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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Audio Book Review: Dead Case in Deadwood: Deadwood Mystery, Book 3 by Ann Charles

An engaging, fun listening experience (but be prepared for some use of foul language).
Written by: Ann Charles
Narrated by: Caroline Shaffer
Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
Series: Deadwood Mysteries, Book 3
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:06-17-14
Publisher: Made for Succes
Genre: Mystery, Humor, Paranormal
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Click on book title for full description.
Publisher's Summary
"Nothing good ever happens at the butt-crack of dawn. No doubt, the headless corpse on the autopsy table in front of me would agree." – Violet Parker
Real estate agent Violet "Spooky" Parker stumbles upon a body-part theft ring at the local funeral parlor and suspects her caustic coworker has a hand in it - or maybe a foot. Can Violet discover what's in the crates that the crooks are sneaking out of the mortuary in the dark of night? Or will she end up in one of them herself - in pieces?
©2012 Ann Charles (P)2014 Made for Success

Violet Parker is a single mother working as a real estate agent where she is in competition with her sarcastic nemesis, Ray. Ray is sure that he will out perform “Blondie” to get her out of the office. Meanwhile Violet is sure that Ray and his friend, George, have some nefarious business going on over at the funeral home that George owns.

Violet has a history of stumbling into trouble that includes strange, as well as dangerous, circumstances The local police detective and fire chief are very familiar with finding her where she doesn’t belong. In this episode Violet has located a headless body on the ranch of one her customers which is delaying her sales efforts. While the police are investigating that grim situation she takes on another client who is new in town but asked specifically for her.

Cornelius is a strange, Lincoln-look alike, who wants to buy an old hotel. He is interested in the property because he is a “ghost whisperer’ who loves to restore haunted buildings! Violet doesn’t believe in ghosts and doesn’t want her associates, especially Ray, to realize how crazy Cornelius is. She agrees to visit the hotel with Cornelius so he can test the authenticity of the ghostly claims. She brings along her secret love interest, Doc, who not only believes in ghosts but can see and speak with them. Cornelius and Doc begin to think that Violet is some type of ghost conduit drawing in the spirits to the high-tech seance. Unfortunately one of the spirits she brings out is a demon-like version of the murderer she was involved with from a prior book.

There is a lot of humor in the bumbling investigations that Violet makes at the funeral parlor, dragging along her best friend and/or dirty “Old Man” Harvey, her client and Detective Cooper’s uncle. There is also a lot of sass in the characters and dialogue even if the writing includes quite a bit of cliches. The old and odd phrases have a very down home twist and tone that make them fun. I enjoyed the quirky characters and the twisted mysteries although only one mystery was solved while other investigations were left hanging. I was disturbed by the amount of unnecessary swear language which were a distraction for me.

I have a feeling this would be better if the stories are read in proper sequence. Too bad I realized only after I finished that I already own books one and two on Kindle. I was thinking I might not continue the series because the language hurts my soul – it makes me cringe. However I may go backwards and try book one sometime in the future to see if I can bypass the poor language easier in reading than in listening form.

Audio Notes: Caroline Shaffer does a very effective job with the narration. She captures the snarky humor and quirkiness of the characters. The narration made the story flow quickly and I recommend the book in audio for those who enjoy an engaging, fun listening experience.
Opening lines:
Nothing good ever happens at the butt-crack of dawn.
No doubt, the headless corpse on the autopsy table in front of me would agree.
I received this title from the Publisher through AudioBook Jukebox for an honest review.

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