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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best seller, Rebecca Cantrell and international thriller sensation, Sean Black, comes the first novel in a fast-paced, funny new series that's perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton.

After a decade spent in the glare of the Hollywood spotlight as the star of kids' TV show Half Pint Detective, Sofia Salgado has had enough. Desperate to build a life outside showbiz, she quits acting to do something that everyone around her - including her family - thinks is plain nuts. Get a real job.

They think she's even crazier when she announces that she's going to become a real detective, instead of playing one on TV. She's convinced the technical consultant from her TV show, Brendan Maloney, to take her on in his detective agency, but can accident-prone Sofia hack it?

©2015 Sean Black & Rebecca Cantrell (P)2016 Sean Black & Rebecca Cantrell

What listeners say about "A" is for Actress (Malibu Mystery Book 1)

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining dramatic comedy. Hurry up Book 2!

If you could sum up "A" Is for Asshat in three words, what would they be?

suspenseful, funny, current

What was one of the most memorable moments of "A" Is for Asshat?

On the way to the costume shop and the bank scene. I don't want to spoil it.

Which character – as performed by Madeline Mrozek – was your favorite?

I liked how Bobby went from a purple-robed zen master to a thug from Philly. The narration helped me to give each character a face.

If you could take any character from "A" Is for Asshat out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Aiden so I can see how I rank on his list.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed following the lead character Sofia as she finds herself through her new career. The story has a mix of drama and romantic tension that kept me circling the block so I could hear what happened next. I can't wait to hear the next book in the series!

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Nice surprise!

I tried this book on a whim and I'm so glad I did. Along the lines of Stephanie Plum and I actually laughed several times. My expectations of first books in series isn't sky high but this was a great effort with likable characters. Read for review but I'll be purchasing more of this series when they come out.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A hilarious Cozy mystery that will keep you hooked

Okay, it's safe to say that this is my new favorite mystery series, and I CAN'T WAIT for the next installment. This book is everything I never knew I needed in my life re: cozy mysteries. For one, it has some of the best humor, and secondly I adore the characters. The scene where Sophia gets a chakra massage from Moonbow with her "lustrous jewels," had me in a fit of laughter. It's such a great listen that pulls you in and I did not want to put it down!

Sophia is newly employed at a P.I firm & I enjoy her banter with Aiden, as well as their team work cracking the case. The two of them together ensures dialogue that will make you laugh. I enjoy learning more about Sophia's private life (her family is hysterical) & past, and she's overall a well rounded and dynamic character. She has wits & humor and a hell of a backbone. I love the whole cast of characters and can't wait to hear more. 100% worth a credit!
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A crazy ride through Hollywood

In A Is for Actress by Rebecca Cantrell and Sean Black, Sofia Salgado has left a promising career in the television and film industry to become a private investigator. She joins up with Brendan and Aiden Maloney, a father and son team of former LAPD officers. They get hired to set a “honey trap,” in which Sofia tries to seduce a reality show producer in order to get evidence of potential infidelity for a divorce filing. Then, the next day, the man’s body washes ashore Malibu Beach, making the police suspect the wife. Melissa thus turns to the Maloneys for help, and Sofia gets involved in her first murder investigation.

Sofia discovers detection is a risky job. For one thing, she runs into a sexist reality star who gropes her, earning a knee to the groin as a reward. She also meets up with a suspicious masseur. Soon after, she has someone try to run her off the road. Besides all this, very few people take her seriously as an investigator after her acting career.

This book has an interesting plot, but it gives its solution rather abruptly, and I found a few issues that were annoying. This authors seem to be eager to prove their deep knowledge of Los Angeles streets, communities, and institutions with frequent mentions of areas within the area and freeways. As a native Angelino, I recognized the accuracy of these descriptions, but they were unnecessary, and this got to seem excessive. Further, references to Angelino culture seemed stereotyped. Another thing that got a little annoying was the numerous references to contemporary pop culture and current events. Not only did this get tiresome at times, but it will serve to make this book too dated to follow in just a few years.

The audiobook is performed by Madeline Mrozek, whose good job narrating helps to redeem the negative details of the book. The book is told in the third person from Sofia’s point of view, so Mrozek seems to be speaking for Sofia, which she does well.

Despite my criticisms, A Is for Actress was an enjoyable read. The final showdown was fun though highly unrealistic and silly. I don’t expect to read any more books in this series, but I am glad I read this one. I give this 3 stars.

3 people found this helpful

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LOVE IT!

It is an enjoyable mystery devoid of sex, yea!!!! The premise of the book is unique and interesting.Sophia is a very intelligent woman and portrayed as very competent. There is funny banter with her co-worker Aiden.
The comedy centers around a starlet who quits her successful acting job as a PI to training for a real PI job.

3 people found this helpful

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Sofia Is On The Case

Sofia Salgado has tasted fame. She was a well-known child actress. Now she's grown up and left the entertainment business. She wants to feel good about what she does for a living. Will being a private investigator do that? I like Sofia. She is funny, feisty and full of life. She can think on her feet and can use her skills to save the day. Her nemesis at the detective agency, Aidan, keeps her on her toes. Unfortunately they are often a team. Their snappy dialogue made me laugh. Aidan knows how to rile up Sofia but he's good at what he does. There were times that I wanted to give him a head slap but deep down I liked him. This is a great start to the Malibu Mystery series. I never knew what was coming next. The secondary characters were an interesting mix. Some were quirky while others were deceitful and dangerous. The ending was a shocker. The narration by Madeline Mrozek added to fun and suspense. She made the characters and their dialogue pop. I love the depth that the audio gave to this book. I'm ready for more time with Sofia Salgado.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo
  • 03-15-16

Great new series - really fun!

What made the experience of listening to "A" Is for Asshat the most enjoyable?

Liking and identifying with the main character and going along with her on adventures.

What other book might you compare "A" Is for Asshat to and why?

Stephanie Plum novels spring to mind. Both are lots of fun, funny and "I can see myself messing up like this"

What does Madeline Mrozek bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She floats the story along effortlessly. Very easy to watch the picture in my mind of the unfolding book when the narrator does such a good job that you forget you're listening to someone read.

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

Close to it. I was quite happy to get back to it after putting it down.

Any additional comments?

It's not earth shattering or life changing but it is very entertaining.

3 people found this helpful

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grandma loves grandkids, quilting and audio books.

I've found a new series! It's fun and clean. I look forward to the next book!

6 people found this helpful

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Great 1st in series!

**This review is for the audiobook on Audible.**

"A" is for Actress (Malibu Mystery, Book 1) by Sean Black & Rebecca Cantrell, narrated by Madeline Mrozek is a great intro to the Malibu Mystery series. (I'll let you read the plot description on your own, rather than go over again what has already been said. Many of the reviews here focus more on the storyline, so I'm going to do things a little different and focus more on the narration for my review...just an fyi.) I actually did things backwards and started with books D & E. Oops! I enjoyed them so much that I decided to go back to the beginning and start with book A. I'm glad I did; it's good to have laugh out loud moments, and in this series there are plenty....all statring on page one! The characters and situations are funny, which definitely make for an enjoyable listen!

Narrator Madeline Mrozek puts on an outstanding performance from start to finish. She is my favorite narrator, as I'm sure many of you feel the same. Here's why she's #1 in my book:
1. Her pace and volume are perfect - I never have to make changes or speed adjustments while listening. (I listen in the Audible app almost 100% of the time.)
2. Her portrayal of the characters and events are so much fun - she really brings them to life! I always seem to forget I'm listening to an audiobook! She makes me feel like I'm watching a movie.
3. The voices she uses are sooo good, and she never messes up! It's crazy! The best part is that she perfectly stays in character throughout the series, so when I start a new book, I feel like no time has been lost....like I'm back hanging out and talking with old friends.

Madeline Mrozek makes my overall listening experience that much better. When faced with the decision to read a book or listen to it on audio, if Mrozek is narrating, I will choose audio 100% of the time. She has a way of turning something good into something great. Think of it like this...ice cream is good, right? Sure, it is. But, when you put caramel on top, it becomes great. Yessss! Well, Ms. Mrozek is like the caramel, whipped cream, and cherry on top of my ice cream. :-) I'll choose a 🍨Mrozek 🍨 Sundae 🍨 any day of the week to plain old ice cream. :-) Like the sundae, her performance is always 5 stars!

Overall, I give the audiobook "A" is for Actress (Malibu Mystery, Book 1) by Sean Black & Rebecca Cantrell, narrated by Madeline Mrozek 4 out of 5 stars. It's funny, engaging, and entertaining. I recommend this book and series to those who enjoy mysteries and humorous reads that are fast-paced and action-paced. I plan to start the second in series ("B" is for Bad Girls) soon, and yes, it will be on audio!

Thank you for reading my review. I hope it was helpful. Happy listening! :-)

2 people found this helpful

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Funny, Good, and Exciting

What other book might you compare "A" is for Actress (Malibu Mystery Book 1) to and why?

If you like the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Then you will like this book. It definitely has the same humor,with the who done it theme, and same adventurous fun as Stephanie Plum.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Carôle
  • 10-07-20

Slow and Uninteresting!

If this has been recommended as in the same wheelhouse as the Stephanie Plum series, and you’re choosing it based on that - don’t!! It’s NOTHING like it, so you will be really disappointed and will do this book a disservice.

It’s a slow moving (13 chapters to get to the point) story, with nothing remarkable about methodology, style, finesse …

I bought this via Kindle Unlimited, but I wouldn’t have said that it was £3 well spent! I’d categorise this as a Cozy Mystery, but even that’s not quite the truth.

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  • LeezaH
  • 02-22-18

Loving this series

I absolutely have fallen in love with this series.

I have binge listened to them one after the other, and cant wait for F.......

The chemistry between the characters is fun and honest. These books have hit the perfect length, they aren't to long and drag on but have plenty of action and a well developed story.

The narration is perfect!