The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card

Jarvis Mann Detective, Book 1
By: R. Weir
Narrated by: Joel Froomkin
Series: Jarvis Mann Detective, Book 1
Length: 1 hr and 26 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jarvis Mann is a private detective whose business thrived on the mundane - paying the bills by shadowing cheating spouses, getting in the middle of messy divorces, and working for the fat-cat insurance companies running down false claims.

On a winter’s Sunday afternoon, a young man graces his office steps. His words coaxing with the simple declaration of “please” convinces Jarvis to help find a valuable missing Ernie Banks rookie baseball card.

With a dry sense of humor, Jarvis tours the Denver neighborhood with the lad. Door to door, friend to friend, until a clue leads to a surprising discovery. 

A young man’s personal pain revealed. Witnessing a friend’s act of self-sacrifice. Both teenagers teaching Jarvis a life lesson that will shape him with new hope and resolve.

The audiobook also includes a preview of the first novel in the Jarvis Mann series: Tracking a Shadow.

©2014 Randy Weir (P)2019 Randy Weir

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

Quick Bit of Work For a Down on His Luck Detective

I'm always on the hunt for a new mystery series to love and happily spotted this prequel novella that introduces Jarvis Mann, the main character and a simple mystery to get a feel for this down at his heels contemporary detective and his world.

The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card takes place in Denver. Jarvis is the contemplative narrator of his own story in the style of old detective noir tales. Its the recession and business isn't exactly booming, okay its at a stand still at the moment which is why he accepts the case from a teenager to help him find his valuable collectible baseball card.

Jarvis has grown jaded since he sees mostly the sordid side of life as a detective and his own life is rather gray so helping this young man interview his friends and discover the complicated truth behind the theft gives him a payment he wasn't expecting- a renewal of purpose and enjoyment for what he does even if times are lean and people can be awful.

It was a short piece, but it was well developed if a tad cheesy at times. I liked Jarvis from the get-go and I do hope his temporary teenage sidekick, Dennis, appears in more of the books. Jarvis was so funny trying to get Dennis to laugh at his jokes while Dennis didn't even catch most of them.

The narrator, Joel Froomkin, was great as Jarvis and telling his story with that wry tone. I found his work easy on the ears when it was adult voices. As Dennis or his friends? That's the shaky part for me. It was a different voice than Jarvis' which was nice, but if I didn't already know, I wouldn't have guessed young African American guys. So, it took some getting used to. I'd try his narration work again and I do hope he continues to narrate Jarvis' stories.

In summary, it was a solid start and I look forward to more of the series. Mystery fans who like old-style detective novels or TV shows are the target I think.

1 person found this helpful

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Super fun and a great start to a series

I'd never read anything by this author in the past, but had the opportunity to pick this one up and it sounded intriguing so I thought I would give it a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it as a beginning or prequel of a series. It provided a great way to get to know the main character, Jarvis Mann, and some of his motivations in life.

Though it was brief you gain a great image of Jarvis in the way he thinks and the way he interacts with other characters. The mystery itself is pretty simple and more of a story of morality and doing what is right than a true mystery, but it was still super enjoyable and fun.

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Love Jarvis Mann, the voice is just not him!

Jarvis Mann is a fav PI for me. The “Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card” is a favorite story.
I had my vision of Jarvis, and this voice didn’t match. Just a personal thing as all interpretations
become in reading books.