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Tilt-a-Whirl | [Chris Grabenstein]

Tilt-a-Whirl

There isn't much fun in the sun when a billionaire real estate tycoon is found murdered on the Tilt-a-Whirl at a seedy seaside amusement park in the otherwise quiet summer tourist town of Sea Haven. John Ceepak, a former MP just back from Iraq, has just joined the Sea Haven police department. The job offer came from an old Army buddy who hoped to give Ceepak at least a summer's worth of rest and relaxation to help him forget the horrors of war. Instead, Ceepak will head up the murder investigation.
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Publisher's Summary

There isn't much fun in the sun when a billionaire real-estate tycoon is found murdered on the Tilt-a-Whirl at a seedy seaside amusement park in the otherwise quiet summer tourist town of Sea Haven. John Ceepak, a former MP just back from Iraq, has just joined the Sea Haven police department. The job offer came from an old Army buddy who hoped to give Ceepak at least a summer's worth of rest and relaxation to help him forget the horrors of war.

Instead, Ceepak will head up the murder investigation. He is partnered with Danny Boyle, a 24-year-old part-time summer cop who doesn't carry a gun and only works with the police by day so he has enough pocket money left over to play with his beach buddies at night.

In the first novel in a new series written in the spirit of Carl Hiaasen's work, the Tilt-a-Whirl murder pushes Ceepak's deep sense of honor and integrity to the limits, as unexpected twists and turns keep the truth spinning wildly in every direction.

Don't miss other adventures featuring Sea Haven's finest, including the second book in the series, Mad Mouse, and the third, Whack-a-Mole.

©2006 Chris Grabenstein; (P)2007 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Anthony Award, Best First Mystery, 2006

  • 2006 Anthony Award, Best First Novel
  • "A fast-paced thrill ride with lots of twists and turns and good writing from start to finish." (James Patterson)
    "From page 1, this debut stands out as refreshingly different....an absolute triumph." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1306 )
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3.9 (716 )
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4.2 (720 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bryan 12-30-07
    Bryan 12-30-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Guilty Pleasure"

    This was a great book, but not great literature. If you are looking for a sophisticated crime drama with deep meaning this book will not please. It is however a a fast paced read with very likeable characters that catch your interest and create a desire to know what is next. It was the first book in a while that I couldn't wait see what was next and found myself making time to finish listening to.

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Haight 08-30-07
    L. Haight 08-30-07 Member Since 2002

    parfourthecourse

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the reader makes this book"

    I'm a huge fan of crime fiction, legal thrillers, etc., and this book wasn't the most challenging story. But two things made it a great listen for me: the reader was outstanding and the author nailed the entire Jersey Shore -- from the peculiarities and vulgarities of Jerseyans language to the tacky and freewheeling world of beach life. As a native of the area, it was just like being there. This book won't enlighten you or change your life, but it is a good listen and a fine bit of mind candy to pass some hours - maybe while you lay on the beach at the Jersey Shore.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine J. Pondozzi Laurel, Maryland 08-06-13
    Catherine J. Pondozzi Laurel, Maryland 08-06-13 Member Since 2012

    I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "All I can say is WOW!"
    Any additional comments?

    I can't tell the readers or author how important this series of books have become to me. I am nearly a senior citizen (74 years old) who recently became a widow after 35 years of being more than happily married. Now I am struggling to find out just who I really am & to try & go forth in life. Reading at least 4 of these books so far they have spoken to me on more than a literary way. John Ceepak & his side kick Danny & all those who deal with them are teaching me something I should have known & followed in Kindergarten. The stories themselves are simple & enjoyable, life like & challenging when I ask myself "Could I do that?" Could I be like J. Ceepak with his code of honor? I had to give that a lot of thought. It is so easy to skip over. Be aware readers, I am 74 yrs old so this is a serious & meaningful question for me. And by the way it is in the ten commandments. Say what? But I am not going there per se. I did realize the "code" was very meaningful to me although I knew it also take compassion, patience & courage. So here is the rub….. what does it take to follow the example of the author Chris Grabenstein's description of being someone 'who does not lie, does not steal or does not cheat,' & more importantly does not tolerate those who do! I know I know what a Pandora's box this can become. & I can see the wall of resistance coming down like Niagara falls. And I agree it isn't for everyone, but I also know life can be much simpler, less stressful & so much less dramatic by taking this code seriously. So as I continue to read this entertaining & enticing series I have decided I am going try to try & do just this. Wish me luck in a world where none of this code is taken very seriously.



    .

    39 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John WILLIAMSBURG, VA, United States 02-15-09
    John WILLIAMSBURG, VA, United States 02-15-09 Member Since 2002
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    "I loved it -- and the whole series!"

    This book--and the rest of the author's "John Ceepak" mysteries--are hilarious and entertaining visits to the New Jersey shore, where local cops--a former MP and a surfer dude--track down bad guys in fictional Sea Haven. TILT-A-WHIRL, the first in the series, won the 2006 Anthony Award for "Best First Mystery" and will hook you on going back for more (all available here on audible.com). The dialog is crisp and full of sharp humor, made even better by the delivery of the excellent narrator. (If you've spent any time on the "Joisey" shore, you'll appreciate him even more!)

    I got such a laugh from this book I visited the author's Website, which is also funny and entertaining. Be sure to download the perfectly believable Sea Haven visitor map, which shows where all the best spots are located! I'm hopping the next installment will be on audible in time for summer!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Grabenstein New York 07-11-07
    Chris Grabenstein New York 07-11-07 Member Since 2004

    AUTHOR

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ENJOY THE RIDE"

    Incredible job by the narrator with a fantastic story filled with twists and turns on top of twists and turns. The author captures how people really speak --especially in New Jersey. No wonder this book won the coveted Anthony Award for BEST FIRST MYSTERY!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Canada 06-04-13
    Tracy Canada 06-04-13 Member Since 2010

    A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really Fun Mystery, Can't Wait for More :)"

    I am a real fan of mystery and detective fiction of all sorts, and I really enjoyed Tilt-A-Whirl for what it was - a light, humorous book, with good characters, and, of course, one where the good guys win.

    The two main characters are Danny, the narrator, who is a 24-year-old beach bum/ part-time cop earning a few dollars over the summer; and Ceepak, his very straight-laced ex-military partner. Danny is a great foil for Ceepak - Danny is naive and young, whereas Ceepak is experienced and worldly and...not so much up to speed on pop culture!

    While this is a fun book, it is not a "cozy" mystery (no old mansions, locked-room murders or elevenses!). There is murder, conspiracy, some swearing, serious crime and crime-solving, however!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book and yes, I plan to go through the series!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lizziede Issaquah, WA USA 04-24-12
    Lizziede Issaquah, WA USA 04-24-12 Member Since 2009

    I'm not looking for deep meaning, strong messages or socially redeeming. Give me interesting characters, some laughs and fun plot twists!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great fun, like the ride, without the queasiness"
    What made the experience of listening to Tilt-a-Whirl the most enjoyable?

    Danny and Ceepak are great fun! The plot has some real twists and goes deeper than your average quick and fun listen!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    About the time you're sure you know what's going on there is a twist. The humor slides in and keeps sneaking up at just the right times too.


    What does Jeff Woodman bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I found myself walking saying "focus Danny" to myself in that same tone whenever I started chasing squirrels in my head. :)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I not only wanted to listen in one sitting - I downloaded the rest of the series. Love 'em!


    Any additional comments?

    Like Springsteen? Like fun reads with humor and some substance? Been to the Jersey boardwalk? If you answered yes to any of these give Danny and Ceepak a try!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Sippel San Jose, CA United States 07-29-09
    R. Sippel San Jose, CA United States 07-29-09 Member Since 2007

    Chef

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "family listen"

    When heard the first book I thought it seemed like it was geared to a teen age crowd, but now I'm on my third book. The books are based on telling the truth, they have humor, and are non violent. The books are a refreshing break and can be shared by the non mystery people.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keren Rockwall, TX, United States 09-05-07
    Keren Rockwall, TX, United States 09-05-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a hoot!"

    Tilt-a-Whirl is a terrific read - fast-paced, well-drawn characters, unpredictable plot turns - all sweetened with humor ranging from dry irony to slapstick. I'm eager to read the next one in the series.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vikki WICHITA, KS, United States 07-06-07
    Vikki WICHITA, KS, United States 07-06-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
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    "Loved This!"

    My first book by this man and I absolutely loved it! Very much like CH, but, a style all of his own and a story line that is all his own. I look forward to reading/hearing his other books. You can't go wrong here. Good story line, good narrator, great who done it.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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