The Sydney Rye series of mysteries feature a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!
UNLEASHED is the first book in Emily Kimelman's best-selling Sydney Rye series of mysteries. This audiobook is narrated by Sonja Field.
When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller's dog-walking business on Manhattan's exclusive Upper East Side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.
But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim--and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.
When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit--cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan's elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.
The Sydney Rye Series
UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)
DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2)
INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)
STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)
THE DEVIL'S BREATH (A Sydney Rye Novel, #5)
INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #6)
©2011 Emily Kimelman Gilvey (P)2014 Emily Kimelman Gilvey
Lover of Books in all forms - be they print, electronic or audio. I work full time, and blog part-time
I am not sure exactly what I was kind of book this would be when I requested it from Audiobook Jukebox. I have seen the series around, downloaded the first book for free from Amazon, and even did a Choose the Narrator Tour for the series back in March. But I hadn't read it. One thing I can say: this is not a cozy mystery. It is very much a cross between a thriller and a detective mystery interwined with a coming of age story. Because that's what Joy Humbolt does in the book, she grows up the hard way.
The book opens on Joy Humbolt telling us she became Sydney Rye, how it all started. Joy is a young woman, who's biggest problem each day is how blitzed to get when she goes out with her brother and friends. As a pretentious barista in a non chain coffee shop, and recently breaking up with her loser boyfriend Marcus, she snaps and loses in the middle of her shift. The victim, a middle aged woman who comes in orders a drink, really wanting a Frappuccino® trademark item, but clueless about what she will really be getting. Needless to say the manager fires her, especially after she makes a comment about him masturbating in the beans. Yes, Joy is that young and stupid.
In a fit of pique, she heads off to the pound to get a dog. One that will give her the unconditional love and support that she hasn't been able to find from either a boyfriend or her mother. She ends up with Blue. Blue has one blue eye, one brown eye, has the head shape of a collie, with the body size of a great dane and the coloring of a siberian husky. He is a big, big dog, but she falls in love with him at first glance. It is Blue that leads her neighbor to tell Joy about a friend of a friend who knows someone who has a dog walking business she wants to sell. Which leads to her discovering a dead body and eventually becoming Sydney Rye.
This wasn't like anything I have read before. I tend to stick to cozy mysteries, though I am a fan of soft-boiled mysteries. This was darker, harder, grittier. Joy had to grow up fast and is left to deal with the consequences of her actions and how they affect other people. She ends up seeing the darker side of humanity, both in others and in herself.
Sonja Field had an interesting take on Joy. Sonja really nailed a lot of the voices, especially that New York Jewish motherly tone and the bored socialites. One voice in particular, I didn't agree with, at least not until after the book ended and I really thought about it. Now I think she was foreshadowing with her voice. Scary good job. The most interesting thing was the change in Joy's voice and tone. She starts as an annoying Young Adult and gradually progresses into something more mature and seasoned.
This reminded me very much of the Holly Barker series by Stuart Woods. It's definitely not for everyone, but I do think I will be going back for seconds. There are several books in the series out, and I am sure that more audiobooks will follow. This earned 3 stars from me.
I would recommend this book to a friend because it was well written and executed in a manner that engaged the readers.
The excitement - plot.
Joy Humbolt/Sydney Rye
No extreme reaction but I found it very interesting and felt the politican and boyfriend were excellently portrayed.
I was given Unleashed (A Sydney Rye Novel #1) written by Emily Kimelman in exchange for an honest review.
I found that Unleashed was well written with character and the plot development executed appropriately thus highly engaging the reader.
The lead in this book is a strong female protagonist who doesn’t take crap from anyone. Within the first few pages one finds that Joy Humbolt has made significant changes in her world – out with the boyfriend, becoming unemployed and adopting Blue – a rescue dog. She is also taking on a new career as a dog walker. However, in her new role as a dog walker Joy finds herself buried in intrigue up to her neck! Moving from Coffee Barista to dog walker to sleuth seems to be a normal enough move for Joy. What she didn’t count on was the consequences of her sleuthing.
Thus the birth of Sydney Rye – a thrilling read involving a buried treasure and corrupt politicians with a dash of dead bodies here and there. The dialog is natural and while there is some foul language it is not gratuitously done. I enjoyed listening to this audio book.
The narrator, Sonya Field, was clear and concise – my only issue was she spoke too slowly at times. I feel the audio production was well done.
I found myself engaged and enjoying Unleashed. I am eager to hear the rest of the series.
I bought it because of the dog, but he's a minor sidekick in the tale, which starts as an urban cozy and switches, mid-story, into something more ragged and wild. Enjoying this story requires major suspension of disbelief. I don't think that the police would fail to test the blood at a crime scene, for instance, even if the fix is in.
Instead, dog-walker turned crime fighter figures it out largely on her own, with the dog by her side, once taking a bullet for her. That's not a spoiler, as the narrator reveals this detail-to-come on the first page.
About the much-maligned narrator. Calm down, people. Yes, she starts out slowly, maybe too slowly, but she speeds up and inhabits a great variety of New York voices with agility and charm. I like her.
And I like this story. I especially like how every time I was thinking we were hip deep in the weeds of stereotypes, the writer pulled past them with surprises.
The mixture of the narrator's great voicing and the writer's attention to detail, enveloping world, and amazing descriptions of the world made thia one of the best books I've read all year.
I teach ESOL, live in Atlanta, have 2 smart beautiful grown daughters and a wonderful husband. We are both retired Air Force. Charlie - dog
I really liked the story but the swearing really ruined it for me. Too bad as I won't read another one of her books for that reason. I'm no prude and a good story just doesn't need to be so crude to be true-to-life. I spent 24 years in the military and I nor the people I worked with spoke as foul as this main character.
A few interesting twists and turns to keep you involved. A good bit of local NYC color to make expats want to return. Anything can happen in the big Apple so the implausible seems to work.
I enjoyed this book because it had a great storyline, the characters were fun and witty and the bittersweet end got me hooked. I'm looking forward to reading the entire series. the narration was also well done, adding to the story. Recommend!
After reading several comments, I didn't think this audiobook would be one I would like. When I started listening to this audiobook I was happy to be wrong. The story started slow but picked up its pace and turned out to be a book I enjoyed. I'd have to say it was a nice surprise. Sonja Field did a nice job bringing the characters to life. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Not writing it. For me - not wasting time on it.
It does not have a genre. It starts like a cozy mystery about a dog walker, than you get some of currently fashionable BDSM, then catacombs, hidden doors and tunnels, several love (lust) interests and finally a thriller. There is no logic or brain in the plot, actions or anything in this book.
Like the book itself its a tiresome combination of boring and hysterical.
The main heroine. She is constantly whining, crying, complaining, having long incredibly dumb dialogues and equally dumb monologues...she is simultaneously hectic and boring.
Wasted time and wasted money.
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