Tag Archives: women’s fiction

Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection Books 1-3 by Barbara Venkataraman

Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection is the first three books in the series.  Jamie is grieving, is continuing with a successful family law practice and finds herself thrust into mystery and intrigue.  All the while, her emotional turmoil plays a significant and sometimes entertaining role in the stories.

Barbara Venkataraman does an excellent job of building Jamie’s character along with other characters who are not only pivotal but just as interesting.  Duke Broussard is key to all three books although Venkataraman brings him in slowly in the first book.  From a murdered rock star, a divorce case turned murder, and murder in the park system – while they are out of Jamie’s league, her friends step up and help her solve the cases.

Venkataraman takes her time building the characters and story plot.  The dialog is well done and realistic.  In each book, there are moments of hilarity yet also seriousness.  One cannot help but love Jamie – she is a small part residing within each of us.

The narrator, Carrie Lee Martz performed the book very well.  She spoke clearly and added the emotions needed to further the story and engage the listener.  My only issue was Duke did not sound like he was described in the book; I had trouble reconciling his looks to his sound.

I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries and intrigue.

Star Rating:  * * * *

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Sunflowers Under Fire by Diana Stevan

Based on her grandmother’s life and true stories, Diana Stevan intricately reveals the struggles and losses her grandmother, Lukia Mazuret endured during her life in Russia.  Lukia is a strong woman who faced and survived war, revolution, and raising eight children single-handedly after her husband Gregory left to join the service.  In a world torn by war and poverty, Lukia deals with protecting her daughters daily from the evils of men.  Until the unthinkable happens and a taboo relationship happens.

The experiences and tragedies of Lukia are performed by Diana Stevan who gives voice to her grandmother’s story in a sensitive and caring manner.  The passion and personal connection to the story are deep and provide the listener with an intense listen.  Nine hours and 25 minutes long, the time flies as the listener is swept into the world of Lukia through the careful construction of the story and the passionate telling by Ms. Stevan.

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook.

Rating:  ****

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