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The Space Invader

A Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mystery, Book 7
Narrated by: Michelle Babb
Length: 4 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A cozy/thriller mystery!

The starry skies over New Mexico, the "Land of Enchantment", may hold secrets of their own. The Shoemakers and the Ferraros, on an extended camping trip, find themselves picking up a souvenir they don't want and taking sidetrips they didn't plan on.

©2016 Karen Musser Nortman (P)2019 Karen Musser Nortman

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

Perfect mix of humor and tension

Badger, a dangerous and violent convict, who is being transported to a high-security prison, escapes and seeks refuge in the Shoemakers’ trailer without them knowing while they are on their way to a camping ground close to Rosswell. Desperation makes Badger act recklessly, putting the campers in danger.

This is not a whodunit like other books in the series. We know who is the culprit in this story, but the intrigue is even greater, as our friends are in terrible danger and Badger has little to lose in his escape. There was a twist and an unexpected series of events that were hilarious and terrifying at the same time.

The book had the perfect mix of humor and tension, to make this a pleasant listen. Its length made it ideal to be enjoyed from beginning to end on a rainy Sunday.

Michelle Babb did the story justice, with a natural and casual narration style while at the same time delivering very expressive narrations. It was like listening to real people. Babb does always a great job in voicing characters and giving each of them a distinctive voice and style while being also subtle. She is also great at doing different male voices, which is not something that we often see.

All in all, a very enjoyable listen, entertaining and quickly satisfying. Looking forward to the next in the series.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Jenny's review

Another fun book by Karen Musser Nortman about the Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mystery series.
In this story The Shoemakers and the Ferraros are at it again when they travel to New Mexico and pick up an unwanted stowaway whom does not have any good intentions. While at there campsite the escapee causes havoc by killing one hiker and injuring another. Then to top it off the escapee kidnaps the Ferraros and then they get captured by a cult. Can the Shoemakers find their friends in time and finally maybe enjoy their trip minus all their unwanted excitement without any real aliens?

I listened to the audible version of this great book and in exchange I received this book free for my honest review .

Michelle Babb is the awesome narrator for this story and I have to admit is my favorite because she has an amazing way of making all the characters come to life with individual personalities along with different tones and accents. I’ve tried listening to other stories in the series that were read by someone else and it doesn’t even seem like the same story or the same characters

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Fast Moving, Suspenseful, Enjoyable

I truly enjoyed Karen Musser Nortman’s The Space Invader (The Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries, Book 7). The title is a clever wink of the eye to the book’s location near Roswell, New Mexico, but the “space invader” is not a little green man but an escaped and opportunistic prisoner who stows away in the Shoemaker’s camper. Though their stowaway doesn’t remain in their camper long, Baxter “Badger” Bagley wreaks havoc wherever he goes and puts two of the main characters in true peril. Badger has no conscience and has no problems killing to get what he wants. Though Frannie Shoemaker is the “main character,” the series basically features two related couples as the central figures, Larry and Frannie Shoemaker and Larry’s sister Jane Ann and her husband Mickey Ferraro.  The two couples are both retired and frequently camp together. I love that the four are active, vibrant and intelligent, even though they are of a “certain age.” The book is highlighted with bouts of humorous banter and observations, but it has a serious plot line which finds not only two of the main characters in danger, but others as well. Badger is truly dangerous and stops at nothing in his efforts to escape the police. The book’s tension is further ramped up by a chance encounter with an off-the-grid extremist group with a paranoid, anti-government leader. The danger is real.

Michelle Babb does a great job of narrating the book and her narration adds much to the tension and atmosphere in the book. I had previously read this book in print form and found I enjoyed it so much more with Ms Babb’s narration. 

I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it, especially for fans of the series or those who enjoy mysteries. I also think campers and those of a certain age would especially appreciate it. This particular entry in the series could probably be labeled more suspense than mystery. The book is short but that does not detract from it. 

I was given a free copy of the book by the narrator in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write an honest review and the opinions stated are solely my own. 

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Frannie & the crew are back!

I love this series, and it’s because Frannie and the crew are so spunky and entertaining. They are perfectly narrated and brought to life by Michelle Babb.
What made this installment unique was that we got to hear from the first hand perspective of the criminal too. The chapters switched perspectives between Frannie & the crew and the escaped convict who wreaks havoc. It was an interesting twist, and I was on the edge of my seat towards the end!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Light, enjoyable cozy mystery

Larry and Frannie Shoemaker, Larry's sister Jane Ann Ferraro and her husband Mickey, are out traveling in their campers again, this time to New Mexico. Having stopped briefly for gas and snacks on the last day before arriving at the campground near Roswell, they acquire a hitchhiker they're unaware of, in the cubby where some of their supplies are stashed. When they arrive, they park and hook up their campers, and, completely exhausted, collapse immediately into their beds, and sleep.

When they awake, their hitchhiker is already gone, and they head out sightseeing. In a happy change of pace from their previous adventures, this time they don't find a body.

Someone else finds a body.

Initially thought to be the body of an escaped convict, it's soon identified as the body of a hiker who had been staying in the same campground. The Ferraros and the Shoemakers had seen him leaving the campground for the day before they did. But he's wearing part of Larry's rainsuit, and was hit with what might have been the missing crossbar from the Shoemakers' grill, both of which were stored in the cubby, and are now missing.

Not finding the body themselves this time isn't going to make things any easier for the friends.

This is, as always, a light, enjoyable cozy mystery, enlivened this time by the escaped convict and a UFO cult somewhat similar to the Heaven's Gate cult founded in the 1970s, which blew up spectacularly in the late 1990s. When Jane Ann and Mickey are kidnapped along with their bright red camper, Larry and Frannie have to keep that from Larry and Jane Ann's mother as long as possible--while she's hoping to talk to Jane Ann to tell her an old school friend is back in their hometown.

It's fun to catch up with the old friends again, and as always they meet some likable and interesting people, as well.

Fun and enjoyable. As always, Michelle Babb is an excellent narrator.

Recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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Kept me on the edge of my seat

The Shoemakers and Ferraros are on an extended camping trip from Texas to New Mexico. On their way to a campground in Roswell, the friends make a stop for fuel only to pick up a stowaway. The stowaway is an escaped murderer who sees the Shoemakers’ camper as a perfect way to get far away from the police. Once at the campground the group of friends becomes more than just bystanders as they are pulled into the chaos. Can Frannie and her friends make it out of the adventure alive this time?

This book is a little different than the previous books in the series. In the book, the Shoemakers and Ferraros are more personally affected by this adventure than in the past books. Having said that, this is probably my favorite book in the series so far. The plot moves at a quick pace and I could not find out what happens next fast enough. I was on the edge of my seat and recommend this book as the series.

I was lucky enough to listen to the audio version of this book. Michelle Babb the narrator is wonderful. She brings this story to life, with her awesome accents and tone of voice. She gives every character their personality so you never have trouble knowing which character is speaking at a time. She adds the experience of reading this book.

I received a copy of this book at my request, and I have voluntarily left this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and in no way have been influenced.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Cozy mystery at it's best!

I listened to the audio version of this book. I love these cozy mysteries by Karen Musser Nortman. The character of Frannie is someone I'd like to hang out with. As she goes RVing and camping with her husband and his sister and her husband, there is always a murder or two that needs solving.
This book seemed a little different to me. It was more involved and Frannie's little group was more of the victim in this story than bystanders, making it seem a little more personal. There is an escaped convict involved and a strange cult-like group.
This was such an enjoyable story to listen to. Michelle Babb's pacing was great, as always. Her voice is perfect for this type of book.
I was given a complimentary copy of this audiobook. All thoughts are my own.

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Another fun cozy mystery with Frannie Shoemaker

I love these Frannie Shoemaker books by Karen Musser Nortman. They almost make me want to go camping. With Frannie at the next campsite, I'm sure there would never be a dull moment. Once again Frannie, her husband and her sis- and brother-in-law are embroiled in a murder investigation. All kinds of surprises and danger await the gang and the author does a great job of keeping the reader's interest. The Space Invader is another fun book that readers who love solving cozy mysteries won't want to miss. The narrator, Michelle Babb, does a nice job of giving characters their unique voice, making for an enjoyable listening experience. I listened to a complimentary copy of the audiobook and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not a favorite of mine

I'm not really into UFOs and cults but other than that this was a good book. I love following this narrator. This is a really great series and should be started at book 1. I was given a copy of this audio book and I voluntarily leave this review.

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Aliens From Somewhere

The Space Invader
(Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries #7)
by Karen Musser Nortman

Frannie and Larry Shoemaker are traveling with his sister Jane Ann and her husband Mickey in New Mexico. n escaped murderer stows away in the cargo hold of the Shoemakers camping trailer. When they got to their camping spot they hit the bed. The convict finds a way past and takes off. A young man is killed and an older woman is attacked. A while later Jane Ann and Mickey are taken hostage and their motor home stolen. The Shoemakers go on the hunt along with law enforcement. The adventure takes twists and strange people are meet. This is a bit more serious than most of the books in the series. An entertaining listen.




The narration was well done. The characters were well portrayed. Michelle Babb is Frannie Shoemaker and voices the others as well. Very good job.



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