Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Audio Book Review: Strange Practice

Strange Practice

By:  Vivian Shaw

Publish Date:  July 25, 2017, Audiobook Release August 3, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 23 mins
Narrated By:  Susanna Hampton

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Dr. Greta Helsing series

Impression:  A doctor who takes care of supernaturals and comes into a deadly case to solve.

Meet Greta Helsing, fast-talking doctor to the undead. Keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well in London has been her family's specialty for generations.

Greta Helsing inherited the family's highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta's been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

First Sentence:
The sky was fading to ultramarine in the east over the Victoria Embankment when a battered Mini pulled in to the curb, not far from Blackfriars Bridge.

Purchase At:
AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

Audible, Audiobook.com 

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Susanna Hampton is a new narrator for me. After finishing the first chapter, she feels to fit Greta's personality with perfection. The voice goes with the character. Great pick. She has the accent to go with the setting of London along with the sentences feeling to flow fluidly with tone and emotion in each word. Lovely. There's not a huge difference in tone for different characters, but that's not needed when she voices them with their own life and personality which makes each character distinct and their own.

There is one thing I struggle with in audio books. It's when the story shifts POVs within a chapter. I'm sure in print there's an indicator or a break in the paragraphs to show this. In audio, there's not really a good way to do this. This book has this in the chapters. I usually caught on quickly as the name is mentioned in the first few sentences. Once I knew to expect it, I knew what to look for.

I liked Greta from the moment I meet her. And I very much love the business she's in. She's a doctor, for the supernatural. Ruthven was an interesting character to meet as well. But Sir Francis Varney, now he seemed to be someone Greta could be attracted to from her first meeting. And that first meeting was a bit tough for Francis (first chapter, and he's hurt).

The story feels as though it's a relaxing mystery with Greta, but there is something more to the story that draws my mind in. We get sections of... something else. Small glimpses that there is something else at work here. It gives the story another dimension and feel, darker and deeper.

We follow the story as many supernatural people, including Greta, are attacked and come to stay at Ruthven's home. They all try to figure out what is happening with the murders and those in the monk attire but it seems to hit a point where there may be nothing left to do. They've researched and found out some information, but what are they going to do about it? It feels like a stall in the story.

I found I grew fond of the characters that surround Greta. They are all different but this brings different aspects to the story, along with elements of knowledge to work on a case. I look forward to seeing these characters in future books and how they interact.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!


  1. The character shifts mid chapters confuses me too :(

  2. I do like a good mystery and one that you really like the characters is usually the one I enjoy. Too bad the shifts weren't obvious but glad it worked out. Brilly review.

  3. Interesting indeed!! I'm loving the cover too

  4. First those covers on the side (Steam and Raven) look fabulous. I have no idea what they are about, but damn I'm curious.

    Okay, this book sounds really interesting. Especially her 'job'. Kind of scary.


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