I spent two weeks trying to remember the title for (b) when the question was posted on stack exchange. I found it by brute force:
Thank you for this response. I found one on-line and started rereading it already.
Smith certainly did not shrink from genocide:
From the Wikipedia article about Skylark DuQuesne
Thinking back, E E Doc Smith comes to mind, with the ever-increasing energy levels and 'planet wrecking' themes, although I'm not familiar with any of
Yes, it is definitely because Lady is the narrator of this book. But this audio reader tries to act out every part and she is not a good actor. She