Cameron’s Audiobook Review of A Grand Murder by Stacy Verdick Case
I wish to thank the folks at Partners in Crime Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour and I especially wish to thank Stacy Verdick Case for allowing me to not only review the audio version of this book, but also to host a special Guest Post by her tomorrow (April 29) here on the blog! Purrs and tail waves to all of you as the felines would say.
Publisher: Before the Fall Books
Audible.com Release Date: February 5, 2012
Written by Stacy Verdick Case
Narrated by Justine Huxley
Book Synopsis: A Grand Murder is the first book in the Catherine O’Brien mystery series. When a prominent local businessman and friend of the chief of police is murdered on the front steps of his posh Grand Avenue Hill home, Catherine O’Brien a pithy, vertically challenged, St. Paul, Minnesota, homicide detective with a monstrous coffee habit and her partner Louise are given two days to find his killer. They soon discover their victim had a list of people with motives to murder him, including his fashion designer ex-wife, his mistress’s husband, and the chief of police. The only evidence they have to go on is a missing cell phone, a stolen book, the victim’s letter opener, and an ugly pair of Alpaca wool mittens.
When Stacy asked me to review the audio edition of this book for her virtual book tour I will admit to a bit of hesitancy on accepting the task, mostly because it is really easy for me to zone out while listening to an audiobook. However, upon starting the book, I found myself getting wrapped up in both the storyline and the reader herself. Justine Huxley does a fantastic job of grabbing the listener’s attention, giving each character their own tone in the reading, and is the perfect complement to Stacy’s writing!
I loved the sound of Justine’s voice as she was reading. She gave each character a different voice, whether it was through tone, accent, or pitch, and as a result, there was no mistaking who was speaking during each scene. I particularly loved the voices she used for O’Brien and Mel. These two characters were my favorites out of the mix. Though I will admit to having a soft spot for Gavin and Louise as well. Justine brought Stacy’s characters to life for me in a way that I never could if I was reading the book on my own.
I also really enjoyed Justine’s ability to convey the humor and sarcasm within the story. I’ve always felt that it takes a skilled reader to successfully convey humor in a novel and for me Justine is perfect. There were several moments where I had to go back and replay bits of the audio because I could not stop laughing.
As far as pacing goes, again, Justine does a great job. As I said, I got caught up in the story and could not stop listening. There were times where I found myself muttering under my breath at various characters, and yes, at one point I strung a litany of “Put it together O’Brian” towards the end as she started to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Normally I don’t do this while listening to an audiobook, so the fact that I was talking back to my mp3 playing is a testament to Justine’s skills.
I sincerely hope that when the next O’Brien mystery hits shelves, the folks at Before the Falls Books consider having Justine read for the audio again! There’s no question that I would buy it once it was available. 🐱
About the Author:
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband and her daughter. Her Catherine O’Brien mystery, A Grand Murder, is available from Before the Fall Books. Her second Catherine O’Brien mystery Murder is a Family Affair, will be released shortly. Stacy is hard at work on her third book in the series.