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Publisher's Summary

In this quirky low-key murder mystery, Storm Ketchum, a damaged emigre to the coastal town of Avon on North Carolina's Outer Banks, likes to mind his own business and isn't any kind of detective - until he's forced to become one by extraordinary circumstances.

On the verge of losing his modest waterfront home to an unscrupulous developer, Ketch stumbles onto the scene of a crime that might expose the perpetrator of an unsolved murder and enable him to save not only his own home, but also the similarly threatened bohemian boatyard community he's inexorably drawn into. And in case Plan A fails, he's hard at work on a Plan B that's both laudable and pitiable - if he can't stop them from seizing his property and ruining what's left of his historic town, he's hell-bent on turning the event into a political statement.

Together with his loyal dog, a salty charter boat captain, the sketchy denizens of the boatyard, and an alluring scuba diving instructor who may or may not have a hidden agenda, Ketch struggles to make sense of his new reality, while trying to save some of the things that really matter along the way.

©2014 Garrett D. Schanck (P)2015 Garrett D. Schanck

Critic Reviews

"When a wealthy developer suspected of murder comes offering money for the land, Ketch is the last to hold out. Ketch's knowledge of the island is professorial, something that will appeal to readers who adore a strong sense of place. The accented dialogue creates the right southern atmosphere... A good effort." (Publishers Weekly)
"Garrett Dennis' Port Starbird has everything that a fun, summer weather novel should have - adventure, romance, beautiful beaches, guitar playing, underwater excursions, and, of course, murder mystery intrigue!" (Red City Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Really enjoyable mystery with great scenery

If you could sum up Port Starbird in three words, what would they be?

Port Starbird is a fun mystery adventure story of Storm Ketchum, a jack of all trades who resides in Wilminton, NC a beautiful small coastal town. The story nicely winds together 3 subplots involving shady characters, a home in peril, and a romance. Three words to describe Port Starbird are: splendific, hapless romance, and noble.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Port Starbird?

I loved the suspense of the deep sea dive and the suspicious characters. I also enjoyed the mystery around the girlfriend--was she involved in the crime?

Which character – as performed by DJ Holte – was your favorite?

I most loved the Captain

Who was the most memorable character of Port Starbird and why?

I most enjoyed the main character of Storm. He was well developed and a fun character to get to know.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick
  • MALONE, NY, United States
  • 04-24-15

Totally Enjoyable

Where does Port Starbird rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have done many audiobooks. The reading was a 9-out-of-10 in my experience. Good understanding of the material, good characterization of the characters, on top of a pleasant, interesting, non-sensationalized story made this book a pleasure.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Port Starbird?

I thought the singing of one of the songs in the book was a pleasant surprise. I don't think I've run into such a thing previously in an audiobook. Very pleasant, very unexpected, very good fit into the storyline, the way it was done.

What about DJ Holte’s performance did you like?

Mr. Holte's reading was always clear, pleasant, and in-character. He added to the tale, I believe, and nowhere did I ever feel he detracted from it.

Who was the most memorable character of Port Starbird and why?

Tough question. At my age I remember so little 8-). Yet, I seem to remember all the characters. The unassuming Mr. Ketchum was nicely painted and easily remembered, except for his name, but that is my problem, not his. Perhaps the most memorable character is the skipper in the song Mr. Ketchum wrote. Makes ya wish you could have met the old salt.

Any additional comments?

A wonderful little story, infused with real-feeling characters and laced with enough reality for one to really care about the characters and the outcome. I will be reading, or more probably listening, to Garrett Dennis' next installment in the life of Storm Ketchum.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An interesting tale with a middle aged "hero"

PORT STARBIRD: Storm Ketchum Adventures: Book One

Author: Garrett Dennis

Type of Book: Audiobook - Unabridged

Narrator: DJ Holte

Length: 8 hours, 26 minutes

Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Release Date: March 18, 2015

Publisher: TBD Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

The narrator has an amazing voice for this story. There is even a scene where Ketch sings an original song and plays guitar and the song and music sounded great. In fact, the tune is quite catchy. The narrator also does a terrific job of differing male voices and his voice of the older sea captain is exactly what I thought an 'ol sea dog' would sound like. Great job!

In the town of Avon on the coast of North Carolina's Outer Banks region people live a small town existence. There really isn't much for tourists to do except take in the local scenery and fish in the ocean. And that is exactly how the locals prefer it.

Storm Ketchum may not be from Avon originally, but he has adopted the town as his home and has lived there for the past three years. Ketch owns a house in an area that a local developer has big plans for. He has offered to buy Ketch's house and land but
Ketch does not want to sell his house which he has nicknamed "Port Starbird."

Most of the other homeowners have sold and the developer is not happy about Ketch being a holdout. He has threatened to use the law of "imminent domain" to take the house away from him if Ketch will not agree to sell.

Ketch dislikes the shady developer and has suspicions that he may have murdered both of his wives. But, suspicions are not facts.

Ketch has a plan. If he cannot save his home from being ripped out from under him, then he will make sure that he draws attention to the corruption of the law and the misuse of "Imminent Domain" by greedy politicians and developers.

Ketch's plan seemed fairly easy in the beginning, but when he stumbles upon some illegal activity he has a decision to make.

To complicate his life even further, throw in a love interest, some illegal toxic waste dumping, blackmail attempts, murder, missing wives and a girlfriend who may have something to hide.

This book is full of colorful and lovable characters. Jack the dog comes across as the perfect pet and anyone who has ever had a loyal pet will fall in love with him.

This book is a great Spring or Summer read. You cannot help but imagine yourself sitting out on Ketch's deck enjoying the quiet summer night with a glass of wine. I found the conclusion a bit far-fetched, but it is fiction, so anything is possible.

I was entertained and I look forward to finding out whats next for our hero; Storm Ketchum.

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars for the story and 5 out of 5 stars for the narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Mystery in the Outer Banks

A mystery with a little bit of romance woven in this story. I really enjoyed the narrator DJ Holte, he did a great job with all of the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Book 1

I enjoyed Port Starbird's story and narration. The characters, storyline, & plot are well developed. Held my interest from start to finish. Doc finds himself in some very interesting situations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable story but not amazing in any way!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not! I thought the story was enjoyable but I felt it took to long to really get going. I did not find the characters that memorable. To be honest I won't be thinking about this book again after I finish this review. Don't know that I would want to listen to other books in the series either.

Which character – as performed by DJ Holte – was your favorite?

I think the captain was my favorite character. He's just an old sea dog, gruff sometimes but loveable.

Do you think Port Starbird needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Not for me it doesn't need a follow up. I wouldn't listen to it.

Any additional comments?

DJ Holte was a good choice for the narrator. He really made the book for me. I was not overly impressed with the story and probably would not have finished listening to it if it had been a different narrator.<br/><br/>I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Mystery Set on the Outer Banks

A mystery of a likable normal person who is forced to become a unintentional private eye. Set on the beautiful Outer Banks, with bad guys, a love interest and a red herring! I thoroughly recommend and can't wait to listen to the next in the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • United States
  • 10-14-17

A good different

audiobook, audiobook-blast, outer-banks, greed

This is not a frenetically paced tale, but one that flows smoothly and has twists and surprises and some really sneaky humor. The characters certainly are! No need to recap the book nor add spoilers, but the publisher's blurb gives hints that make sense. I enjoyed it a lot.
D J Holte certainly makes everything even better with his clear speech, character definition, and understated manner of narration.

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Stormy

This is the first storm Ketchum book but although it was nice to see how storm and all his friends started, I enjoyed the other books more.

It was described as an adventure story but I found it to be more of a nature book, lots of information about the area and environment - the author either lives there or has really done his homework on the area. I know he was setting the scene (and it sounds a lovely place to live despite the hurricanes they get) but unfortunately for me the adventure got lost in the background.

It won't put me off read/listening to another storm book but his writing style and story improves in later books.

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I read, loved and reviewed this book, YOUR

amazing! a joy to read, this author is extremely knowledgeable and kept me interested to the end!