The last time the police knocked on psychic Valentine Zalmanzig Cohen's door they ignored her advice and the wrong man ended up in prison for murder. Five years later the knock comes again. Another couple killed in the same house. A copycat killer? Or has the original killer struck again? The police are willing to consider that perhaps they'd been wrong, but is Val willing to risk her marriage, career, and maybe even her life to try again?
The blend of mystery and paranormal drew my attention to Mind Over Murder by Evelyn David and narrated by Cindy Piller. A third ingredient, antiques, made it irresistible.
The premise of Valentine and Jake Cohen as a married couple who own an antique business which leads them into layers of a number of mysteries and shenanigans works well. The story is told from the wife's point of view and at times I would have liked a tad less one-sided bickering, but maybe it's because I couldn't just skip over the bits that annoyed like I would if I were reading it. The couple discover some interesting and unsettling coincidences involving a murder they were both pulled into for professional reasons, and where they first met, five years earlier. The mix of the Cohen's antique collection, people from their pasts, a dead furnace along with her psychic premonitions and his encounters with the dead all make for an enjoyable adventure. The author's research or knowledge of antiques added an interesting bit of knowledge and a bit light on the inside day-to-day antique dealers' world. I could have done without the cliche' clingy, disapproving mother-in-law and wish she'd been given a bit more compassion and credit. Valentine did try to be 'nice', but her attitude toward Mrs. Cohen made her seem a bit petty and childish at times.
If you want an entertaining listen while cleaning out that cluttered garage, folding Mt. Laundry or while on your daily commute, and a plot with an interesting cast of characters, and engaging story told in a family friendly way, this is the audio book for you.
I may give my penchant for classic films away when I say that the old "Topper" movies came to mind with the sometimes witty exchanges between Valentine and her husband Jake. I also enjoyed Jake's dealings with the dead. Some of the minor characters were interesting, such as the bail bondsman/body-guard, but we never got to 'see' them very often and the narrator didn't do them justice. There is a bit of violence, but it's applied with as gentle a hand as possible and was important to the plot line, but not gory or gratuitous.
Cindy Piller has a very crisp and pleasant voice. I know I've been spoiled by the work of Stephen Fry and Kathy Bates, so don't expect a wide range of voices, so you'll have to pay attention when new characters enter the scene.
This is not a "I just can't stop listening!" audio book that might make you miss your freeway exit, but it will hold your interest and you will look forward to the return.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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7 of 10 people found this review helpful
Cindy Piller narrates this story nicely.I liked it.Valentine is a psychic.After she gives a bad reading to the police she doesn't want to be approached by them again.They come to her when a couple is murdered in the same house she miss advised about before.Cane she help?I was given this book free for an honest review.
Didn't figure out who the killer was until just about the end, well hidden by Evelyn David. Cindy Piller's narration blended the right balance of emotion and believability with good annunciation and style. Well done.
A fairly interesting plot with a few twists, the author set up the plot well giving us a good back story to set the scene. A typical cozy mystery from a very popular author. Our heroine, Valentine, having had her reputation and credibility as a psychic consultant to the police trashed, is now leading a much quieter life married to her antiques dealer husband. This changes, Valentine reluctantly finds herself becoming involved in a murder related to her past investigations. She and her husband (who, we discover, has his own special gift) decide to hold their own investigation into the dastardly goings on.
They have their work cut out for them, they don't trust the police officers who seem determined to involve them in the actual murders and they find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Throw in some rather odd people and lots of twists and turns along the way, including the mother-in-law who never stops fault finding, a rather idiotic Chief of Police and a plumber who doesn't know his place and we have the basics of the mystery.
Unfortunately, I found it went on a bit in places, was a bit repetitive and, to me, slightly tedious, especially the Valentine monologues. Valentine has the propensity to use ten words when two would do just as well. Otherwise, a good cozy mystery, just a bit slow for my liking.
Read by Cindy Piller who is new to me. I must say, I really enjoyed her narration, lovely, easy to listen to voice with wonderful, not overdone enunciation. Excellent gender changes, pace and rhythm, Cindy kept this story going for me, had a lesser narrator been chosen I would probably had trouble finishing. 5 stars to Cindy, I really hope she gets lots more work as I would love to listen to her again
This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Mind Over Murder in three words, what would they be?
Clever, Unexpected, Entertaining
Who was your favorite character and why?
I loved Valentine. She is the kind of person I could be friends with. Multi-dimensional, funny, sarcastic and smart. She could light up a dinner party at my home any time!
What about Cindy Piller’s performance did you like?
Ms Piller did a great job of breathing life into all the characters but particularly into Valentine. I thought she did a great job of representing the different characters in a way that was easy to identify as I moved through the book.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The scene where Valentine was held captive in the boat house and what she did to escape was riveting. I could feel the panic as I listened to her thoughts as she struggled to hold back her fear while making her escape.
I loved the plot twist with Neal's mother. I won't say more, but it was a wonderful surprise!
Any additional comments?
I'd love to see more stories around these characters. Neal and Val are certainly worthy of more adventures!
Likeable heroine, less likeable hero, and a pleasant murder mystery. The body count rises and it's fairly obvious who is the villain, but we don't learn why until near the end. Our psychic heroine has an ongoing battle with her MIL, though it isn't obvious that she is dead until late on in the book. A lightweight listen, but enjoyable.
The narration is clear, with good pacing and modulation, characters are well-defined and I would happily listen to other books narrated by her.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Interesting mystery with well developed characters. I really liked Valentine and Jake. Enjoyed the humorous banter between the two main characters, comments about Jake's mother, no calorie food references and Houdini. Usually do not enjoy paranormal but it worked well in this story. Several murders, many twists, satisfying ending and good narration.
Audiobook provided for an honest review.