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The Unraveling of Violeta Bell: A Morgue Mama Mystery | [C. R. Corwin]

The Unraveling of Violeta Bell: A Morgue Mama Mystery

Maddy Sprowls, newspaper librarian for the Hannawa Herald-Union, prefers to stay in the newspaper morgue and do her job. But one Saturday, she sees four elderly women get out of a taxicab at a garage sale. She figures that those women must hire that cabby every week to drive them from garage sale to garage sale, and wouldn't that make a great feature story for the paper? Shortly after the story runs, one of the four women, retired antiques dealer Violeta Bell, is murdered.
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Publisher's Summary

Maddy Sprowls, newspaper librarian for the Hannawa Herald-Union, prefers to stay in the newspaper morgue and do her job. But one Saturday, she sees four elderly women get out of a taxicab at a garage sale. She figures that those women must hire that cabby every week to drive them from garage sale to garage sale, and wouldn't that make a great feature story for the paper?

Shortly after the story runs, one of the four women, retired antiques dealer Violeta Bell, is murdered. Maddy wants no part of the investigation, but before she knows it, she's on another of her infamous snoopathons.

Was it bargains they were hunting or something else?

©2008 2008 by C.R. Corwin; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Irascible, fearless and unapologetic, Maddy is a heroine cozy fans will embrace." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (196 )
5 star
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3.3 (145 )
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3.5 (143 )
5 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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  •  
    ellen 04-06-09
    ellen 04-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
    ratings
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    305
    87
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    "the unraveling of violetta bell"

    terrific story; wonderful narrator; wish audible had more of this author to listen too! highly recommend this book and heopefully will see more in the future!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Oxford, MS, United States 03-09-12
    Gail Oxford, MS, United States 03-09-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A light read."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who doesn't want any


    Has The Unraveling of Violeta Bell turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I didn't care for the reader or the main character. To me it was just a


    How could the performance have been better?

    I don't know


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Nothing, just didn't care for it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lisa Burns, OR, United States 02-12-12
    lisa Burns, OR, United States 02-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    16
    14
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    1
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    "Enoyable"

    This is a slow, easy story that reminds me of a modern day Miss Marple. The mystery revolves around the lost member of a royal family and hidden identities, all a little far-farfetched for me but the character building is well done and I found myself listening for that reason, even though I didn't care a fig for how the case ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Yacolt, WA, United States 02-09-12
    Linda Yacolt, WA, United States 02-09-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
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    "Arghh! The narration! Ouch! Hard on the ears!"

    The shrill, bleating, sarcastic voice of the main female character was just too much. The character stated she was 69 years old. I am 64 and have many friends in their 60's and 70's. None of them sounds like the shrewish portrayal here. I know the reader was capable of a pleasant, low, soothing voice because she used it for other parts of the book. Horrible to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    k 01-22-12
    k 01-22-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love it all!!"
    Would you listen to The Unraveling of Violeta Bell again? Why?

    Being from small town USA I could see the character and her antics... I love the artist reading and I LOVE the character... made me laugh all through THANK YOU SO MUCH!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unraveling of Violeta Bell?

    Every time the hero had to chat with the detective.... witty, sweet and ol' lady chide... loved it...


    What about Lorna Raver’s performance did you like?

    All of it... fabulous


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    LMAO


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janels 01-16-12
    Janels 01-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    177
    ratings
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    281
    125
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    45
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    Story
    "Good Gravy, it's a bit of a caricature"

    Maddy is trying a little too hard to reincarnate Christie's Jane Marple, the sly, meddling old lady who is smart as a whip. It worked for Christie, because, back then, 60 was ancient. Even the recent TV portrayals of the old Marple character show an older, but even-toned sensible lady with a mind like a steel trap, rather than the wobbly, crackly voiced icon. Betty White is 90, and she has a lot of the sass of Maddy, but certainly not the crackly, formerly stereotypical "old lady" voice. And Maddy is only 69! That is younger than Jane Fonda. So, the crotchety crackly ancient voice narration is way over the top, and is distracting to the point of caricature. What 60-something woman do you know that says "good gravy"? The story is interesting, although drags on to allow further performance of the sassy crackly Maddy. It would be so much more consumable and relatable if Maddy were just a sage, smart older career woman who could match wits with the best of them--without the corney sayings and over the top charicaturization. Women in their 60s are former bra burners, and wouldn't be caught dead saying "good gravy" in a crackly witch's voice. The narrator is clearly talented; using a mature, clever characterization would be so much less offensive and more compelling. Also, the character of Maddy seemed to go to great lengths for shock value in everything she says or does. That also conflicts with the unexpected wisdom we expect from such a character. The appeal of the Miss Marple and even Betty White's personae are that these apparently sweet women come out with the most unexpected things. Maddy tries too hard.

    I'm actually not done yet with the book, which I expected to be too short, as it was only one download; but it seems longer than actually longer ones. The murder still isn't solved, but so much time is taken up with Maddy's snoring and wisecracks, while the plot seems stalled for long periods of time. I'd probably read another of this author's books, but with more appropriate narration, and less time spent on Maddy's eccentricities. It's not really character development; rather caricature development.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lin S NW Pennsylvania 12-19-11
    Lin S NW Pennsylvania 12-19-11 Member Since 2010

    redhead

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    Story
    "Easy listen"

    An interesting but unremarkable whodunit. Easy to listen to. Morgue Mama comes across as a pretty shallow amateur detective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny Boring, Oregon 12-05-11
    Penny Boring, Oregon 12-05-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
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    "so funny--so dear!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Unraveling of Violeta Bell the most enjoyable?

    This books takes off right from the start. Smart, funny dialog. I want to check out her other books in this series.


    What about Lorna Raver’s performance did you like?

    The narrarator was perfect for this book!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud all through the book!


    Any additional comments?

    It's rare to find an author who is both tender and funny! I plan to buy other books in the series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 11-27-11
    Anne 11-27-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Cute. What else can I say."

    The story is precious. "Cute" is another word that comes to mind. I didn't dislike it (yes, I know, it's damned with faint praise.) It was OK. I'm sorry, but that's just the truth. The narration was good. I found it easy to follow the characters. Having said that, the plot was not challenging. I do like the character of Maddy Sprowls. I appreciate her humor and take-no-prisoners attitude, so I got to chuckle a lot over her antics. I enjoyed the story and can't discourage you, the reader, from giving it a try if you understand what you're getting. It's a "confection", not a masterpiece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmela08 San Antonio, TX 10-23-11
    Carmela08 San Antonio, TX 10-23-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
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    273
    31
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    3
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    Overall
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    Story
    "Nicf little cosy. Not much more."

    This is light reading with a simple story line. Maddy Sprouls is the crotchety newspaper librarian in the prerequisite small town full of the usual eccentric characters with secrets to hide. A murder ensues. Maddy solves it. End of story.

    It's a good book for light reading, very light.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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