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Publisher's Summary

Artemus Black. Perennially down-on-his-luck Hollywood PI whose Bogie fixation is as dated as his wardrobe. With an assistant who mocks him relentlessly, an obese cat that loathes him, a romantic life that's deader than Elvis, money problems, booze, nicotine, and anger management issues, how much worse can it get? When he takes a case that's supposed to be easy money working for a celebrity whose colleagues and surrounding paparazzi are dropping faster than interest in the star's big comeback, the cakewalk turns ugly and Black finds himself in a web of deceit, betrayal, and murder - and bad hair days. The first in a new series from best-selling author Russell Blake, Black is a detective mystery with a difference that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.

©2013 Russell Blake (P)2014 Russell Blake

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    89
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Roxy is a must have for the entire series

I love the dialogue between Roxy and Black.. without her this may have been a 3 star listen for me. The only reason I sought this one out is because of the narrator and like always he did an excellent job.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent 21st Century Noir

Fedoras, Dames, and Everything! A book for Goldilocks. Not too heavy, not too light. The bantered dialogue was intelligent and didn't try to hard and was carried off beautifully by narrator R.C. Bray.

In fact, Bray did a terrific job with all his characters, ranging from heavies to heroes to hippies to ... okay, I don't know a good 'H' word for little old ladies.

This is a great start to a new series. I'm so glad it came my way.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun, Ironic Noir

Clever, fast banter, reminds me of Cary Grant in His Girl Friday. And very much Luke that movie, the characters and their relationships overshadow the story.

It's a good mystery but the novel, like its title is really about its hero. Black is Artemis Black, a thirtyish ex rocker turned PI. He has a sardonic, goth rock, young assistant running his office, and its her and her obese cat Mugsy that keeps Black grounded.

There are laughs at every turn, all at Black's expense. I liked it. Frankly I can use the lift.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mel
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 09-02-16

Mike Hammer of The New Millenium

Sure. The genre of a street-savvy hand-to-mouth LA P.I. amid the seedy under belly of Sunset Strip is a familiar one. No new ground broken there. .... Where Blake's "Black" scores so high is the non-stop snappy repartee between Black and pretty much all the sideshow carney-esque characters he encounters. .... going immediately to Book Two and Beyond.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely perfect, sharp and witty

Black is an incredible listen, and is voiced perfectly by the talented RC Bray. The dialogue is sharp, the plot moves swiftly and unpredictably, and the jokes are timed perfectly. This is an excellent story and I look forward to listening to the rest of the Black series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

monotonous and boring

Would you try another book from Russell Blake and/or R.C. Bray?

No.

Would you recommend Black to your friends? Why or why not?

No.

Would you listen to another book narrated by R.C. Bray?

May be.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

It is a monotonous narration of a monotonous attempt at a cinematic noir. Might be better in paper form, not sure. An obvious attempt to create a ready movie script (with all the moves and jests and even eye movements described to a smallest detail - as a result, a rather boring book happened.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 10-17-16

Great narration of good novel

The story is interesting mostly because of wise cracking by Black and his office manager Roxy. The narration by RC Bray is incredibly good. This private investigator series has real potential so I'll listen to at least one more novel.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • United States
  • 05-10-15

PI Black is retro and current together

Both written and performed in the noir style set in the Hollywood area. Solid linear plot with some interesting twists. Lots of quirky characters, but no details/spoilers to be found here. Just know that it is a very interesting read, but best served up in segments.
RCB gives an excellent audio performance using noir voice cadences and inflections that really add to the tone of the novel.
This book was given in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A nice suspense novel - with a nice twist

What made the experience of listening to Black the most enjoyable?

The characters were interesting and realistic. Loved loved the extreme difference in how his secretary viewed his wardrobe and how he did.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Black - because he appeared to almost be a different person when with the each of the other characters. Tolerant with his secretary. Irritated with his therapist. Professional and bossy with his client...etc.

What does R.C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The voice changes

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and told Black out loud what NOT to do.

Any additional comments?

I loved it... but I only give 5 stars to books I would re-read or listen to twice, those are extremely rare. So from me this gets just about the very best rating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

.

What did you love best about Black?

I really liked that Black was 'human'. He had everyday struggles both in his professional and personal life. I enjoyed his relationship with Roxie and hope that this continues in future books.

What did you like best about this story?

I really like how the author was consistent with Black's character. The mystery was interesting and I really didn't see the answer until it was told to me. I like that in a mystery.

Have you listened to any of R.C. Bray’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the 3rd book by Mr. Bray that I have listened to. He is a very relaxed reader who can draw you into the story. I think that he adds to the authors words with his performance.

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

While the book was rather long (not a problem by the way), I don't think I could have listened to it in one sitting. The chapters were placed in good breaks in the story and it was easy to get back into the book when I came back to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful