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Publisher's Summary

Sarah Grayson is the happy proprietor of Second Chance, a charming shop in the oceanfront town of North Harbor, Maine. At the shop she sells used items that she has lovingly refurbished and repurposed. But her favorite pet project so far has been adopting a stray cat she names Elvis. The big black cat with a scar across his nose turned up at a local bar when the band was playing the King of Rock and Roll's music and hopped in Sarah's truck. Since then he's been her constant companion and the furry favorite of everyone who comes into the store.

But when Sarah's elderly friend, Maddie, is found with the body of a dead man in her garden, the kindly old lady becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Even Sarah's old high school flame, investigator Nick Elliot, seems convinced that Maddie was up to no good. So it's up to Sarah and Elvis to clear her friend's name and make sure that the real murderer doesn't get a second chance.

©2014 Darlene Ryan (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This tale is enjoyable from beginning to end." (RT Book Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    59
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    28
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    7
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    7

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Mainely Wonderful

I enjoyed this quietly satisfying mystery (and the next 3 books in this engaging series) for multiple reasons.

!. Location: small coastal town in the amazing state of Maine

2. Setting: a re-purpose/thrift shop where owner Sarah and her staff & friends repair,
recycle and resell unwanted items - good business and good for the planet.

3. Main character: Sarah is a strong, independent woman; not whining over past disappointments, not waiting for a man to make her happy.

4. An eclectic cast of supporting characters, mostly over the age of 30. (I chuckled when another reviewer suggested that "boring older people" should not be featured fiction).

5. PG rated: very little cursing, violence or sexual situations. I believe many recent novels are needlessly crude and degrading; all shock value but no substance.

6. Excellent narration and a unique feline pet. Even though I am a dog person, I like how Elvis has such a distinct, sometimes humorous personality.

I would highly recommend this book and the entire series to mature, discriminating readers.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • MaryAnn
  • Idaho Falls, ID, United States
  • 02-02-17

Really? The Whole cat and caboodle?

Readers, don't be frightened away by the cleverly punned title, which is almost too crazy. I wasn't going to try it but was desperate for something to listen to, so I tried the sample. Then, I bought the book. It's a good read (listen), well-written, nicely plotted, and with such fun characters that I went on to buy the other books in the series so that I could revisit them. I love the cat in the story. Thanks, Sofie Ryan, for an enjoyable listen.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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GIve it a chance

This was an entertaining story, good character development and with an intelligent twist. The narrator is what almost put me off. I was frustrated because the character voices were often indistinguishable and the narrator initially felt forced and a bit over-dramatic in the reading. I kept with it, though and it finally began to flow and my irritation with the narrator abated. As I listened I began to hear the nuances in the voices - I still could not independently recognize the differences in some of the character voices, but the narrator did a better job of reading the "said __" attributions so it began to develop its own rhythm and I was able to get past the irritations. I liked the writing style and character development enough that I am continuing on in the series - despite the narrator.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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A Fun Furry Cosy Mystery

For any cat loving cosy mystery reader this is a fun treat. Elvis the cat is an unexpected addition to Sara's life and he is a lot of fun.

Sara's business Second Chance has a lovely set of well drawn characters, and her senior had me cheering them on!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 01-24-16

Great Book

I enjoyed this book and I look forward to the next one. .

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Worth it!

Compared to other works in audible.com that are series in a similar format, this one took a bit more time to establish characters and the situation.

I believe it deepens the integrity of the storyline and background. Don't expect a big grab to start; but, give it a chance (you impatient ones like me) as it's beyond worth it.

I'm off to purchase the next in the series!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Love Elvis

Fun characters and good mystery. Love the older ladies and the community. Fun summer listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I'm in love with Elvis

Being a cat lover that I am I truly enjoyed this book. I fell in love with all the characters and can't wait for Sarah to realize she has not only one man but two who are interested in her. And the narration was purr..fect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Nobody talks like that!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Tough one. I like the author and enjoyed the story. However, the narrator repeatedly took me out of the story. NOBODY talks the way she narrated. It appears that she paused at every comma, even when it just (properly in written form!) separated the main clause from the person's name who is being addressed. We don't talk like that, and it was exasperating to hear! Where was the producer on this? When I listened to the sample for the second book, it sounded like it was speeded up. There wasn't any example of the type of weird emphasis above, so I don't know if that persisted or not. I'm leery of purchasing the second book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Whole Cat and Caboodle?

Unfortunately, it was a negative - the narrator often put the stress on the wrong parts of sentences to make sense of the story.

Would you be willing to try another one of Marguerite Gavin’s performances?

As above, I'm leery. I really like the author, so this is annoying. She really butchered the narration. Again, did the producer pay any attention?<br/>As a positive note, she did well in creating character voices.

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

Yes, if this narrator were not involved.

Any additional comments?

I'm sorry to be so negative, but my enjoyment was marred by the inappropriate narration. Why was this allowed? Audible may chose not to display this review. I almost hope you don't - but please do a better job of monitoring narration!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Terrible narrator!

I have read the kindle book once through and decided to get the audio book. I purchased the book without listening to the sample, BIG MISTAKE! The narrator's voice is pitchy, nasal and wobbly. The overall recording is also terrible, it has high points in the audio and then fades.
I have to say this is one of the worst audio recordings I've listened too. If you enjoy the author just stick to reading the actual book.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful