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The Corpse in the Cabana: A Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery

Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries, Book 1
Narrated by: Yvette Keller
Length: 4 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sassy, snarky Viola Roberts quit her boring accountant job to pursue her dream of writing novels, even if it meant eating ramen noodles every day. Now that her career has taken off, she's headed to a writers' conference at an exotic Florida resort complete with white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees, where she plans to lounge in the shade drinking frosty beverages with little umbrellas. And, of course, no sojourn to tropical climes would be complete without her boozy, wise-cracking best friend, Cheryl.

When Viola discovers the diva of the author world dead (as a doornail) of unnatural causes, the police immediately consider Viola their prime suspect. But when the head detective turns a gimlet eye on Viola's best friend, the author has had enough! Along with help from hunky fellow writer Lucas Salvatore, Viola is determined to ascertain who killed the corpse in the cabana before she or Cheryl winds up in jail. Or worse.

©2016 Shea MacLeod (P)2016 Shea MacLeod

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Great characters and an entertaining plot

This is a really enjoyable, fun, cozy murder mystery. Viola Roberts and her best friend Cheryl are both great characters; they are humorous, snarky and always seem to find themselves in the middle of trouble. When they decide to attend a writers conference in Florida, they manage to thrust themselves into the middle of a murder investigation, become suspects in the killing, and put their lives at risk. The plot keeps you guessing and there are even some hints of potential romance. The narrator did an excellent job of showing the humor and sarcasm, giving the characters individual voices and bringing the story to life. This is a well written and narrated murder mystery, that has a very entertaining plot and well developed characters. I will look forward to listening to more audiobooks in this series

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Nice short cozy

This is a nice short cozy suitable for when you need a quick read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Fun Cozy Mystery!

What does Yvette Keller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Yvette Keller's performance brings the characters to life, adding excitement and drama.

Any additional comments?

The Corpse in the Cabana: A Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery, is the first book in a great series! Viola Roberts is a historic romance writer attending a writer's convention and a murder takes place. She discovers the body and is prime suspect! You will have fun gathering clues and suspects along with Viola. The other characters are interesting. There are plot twists and turns galore. Don't miss this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Fun escapist mystery

Viola Roberts, author of historical Western romances, has gone to St. Perrysburg, Florida to attend The Novel Writers of America Conference in The Corpse in the Cabana by Shéa MacLeod. She and her best friend, Cheryl Delany another writer, enjoy the change of scenery from their home in Astoria, Oregon when the first night they spot the 50-something number one best selling romance writer in the country, Natasha Winters, dancing very sexually with Kyle, a young hotel employee half her age. Her divorce is not yet complete with her manager, Jason Winters, whom she caught having an affair with fellow romance writer, Piper Ross, both of whom she has blackballed from the publishing world. As Cheryl makes a snarky comment about Natasha's cougar- like behavior, the older woman hears and attacks Cheryl, leading to a major cat-fight that has to be broken up by Viola and Lucas Salvatore, the top thriller writer who has shown interest in one of the pair of best friends.

Later that night, as Viola trudges across the sand, passing the cabanas on the beach, she spots a body in one of the cabanas, and the person appears to be in distress. Going forward to examine the individual, Viola realizes that this is the dead body of Natasha Winters, and she has been stabbed. The detective in the case, Detective Costa, a.k.a. "Detective Hottie," finds Viola suspicious because she found the body and Cheryl because of the big fight she had with Natasha. Told not to leave the island until they get closer to a solution for the case, Viola determines to investigate for herself, along with the reluctant assistance of Cheryl and periodic assistance of Lucas.

The Corpse in the Cabana has an interesting premise, based on the cutthroat world of publishing, as each author tries to get on top of the next and bump the others from the position. We see most authors trying to put each other down in order to be the best. Natasha once told Viola that her readers were intrinsically dumb and just needed to just be spoon-fed her usual craft in order for her tu stay on top, something she would even sacrifice her mother to do.

Incidentally, this does not reflect my personal experience among the world of authors. I had previously imagined the world of authors to be like this, which is much like the world of academia as I experienced it, but as I got to know authors on Facebook, I discovered that most are very supportive of each other. They recognize that readers don't limit our books to only one author but read a wide variety of writers. Many seem to team up to promote each other's books and even hold writers groups to help each other's books improve in quality.

One detail I appreciated about this book is that Viola as the main character does not limit herself to the typical persons as the author as a fit, young character. Instead, Viola is in her early 40s and more like a donut than a celery stick. It is nice to see a real person instead of the images we often see in mystery books, especially given how many pastries people in these books consume.

I liked the audio narration of Yvette Keller. She adds life to the book and drama to the more intense situations. Her depictions of the book strongly help to make it more fun for the listener.

I had a very good time listening to The Corpse in the Cabana. The book has some vivid characters and fun scenes. I especially enjoyed the interaction between Viola and Cheryl and look forward to seeing their relationship expand in future books. I give this book five stars.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Yvette's voice is Viola personified

Yvette Keller's reading of the Corpse in the Cabana allows you to curl up with two hands around a tea cup as you listen to this cozy mystery. Viola comes to life as she and her gal pal get into and out of trouble And back into more trouble again. Each character is more fully formed and rich when combining Shea's words and Yvette's vocals.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Corpse in the Cabana

This was a very fun and enjoyable cozy mystery. The narrator, Yvette Keller, did an outstanding job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

The Corpse in the Cabana

Having an enemy that bests you in every way possible is downright annoying, but having an enemy who winds up dead–and you found the body–well that is just really poor timing. It seems a little too coincidental, but then again–if she is your enemy…chances are she’s found a lot of them down the road as well. The Corpse in the Cabana is a cozy mystery set around a murder that takes place at a writers’ conference. Shea MacLeod will have readers interested in the life and drama of a romance author in no time.

Viola Roberts has done well for herself after pursuing her lifelong dream of writing novels. She dabbled a bit in different types of romances, but set her sights on westerns and that is where the fan-base led her. After joining a girlfriend, and fellow romance writer, at the writers’ conference in Florida, she is not surprised to see the one and only, famed author of steamy romance novels–Natasha, AKA the diva of the author world. Natasha has made several enemies and it’s no surprise when she winds up face down in the cabana, but the police actually think that Viola is a suspect after finding the body. What wretched timing right?! With the heat on all of the writers at the conference who may have had a beef with Natasha, Viola takes it upon herself to find the killer–because she’s seen those police shows–they sometimes do convict the innocent ones and she is no fool to lying down and waiting for the detectives to find someone else. While she is on the lookout though, the real killer may be two steps ahead of her, landing Viola to find herself in some seriously dangerous predicaments that could get her killed too.

Shea MacLeod has a great story-line, filled with intriguing characters and a credible mystery plot. The writing appears to have been well done, but this review compliments the audiobook; therefore, the conclusion is taken from the narrator’s effortless and entertaining voice relay. This story is recommended to those who enjoy cozy mysteries and women’s fiction or chick lit. Since this is the first installment within The Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries, readers are able to jump right in.

A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to The Corpse in the Cabana by Shea MacLeod.

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

A FUN COZY

THE CORPSE IN THE CABANA is the first book in the Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery series. Each will be a stand-alone story featuring romance author Viola Roberts as she solves a murder mystery.

This was a fun cozy mystery, but the relevant “clue” was given several chapters before it became the a-ha clue to solve the mystery. That’s a no-no! Of course, when it was given the first time is when I did solve the crime.

There is great humor, especially if you are in the world of books, blogging, and reading. These are the people we know through social media – the introverts and drama queens. Plus, there was a romance element (or two) and a bit of ghost hunting!

I did look up the hotel purported the second most haunted site in Florida and it is actually the second one listed on the website, but it is a countdown of the seven most haunted sights, so that would make it number six. To me, fact checking is important. If you are writing about a real place, people will be from that area. I am from Central Florida and I am a paranormal junkie. I went to the website to find out what number one was, and instead was disappointed to find out the error in the story. Boo-hiss!

Perhaps this is early in the author’s career and she is learning how to build a cozy mystery. I have committed to reading (listening to) three from this series and, other then that one faux pas and the fact error, I quite enjoyed this story. I’ll be back next week with the next adventure with Viola Roberts.

Narration: Yvette Keller is quite a fun narrator. The good news is that she does read the next story!

Note: While I received this book as a gifted audiobook copy via Audiobookworm, my opinions are my own and are given freely.


Title: THE CORPSE IN THE CABANA
Series: Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery #1
Author: Shéa MacLeod
Narrator: Yvette Keller
Length: 4 hours 47 minutes
Audible Release Date: 08.29.2016
Publisher: Shéa MacLeod
Publish Date: 02.08.2016
Category /Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended for: 14+ (one swear word, adult concept – infidelity)
Listenability: OK for most ears
Received from: Shéa MacLeod (as an Audible gifted copy)

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

Viola sassy, sweet, take charge

What fun to be heading to a convention for work and find that you are involved in a mystery? How far will you go to get yourself out of trouble? Would you do the same for a friends? I loved Viola. She was fun, quirky, smart, almost clueless, except for when she was very on the money. The narrator Yvette Keller had the voice that made this cozy mystery just flow and jive with me. I am looking forward to the next one.

This was a quick, fun, light, sassy read/listen. Viola had a good friend, a job she loved, and three men (one she did know, one too young, one a stick in the mud).

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fee
  • Scotland
  • 04-23-19

Clean cozy mystery

I love a good cozy mystery, and this one really set the scene. Viola Roberts heads to Florida with her bestie Cheryl for the NWA conference. Only she ends embroiled in finding the killer of a fellow author Natasha Winters.

The story was a clean cozy mystery, with some funny moments and the audible was smooth and clear. The narrator really drew me in with the characters, and she flowed between them seamlessly.

The Story:
Viola Roberts and her BFF Cheryl Delney are in Florida attending a writing conference, where we met an host of other characters, mainly Natasha Winters (who ends up being the victim) and Lucas Salvatore, who becomes Viola's sort of love interest. When Viola discoverers Natasha dead, and comes to blows with the Lead Detective she sets about to clear her name with the help of Cheryl and Lucas.There are some comedic moments that make the characters more real and making it an entertaining read. This is a clean cozy mystery and if you love losing yourself in a who-dunit this is a good series to start. It was an enjoyable and entertaining read, though my only gripe was there was a major clue discovered a few chapters prior to it becoming the BIG clue it was intended to be, and that kinda confused me for a moment.

The Narration:
Yvette Keller was brilliant for this book! She really brought life to the book and actually made the characters real - full of all the emotions there were going through and one moment stands out when Viola was running up stairs Yvette even made the character out of breath in telling of it."I dashed down the open-air hall and took the stairs as fast as my legs would take me. By the third floor, I was out of breath. By the fourth floor, my legs were rubber. By the time I hit the fifth floor, there was a stitch in my side so bad I was nearly doubled over."Yvette brings the humour, banter, and mystery alive and I am glad that she is narrating other books in this series.The actual audio was smooth without any background noise or static and chapters flowed seamlessly. 

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Susi Moffat
  • 03-26-19

What’s with the ‘Big Revelation’?

I really enjoyed this audiobook but near the end there is a ‘big revelation’ which solves the murder, only thing is the revelation is mentioned so often I was sick of hearing about it before it suddenly solves the case. Other than that I loved it.