmistress, an anchorless, childless Dr & Dr couple and a heartbroken librarian with an occasional feel for the future. There at that table he takes out his nickle harp and plays for his fellow guests, who like him, are homeless, and suddenly at home.
The remarkable Maeve Binchy throws these oddments of people together in a place that becomes their home for a time, and from the joyful encounters of strangers comes magic and hope and the exchange of fates.

Last Days of Summer by Margaret Maron read by Kate Forbes

For those who do not like the Judge Knott series, Maron has penned this sweet perfectly turned out book about an heiress, an illustrator, granddaughter of a legendary children’s book publisher. Meek, sensitive, submissive as both wife and publishing executive, Amy Steadman finds herself alone, driving to the family house in North Carolina, to sort through her thoughts, her past, her grandmother’s things. On her first night at the house she is awakened by a loud bossy woman hauling away the dining room furniture, who turns out to be one of many southern cousins who has benefitted from her grandmother’s death. While she cleans out the house, she reflects on her mother’s suicide, the uncomfortable past that attaches itself to her comfortable life. She reads letters, then diaries, then watches some old family movies, and realizes that she remembers is not what she has been told. The house is stage the stage of old and new betrayals, lies, half-truths, false confidences, passing on from one generation to another.

Retirement Plan by Martha Miller read by Bernadette Dunne

Miss Sophie Long is a Catholic School teacher who can’t parallel park, until she meets Lois, Vietnam Vet, trained sniper, mechanic, and lesbian. They live in the same neighborhood as Morgan, a size 16-18 police detective with a demented mother. At some point, to make ends meet, Sophie and Lois decide to begin killing for hire… bad guys only. And so the story zigzags between 60 year old lesbian couples, sex offenders, wife beaters, fat female cops, drug addicted daughters…. with some brilliant laughs along the way. Beautiful reading as always by Bernadette Dunne.