by Sukey HowardAugust, 2003
His and hers summer listening
When Mars and Venus browse the shelves for the perfect "light listen" to take to the beach (or the plane, train or car that gets you there), odds are that they'll choose very different titles. So, at the risk of being called gender-biased, sexist or far worse, I'd like to suggest a group of new audios that will amuse Adam and a separate one that will entertain Eve.
Bailey Weggins, the smart, savvy, sexy sleuth we met in Kate White's first bestseller, stars again in A Body to Die For, performed by Kate Walsh. Hoping for a spa weekend of wraps and relaxation, Bailey finds herself wrapped up in a murder and enraptured by the hunky homicide detective working the case.
Bennie Rosato, the bold, blonde, tough-minded, tough-talking (though she swears she's on a "curse diet") maverick Philadelphia lawyer with a penchant for life-threatening drama, is battling the bad guys again in Dead Ringer, Lisa Scottoline's new bestseller, commendably narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. Up to her ears maybe over her head in financial woes, things begin to go even further south when her best client is murdered and her evil twin turns up, turning Bennie's life inside-out.
Lauren Weisberger can dish with the best and that's what she does in The Devil Wears Prada, a delightful, fashion-filled, cautionary tale about selling your soul to the boss from hell and seeing the error of your ways just in the nick of time. Rachel Leigh Cook reads with the requisite verve and style.
Clarissa Alpert could teach a graduate-level seminar on who's who in Hollywood and is sure she has cornered the market on the manipulation of the male species. But her plans could go awry if the man she sets her carnivorous sights on turns out to be a master maneuverer himself. You'll find out if the curvaceous Clarissa bit off more than she can chew in Gigi Levangie Grazer's LA frolic, Maneater, read by the fabulous Uma Thurman.
In the more for men' category
True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fansis humorist Joe Queenan's hilarious, yet heartfelt, take on fans good, bad and awful and what they really get out of rooting for the home team. Queenan, who understands that it's truly more than just a game, reads his own words and that makes it more fun.
An ex-Marine sniper and a former Delta Force trooper form a covert operations team for the National Security Agency in Stephen Coonts' latest techno-thriller-diller, Deep Black, read by J. Charles. Sent to investigate the downing of a spy plane by an unknown MiG, their super-secret, super-sensitive mission morphs into a fight to save Russia and the world from a deadly conspiracy.
Kurt Austin, leader of NUMA's Special Assignments Team, is back and in fine form as he and colleague Joe Zavala battle a sinister multi-national corporation that will stop at nothing to control the world's oceans in White Death, Clive Cussler's new action-packed tale of eco-intrigue, marine mayhem and watery derring-do, read in its exciting entirety by Scott Brick.
For lovers of true adventure and history and those who want something a little more serious, David McCullough's National Book Award-winning The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914, available in a new audio presentation with perfect-pitch narration by Edward Herrmann, is a must-listen.