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..Show More » 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.
My Review Those who have read Book 1, Hound dog Blues, will know that Harley hails from a somewhat unconventional family, Her hippy parents, Diva ..Show More »and Yogi, are ageing not so gracefully. For the last few years though they have lived in a real house with proper toilets and everything! They don't give in to conventionality that easily though, as Diva continues to dispense her cleansing herbal teas and enigmatic predictions, and Yogi continues to grow his, er, "herbs" amongst the tomato plants. Oh, and he is also an Elvis impersonator who adores his crazy dog named King. Harley truly appreciated the move to a more conventional life, but as time goes by, Harley herself becomes a little more unconventional, giving up her steady but boring job in a bank, she gets herself a job as a tour guide. She is a part time biker and recently, albeit inadvertently, has found herself working as a part time amateur sleuth. Her first foray into sleuthing was actually pretty successful and must have lit a fire in her belly, as no sooner was her first adventure over than her Aunt Darcy sought her help. Once again Harley just can't say no! The offer of money helped her decide, and so starts her second adventure. Harley begins her investigation with her usual single mindedness, heedlessly ignoring all advice from her friends and her very new boyfriend, undercover cop Mike Morgan. Harley (yes, again) finds herself in many a parlours circumstance! Mike and Harley must be very much in lust with each other as despite all his efforts to forbid her meddling, and all her hard headed stubbornness, (and the cat) they somehow keep the lust levels high.
This story is peppered with comic yet dangerous scenarios, most of which Harley brings upon herself because, well, she is always right! Yet with the luck that accompanies many a "cozy" heroine, our Harley wins through, albeit body and dignity battered and bruised, and usually with the loss of a mobile phone. She also makes a new trusty friend, a rescued Siamese cat, they are an ill matched pair as Harley hates cats and the cat hates people, yet begrudgingly, they quite like each other. The cat moves in. The author gives us a peek into the world of Memphis, we get to discover famous "Elvis" landmarks, the Elvis anniversaries, and of how the death of the King eventuates in a huge tourism business. This is Harleys' world and I'm looking forward to her next adventure. I highly recommend reading the books in order.
Narrator This is a dual narration by Karen Commins and her husband Drew Commins. I do still have issues with dual narration, nothing to do with talent or ability, but to do with the listening experience. There is a definite feel of the male voice being slotted in as it were. The transition between the two somehow needs to be smoother, I guess there must be reasons for recording them separately and then editing. Maybe the recording booth isn't big enough? Apart from my little prejudice, I've always loved Karens' narrating, she just brings everything to life, both Drew and Karen have the wonderful sense of comic timing necessary for narrating the humourous cozy.
I was gifted this audiobook, without condition, by Karen Commins, this review is my honest opinion