5/6/15

Fundraising the Dead A Museum Mystery, Book 1 By Sheila Connolly Narrator Robin Miles


Fundraising the Dead

By Sheila Connolly A Museum Mystery, Book 1

Narrator Robin Miles10 hrs and 38 mins.

Audible Studio's

Narrator Review of Robin Miles

Photo image of Robin Miles
 Robin Miles 



Robin Miles seems more in sync with Nell Pratt than with Meg Corey in the Orchard Mysteries. Nell is likeable, intelligent, and classy with few personality flaws. She does not waste time with self doubts. Ms.Miles with her own classy voice and educated tones establishes Nell's temperament and identity. A very pleasurable listen when graced by the talented Robin Miles.

Audio Book Review: Fundraising the Dead by Sheila Connolly A museum Mystery Book 1.

I downloaded the Ebook version of Fundraising the Dead. It didn't work out very well. I haven't turned the pages of an actual book for many years and about four years for reading an Ebook and it was a short one.

It was flat and tasteless without a narrator reading it. It loses so much impact and dimension. Nuances are missing, intonations are zero, and my eyes are moving faster than my brain can create a visual.

I turned on the audio book and followed along with the lovely reading by Robin Miles. What I was hearing was intent, emotions, dramatizations and flavor that only comes with an audio book and a great narrator. I heard fifty shades of sound that just are lacking in flat one dimensional text. It's unimaginable to me to read a book, unless there were no other alternative.

Image of Sheila Connolly, cozy mystery writer
 Sheila Connolly 

Nell Pratt, is a professional beggar of funds for the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, and she is good at it. She has organized a gala event to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the society, with two hundred of the crème de la crème of Philadelphia's richest and most influential people invited.

Nell is frantic with the long list of things that still need attending too before the party starts in just a few hours, when an enraged Marty Terwilliger, storms into Nell's office demanding immediate attention. Marty Terwilliger, member of the board, and contributor of the vast and important donation of the Terwilliger papers, is not someone to be casually dismissed. Some valuable Washington letters are missing from the collection and she knows she saw them very recently, and she wants to know where they are.

Nell's not sure why Marty has come to her with this and not Latoya Anderson, vice president of collections or even Charles Worthington, president of the Society. After promising to see what she can do while easing her out the door she hurries to Alfred Findley's, cubicle. Alfred knows more about the collections than anyone else at the foundation and has been entering everything into a computer database for the entire fifteen years that he's worked there.

Alfred reveals that he has for some time thought items have gone missing from the collections, and although he's given monthly accounts to Latoya every month, nothing has been done about it. Meg is shocked and upset and vows to herself that she will look into it and ask Alfred to make a list of everything he thinks has gone missing. Alfred says he'll stay overtime and leave a copy on her desk so she can have it the next day.

Good to his word Alfred creates the list and Nell later catches sight of him at the party and knows he must want a few words with her but she can't talk to him while schmoozing with the guests. Later she notices Alfred is gone and she doesn't see him again till the following morning, dead in a pool of blood. Horrified, Nell, calls 911 and the wheels of justice begin to turn.

Nell's missing items list is on her desk as promised, it's long and all are very desirable and priceless items. She recognizes their value but not to their full amount she goes on the internet to research them. The round figure she gleans from her research is alarming, Nell gets an unsettling feeling that Alfred's death is suspiciously related to the missing items. Although the police have deemed it an accidental death.

My favorite part of the book is when Nell, Marty and Marty's friend Elizabeth Farnsworth, (Libby to her friends,) conspire to trap the murderer with a very devious and amusing plan. I had to laugh out loud when this trio of crafty and foxy women get together to lay out the groundwork for their cunning plot. Alfred's death, and the missing Washington letters, lead to major changes in Nell's life and a new romance with the dashing cousin of Marty's, a special agent for the F.B.I., James Morrison (Jimmy).






4/29/15

Sour Apples by Sheila Connolly Book 6 of An Orchard Series, Narrator Robin Miles

Sour Apples
An Orchard Mystery. Book 6.
Sheila Connolly

Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
Audible Studios

As expected Robin Miles gives a riveting rendition of Sour Apples. She gives the appropriate amount of emotion making for an enjoyable listen. She even gives Lolly, Meg's cat, Max, Seth's dog and Dorcas and Isabel Meg's two goats a sense of personality and charm. Her male voices are also very good and distinctive from the ladies. Lydia, Seth's mother sounded just right, not to old nor too young. Overall a most pleasing listen thanks to Robin Miles.

Robin Miles, Narrator of Sour Apples by Sheila Connolly
Narrator, Robin Miles



Audio Book Review: Sour Apples by Sheila Connolly
Book 6. of An Orchard Series.

Seth and Meg go to the Spring Fling a local dance put on every year to raise funds for Granford. To Meg's surprise she see's her old friend and past co-worker Lauren. Last she'd heard Lauren was still working at a bank in Boston. Now Lauren is campaign manager for Rick Sainsbury. 
Rick grew up in Granford but hadn't been seen much of if at all after graduating from high school. Now he's back glad handing, looking for supporters and donations for his campaign. It's obvious to Meg that Seth has no liking for Rick which surprises her as Seth likes everyone. Seth evades Meg's questioning and won't say why he doesn't like Rick.


Sour Apples author image Sheila Connolly
Sheila Connolly Author

Meg invites Lauren to stay with her while she's in Granford so they catch up on what they've been doing since they last talked. Everyone is not happy with having Lauren around, Bree, Meg's housemate and orchard manager being one of them. Lauren is constantly on the go and very aggressive in her enthusiasms making Bree uncomfortable around her. Even Seth makes himself scarce not wanting to run into Rick Sainsbury.

Joyce Truesdale a local dairy farmer had approached Seth to look up the past paperwork on the land she leased from the city. She thought maybe there was something overlooked on the past reports. Her cows were getting sick from lead poisoning and a couple had died after allowing them to graze on it. She'd sent in soil samples to have analyzed that weren't back yet.

A tragic accident leaves Joyce dead, at first it seems her favorite cow Cyndi kicked her in the head and killed her. Art Preston, local policeman and friend, show's up at Seth's, with a verdict of murder according to the autopsy report, stunning both Seth and Meg. No one can figure out a reason for killing a law abiding dairy farmer. Joyce's husband Ethan found her when he got home from an out of town business trip. Now he's the prime suspect.

A few days later, Nathan is found hanging in his barn, at first it looks like suicide but the police think it was murder. Soil sample reports come back and they don't all match up, Meg discovers that a paint company had been on the land decades before, and Sainsbury Industry was the original company that cleaned the land. Meg isn't sure how, but she's sure Rick Sainsbury has something to do with it.

Meg aged a few years.Between Book 1. One Bad Apple and Sour Apples Book 6. she went from "about ten years older than Bree".... who is about twenty, making Meg thirty. In Book 6, Meg is "closer in age to forty than thirty"..... that's a big leap since the time span between the the six books is about one year. Meg is less testy and even Bree is not as surly in Sour Apples. It's Seth who is more bearish. It's Meg who is putting the clues together and Seth who argues and doesn't see it.

Sour Apples, An Orchard Mystery by Sheila Connolly
Sour Apples, An Orchard Mystery Book 6.