• The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts

  • By: Shelton L. Williams
  • Narrated by: Dave Clark
  • Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts is a Covey Jencks mystery. Covey and JayJay travel to China and then return home to deal with shady characters, spies, gangsters, and other tough customers. In an exciting last act, they solve a murder most foul.

©2020 Shelton L. Williams (P)2021 Shelton L. Williams

What listeners say about The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts

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

Yes! Covey and JayJay are Back.

Yes! Yes! Covey and JayJay are back. And I am so thankful for their return is this killer third book by Shelton Williams.

Covey Jencks and JayJay’s adventures continue in The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts. Immersive from the beginning page, Williams takes readers in this third book on a winding ride that never stops from China to West Texas. From a current murder of an oilman to a historical story about a teenage girl getting killed decades earlier the story is fantabulous. What I have always liked about Shelton’s writing is his talent for including authentic historical perspectives.

The narrator, Dave Clark, nailed The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts narration with his somber voice that relates the story quite well even during the character changes. Clark brought the characters and story to life with perfection. His vocal distinctions were seamless among all the characters. His pacing was impeccable. Overall, the sound quality was superb. Clark’s voice made my work traveling miles quite enjoyable.

Covey and JayJay’s stories always surround a mystery with a murder or two that they try ending up solving. Covey continues with his role as a lawyer who has been hired by an oilman who has a deep dark secret to oversee a contract deal with China.

William’s writing is immensely improved in telling the third story of Covey and JayJay. While this story could be a stand-alone book, the story is so much better having read the other two books in this series. I highly recommend this mystery series by Shelton. Maybe you’ll fall in love with the main characters like I did.

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining, fast-paced, and fun mystery

A murder, a possible ghost, and a side of espionage in a compact fast read! The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts is an entertaining, fast-paced, and fun mystery for any reader.

Mr. Williams's writing is visually descriptive and delightfully entertaining. From descriptions of locations as varied as Taipei, Beijing, and Notrees, Texas, I had a real sense of where Covey visited in this novel. In addition to solving the titular murder of Edward Watts, JayJay takes us on a side journey involving the death of a teenage girl, decades earlier, which still resonates with local high school students.

The audio narration by Dave Clark was impressive. The narration is both engaging and enjoyable to listen to. As Covey's voice in the story, Mr. Clark shines. The Texas accents are splendid (at least for this non-Texan!). The voices of the other characters are also distinct. Especially that of Randal "Randy" Jordan, tour guide, pilot, and VERY LARGE personality. I was also thrilled that Mr. Clark did well narrating the female characters, like JayJay and Maggie. I often struggle with male narrators' attempts at female characters, but not in this case. I haven't listened to books narrated by Mr. Clark previously, but I will certainly be exploring other books he's narrated. The production quality of the audio book was excellent; it is clear and accessible listening to the novel. Mysteries (unlike romances!) lend themselves well to audiobooks. Granted, you can't go back and re-read passages looking for clues, but you can always rewind!

Humor and mystery are great genre descriptors of The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts. They sum up my feelings perfectly! Many scenes had me giggling while I was listening in the car. Two that really stand out are a scene where Covey is being compared to Joey Callo or Joey Gallo from My Cousin Vinny! Now I'm picturing Covey as Joe Pesci. (And the grits!) The second scene involved Randy Jordan and some iconic Hitchcock aerobatics. I'll leave you to read that one on your own!

All the characters in Mr. Williams's novel are fully developed and well-written. We learn more about Covey's life before meeting JayJay. The secondary characters, like Maggie and the Chinese delegation are also fully formed. Here's an example of a description of from the first time we meet Randy Jordan out on the oil field:
"Randy had zinc oxide slathered on his nose for protection from the sun, and he was wearing cowboy boots of the raggedy-ass variety. They were old and dull brown, or was that caked-on mud? That's not what we noticed first though. Above the boots were his thick, brownish, hairy legs. He had no pants on. No, he was not naked; he was wearing blue, torn running shorts."
COME ON! That whole passage had me busting out laughing! From the precise description, I can clearly picture good ol' Randy as he interacts with the Chinese diplomats he's escorting. I don't know that I'd want to hang out with Randy, but he's certainly memorable.

And do remember, dear reader, this book is set in 1998. Not 2021. There are some hilarious callbacks to Covey and JayJay learning how to text on their phones. Have you even thought about what it was like BEFORE you texted or interneted on your phone? Let me tell you, I have not!

While The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts is the third in the Covey Jencks series, I do think you could read it without having read the others in the series. The characters are introduced enough to follow along with the plot. And the mysteries involved are separate from the other stories, with a few call backs where necessary. But you should certainly check out the first two in the series. They are just as great as this one! (Read my reviews of Book #1 here and Book #2 here.)

5 Stars for both the novel and the audio narration!

1 person found this helpful

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Incredibly entertaining return to Covey and JayJay

Returning to a new story with Covey and JayJay was incredibly entertaining and like we’d never had time apart! The author’s expertise in International Studies shines throughout the story as readers will learn so much about Chinese culture, the proud swagger of Texas values, and the intermingling of both as business within the oil industry brings them all together.

Though this is the third book in the series, there is absolutely no reason to think that you will be missing out. Each book is a well-crafted standalone. The author continues to create a richly drawn cast of characters that truly comes to life off the page, and for me by now, they are like old familiar friends. Whether you end up liking them or not, each character is so well developed that individual personalities and idiosyncrasies shine through.

Alternating chapters and perspectives give readers insight into both Covey and JayJay’s frames of mind, while adding many layers to the evolving mystery surrounding multiple murders. I am such a fan of the snarky humor that prevails throughout the story and the author does such a fantastic job of conveying the attitudes and self-assurance of a Native Texan that anyone who knows one will completely understand!

Between globalization, energy technology, espionage, human trafficking, and honey pots, there is a lot working to twist this murder mystery into a compelling and engaging read that also examines social and political cultures and conflicts across geographical areas.

In terms of the audio book experience, a new narrator has taken the reins and dramatically increased the overall performance. Covey comes to life through the narrator’s drawl, while also perfectly capturing the nuance of speaking Texan. The addition of various inflections and tone to represent each character helps to make them unique as well as adding the needed emotion to the more intense scenes. I would have loved the female narrator from the previous book to reprise her role as JayJay for a cast production; however, you can’t please everyone! The sound quality is amazing. I was also able to listen at almost double the speed without it sounding frenetic, making this an even faster read for its already short length. I was also given an eBook of the text and had no trouble following along or finding my place as I jumped between formats. Whichever you choose you can’t go wrong; however, I can honestly say that this was perhaps the first audiobook I have listened to where the listening experience truly added to the depth and richness of the written text. Kudos to the narrator because he absolutely nailed it!

Overall, fans of layered mysteries that feature and develop off of meaningful connections from start to finish will absolutely love getting lost within the pages of this story. There is never a dull moment when you’re with Covey and JayJay!

1 person found this helpful

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Best narration yet in this fun series

YES! Narrator Dave Clark NAILED it -- his is my favorite of the audio narrations yet for this series. His drawl is the perfect complement to the fabulously Texas story. This one was less of the Covey/JayJay relationship and more of the mysteries. Mysteries! Plural! It starts with one, and they then multiply with rapidity like West Texas jackrabbits. What a great listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Dave Clark rocks!

Thanks, Dave for bringing this book alive. Sorry for the typos in the book summary. Here's a better version. This is the story you tell.

"The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts" is a Covey Jencks mystery. Covey and JayJay travel to China and then return home to deal with shady characters, spies, gangsters, and other tough customers. In an exciting last act, they solve a murder most foul.