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Publisher's Summary

Bunco night seems like a safe bet, until someone finds a dead body in the bathtub. With her friends in shock and topping the local detective's suspect list, Viola Roberts decides it's time once again to take matters into her own hands.

With her usual snark and disregard for the rules, Viola investigates everything from a cupcake-eating contest to the sordid affairs of the deceased's husband. All while fending off her mother's matchmaking attempts. She's pretty sure she knows whodunit, but with her bunco ladies being targeted by a killer, Viola may have to decide between being right, or ending up dead.

©2016 Shéa MacLeod (P)2018 Shéa MacLeod

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

Another cozy mystery

I received the audiobook free in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say I'm enjoying Shea MacLeod's Viola Roberts mystery books. The main character is quirky and lovable with a great cast of characters. In this book, Viola is playing Bunco with a group of friends when one of the players ends up dead in the bathtub. Of course all the players are suspects, but Viola is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Joined by a long-suffering Detective "Bat" (think the Inspector in Father Brown Mysteries), a boyfriend who is a little put out with her, and a couple of friends by her side, Viola goes in search of answers. Humorous, engaging, and easy to listen to.

Part of the reason its easy to listen to, of course, is the narration of Yvette Keller. She has a smooth, calming voice that suits the series well. Nice nuances to indicate different characters, the only quirk I can think of is at times she makes Viola sound like she's constantly surprised .... like having a conversation with a friend who keeps going "I know, right!" This is not a bad thing, believe me, it plays to the characters inquisitive nature.

Very nicely done.

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

Fun cozy mystery!

Viola Roberts, romance writer and amateur sleuth, seems to stumble over a lot of bodies and finds yet another one in <strong>The Body in the Bathtub</strong> by Shéa MacLeod. Viola shows up for her regular bunco night when Viola's best friend, Cheryl, greets her with the news that the group has a substitute, Chris Marlow, a stranger to Viola, but one whom she soon discovers to be highly unpleasant. Eventually, Viola manages to escape the conversation of the other woman only when Chris says she feels sick and runs to the bathroom. But half an hour later, when Chris has yet to emerge, Viola checks up on the bathroom and finds Chris lying dead in the bathtub.

Going from suspect to suspect, Viola determines to solve this murder, but each direction she turns, she hits a dead end. She finds this especially surprising given how many people had reason to kill Chris. Time begins to run out as the killer begins to target the members of the bunco group, leaving the rest at risk.

This book was a fun listening experience, with an interesting plot and a creative narrator in Viola. I liked the directions the plot took and the angles of Viola's questions. Viola comes across as a round character with whom we sympathize and want to root for. The other characters do not have the same depth, which disappointed me, since MacLeod has done such a good job of depicting Viola. However, this is book four in the series, so it is possible that the previous books drew the other characters more vividly then and expected us to know them from before. But since this book is written for us to be able to read without having read the previous books, it should not rely on previous books if that is what it is doing.

I enjoyed the portrayals of Viola's historical romance writing career, which is successful enough that she makes more money than she did as an accountant. She uses her personal experiences to inspire her writing. For example, when Detective Bat threatens to arrest Viola for interfering in his police investigation, Viola sits down at her computer and writes about an evil sheriff in her Western whom she kills off in several fun ways. This style of writing, called pantsing (as in writing by the seat of their pants), is how many authors operate, so I had fun seeing a delightful example of this style at work.

One detail I appreciated about <strong>The Body in the Bathtub</strong> is that Viola talks about her struggles with her weight and finding clothing that can suit her figure. She talks about her one and only visit to the only local doctor, Dr. Voss, who blamed every health issue of Viola's, including the sniffles, for her being overweight. Cozy mysteries tend to be heavy on delectable-sounding desserts but with characters who have perfect figures. Cozy mysteries are difficult for those of us trying to lose weight! So I appreciated the fact that this book shows a more realistic portrayal of those of us surrounded (if only in books) by delectable sounding foods.

Yvette Keller performs this audiobook in a delightful manner. She does a good job of making the book believable and enjoyable. The voices she gives her characters and the inflections she uses bring this book to life. I really enjoyed the performance of this audiobook.

I am really glad I got the chance to listen to <strong>The Body in the Bathtub</strong>. I might not have done so had the author not offered me a copy to review, and I am so happy that she did because I really liked this book. In fact, I have already purchased book one, <em>The Corpse in the Cabana</em>, in the series. I give this book four stars.

<strong>Disclaimer:</strong> I was given this book for free by the author, but that had no influence on the content of my review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Fun story

I enjoyed this fun Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery. The main character, Viola Roberts, is quirky, determined, humorous and a little foolish at times, but you can not help but like her. Though she is a romance writer by trade, her first love seems to be solving murders. No one is safe from being drawn into her sleuthing plans and, in this story, it becomes a bone of contention between her and her boyfriend, and an ongoing source of irritation for Detective Bat. The narrator, Yvette Keller, fits the story perfectly. She has a smooth voice that brings out the sarcasm and humour in the story well and gives each character an individual voice. This whole series is humorous, engaging, easy to listen to and has a great cast of characters. Each story is individual and can be read as a stand-alone but you would gain more character depth from listening to them in order. I look forward to enjoying to the next audiobook in the series.

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

Another fun Viola Roberts mystery!

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

Yvette Keller does an excellent narration and performance of the book.

Any additional comments?

The Body in the Bathtub: A Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery is the 4th book in the series. The book stands alone, but you will gain more enjoyment of the characters if you listen or read some of the other Viola Roberts Mysteries.

It is bunco night and one of the guests becomes very ill. She later is found dead. What happened? Is it foul play?! Viola Roberts investigates, despite the unhappiness of the local police. She even brings her boyfriend to grill one of the suspects under the guise of a night out for them. He is not pleased. Viola makes enemies even among her friends. I enjoy this very quirky heroine and her antics. I thought I knew who did it but another surprise ending! Great series.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Just okay

This book was just okay. I did not enjoy the narration. I would not highly recommend to others.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful