Tori Van Camp wakes one morning on a luxurious ocean liner where she's offered whatever a person might desire: food, clothes, recreation, and the companionship of congenial people. But Tori has no memory of booking a cruise. What she does have is a vivid recollection of being shot point blank in the chest.
With the help of the stunningly handsome Mike and the unnervingly serene Nancy, Tori soon learns the purpose of her voyage. Still, she's haunted by the image of the gun, the crack of the shot, and the malevolent face of the shooter.
Who wanted the young personal secretary dead, and why? Determined to find out, Tori enlists the help of Seamus, an eccentric but shrewd detective. Together they leave the Afterlife and embark on an investigation unlike anything Tori ever thought possible. Death is all around, the future is uncertain, and if Tori doesn't act quickly, two people she cares about in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are prime candidates for murder.
As a preface, I have read quite a few different "haunted cozy mysteries" with ghosts solving their deaths, such as Inspector Specter, If Walls Could Talk, & If You Got It Haunt It. It's a fun mix of two different genres and it can be really entertaining & fun when done right. With that being said..
The general plot of this is a good story, and I felt like it had great promise. However, it fell short because of how the story was composed. In the beginning of the book you alternate chapters going between Tori's world (the murder victim) in the afterlife & Madison's cop life as he works to solve her murder. This was ok in the beginning, but ended up making the book feel choppy. You never get to follow a consistent story, but rather two which halts on & off. At one point the book even rotates in a third story line from the perspective of Carmen. This switching of plot lines continues throughout & I was not a fan.
Finally, about halfway through the book some of these plot lines intersect, but it's done in such a convoluted way that it simply gets more confusing. I don't want to give away anything, but you have Madison & his partner who is now possessed by the soul of Tori trying to find answers. Too much.
This book really lost me when the ghosts went to earth and took over human "hosts" ... It was a little too sci-fi & a lot of story time was taken up describing how it works to take over a host body etc. It would have been better if they just stayed ghosts or got temporary human bodies of some sort. But I don't love the host idea. It's strange & hard to follow.
Overall the story line had great promise in the beginning but stumbled in presentation from a readers perspective. This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This book is the first in the Dead Detective series and it is fantastic. The characters are rich and interesting, the concept and story unpredictable like in Herring's other books. This was my second book in the series, and I found that each one is a stand-alone excellent book, unlike some series that do not make sense when out of order.
The only problem I have with this series is that I spend too much time listening in my car in the driveway of my home, so engrossed in the story that I cannot leave.... If I could give higher than a 5 star I would. I wish that they would make a TV series out of the Dead Detective Series.( I just hope that if they ever did they would resist the temptation to cast Shamus as eye candy rather than the incredibly interesting, deep, elderly character he is.) This book makes me wonder even more about Shamus' past....
The Narrator really plays Shamus brilliantly too. The character interplay is excellent. There are times when many characters are interacting and it was all very clear and well acted out. I was given this book for free as a gift in exchange for a fair and unbiased review which I have gladly given here.
This was an enjoyable read with an interesting premise: a dead detective investigates cases of the recently deceased who believe they were murdered. I liked the descriptions of the characters and thought they were easy to relate to. I enjoy mysteries, and this book held up well. I listened to the Audible audio version of this book narrated by JoBe Cerny. I enjoyed his narration and thought he did a good job with pacing and cadence. His female voices did NOT annoy me (several other male narrators give females a whiny voice that is hard to stomach). I didn't find a huge differentiation between characters (male, especially), and sometimes if I had to give my attention elsewhere for a second, I couldn't always tell which character was speaking. Despite that, it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the narration. Overall, if you are interested in a different take on the detective mystery, you should check this out. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
This book captivated me from the very beginning! I was intrigued by the complex story line and the constant back and forth between characters and places. Definitely held my attention and kept me interested until the very end. Like most good murder mysteries, I needed to find out who did it and why. I was committed and enjoyed it so much that I will listen to it again! Also, Jobe Cerny does a phenomenal job narrating and successfully executes the arduous task of character development throughout the book.
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
I can honestly say that this book was like no other I have ever read/listened too. That's not to mean it was a bad book, just totally different from what I am used to. The narration was okay, nothing spectacular as was the storyline. If I had not had this for review, I am not sure that I would have finished it.
I was gifted this book with the understanding that I would give an honest review. So here goes. I both liked and found this book over the top at the same time. It is unlike anything I normally read which is not a bad thing just hard to get used to. I love murder mysteries but I have not ever read or even thought about the main character being the victim and the investigator. I would say you need to read this book and make your own decision on if you like it or not.
This was a good read I like the after books after life being on a cruise ship. I also like the fact that Tory didn't give up on looking for her killer plus she had help. The narrator did a good job .
I found this book to be not as good as I had hopes for. I really wanted more mystery and more ghosts. To me the Dead detective agency meant ghosts. The story was not as exciting as I thought it would be. I was really hoping for me than what this book gave me. It didn't keep me interested and I had to struggle through it. "This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
It would not be my first choice for a paranormal or mystery. I found the story and performance just OK.
If you’ve listened to books by Peg Herring before, how does this one compare?
I haven't, this is the first Peg Herring book, audio or print, for me.
What aspect of JoBe Cerny’s performance would you have changed?
I know there are a lot of voices, especially male, so it was challenging, but I would have liked more definition between them. Carmen's Latin accent seemed a bit Irish at times as well.
This may not be due to the narrator, but at times it sounded quite choppy with short pauses between words in the same sentence.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
It would depend on the reviews.
Any additional comments?
My headline for the review states I find the title misleading. While there is a dead detective, Seamus, he doesn't have an agency nor does he play a substantial role in the story.
What I found interesting was the variety of paths this story takes. First it's Tori and how she finds the afterlife. A cruise ship limbo was a nice touch. As a frequent cruise I can see it working. Then we follow Seamus and Tory on the trail to find out what happened to her. Then it switches more towards the two live police detectives and then we also get to follow two of the other characters. The non-dead characters had the more interesting story lines, especially the police detectives.
The story seemed to stretch on a bit too long for the content and I never really cared about the characters perhaps because they weren't developed enough and the principal action being divided among 6 or more characters.
While I have a kindle copy I purchased, the audiobook I reviewed was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.
I enjoyed this book and performance very much I was given this exchange for an honest review. I will definitely be checking out more of pegs work and I look forward to reading more in the series if there are any.