Grab Bag – 1/23/2019

Penny Candi reaches for the earbuds this week and pulls out audio offerings from the Grab Bag. Along with Sherlock Holmes, two more short stories hit the list: The Whistleblower and The Ruins, both gripping, action-packed tales. There’s also a happy surprise in Altered Carbon, giving you the chance to hear the characters you may have imagined as well as seeing them realized through the Netflix series. More surprises and entertainment await you below. Turn up the volume and take a listen!

1.Altered CarbonAltered Carbon
by Richard K. Morgan
The first book in the series that led to the show now playing on Netflix. In the future, humans can download their consciousness into new bodies if their original bodies fail. Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs and his new body are far from Earth, but in familiar circumstances of far-flung conspiracies and threats to humanity's existence. Smooth narrator with proper noir tone, keeps the plot moving and aurally interesting.
by Peter F. Hamilton
Two centuries into the future, linked jump-gates make anywhere in the known universe accessible and spaceships virtually obsolete. And all seems wonderful-until a crashed alien spaceship of unknown origin is found on a newly located world eighty-nine light-years from Earth, carrying a cargo as strange as it is horrifying. To assess the potential of the threat a high-powered team is dispatched to investigate. But one of them may not be all they seem.
3.A Darker Shade of Magic: Volume 1A Darker Shade of Magic: Volume 1
by V. E. Schwab
An inter-dimensional story of many Londons. Kell, a Travelers-Magician, delivers royal correspondences between the parallel universes that contain the various Londons. He's also a smuggler willing to bring to bring any curious with him so long as they're able to pay. But this dangerous hobby leads him into accidental treason and soon he's paired with Deliah, a thief who forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Wry narration brings this story to life.
by Barbara Nadel
Irving Levy is terminally ill and desperate to find anyone to bequeath his riches to. He engages the services of Hakim and Arnold to investigate the long-ago disappearance of his baby sister in the hopes of uncovering just what happened and in the process gaining an heir. But his and the detectives investigation leads to a freak show from his youth and inevitable mortal danger as they turn up the tent flap of the brightly colored Barking Park Fair, revealing its secrets - including its crimes.
by Roger Hobbs
When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who’s occasionally called Jack. He's the criminal’s criminal who does entirely as he pleases, but is worth every penny you pay him for the job. Elegant, atmospheric, and quickly paced, the story grips you in the first few sentences. The narrator fills Jack deadly professionalism and calm menace.
6.Lemon Tart Mystery: Amish Sweet Shop Mystery Series, Book 3Lemon Tart Mystery: Amish Sweet Shop Mystery Series, Book 3
by Naomi Miller
Light-hearted Mystery. Sweet shop baker Amelia Simpkins adds a new ingredient to the lemony tarts and sparks fly. Narrator has the right tone throughout.
7.The ControllerThe Controller
by Linda Coles
Amanda Lacey teams with would-be dog-napper Pete to investigate an underground dog fighting ring. Narrator reads with a good pace and keeps the action moving along.
8.Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Greek InterpreterSherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes short story that introduces Sherlock's older, smarter brother. In this story, Holmes and Watson attempt to solve a kidnapping, but the real draw is the interaction between the two brothers. The narrator, Gus Robbins, is a voice-over action. He reads the story with great inflection and keeps the story engaging.
9.The Whistleblower (Short Story)The Whistleblower (Short Story)
by Brad Parks
Prequel to the thriller The Last Act. Mitchell Dupree lands his dream job as the compliance director at the Latin American division at Union South Bank. He's happy until he notices a string of suspicious transactions that may tie the bank to a growing drug cartel. Now Mitch must determine who to trust and to judge how safe his job--and his life--really are.
10.The Ruins: A Taskforce StoryThe Ruins: A Taskforce Story
by Brad Taylor
Pike Logan and his Taskforce partner Jennifer Cahill travel to Guatemala in search of the Mayan temple her uncle died trying to find. They know that treasure awaits, but only if they beat the Canadian mining company hellbent on claiming the prize for themselves. The narrator's characterizations are compelling and don't detract from the story.

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