• Murder as a Second Language

  • A Claire Malloy Mystery
  • By: Joan Hess
  • Narrated by: Meredith Mitchell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Claire Malloy, now a married woman of leisure, tries her hand at volunteering but instead lands right in the middle of another murder investigation.

Longtime bookseller and single mother Claire Malloy has recently married her long-term beau and moved out of her less than opulent apartment into a sprawling, newly remodeled house. Her daughter, Caron, is making plans for college. All of this leaves Claire with something she hasn't had in quite a while: Spare time.

When her attempts to learn French cooking start getting mixed reviews, she agrees to help Caron and her best friend Inez fluff up their college applications by volunteering as an ESL tutor with the Farberville Literacy Council. But her modest effort to give back quickly becomes a nightmare when she's railroaded onto the board of directors of the troubled nonprofit. Vandalism, accusations of embezzlement, epic budget problems, and a cacophony of heavily accented English speakers are just the tip of the iceberg. Just as she decides that it might be best to extricate herself, Claire gets a frantic call from her husband, Deputy Chief Peter Rosen. One of the students, an older Russian woman named Ludmilla, famed for her unpleasantness, has been murdered in the offices of the Farberville Literary Council. For the first time ever, Peter actually asks Claire for her help.

©2013 Joan Hess (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Murder as a Second Language

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Poor narration detracts from enjoyment of story

What did you like best about Murder as a Second Language? What did you like least?

I am a great fan of Joan Hess.I have reread and listened to all her books more than once. All her previous recorded books were a pleasure to listen to - it was with this book I realized the extent to which the skills of the narrator are crucial to that enjoyment.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Not sure I can finish it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Since there is little variation in the narrator's pitch, it is difficult to distinguish characters. Only those with accents are clearly identifiable.Also, at times the narrator reads at such a fast rate it is difficult to follow the story. Much of the reading is in a monotone. The characters lacked their "voices" - and the humor in the author's writing was substantially diminished. I think I would rather read this book than listen to it. I don't think this narrator enjoyed the book. .

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not sure.

Any additional comments?

I will not purchase any other books narrated by this person.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Sigh

I struggled due to the racial and ethnic stereotypes and language. I appreciated the overall plot line.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good story, overly pretentious vocabulary

It's a challenge for 1 person to narrate male & female voices, performance fair. The basic story was very good making the overly pretensions phrasing & constant reference to French cuisine tolerable. Lead character, over critical of her husband. Loved the occasional tender moments from the teenage daughter.

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Teaching English can be dicey

I like the cozy mystery. unique setting and characters. The narrator sounded like an angst filled teenager yawning all the way to her paycheck.