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.
©2006 Chris Grabenstein; (P)2007 Audible, Inc.
"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)
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Grabenstein's novels are less complex than the best ones, but they are fun to listen to. The John Ceepak character is so straight laced that it is almost painful. Ceepak, and right, always win. Jeff Woodman does a good job as narrator.
You can't exactly call this a cozy detective story, but it's light enough to recommend for a day on the beach. The thing I liked most is also the thing I liked least, the story is narrated by the main character's younger side kick. I liked this because it was different but at times it was too much hero worship. Pack it next to the sunscreen if you don't want the typical summer romance novel.
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
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!
I'm not looking for deep meaning, strong messages or socially redeeming. Give me interesting characters, some laughs and fun plot twists!
Danny and Ceepak are great fun! The plot has some real twists and goes deeper than your average quick and fun listen!
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.
I found myself walking saying "focus Danny" to myself in that same tone whenever I started chasing squirrels in my head. :)
I not only wanted to listen in one sitting - I downloaded the rest of the series. Love 'em!
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!
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.
I wasn't sure what it would be like. Narrator was great straight away, easy listen straightaway. Storyline good with twists and turns.
"Pretty hilarious but requires a bit of sensitivity"
I thoroughly enjoyed this Cabot Cove style detective story, especially for a first book right up until the last 20 mins where the author could have handled the actual tragic circumstance with a little more sensitivity and not brush it off as just part of an investigation.
The narrator, who poses as the 24-year-old sidekick is brilliant, his antics and hilarious commentary kept the entire plot together at a wonderful pace. Unfortunately, when the story turns dark and serious, the tone didn't change and it almost seemed to be a mockery of a very disturbing situation. The plot twist in the end, however, was a good day to go. I would definitely listen to more in this series mostly because of the comedic aspect.
"Great Crime Thriller"
nice character build up, gave enough away without spending too long on the back story, giving the writer more scope for the next books.
loved the bond style bad guy give away at the end, not 'OMG no way' but still good, author does a great job at leading you on a few wrong courses.
my only criticism is that the chapters weren't linked to the Audible chapters but still worth a listen.
A great, unexpected story. Jeff woodman is an excellent reader and really bought the story to life. I had no idea where the story was going, full of twists, turns and vivid characters.
"This book caught my interest from the start."
This book caught my interest from the start. An easy read superbly read.
"Excellent all round"
Fantastic. Some twists obvious fairly early on but still some great subtleties. Style completely engaging; completely lost track of time and got loads of housework done without it being the usual bore while listening! Downloading Mad Mouse is next on my to do list
"A Good Fun Light Read"
I downloaded this book on a whim and listened to it over two days. It has an interesting pace and a good level of descriptive language in relation to setting the scene. The main characters are fleshed out over the course of the story, giving the reader/listener a sense that they are getting to know someone .
It was enjoyable overall but it had a small niggling issue that cropped up more than once: women are either conniving, heartless, rich and self absorbed OR they are vapid, inconsequential airheads. Both categories seem to have little purpose but to serve as 'eye-candy' for the narrator and unintentionally lead him to conclusions that he should have been capable of himself. The very small parts played by the forensic pathologist (an 'eccentric' older woman) and the police officer with social worker training (bleeding heart with little real input) seem to be used to fill plot holes rather than offer much needed substance/balance to the heavily stereotyped hero-worship of the male lead by the narrator.
While the reveal and ending did feel a little worn by the time they arrived, I enjoyed the premise and the world that was being created.
Even with the point which I criticise, I will seek out the next books in the series.
As a fan of crime fiction I thought I'd try something new. I don't usually choose American literature but thought I'd give this a go. Story kept you guessing all the way through. I liked the main characters and am now going on to read more in this series. Would recommend if you like crime fiction and don't flinch at the odd rude word!
"Great free book but disturbing ending"
Wonderful narrative that brings a saccharine US beach resort to life. The plot is great with a twist - but be warned, the twist is very disturbing
"A fantastic free surprise"
This book was a great surprise listen and free!!!!.
The series is enjoyable and the fantastic narrator continues.
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