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An Unacceptable Death | [Barbara Seranella]

An Unacceptable Death

After a history of drug abuse and prostitution, Munch Mancini now works as an automobile mechanic, work she loves and does so well that even her male co-workers acknowledge her skill, if somewhat grudgingly. She has a daughter, a little girl left in her care by a dying friend. And she is about to marry a police officer she loves deeply.
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Publisher's Summary

After a history of drug abuse and prostitution, Munch Mancini now works as an automobile mechanic, work she loves and does so well that even her male co-workers acknowledge her skill, if somewhat grudgingly. She has a daughter, a little girl left in her care by a dying friend. And she is about to marry a police officer she loves deeply.

But it all comes crashing down when a friend in the police department calls to tell her that her fiance is dead, shot down by his fellow cops in a drug bust gone wrong. Refusing to believe the explanation she is given, Munch goes on a dangerous mission, first for knowledge, and then for revenge.

©2006 Barbara Seranella; (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"This is character-driven crime fiction at its finest by one of the genre's most accomplished stylists." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (113 )
5 star
 (24)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.4 (11 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Story
3.8 (11 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ruth PALM DESERT, CA, United States 01-22-06
    Ruth PALM DESERT, CA, United States 01-22-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "more L.A., less Santa Barbara"

    This latest in the Munch Mancini series (I wish Audible would get the previous books) is what Kinsey Milhone used to be -- but with "more LA and less Santa Barbara" in the action.
    All books in this series are entertaining and well-written, but this narration is especially good. You will enjoy the other characters because of the narration-even some of the bad guys!

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angel fullerton, CA, United States 02-12-07
    Angel fullerton, CA, United States 02-12-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    195
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    "two more unacceptable deaths"

    i've enjoyed anna fields' readings since i first started the barbara holloway mystery series by author kate wilhelm. after anna's tragic death in a flash flood at age 41, on 12-14-06, i searched her recordings here at audible.com and put "an unacceptable death" on my wish list. i just finished it (the first i've "read" by barbara seranella), and so far it's the best of fields' narrations to which i've had the pleasure to listen. part of the reason it was so good was the story, itself ... one artist reading the work of another. I was sorry to learn that "an unacceptable death" is the only novel by barbara seranella that's available on audible.com at this time. having enjoyed her novel almost as much as the reading of it, i went looking on the WWW to find more titles by barbara seranella. imagine my shock at reading that she "died peacefully" at age 50, on 1-21-07! though i'm feeling a bit bereft just now, i recommend this book and also hope that audible.com will be able to offer more of the 10+ books authored by seranella.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederick spring valley, CA, USA 04-04-06
    Frederick spring valley, CA, USA 04-04-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A strong woman's story not a chic story"

    Munch Mancini has moved beyond her days and nights when significant events in her life started in a biker bar and ended in a police station. This is, I beleive, the 9th in the Munch Mancini series and is one of her best. Let's hope that Audible can bring us the earlier books. Munch drags so much baggage around with her that is critical that it must be brought out. As with Anne Perry's Amelia Peabody series, each novel stands alone, but each novel is better for having read the others. There is gritty reality in Ms. Seranella writing. She has been there, done that and I'm pretty sure she has the scars to prove it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 05-08-08
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 05-08-08 Member Since 2007

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Don't let the reviewers get you down!"

    There seems to be a lot of negative "reviewing" of the narrator - enough so that I nearly didn't get the book because I was concerned about the narration. I needn't have worried.

    It is very well read... yes, she does sound like a woman trying to talk like a man, but... she *is* a woman trying to talk like a man. When she does so, however, it is clear which character she is voicing, and that's what makes it acceptable to listen to. I figure as long as I can distinguish the characters from the voicing of them, what does it matter if it's a woman speaking like a man (or, as is more common and perhaps thus less commented on, a man speaking like a woman)?

    Anyway, back to the story... it is engaging and interesting and nicely paced. Enough so that I would find myself going for walks just to listen to more of it. I haven't listened to/read other books in the series but found the story perfectly "followable" without knowing the history of the character(s).

    I'd certainly have no qualms about buying this audiobook, and would listen to others in this series, and to this narrator, again. I gave it a 4 because, while it's not a masterpiece of writing fit for the ages, for its genre, it's an enjoyable listen.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 03-13-08
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 03-13-08 Member Since 2006

    Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 11-year-old daughter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Preposterous plot and characters"

    I knew that I had heard Anna Fields voice before and finally was able to recall that it was her reading of Malice Prepense that introduced me to her. The good news is that she does a better job with An Unacceptable Death. Her male voices in Malice Prepense were hysterical. The bad news is that her narration could not save this novel. The characters and the settings were simply not believable. That, in itself, didn't bury this book. But when taken in concert with a story that appeared to be compressed so that it would fit into a one-hour television show, the result wasn't pretty. I had to double check to ensure I hadn't downloaded an abridged version. I also got the feeling that the author had no plot development in mind when she began writing. She seemed to make it up on the fly. From reading some of the other reviews I've learned that Munch Mancini is a series. I think she has run out of stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 05-31-08
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 05-31-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Impressed"

    When I started listening to this book, I was slightly upset. I recognized the narrator's voice (which I usually don't consider when I choose a book to purchase/listen to) as one that was awful. And I do feel it influenced my overall reception of this book.

    There are good narrators and bad ones. Some differentiate charactes without sounding weird. Sadly, Anna Fields is not one of those. Yes, you can tell the difference between the characters and that is important, but there is so much more.

    As I read through other reviews, I was surprised to learn this book was part of a series, and considered to be one of the best. I guess that easily guides me to not purchase others. As stated in another review, this sounded like an abridged version of the story. The characters were not developed in an interesting manner. I did not get passionate about any of them.

    I just got happy when I finished the story.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lila Aiken, SC, United States 03-07-08
    Lila Aiken, SC, United States 03-07-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Hard to listen to"

    The story line is okay - but the reader makes it difficult to listen to. Very distracting as she tries to sound like a man, sound like a child, etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Minneapolis, MN, USA 03-19-06
    Allison Minneapolis, MN, USA 03-19-06
    ratings
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    60
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    "good read, hard listen"

    This book was a fast moving and fairly entertaining plot. I loved the character of munch, and found her background in drugs and prostitution actually made her more realistic as a heroine.
    The problem I have with this audiobook is the
    narrator.
    She falls victim to the common problem of females trying too hard to imitate male and children voices. Top that with a poorly executed hispanic accent and it really started to get on my nerves.
    At this point I would much rather read a book by Seranella than listen to it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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