"...Partly the glitz and glamour of Jackie Collins novels and partly the LA streets of hard-boiled James Ellroy..."
Let's start from the top. I don't entirely agree with this title's book summary. Yes, to the first. No, to the second. That said, this is a terrific novel with an extremely likeable cast of characters. Everyone in this book felt right; they all seemed very "real."
The good characters were normal, everyday people you could relate to - even Victoria - Nikki's mother. Don't get me wrong. Victoria is amazing and manages to steal every scene she's in. The polar opposite of Norma Desmond from "Sunset Boulevard," Victoria Bordeaux is what Hollywood nobility should be, and what I want to believe once was. Because she's lived the life of a glamorous film goddess, her character and lavish circumstances may seem over-the-top for the average person at first, but it soon becomes apparent that she is completely realistic and charming. She's a classy lady through-and-through. Her relationship with her daughter is enjoyable and often a hoot. She loves her daughter and it shows. The reverse is also true.
The not-so-good characters were human, living their lives in the gray area rather than being completely wicked.
Refreshingly, there was no barely clad, kick-butt, sarcastic hellcat with a potty-mouth. Despite having grown up around Hollywood Royalty, Nikki Harper is a very down-to-earth character and an adult. She is a strong, independent woman who actually likes herself and is comfortable living in her own skin. She can mingle and live amongst the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, but she isn't blinded by it.
Nikki follows clues and uses her "daughter of" status to help solve the mystery that - again - is very real. While there is a love interest, there is no insanely hunky deus ex machina there to save the day or exchange eye-rolling flirtatious banter with.
The story is a breath of fresh air. There was hardly any profanity, though I didn't feel like I was smashed over the head with "the power of cute" either.
Loved the addition of Stan and Ollie, Nikki's two King Charles Spaniels, too. I wanted to scratch them behind the ear and toss 'em treats.
The narrator was superb.
Can't wait for the next novel. I definitely want to revisit these characters again and truly hope this becomes a successful series.
Respectful, informative, but often repeating information. Take that into consideration, but all-in-all a great read for a comic book fan.
I bought this book because I enjoyed the first novel in the series. I liked it well enough and wanted to settle down with a good "cozy" mystery. However, this novel was just irritating. With the exception of a couple of characters, the whole town is a collection of catty, spiteful, vindictive and completely unpleasant individuals.
I understand opposition. I even get that not everyone's personality is going to gel. People is people and all that. That said, it seems like the entire town is dead set against the main protagonist in one form or another. They never miss the opportunity for a snide remark (or two or three) to go unsaid.
Could it be that the fact that she's so darn skinny that has them all riled up?
While the book is padded with observations on how skinny the protagonist is and the fact that she eats like a bird, the level of cattiness displayed by some of the characters left me scratching my head. Honestly, why does the entire town seem to have such a beef with this woman and her ideas?
Even the cops are against her like the very air she breathes has offended them personally. A couple of them feeling that way I could understand, but all of them? Even when her life is threatened, their reaction is pretty world-weary and apathetic.
This will probably be the last book I purchase in this series.
I went ahead and gave the author 3 stars because I could hear the humor and enthusiasm she was striving for. The story was intriguing. I loved both the dog and Grandma. They were a hoot!
However, I could not listen to the story in its entirety because of the horrible *horrible* narration choices made by the reader. The narrator had a pleasant voice, and she breathed life into the supporting characters so I *will* give her credit for effort.
That said, the story is told entirely from the first person perspective. Why the narrator chose to give the main character the most appallingly thick southern drawl, I'll never know. While I understand the novel is set in the south, the thick accent was so bad that it kept knocking me completely out of the story. I couldn't get past it. I was terrified, half-expecting that at any moment Lizzie would 'belle-out' and go all Gone-with-the-Wind on me with a loud exclamation of: "Lawd a'mercy! There's a demon in thar! Sir, I beleeve I'm comin' down with the vapors." (pronounced: vapas)
You only wish I was kidding.
Also, as well as she acted out the supporting characters, the narrator didn't react to life-and-death situations very well. There was barely any excitement in her voice when the action sped up. That was disconcerting, too.
The narrator has potential. I believe she would have been fantastic had she chosen to use her normal, everyday voice for the protagonist and not tried to fake the accent.
Personally, if I choose to stick with this series, I'll probably pick up the printed version instead.
I love this book. It's funny and it's creepy and is just a great world to get lost in for several hours. Years ago I bought the abridged version of this audiobook read by B.D. Wong. He brought the characters to life so wonderfully. Everyone had their own unique voice. His comedic timing was spot on. Simply put, B.D. Wong hit the ball out of the park. I am deeply saddened that he couldn't have been the reader again here for Audible. It's true that a narrator can make or break an audiobook. And it's certainly the case here. Paul Michael mispronounces certain character's names, words and you really have to strain to hear the humor in the text. In fact, the comedy was so badly done that's to the point of being practically nonexistent.
If Audible were to ever hire B.D. Wong to narrate this book, I would buy it. As it is, this was a disappointment and a waste of my credit.
I absolutely adore this series. Smart and funny, these books don't take themselves too seriously and that is precisely where the beauty in them lies. These characters are wonderful and grow with each book. It's like coming home to old friends. And the narrator is spot-on! I can't wait for the next one!
I enjoy John Glover - both as an actor and narrator, but whoever decided to replace James Marsters really was not using good business sense. Jim Butcher's amazing writing and the performance of Marsters makes these books. However, with the switch - I'm afraid this is where Harry and I part ways. At least in audiobook form. Nothing personal, Audible, but I refuse to spend my hard-earned money on this audiobook.
Top notch fiction. Maberry is my new addiction! The narrator is superb!
Don't be fooled like I was. There is no story here. This is Harlequin dreck, pure and simple.
How could a mystery involving rock stars be so boring? Nearly put me in a coma. ZZZZZzzzz...
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