She's named after a motorcycle. Her dad's an Elvis impersonator. Her mom talks to spirit guides....
Someone's kidnapped the family dog - named King, in Elvis' honor. There's a ransom note....
And then things really get weird.
Memphis tour guide Harley Jean Davidson is about to enjoy a rare day off when her parents call with news that King, their border collie, has been dognapped. Harley Jean's mom insists the culprit is Bruno Jett, their next door neighbor. Harley Jean would rather run over her own foot with a motorcycle than talk to him. He's drop-dead gorgeous - with a dangerous attitude she'd like to avoid.
But King has to be rescued, so she sets off to find him. Harley Jean gets more than she bargains for when she finds a body, as well. Bruno Jett is definitely involved, but how?
The Memphis P.D. wants to pin the murder on Harley Jean's dad. Now it's up to her to clear his name...and avoid becoming the killer's next victim.
Virginia Brown is the author of more than 50 novels, including the bestselling Dixie Diva mystery series.
©2012 Virginia Brown (P)2012 Bell Bridge Books
If you're up for comedy mystery, this is your book!
You MUST have a sense of humor if you plan to dive into a Memphis-based mystery in which the main character, Harley Jean Davidson, yes, she is named after a motorcycle, has an Elvis-impersonating father named Yogi, a mom, named Diva, who talks to spirit guides and the family dog, King (named after the King of Rock and Roll) is nabbed.
This is simply a fun, purely entertaining read - light, easy to put down and pick up again if you have small bits of time to read or are interrupted often.
I volunteered to listen to this book when the main narrator offered it on Goodreads with no review necessary. I was surprised that a review was not being asked, but I now understand. Getting the book "out there" is the hard part because once it is begun, you don't want to not finish the book(even if you find it a fairly predictable conclusion). There is plenty of entertainment to keep your interest to the end.
I have a great preference for audiobooks as I find narrators add so much more to a story than my internal reading voice. Not only do narrators read all of the words (you laugh, but I am sure I am not alone, when I am carried by a story, to find that I skim to get to the highlight of scenes), but experienced narrators capture the appropriate tone in their voice as well as the correct accent called for by the author. My inner reading voice doesn't do accents well, and tags for the verbal tone of a character often come after the dialogue. It is not overly helpful to read the dialogue, and then read that the words were spoken with laughter or with tears or in a whisper or with a shakey voice. Good narrators and good preparation, though, allow for the dialogue to be spoken with the intended emotion. Furthermore, I enjoy multiple narrators when the author writes their story with multiple points of view, though, good narrators can read more than one POV well, even when the POVs include both genders.
In this case, I am moved by the story to post this review, though not particularly moved by the narrators' performance to seek the next books in audio form. I recommend this book, but have caution to communicate about the audiobook form.
The book is told from one POV, Harley Jean, read by Karen Commins. When the story comes to male dialogue, Drew Commins, Karen's husband, speaks the dialogue rather than Karen. His narration seemed forced and stilted. I believe Karen should have been the sole narrator as the book is written in one POV -- the male voice for male dialogue was not seamless, but actually a bit of a distraction as it did not sound as natural as the lead narrator.
Hound dog Blues
Who but a hippy, bike lovin' Elvis fan would name his girl child Harley Jean Davidson?
Well, that would be daddy, Yogi, now Yogi also has a dog, King, he loves this dog and feels a great spiritual attachment to him. The dog doesn't care much about all that stuff, as time after time he gets loose and causes chaos in the neighbourhood.
Harley, now a tour guide, gets the call. Find King. A simple enough request you may think, but wait! There's more ....... King hasn't simply gone missing, he has been dog napped! There's even a ransom note, very odd, thinks Harley, as everyone know Yogi and Diva barely make a living selling hippy stuff.
Harley immediately has a suspect in mind, Mrs. Trimble. King had taken to visiting her in the past, and they had developed a very unfortunate relationship. Mrs. Trimble also had no love for Yogi either, and so begins Harleys' outrageous adventure!
There is a body, there are missing jewels, and there is a missing Yogi and Diva who have now become prime suspects in a dreadful crime. It's all left to Harley to put right.
Meanwhile she gets her fashion advice from her coworker Tootsie, who also works part time as a drag artist, he knows everything a girl would want to know about hair and make up. She annoys the heck out of certain officers of the law, takes advantage of friends' homes ... and eats a lot of bean burritos.
This story takes the reader on a rollicking adventure with Harley, naturally, she solves the mysteries providing us with plenty of fun along the way. I enjoyed the characters and I'm hoping to get to know them better. I also enjoyed my visit to Memphis.
I must admit, I was a bit concerned, as this book has both a male and female narrators, Karen Commins and Drew Commins. Following a few less than satisfactory experiences I wouldn't normally choose to listen to a book with more than one narrator, I knew Karen would be good, she's always good, but what about this Drew fella? Well, actually he too is very good, excellent distinct characterisation, no overacting, good timing, pleasant listening.
However, there is a big difference in the listening experience when there is more than one narrator, and I'm still not sure I care for it. There always the feeling that one of them is speaking from another room, or as if we are listening to them on speakerphone, and, for some reason, it's always the male voice. I've noticed this on all my audiobooks that have more than one narrator.
I think it's just a matter of preference though, I do know other listeners love to hear both male and female readers, so, maybe I should just get over it!
The story was entertaining, however I had to force myself to finish because of the narrator's whiney rendition of the main character. The constant what I can only describe as "whining" voice made me want to turn it off. I listen to books to relax if I want to hear whining I'll listen to my kids (Jk) seriously, it made me think of the character as a 13 year old teenager!
I like the author's humor and found myself laughing out loud
I like Karen Cummins who narrates the other series by this author, maybe it was the producer but really a character this age whining to the other characters was just annoying and took away from the story
I had to take breaks from the narrator
I like this author and narrator but think that the voice should be age appropriate and fortunately I don't see this type of whining appropriate for the age of the character.
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