• The Secret Crown

  • By: Chris Kuzneski
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (106 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

King Ludwig II ruled Bavaria for 22 years, commissioning extravagant castles throughout his homeland and exhibiting such bizarre behavior that he was eventually declared insane. According to legend, Ludwig had stockpiled a massive cache of gold and jewels that would finance the construction of the largest castle of all time. But in the years since the king's mysterious death, no one has found any evidence of such a trove. Until now. Jonathon Payne and David Jones are pulled into the mystery by a colleague, who asks them to investigate the legend. They agree, and quickly find themselves in a life-or-death struggle to uncover the truth about Ludwig's death, his mythical treasure, and who would be willing to kill for it.

©2012 Chris Kuzneski, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about The Secret Crown

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Action Packed Global Adventure - Great Series!

Where does The Secret Crown rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have over 500 books in my Audible library so that would be a hard question BUT I would have to say this is defiantly in the top 1/3 of my favorites.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Oh yes. It begins with a phone call to Payne from an acquaintance saying that he believes a friend of his (Pieter Ulster) relative may have been a Nazi sympathizer. This is based on a few trunks containing valuables from that period with the Ulster family crest. Of course this turns out not to be the case but the race is on to find some missing treasure before someone else (a bad guy) does.

What does Dick Hill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Dick Hill brings his impressively talented voices. He is a favorite of mine and I could listen to him all day.

Any additional comments?

This was such a good book. I thoroughly enjoy Chris Kuzneski's Payne & Jones series. If you like the Primal series or Jonathan Quinn and his bantering with Nate then you will enjoy this book. Kind of paramilitary, fast paced super hero stunts that are not always 100% within the legal parameters but completely exhilarating just the same. Anyway this book has a great ending that brings P. Ulster full circle with his families past. Super book, highly recommended!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

More of the same ( if you like that sort of same )

What did you like best about The Secret Crown? What did you like least?

Well, the usual cast of characters, brought to life by Mr.Hill, are nothing if not entertaining. Violent and always inward directed, and thick at times as well, but predicable. This is both good, and challenging.

Would you recommend The Secret Crown to your friends? Why or why not?

Ya gotta like the dudes to get into this one.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Dick Hill?

Sure. He sometimes sounds like he has a mouth full of marbles, but hey, who doesn't from time to time.

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

Home video only.

Any additional comments?

More in the series, and not bad. Requires a stretch of belief, but on balance not bad.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Reader is Santa Clause

The reader makes characters sound like Santa Claus or Jewish Rabbi. Horrible. Takes away for adventure factor.
Not very descriptive story. More time was spent on aggravating attempt at suspense than thrill of discovery that treasure hunters feel. I did not feel it. Not Indiana Jones but Paw and Paw Kettle.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining but somewhat predictable.

Always love Dick Hill. Great reader. The story was a classic Jones and Paine story. Good plot twists but a little predictable. Found myself with unanswered questions throughout. Overall a good book.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic!

Another great story from Chris Kuzneski and great performance by Dick Hill! I can't wait to get the next book!

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointing all the way around

Having lived in Bavaria and Schwabia for four years, I anxiously anticipated this novel.
I was truly disappointed with both the story and cheesy dialogues.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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In a word? BORING!

I can't tell you how frustrating this guy's stuff is to read. A decent editor could condense this 14 hours down to 5 and you wouldn't miss a second of the story. Why he has this compulsion to document the history of E-V-E-R-Y S-I-N-G-L-E location and every doorway and building and street and mountain is absolutely beyond me. He can't go through 3 paragraphs of dialogue before going off on a tangent describing the history of something or other. His characters can't just attend Oktoberfest. Oh no. They have to know the entire story of how and when it began and how many pints of beer will be served and the history of lederhosen and how many people attend and the countries from which they arrive. They can't just look at a painting. We have to be subjected to the life of the artist and what color his eyes were and how many paintings he completed and where he died. They can't enter a castle. They have to know everything about it from the day it was built. It gets old, Quickly. You come away feeling less being entertained than being lectured to. He also spends so much time with the silly bantering between Payne and Jones that it borders on the ridiculous. We get it. They're best friends and they have no racist vibes and it's all good-natured fun, but God almighty, enough is enough. Every other conversation has them poking fun at each other. If he spent as much time giving the characters some human qualities we actually care about and could empathize with instead of turning them into these super heroes who can't be injured or hurt or even placed in any reasonable sense of harm's way, they would be much more believable. As it is, the reader can't form any bond with them because you never worry about their safety. You know nothing is going to happen to them and they will come out victorious. They are not identifiable in any way. They never lose a fight; they never get injured in any serious way and they overcome the most unrealistic odds as to make them more like cartoon characters from the Marvel Universe than they do to any human walking the planet. Maybe if he spent less time being a teacher and researching the life out of every aspect of the novel and more time actually crafting an interesting plot line, he'd be much better off. Normally, I never waste my credits on 'abridged' versions of audio books, but in this case, if the editor took out most of the historical (assuming it's even true) detailing he throws at us ad nauseam, it might make for a more enjoyable read. As it is, I find myself fast forwarding through chapter after chapter only to learn I've missed none of the plot line at all.