Category: Mystery/Thriller

MURDER BY THE BOOK

by Lauren Elliott Available now from Tantor Audio. “Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn’t expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . . Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father’s fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she’s moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times—and living in spacious Greyborne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to start her own store. But there’s trouble from day one, and not just from the grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then, Addie’s friend Serena, who owns a nearby tea shop, is arrested—for killing another local merchant. The police seem pretty sure they’ve got the story in hand, but Addie’s not going to let them close the book on this case without a fight . . .” “Narration for this story is provided by Karen White, and with all of her work, she presents the story clearly – giving each character a distinct and unique presence, using pauses, volume and subtle changes in tone to add emotional context to the story, without overwhelming listeners hoping to find from audible clues alone, who is the culprit. And while the mystery itself was fairly simple to work out and decide on the culprit, the narration added to the questions about characters, providing that sense of agenda and purpose that we all have, without raising big red flags to “listen up here” because this is important. As always, White’s work is solid and shows a familiarity with the text, and an understanding of moments that need highlight or downplay without guiding the listener to a solution, but allowing it to unfold as the relationships develop.” From the review at I Am, Indeed a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Supper Club Mysteries by Ellery Adams

Stiffs and Swine, Supper Club #4 “James Henry and the Flab Five are invited to serve as judges at Hog Fest, a celebrated barbecue festival in the Virginia mountains. But when one of the “pit masters” is found dead and a member of the supper club is accused of the murder, James and his friends have to lick the sauce off their fingers and get to work catching a killer. Amid a fairground filled with colorful people and tempting food, The Flab Five are sure to fall off the diet wagon. But James Henry has more to worry about than his expanding waistline. His bookmobile is dead, suspicious activities are taking place in his beloved library, and his relationship with Murphy Alistair is on the rocks. James needs to focus less on brisket and fried pickles and more on solving problems because Hog Fest is clearly no picnic.” From the review at Fan Girl Nation: “The audiobook of Stiffs and Swine is performed aptly by Karen White, who has narrated the previous books in the series as well. She uses great expression without over-emoting as well as good timing. I really like the way she makes the book come alive. Stiffs and Swine is a really good book that I enjoyed listening to. I appreciated all the aspects of this book, whether the major plot point, the more minor plot points, or the characters. I strongly recommend this book to other readers and give it five stars.” The Battered Body, Supper Club #5 “There’s big trouble in Quincy’s Gap when the “Diva of Dough” arrives to bake the wedding cake for Milla and Jackson’s Christmas Eve wedding. The Diva, a celebrity television chef and cookbook author, is Milla’s younger sister. And while her cakes are delectably sweet and incredibly beautiful, the Diva makes enemies wherever she goes. When one of the Diva’s enemies decides to take her out, and Deputy Lucy Hanover finds the famous chef’s body covered in cake batter, the Supper Club members find themselves up to their necks in suspects.” Warning! While many listeners have rightfully noted that these books are a realistic portrayal of the trials of taking off pounds and keeping them off, Adams’s descriptions of food can make you really hungry. I just had to bake a pie after reading Chapter 11 of Stiffs and Swine. And eat it of course. Photo from an real-life Hog Beauty Contest THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider . . .

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CHILI CON CORPSES by Ellery Adams

Book 3 in the Supper Club Mysteries series.  Available now from Tantor Audio. From the Publisher: “In this savory third mystery featuring the Flab Five, James Henry is looking to add a little more spice to his life. Despite his trimmer waistline, his girlfriend Lucy’s affections for him seem to have inexplicably cooled. So when Lindy suggests the supper club members join a Mexican cooking class, James leaps at the chance to try something new. The Flab Five’s classmates include Shenandoah Star Ledger editor Murphy Alistair and twin sisters with supermodel physiques. When one of the sisters is murdered during a school field trip to Luray Caverns, the amateur sleuths set out to catch the killer. The Flab Five has to work fast because the evidence points toward Lindy. Between his sleuthing, and his attempts to reduce his salt intake, improve his relationship with his father, and find the owner of a winning lottery ticket left in the library’s book drop, James’s winter is really heating up.” From the review at Fan Girl Nation: “Karen White performs the audio version of this book. She creates strong voices for each character and effective inflections as she reads the book. My one complaint is that her voicing of Gary, a New Yorker, does not sound like the New York accents I am familiar with, though I admit not to having spent time in New York or with very many New Yorkers. But Gary does not speak many lines, so this was not a significant issue. Other than this, I liked the performance of White in this book.” My recording experience: I’ve been having a great time recording this series – so many interesting characters. The fun thing about this one was that I recorded the Thanksgiving scene the day after Turkey Day! Listen to a sample here: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!

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Ellery Adams' Supper Club Mysteries Giveaway

Carbs & Cadavers, Book One Fit to Die, Book Two   Ellery Adams‘ Supper Club cozy mystery series is set in one of my favorite places, the Shenandoah Valley. James Henry is the hero and the series begins soon after he returns to his tiny fictional hometown Quincy’s Gap. He’s had to give up a beloved job – teaching English at William & Mary College in Virginia – to return home to live with his father, a recent widower. Divorced, overweight and working as the town librarian, James finds a new lease on life, new friends and solves a few murders through the weight-loss supper club he joins, the “Flab Five”. From the review of Carbs and Cadavers in FanGirl Nation: “Karen White reprises her role as narrator of Adams’ Books by the Bay series in narrating this audiobook. She does a good job of making the book interesting to listen to, drawing me to it. She keeps the book moving.” From the review of Carbs and Cadavers at Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! “Karen White narrates this one and she is one of my favorites so it was a delight to have her voice in my ear again. 🙂 Though I thought it was weird the main character is a man and it has a female narrator. I guess it’s cause most the other characters are females…lol.” From the review of Fit to Die at FanGirlNation: “Karen White does a notable job in performing the audio edition of this book. She does an effective job of pacing and expressing herself as she articulates the book. She really does make this book all the more effective as I listen to it.” From the review of Fit to Die at Book, Movies Reviews, Oh My! “I thought this was another well done mystery and I am really enjoying this series. The characters are easy to get to know and like and since I am one who struggles with a weight problem they are very relatable to me and very realistic. I sure could feel for James when he was in that exercise class and felt like he was about to die…lol. If you love cozies check this series out! Karen White does a great job narrating this as always!” THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Sharon is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!  

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TURKEY TROT MURDER by Leslie Meier

A Lucy Stone Mystery. Available now from Dreamscape Audio. From the Publisher: “Besides the annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day, Lucy expects the approaching holiday to be a relatively uneventful one – until she finds beautiful Alison Franklin dead and frozen in Blueberry Pond. No one knows much about Alison, except that she was the daughter of the wealthy investor Ed Franklin and struggled quietly with drug addiction. Police blame her death on an accidental overdose, but Lucy can’t understand what terrible forces could have led the privileged woman to her watery ruin. Alison’s funeral service is just as puzzling. Many believe Ed’s young – and very pregnant – new wife, Mireille, divided the family, leaving Alison to wither on the vine. Did Mireille truly adore her stepchild as Ed claims, or did she pit father against daughter for personal gain? As a state of unrest descends on Tinker’s Cove, Lucy is thrown into a full-scale investigation. Now, in a race against time, Lucy must beat the killer to the finish line – or she can forget about stuffing and cranberry sauce.” My recording experience: I always love how Leslie Meier incorporates social justice issues into her stories. She dives right into our current political climate with this book. In fact, violence was erupting in Charlottesville as I was recording it, making real life echo the plot in a chilling way. Parallels are drawn clearly between reality and fiction but as always, Lucy observes the dilemmas with empathy and complexity. And there’s a difficult-to-solve mystery thrown in to boot! Listen to a sample here:

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A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett plus #Giveaway

Book 11 in the Booktown Mystery Series. Available now from Tantor Audio. From the Publisher: “Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time. But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller? From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.” My recording experience: I find that the pricklier cozy mystery heroines tend to mellow and mature as a series progresses, and Tricia Miles is no exception. In this installment, we delve further into Tricia’s upbringing and family dynamics, which gives context to her character. That, along with the quirky cast of Booktown characters made this a fun read! Listen to a sample here: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Lisa is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!  (If you’d like to buy a copy, using this link, I’ll receive a small percentage from Amazon through their Associates program.)

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KILLER CHARACTERS by Ellery Adams plus GIVEAWAY

Books By the Bay #8 Available now from Tantor Audio. From the Publisher: “Restaurant owner and aspiring novelist Olivia Limoges is happily enjoying her new marriage. Sadly, the same doesn’t hold true for Laurel, a fellow Bayside Book Writer. While struggling with a demanding job, twin boys, and a terminally ill mother-in-law, Laurel learns that her perfect marriage is mostly fictional. When she catches her husband fooling around with his mother’s hospice nurse, she issues impassioned threats that will later come back to haunt her. After the nurse meets a deadly denouement, Chief Rawlings is forced to take Laurel into custody. While Olivia protests the arrest, the rest of the Bayside Book Writers become a group divided, with Rawlings and Harris on one side and Olivia and Millay on the other. Now the women must race against the clock to prove that Laurel’s not the sort for murder, before her story ends in tragedy . . .” From the review at Fan Girl Nation: “Karen White performs the audio edition of the book and really brings this book to life. With such excellent material to work with, White just adds to the strength of the book. I’m so glad that they have such a strong reader for this series, making it all the more powerful. She gives great voices for the characters and is expressive without being overly dramatic.” From the review at I Am, Indeed: “Narration for this story is provided by Karen White, one of my favorites, and her ability to present each character with a voice, a personality and even an undercurrent of emotion that relates to their moment in the spotlight keeps readers wondering, and thinking. Easy to visualize moments are tinted with White’s presentation that helps to stack those subliminal messages into your understanding of the story, with builds and releases to follow the story’s trajectory. A wonderful listen and a great introduction for me to this series. A bold set of choices made by Adams made this one of the more intriguing cozies I’ve encountered this year, and I’ve already ordered earlier titles in this series to start from the beginning.”   My recording experience: It’s really hard to talk about this one without spoilers, so all I’ll say is: if you’ve enjoyed getting to know Olivia and her buddies, you must read (and/or listen) to this one! Listen to a sample here: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Lisa is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this . . .

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TITLE WAVE by Lorna Barrett plus GIVEAWAY

Book 10 in the Booktown Mystery Series. Available now from Tantor Audio. From the Publisher: “While her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, is rebuilt following a devastating fire, Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, decide to book a cruise for some much-needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of his fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising . . .” My recording experience: What was really fun to me about this title was pondering how much of it was based on author Lorna Barrett’s real life as a writer.  Hopefully not the murder, but did she go on a literary-themed cruise and get the idea to write a book about one, or did she have the idea and go on a cruise to gather the details? Also, Barrett does belong to a group of fellow Cozy writers called The Cozy Chicks which made me wonder if the “Lethal Ladies” in this story are based at all on them. I haven’t asked her, so we’ll have to keep pondering. Perhaps more important, Tricia goes through a huge shift toward the end of this story. She’s been through a lot in her fictional life in the past few books, and without giving away too much, I’ll just say it was great to go through a change toward positive thinking with her. Listen to a sample here: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary C. is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!  

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FLASH GIVEAWAY: WRITING ALL WRONGS by Ellery Adams

The second half of my joint post with author Ellery Adams goes up at the Tantor Audio blog today, and FedEx dropped off my copy of the audiobook this morning, so I’m doing a quick giveaway. Check out the interview at the Tantor blog, where I answer Ellery’s readers’ questions about how we make audiobooks.  Come back here and tell me something you learned in a comment below and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to win the CD version of the most recent Books by the Bay mystery, WRITING ALL WRONGS. From the review at Fan Girl Nation: “Karen White returns to narrate this book, as with the others in the series. White helps to bring to life the story, leaving the readers hanging on every word.” THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Kate is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter. Here’s a sample:

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