Friday, July 31, 2020

Audiobook Challenge 2020 - August Audiobook

Listening Books Challenge August Audiobook

An Audiobook from a Series

A surprising announcement that I was lucky to see on Twitter and Facebook yesterday about the surprise release of Jackman & Evans Book (Audiobook) #7 in the series determined my pick for August.

They Disappeared by Joy Ellis

Since this is one of my favorite mystery series I was so happy to see this announcement, since I have been pondering what my choice would be for August. 

Not only a favorite book series but my favorite narrator, Richard Armitage.

Detective fiction and police procedurals are best when you have a great partnership in the main characters, and Jackman and Evans are a great detective partnership.  And one of the pleasures for me of following a book series is getting to know the regular characters slowly, from strangers to friends.  Yes they are fictional characters, but all book lovers know that fictional characters can become very real in our minds and hearts. This is one of the joys of reading (and listening to audiobooks).  

Richard has also optioned books from this Joy Ellis series for his new production company. I wish him well in bringing the TV series based on the books to life. Of course he has to play DI Rowan Jackman.  

TV production is difficult in the best of times, and these are not the best of times in the midst of a pandemic. I know Richard has a tough task ahead of him. 

Doing some fan casting, who would I pick to play Marie Evans with Richard as Jackman?  

I've thought about this since he said he had optioned the books for a TV series.  I'm still thinking, but right now I'm pondering these two (not that anyone will listen to me):

Rachael Stirling

Orla Brady


I'm finishing another Richard Armitage narrated book today:

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Memories of Olivia de Havilland - RIP July 2020

I grew up watching what today we call Classic Films.  As a little girl I watched Hollywood films from the 30's, 40's, and 50's.  (The 50's were actually not yet considered that vintage at the time!)  These films played every day in the late morning and afternoon.   

My very favorite were the films with Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn.  And at the top of the list was Captain Blood.

For more about the films of Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn go HERE

Another of my favorite Olivia de Havilland films is The Heiress

In Gone With the Wind  Melanie Wilkes is the role she's probably best known for.  I always thought Melanie was the strongest, and I always rooted for her over Scarlett. 

Earlier this month Olivia de Havilland celebrated her 104th birthday.  

She will be missed by fans of her wonderful films. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Imma Tataranni - Italian Mystery Series

Imma Tataranni  - Italian Mystery In a Fascinating Part of Italy

My new favorite Italian series on MHz Choice is Imma Tataranni, based on the books by Mariolina Venezia.  

Tataranni is the deputy prosecutor for the city of Matera, in Southern Italy.  Wikipedia tells me that Matera is in the region of Basilicata, in one of the "oldest continously inhabited cities in the world."  To learn more about Matera, click HERE.

One thing I've learned from watching European mystery series is that legal prosecutors are also investigators. They work with the police and other law enforcement officers to investigate crimes, and also prosecute criminals in court.

Imma is a fascinating and fun character. She balances her difficult job of legal prosecutor and master detective with a husband, teenage daughter, difficult in-laws, and a mother starting to suffer from dementia.  She is truly a representative from the Sandwich Generation. 

Imma has her own fashion sense, and I applaud her for dressing her way not adopting the very restrictive "professional woman" attire. She gets criticized for it, but she enjoys her own style. As someone who likes to wear bold jewelry often,  it's fun for me to see her  style choices. 

Imma also has a much younger, and very handsome, assistant Corporal Calogiuri.  Imma and Calogiuri become very close.  I like that about this series also.  We don't see the older woman - younger man dynamics in many series. 

Very much a main character in this series is the region of Basilicata and the fascinating history of the area.  Not only stunning visuals, but an ancient and amazing part of the world.

The series does give viewers a bit of the history of this city and this region. If I had a bucket list, I would add visiting Basilicata to it. 

Imma Tataranni is played by Vanessa Scalera who I don't remember seeing in a series or film before. But I will look for her in future series. To find out more about the rest of the cast click HERE.

Oh, and for Montalbano fans,  Cesare Bocci (Mimi) is a guest star in Season 1 of this series.

Below is an interesting review of the series and character of Imma Tataranni:

I would say that stereotypes of women in TV series is sadly not restricted to Italian television.  It is pretty universal.  

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Another Book Series You Got Me Into!

All your fault RC Armitage

Another Book Series You Got Me Into

Dr.  Alexander Gregory 

I just finished listening to Bedlam by LJ Ross and narrated by Richard Armitage.

A very good job by Richard Armitage.  He had to do British accents, American accents, a Scottish accent, and create all these different characters in two countries. Also men and women of different ages.  As he has done before, he created an entire acting company with just his voice.  Yet it was subtle enough so that it flows very easily and enjoyably.  

This is not easy to do. I have returned a couple of audibooks because the narrators were over the top in doing the voices of the different characters. Not to mention one that attempted Italian accents that were unintentionally funny and also offensive!  

I never have to worry about that with Richard as the narrator.  

Of course, he was also the perfect protagonist of this book,  Dr. Alexander Gregory.  Very complex character, quite a tragic background, and a man of mystery in many ways. But a good person. Plus a bit of a romantic. 

Richard himself tweeted this book would make a great TV series, and I know there was a chorus on Twitter, and I will add my vote to this, that he would be the perfect Dr. Gregory. 

More about the audiobook Here

Bedlam is the third book of the Dr. Gregory series by LJ Ross.  This is my first book by the author, and now I've added the other two audiobooks of the series (narrated by Hugh Dancy) to my Audible Wish List.  

Why do I blame Richard for starting me on this book series?  Because he's done it before. Not just a series that he has narrated, but others that I've discovered because of him. 

Just from the top of my head:

Jackman & Evans Series by Joy Ellis 
(Narrated by Richard Armitage)

Ruth Galloway Mysteries by Elly Griffiths

Nic Costa Series by David Hewson

I don't know when I'll get to Book #1 and  #2 of the Dr. Gregory series.  I have the audiobook challenge going on, plus the Armitage audiobooks already on pre-order!!!!!!!!!!  But they are on my list now.  

I do hope Richard continues to narrate the Dr. Gregory books.  

From Sleepwalker

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