Having now listened to the audio of Book 1, I can say, oh my yes, Ms. Barbara Rosenblat does a delightful job. Her voice and accent are perfect for Amelia, very brisk and efficient, yet with a touch of refinement and humor; moreover, she’s pretty decent at varying her reading to account for other character voices. She was excellent at differentiating her Amelia Voice from her Evelyn Voice, and she wasn’t bad either with most of the male voices. It helped a lot as well that she was pretty good with accents, too, which was very helpful for French and Italian side characters in the story. I liked her rendition of Walter’s voice, which sounded suitably youthful yet still male, and her voice for Lucas had this foppish sort of almost-lisp to it that added a whole new dimension to that character for me.
About the only voice of hers at all that I took any issue with was Emerson’s–but on the other hand, given that Elizabeth Peters describes Emerson’s voice as a resounding bass, there’s only so much a woman reading the story is going to be able to do in order to approximate him. She did do a rather neat thing with Emerson’s lines, though: delivering them in a very gruff and raspy sort of tone which struck me as odd at first yet quickly grew on me. It might not necessarily be swoonable by modern standards per se, but it was absolutely in character for Emerson, so I have to give Ms. Rosenblat huge props for that.
It’s probably a lovely measure of how well I enjoyed her narration of the story that I plowed through it pretty much as non-stop as possible, on the way to work, through most of my work day that particular day, and on my way home as well. Highly, highly recommended for Amelia Peabody fans, and I’ll definitely be getting more of these. I can’t wait to hear how she reads for Ramses!
Final note: I bought the audiobook off of iTunes, and did notice multiple audiobook editions of several of the books in the series, done by different narrators. Barbara Rosenblat was the one I listened to, so doublecheck for her name if you go looking to buy one of these audiobooks yourself!