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Publisher's Summary

Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers' retreats in the big blue Victorian she's inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband. Now it's an authors' getaway, but Cat won't let anyone get away with murder.

The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and best-selling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn't know why he came all the way from New York, but she's glad to have him among the quirkier - and far less famous - attendees.

Cat's high school sweetheart, Seth, who's fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat, some of them a little overpowering. But it's her uncle, the local police chief, whom she'll call for help when there's a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun?

©2016 Lynn Cahoon (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    42
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    42
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    25
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    6

Performance

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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    16
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disapointing

I enjoyed the author's previous series and found this poor by comparison. The narrator's voice is grating, the main character is unlikable and I found the dialogue hard to listen to. I wish the author would bring back her Coffee, Books and More setting and characters.

M

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Enjoyable Story - Great Mystery

If you could sum up A Story to Kill in three words, what would they be?

Great new series

What did you like best about this story?

I like the characters and the idea that it is a writer's retreat run by a writer is great. It will be interesting to see how this story develops.

How could the performance have been better?

I'm not quite sure, but I think she would be better suited narrating non-fiction works. Her enunciation is too clipped, her diction too precise, and her inflection in the dialogue ruins the story. I will be reading this one. Susan Boyce does a great job on Ms. Cahoon's other series. I really wish that she could read this one, too. (Or at least, someone with Ms. Boyce's understanding of dialogue.

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

No. Because of the narration.

Any additional comments?

Please confine C S E Cooney to nonfiction. I'm sure that is better suited to her talents.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

So Disappointed

Any additional comments?

I love the Tourist Trap series by the same author and I listen to them while I commute to work everyday. I was relieved when I realized this series spins off of that series. I thought I would start this series to buy some time until the next Tourist Trap book is published. Boy was I wrong. The narration was way too dramatic for my taste. Sounded unnatural. The story had too many elements and characters going on to focus on "who dunnit". I found it hard to stay engaged with the story. I'm hopeful the next one will improve. If not, I'm done with this series. If you haven't listened to Tourist Trap...go there first.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An interesting start

I really enjoy the Tourist Trap mysteries by this same author, so if you're new to Lynn Cahoon, you might want to start there.

A Story to Kill is an interesting start to a new series, with a lot of great mystery elements. The main character, Cat, is renovating an enormous old house, complete with its own secrets and surprises) to turn it into a bed and breakfast style writer's retreat. The small-town atmosphere keeps the character connections tight: Cat's ex-husband left her the house. Cat's old flame is doing the renovation. The police chief is a relative of Cat's, easing the way for her investigations. But despite some good bones, the plot jumps around a lot and the relationships, particularly the one with Cat's old flame, seem forced. I'm hoping this series catches its stride in the next book. I have confidence in the author, and I'm looking forward to what comes next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

I need a trophy for finishing this book

I finished it! The narrator killed it for me. While it has a teaser cliffhanger, I will not accept the tease. The story was laborious, and every character became annoying. I increased the speed to get through this thing. I should have just stopped listening.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Not my cup of tea

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I know that when I change audio books I need to get used to the narrator and the style of writing of the author. I made it to Chapter 3 and honestly can not go any further or spend any more of my time on this. I don't know if the story line/writing is bad or just the narrator making it seem so dry, tedious and boring.

Would you ever listen to anything by Lynn Cahoon again?

Ever is a long time. I will not be quick to try another book by Lynn Cahoon and will look at who is the narrator and would not listen to anything else by this same person.

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator, someone who reads with some enthusiasm and some inflection to voice not just pitch changes for different characters.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I'm sorry but nothing

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Cliffhanger ending

The ending of this book left me wanting more, and finished on a bit of a cliffhanger. One of the overarching stories continues into the following books in the series, so just a heads up.

Overall I liked the mustery & the premise of this story. Cat can be grumpy & temperamental a lot of the time, and I’m still deciding if I’m fond of her or not.. but the supporting cast was very enjoyable & the narration is wonderfully done!

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A Complex and Fascinating Mystery

In A Story to Kill by Lynn Cahoon, writer and former English professor Cat Latimer learns that the man she divorced three years earlier after walking in on him with one of his female students has suddenly died. Then Cat gets astonished to learn that Michael left the house that they had bought together upon getting married to her. So she moves back to Colorado from California, where she went after leaving Michael, and turns the large Victorian house into a retreat place for fellow writers. Her plan is to offer writers one week each month a chance to get away from the reality of their lives in order to get serious writing done, while her best friend Shauna does the actual running of the home and cooking. The first week of the retreat arrives, and Cat has a full house of two elderly sisters working on romance books, a man working on "fiction," and a graduate student working on her thesis. But her big coup is to get a famous, best-selling author, Tom Cook, who helps to raise the status of the retreat. Cat learns that Tom once attended the local college, where Cat got her degrees and later taught alongside her ex-husband. He helps to make the writers group lively and successful the first full day, but that night, Cat goes to check on him, only to find him lying dead in a pool of blood.

Cat's Uncle Pete, chief of police of their college town, comes to investigate, but it takes a while before he and the department get any clues. In the meantime, Cat has to deal with the writers who have paid plenty to spend a week focusing on their writing. What's more, the house needs significant remodeling to turn ot into a retreat center, and the only handyman in town is Seth, Cat's high school boyfriend, who clearly still holds a flame for Cat. And will they be able to attract new writers to their retreat after the murder of one of their guests?

At first, I thought this book started out a little slow, but it took only a couple chapters before I became deeply invested in both the mystery and the lives of the characters. The mystery plot came across as well developed, with plenty of creative twists and turns that happened at just the right moment. The book contained several points of curiosity, adding to the depth of the book and its strength.

The characters are very well developed, with each having a distinct personality and standing out clearly from the others. We find ourselves rooting for Cat and for Seth to help her open her heart to love again.

I did find what seems to be an inconsistency because Cat dated Seth in high school and referred to herself and Seth as too young to visit the bar when they were dating. Yet she didn't begin dating Michael until grad school, very shortly after a fight with Seth. So i can't figure out the time line for their time together.

C.S.E. Cooney narrates the audiobook. I enjoyed listening to the book, but I can't say that the performance stood out as very notable to me.

In all, however, I had a good time listening to to A Story to Kill. I found the plot appealing, with a unique combination of details that really excite and keep up guessing. It makes us invested in the characters and does a fabulous job. I give the book five stars.

  • Overall

A story to kill

Enjoyed this book moved a little slow may be willing to read next book in this just to see if the pace increased

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Aweful

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narrator destroyed the book her stacato speach drove me nuts couldnt finish it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Lynn Cahoon again?

Lynn’s other series is great listened to them all.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Ruined it. Sorry to say.