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5++ stars for Christmas at Corbie Hall (Audiobook) by Jo A. Hiestand #britishmystery #audiobook #audiobookreview #mustlisten

Title: Christmas at Corbie Hall

Author: Jo A. Hiestand

Voice Actors: Callum Hale

Genre: British Mystery, Holiday British Mystery


Book Blurb:


Former police detective Michael McLaren is looking forward to spending Christmas at his grandfather's ancient Hall. Not only because it will be his first holiday with his grandfather and uncle, but also with his lady love, Melanie. Everything seems perfect for the Scottish Highland getaway. Even Mother Nature is contributing snow, adding a festive and romantic overtone to the gathering. But McLaren’s holiday plan gets snowed under when a dead man is discovered outside his grandfather’s house--in circumstances similar to an older murder. And it’s not long before McLaren is asked to look into the previous death.


The victim was a drummer in a local pipe band. He also drummed at the Christmas market, where his body was found on a snowy, cold evening. The man found dead at the door of his grandfather’s house also played in a pipe band. Are the two murders connected? Or did their jobs at the bank have to do with their deaths? Can McLaren wrap up the cases in time to unwrap Christmas gifts with Melanie? It’s a race against the calendar and weather if he wants the Day—and his future with her—to be merry and bright.


My Review:


Story Impressions –

McLaren and his love, Melanie, are in Scotland for Christmas. The holiday spirit is flowing until a murder sends McLaren into another investigation. Can he apprehend the murderer in time for Christmas? Christmas at Corbie Hall is a heartwarming holiday mystery I couldn’t stop listening to. As always, Jo Hiestand and Callum Hale whisk me away. The setting is Scotland at Christmastime. The characters, especially McLaren and Melanie, are reason enough alone to listen to this gem. Callum Hale is one of the best voice actors in the industry and he outdoes himself in this performance.


Narrator’s overall voice –

Callum Hale is one of the best narrators I’ve heard and trust me, I’ve heard plenty. His voice creates the descriptions needed to follow the story.

Does the voice actor fit the characters?

Callum uses different dialects for each character which is beneficial while listening. Callum also invokes emotion while reading.

Voice actor’s reading style –

Callum’s reading style is the perfect tempo, allowing the listener to be fully immersed in the mystery.

Voice actor’s impact on reading experience –

Callum makes this an enjoyable listen. Everything from his pacing to the intonation in his voice to the recreation of the characters to the emotive effect on the listener all combine to make this a great performance.

Voice actor’s pacing –

Callum’s pacing is lingering in parts, quick in others, on pace with the natural ebbs and flows of the story.

Audiobook flow –

The flow of the audiobook is right in line with the pace of the story.

What makes this audiobook unique –

An incredible performance by Callum. He becomes McLaren and Jamie plus all the other characters. He should win an Grammy for this one.

Would I recommend this audiobook –Yes. Fans of British mysteries and holiday mysteries will enjoy this one.


My Rating: 5++ stars


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Author Biography:


Jo A. Hiestand grew up on regular doses of music, books, and Girl Scout camping. She gravitated toward writing in her post-high school years and finally did something sensible about it, graduating from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. She writes a British mystery series (the McLaren Mysteries)—of which three books have garnered the prestigious N.N. Light’s Book Heaven ‘Best Mystery Novel’ three years straight. She also writes a Missouri-based cozy mystery series that is grounded in places associated with her camping haunts. The camping is a thing of the past, for the most part, but the music stayed with her in the form of playing guitar and harpsichord, and singing in a folk group. Jo carves jack o’ lanterns badly and sings loudly. She loves barbecue sauce and ice cream (separately, not together), kilts (especially if men wear them), clouds and stormy skies, and the music of G.F. Handel. You can usually find her pulling mystery plots out of scenery—whether from photographs or the real thing.


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Reviewed by: Nancy


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