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March 21, 2021

A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna and a Bestseller by Cheryl Denise Bannerman ~ an Audiobook Review

by Donna Huber

As I mentioned in my review of Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping, I was willing to give another book in Cheryl Denise Bannerman's Anna Romano series a try. So I listened to A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna and a Bestseller this week.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna and a Bestseller
February 2021; Indie; 978-1794386969
audio (3h7m), ebook, print (170 pages); cozy mystery
The first thing to note about this audiobook is that is read by a different person than the first book. This book is read by Sandra Murphy. I can't think of another series that I read that has changed narrators while the book is still featuring the same characters. As an audiobook listener, I rely on voice cues from the narrator to identify characters. The voice becomes so much of the character for me that when I read a book in a series that I have been listening to I hear those voices in my head while reading.

Knowing that I was easily distracted during the last book, I limited my listening to when I was doing minimal distracting activities - folding laundry, washing dishes. That did help me stay focused on the story. However, I was still lost at times because of the voice of Detective John Solace. The first chapter that is in his POV, I thought it was a female and was confused when there was a reference to "my girlfriend Anna". Seriously, the thought that ran through my head was "I thought she was dating a guy". And then John's name is mentioned and the light bulb went off that this was her boyfriend speaking. 

This book is a little longer than book one. The audiobook is just over 3 hours. I do think there was a bit more character development in this story. I'm not a big fan of short stories or novellas as I highly value character development and I don't feel that there is enough time to spend on getting to know characters (at least to my liking). But I know a lot of people like these shorter cozy mysteries so this might be right up your alley.

At times A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna and a Bestseller felt more like a police procedural than a cozy mystery. I didn't care that the crime scene unit scrapped under the victim's nails and as it never came up again I assume that whatever was under her nails had no impact on the story. 

While we do get to know the characters more, I still didn't feel connected to them and that made it hard for me to care much about what was happening. However, if you don't need a connection to characters to enjoy the plot of a story then this definitely a book for you to read. I still think Anna Romano has the potential to be a great character. Her quirkiness showed through in this book and if that is played up more in future books then this could be a really fun series.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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