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By Kathi on 04-25-13
Wonderful story--but the narrator left me groaning
I love all of Ellen Crosby's books, and to date, I had read the previous ones in paper version. I wish I had kept to that format.
This story is as good as all of them are. They are a continuing series--with excellent mysteries keeping them interesting--that revolve around Lucie Montgomery, who has suffered an accident that leaves her lame and walking with a cane--but still full of spunk and determination. She finds herself running her family's vineyard, and despite the financial and other stresses that go with such an enterprise, she and her helpers struggle to make it a go.
This story involves her leaving the vineyard and Loudoun County to go to Washington, DC (about 30 miles away) where she meets her old friend Rebecca who soon after mysteriously disappears, as does a valuable item belonging to her boss, Sir Thomas Asher. Lucie is determined to find out what happened to her friend, and finds herself in danger from that situation, even while she is personally suffering as she wonders what her lover and chief wine expert for the vineyard is doing--is he secretly planning to leave her?
This book is as good as the previous ones have been. But I live just a few miles away from the fictional place Crosby describes in her books, and I have never heard anyone in this county--indeed in all of northern Virginia--speak with the whiny, would-be imagined Virginia accent that this narrator uses through the entire book. I have listened to another book that she narrated and I liked it a lot. So I assume she decided that this is the voice quality that encapsulates this area. I have started and stopped listening to this book a dozen times because her strained and annoying version of what is actually a delightful, soft speech quality of the old families who live where this book is placed has sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.
I definitely recommend the book and this author! And I think this could be a decent listen if the listener [hopefully] will believe and accept that people in this lovely area do not whine, do not have a sing-song tone to their conversations, and do not have an exaggerated accent that does not (to my ears) replicate any speech style that I have ever heard in natural circumstances anywhere. I feel sad saying all this--because I believe she is otherwise a very good narrator. Just not this time.
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