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Publisher's Summary

When Detective Douglas Jones' son goes missing under strange circumstances, everyone assumes he ran away. The first break in the case comes when a long-lost relative shows up with a new name and a strange tattoo on the palm of his left hand. His name is Tallow Jones. He is a private detective... and a wizard.

A wizard is needed too, because in Atlanta, strange abductions are just the tip of the iceberg.

Tallow Jones is an action-packed detective tale full of mystery, magic, and mayhem!

©2017 Trevor H. Cooley (P)2017 Trevor H. Cooley

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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

Loved it so f- darn much!

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an -->unbiased<-- review

First things first... I'm not in love with the cover art here, and while I know we aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, I usually start there. I'm so happy to share that this book was wonderful! Having read it, I also have a different take on the cover now FWIW :)

Now, let's talk about the narration. Andrew Tell. I have had zero previous experience listening to his work, but this book definitely made me a fan! I have looked into Andrew Tell's work and now have several more books in my wishlist. That is the highest praise I think I can give, really.

And that established, the same goes for one Trevor H. Cooley! I have added his entire Bowl of Souls series to my wishlist. I'm pretty sure I passed up on a couple during sales in the past, too, and I'm kicking myself.
Anyhow, this book starts off following Asher, the son of a Detective Douglas Jones, and brother to 8-year-old Aggie. This perspective is really for the prologue. The book takes up pretty quickly with Detective Jones as our primary focus. Tallow comes in soon enough. My first impressions were a bit reserved; I was interested in the goings on, but I was just listening the Dresden Files and I was wondering if this would be a clone. It's not! I love the darkness of Dresden at times, and I would say this never got so dark as that. Tallow book 1 does have its share of blood, so don't mistake me by thinking this book is about roses and butterflies. I found that, despite the darkness being a bit more shallow, it was done right and served the story well. The book has lots of dialogue, and some action, that drive the story on. It never felt forced or rushed. I never was jarred out of my "reading trance" by some weird detail or lack thereof. I thought things made sense and I was left with a sense of satisfaction while still wanting more. I though the characters balanced each well and were well-balanced themselves.
Oh, one more thing. Personally, I don't mind swearing or cursing at all, and even sometimes enjoy it. This book contains basically ZERO swearing or cursing. Even better, Trevor H. Cooley puts this in front of us in a way that I found clever. It even helps add a bit more depth to the character background.

I think sometimes I may be a "generous" reviewer, but I really believe that Tallow Jones book 1 earns its stars. The blend of excellent writing and narration was just what I wanted - and I want more.

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

I was hooked very quickly

I was listening to another book when I started this one, but had to finish it before going back to the first. There were a number of moments when I laughed out loud. My wife listened to it next and I kept having to ask what part she'd just listened to because of her reactions.

I had read the Bowl of Souls series first. She had not. We both enjoyed it for our own reasons.

And I just know Cooley has a family member who knits. No one else knows that pain. :D My wife is going to share this book with her knitting friends because of the references in it.

She actually clued in on somethings before I did. It's a good mystery with solvable parts. I am eager for the next book!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Move over Potter and Dresden, we've a real wizard

. . .with Tallow Jones.

What a fun adventure this was to listen to. This comes into play in the era where everyone has a wizard detective running around in a series. This is one Urban Fantasy that has a wholly different feel to it than all the others. It really has an urban feel to it, and is rooted pretty firmly in the real world. When you read Dresden you get an overload of magical creatures and beings making the world less and less real. Here though, there are magical creatures and spells, but the monsters show up with much less frequency, but are all the more terrifying for it when they do pop up. The Basilisk, for example, is creepy as all get out, and is not a monster you will soon forget. Tallow is interesting enough that you won't mind when he isn't casting spells.

Cooley creates an interesting cast, from Tallow's nephew and his kids, to the people his nephew works with on the police force. Every character has depth and an emotional validity that is hard to find in the written word. You really care about these people. He also does a masterful job of constructing a mystery, and breaking it down in the proper stages. Most times you know what is going on long before the characters ever do, but here the mystery unfolds in front of you, and you learn everything as the story moves ahead. You do not see the overarching scope of what is happening until it is upon you. Except for Mr. Niceman, I knew he was a jerk the moment he walked on stage.

I was not awed by Andrew Tell's narration. Don't get me wrong, be does a fine job. He has a pleasant voice and has incredible pronunciation powers, but his voices all tend to blend. You more or less get a rhythm for who is talking instead of recognizing a different voice for each person. That is to say, they are not distinctive. His male and female voices vary just enough in pitch to recognize a gender change, but that is about as dep as it goes. As I say, he did good work, just not outstanding, but I will happily listen to another few dozen books about Tallow with him as the narrator.

My only real complaint is the cover of the book. It literally does nothing to draw you in. It tells you nothing about the story, and makes Tallow look like a smug pompous pric . . .um, jerk. Seriously, if the cover didn't say Wizard Detective you would have no idea of what the book was about. The smoky cane doesn't even make sense from the story. I really wish Cooley had gone another direction with the art. This is what draws a reader in, not the title, not the blurb. The cover has to catch your eye. Plus, it looks like the cover of a book from the 70's. I don't add or subtract points for covers, so this did not affect my rating, but I hope Cooley reads this and understands that his sales may not hit a happy point just because of the cover of his book.

As it stands, this is an amazing first book. I sincerely hope that we get to see more of Tallow Jones in the future. The best part of this book is the extreme characterizations that he instills in his people. They are real, believable, living folks who just happen to exist in print form. I cannot tell you how fun this book was; it was refreshing, engaging, humorous, and exciting. Get in on the ground floor of a great new series and character.

If this review was beneficial then please do me a favor and hit the HELPFUL button below. Thanks!!!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

On the edge of mystery and magic

Omg I loved this book! I don't want to give away the story so forgive my vagueness. Cooley creates a full fleshed world of magic within a modern day detective case. I've spent every free minute pouring through the book. The details he provides to the world are only second to how alive and relatable he makes his characters. Can't wait to see more Tallow Jones.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Fun And Action-Packed

Wow, I just love a story that hooks me from the very beginning. Doug's son is missing and in the course of his investigation, things get really strange. Being attacked by creatures that shouldn't exist, creepy bad guys and a mysterious uncle that's really a wizard? What has he gotten himself into?

If you enjoy stories with magic, fantastical creatures and non-stop action, you'll love this! I loved how two worlds, one real and one fantasy, were brought together in this entertaining tale. I also appreciated the humor. The major plot twist was one that completely blindsided me, which doesn't happen that often. This promises to be a great series. The narration was very well done and I could easily visualize the story. My only criticism was that I wasn't crazy about the cover. I really enjoyed this and would recommend it.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This review is my honest opinion.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Captivating and suspenseful

This is a wonderful twist in combining other world fantasy in a real world setting. I love how Trevor Cooley's great story comes to life through the voice talent of Andrew Tell. It is so enjoyable to be able to visualize the story as I listen to it. Trevor Cooley's talent for describing a scene with great detail is well suited for the audible format. I'm also grateful that there are no concerns about vulgarity or explicit language so that I may listen to it with all my family members age 10 +/- and up. I am really looking forward to the next installment of the Tallow Jones series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

awesome!!

I loved it! Trevor H. Cooley has created a new subgenre with this one like his western fantasy noose jumpers. Tallow Jones is the first and only detective mystery fantasy I know of and he did not disappoint. great read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Excellent work

If you enjoyed the bowl of souls you will love this book. Great story, excellent narration, can't wait for the next one!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TU
  • 01-17-18

Fantastic book!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

As with a lot of people, this book hooked me from the very beginning. It made me laugh out loud and I enjoyed it very much. It was well narrated and the characters were engaging and well developed. The world building was also done well. I am most definitely interested in the next book in this series. In fact, I'm seriously considering looking into the other books by Trevor Cooley.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

I enjoyed this listen.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - This is a fun story featuring an uncommon (which is to say Elderly) protagonist with a number of pleasant twists throughout the story. Most importantly it holds my attention from start to finish. I liked the details given about the supernatural world (colors for different types of magic, reasons why creatures from other worlds are now interested in earth, interesting creatures and reinvented folk lore,etc.).

I like that not all the details are spilled at once, and one scene opens up a little more information that leads logically to the next. The pacing is good aside from the very beginning because it starts a little slow, but if you stick with it you won't be sorry. Once Tallow is actually in the story and they are going to crime scenes, you'll be hooked.

I would gladly listen to the sequel.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tallow is the character we are closest to since he's the main protagonist. I like that he has some old man quirks such as an old car with a bench seat with a funny smell, etc.

I also liked the Goth Girl babysitter and the pet rock elemental was brilliant. I enjoyed the scenes where he was included. The latter two characters helped make scenes with my least favorite character (Agatha) better..

Have you listened to any of Andrew Tell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first time listening to this narrator, but he did a good job and I'd gladly listen to more novels read by him. He brought all the characters to life, and I don't have any complaints about his performance.

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

One sitting is a bit demanding for a book of this length, however I did listen to the whole thing in just a couple days while I worked and exercised. It's a book that I actively looked forward to listening to.

Any additional comments?

The only thing I didn't like is the character Agatha.

If you are annoyed by child characters that don't talk or act like children, she may ruin the listen for you. She's supposed to be 8 and says things like -- So you're just using me to manipulate a broken old man who just lost his daughter.... What kind of 8 year old says that? She's not spooked by being a first hand witness to a murder scene with bloody hand prints all over the refrigerator/wall, etc. The whole "Whatever, it's just blood." attitude seemed inauthentic, as did a child doubting magic when she can see a guy pulling fireballs out of thin air right in front of her. Everything about her rubbed me the wrong way from the way she talked, and how she always tried to correct everyone in the room.

If not for this character, I'd be giving this book a solid 4.5 stars, but it's hard to go over 4 when there's a character that makes you want to skip to the next chapter every time she enters the story.

If you're not bothered by characters like this, or only slightly bothered by them, this book will prove a good listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful