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April 27, 2022

Two Awesome Audiobook Mysteries

by Donna Huber



I enjoy audiobooks as a way to fit in more books and I love when I find ones I don't want to stop listening to. Usually, I listen to audiobooks while doing other things like cleaning the house, etc. I was lucky enough to recently listen to two mysteries that I found myself listening even when I wasn't multitasking. If you are looking for fun mysteries then you should try these two.

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

The Big Break-Up of 1948 by James Grant Goldin

book cover of humorous mystery audiobook The Big Break--up of 1948 by James Grant Goldin
March 2022; Basilisk Books
audio (6h 1m); ebook, print; humorous fiction

When I started The Big Break-up of 1948 I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. It starts off with a listing of historical events that were occurring throughout the world. While it might have felt a little like an info dump, I liked having the historical context and it kind of set the tone for the rest of the novel.

The story often felt over-the-top but in a fun almost campy way. 

Mr. and Mrs. Keys are private detectives who also have a popular true-crime radio show where they re-enact the mysteries they have solved. The characters' interactions reminded me of the Cary Grant movie His Girl Friday. The predicaments they found themselves in though felt a bit more like an Indiana Jones movie. I know it probably sounds like a weird mash-up but it totally works and I found myself completely engrossed in the story.

The narrator's tone added to the campy, soap opera vibe. My only complaint is that there are historical figures featured in the story who have distinctive accents and voices and the narrator wasn't able to capture their voice which kind of threw me. I questioned whether it was the JFK and Nixon because they don't sound like themselves. 

The mystery, though it was often overshadowed by the marital issues of the Keys, was fun and I couldn't figure out the murderer. 

It was just so much fun with many amusing antics. I loved the characters. While there isn't any indication that this is a start of a series, I would very much like to read more stories with these characters.


Strawberried Alive by Jenn McKinlay

book cover of cozy mystery audiobook Strawberried Alive by Jenn McKinlay
May 2022; Dreamscape Media; 9781666540956
audio (6h 36m), ebook, print; cozy mystery

Strawberried Alive
 is book 14 in the Jenn McKinlay's Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. I've only read one in the series so you don't have to have read the previous books in this series to enjoy this one.

Someone is terrorizing Old Town store owners. Mel, the owner of Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, is shot at one night and it is assumed that she is the target. Jealous store owners who aren't doing quite as well as the bakery see this as their opportunity to remove the "bad element" in the neighborhood. Mel isn't going to stand by while her business is ruined and other store owners are targeted by the gunmen.

In some cozy mysteries, the characters are a little too quirky to feel like real people, but that isn't the case with this book. I felt like I could visit this place. I also think it would make an excellent television show. I kept thinking about the TV show Hart of Dixie while I was listening to this book. 

The narrator Susan Boyce does a great job. There are a lot of characters in this book, but each one had their own unique voice and I didn't have any trouble keeping them straight.

The mystery is a good one. There is a lot going on in the town that others weren't aware of. They were right about there being an insidious actor among them, they were just wrong about it being Mel who wanted to ruin their businesses.

I found my favorite pumpkin cupcake recipes when I read Pumpkin Spice Peril (read my review) and I was really looking forward to a few new recipes.  I like that this series includes the recipes at the end. The audiobook ARC didn't have the recipe but I also received an ARC of the ebook and the recipes were there. I'm not a big fan of strawberry cake but I might have to make the coconut cupcakes. There is also a recipe for Hummingbird Cupcakes. I was just looking at a recipe for Hummingbird Cake so maybe I'll make the cupcake version.

Buy Strawberried Alive at Amazon
 

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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