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The Stiff in the Study

Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries, Book 2
Narrated by: Yvette Keller
Length: 4 hrs and 20 mins
4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

Regular price: $14.95

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Publisher's Summary

Viola Roberts is at it again! The sleepy seaside town of Astoria, Oregon is the last place you'd expect to find a dead body. That is until the director of the local museum turns up dead in the study and Viola's friend, Portia, is accused of the crime. Viola ignores her looming deadline and bout of writer's block and sets out with her best friend, Cheryl, to solve the murder. From starting riots at local dive bars to breaking into crime scenes, Viola will stop at nothing to prove Portia innocent even if it means putting herself in the cross-hairs of the killer.

©2016 Shéa MacLeod (P)2017 Shéa MacLeod

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

Murder, mystery and humor

I once again really enjoyed this humorous, cozy mystery in the Viola Roberts series. Viola would be such a fun friend to have but she does seem to manage to get herself (and her friend) involved in some dicey situations. This is a great murder mystery with twists, red herrings, hints of romance and lots of humor and wine. It has a great cast of characters and the narration on the audiobook is excellent, she really shows the humor in the story well. This is a fun read that will keep you guessing until the end.

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!

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

I have listened to some other books with Yvette Keller's narration and this one is just as good. She does a lovely job and brings personality to the characters.

Any additional comments?

This is the 2nd book in the Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries but it can stand alone. I found this story to be just as much fun as the first. Viola Roberts is a historic mystery writer whose friend is arrested for the murder of her lecherous boss. The bumbling police force cannot be trusted, so it is up to Viola to prove her friend is innocent. There are many interesting characters, some who are hilarious. I suspected a few of the characters, but I guessed wrong! I look forward to the rest of the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • 02-25-18

Narration Makes It

A little slow, but the narration made it worth a listen. I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Blast

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A Return to Scooby Type Mysteries

This book calls itself a cozy mystery. I call it a return to nostalgia. I was looking for a great dane throughout the book. An amateur detective with a group of friends gets stuck in the middle of a mystery. From the description of the main character I was seeing in my mind's eye "Velma Dinkley" the entire time.

The narrator's voice is soft and intellectual, and seemed almost as if this book was written for the voice itself. It reminded me of Velma Dinkley (Scooby Doo) or the voice they use for the Nancy Drew Video games of which my sister is a connoisseur. Thus my brain kept expecting a "Jinkies" (Velma) or an "I'm on the case!" (Nancy).

I'm hoping to get my hands on the next installment, if only to hear that voice again and go seeking for the words that my brain keeps crying out to hear. Also, there usually comes a point when amateur detectives are accepted (usually grudgingly) by the police. I want to see if or when or how long it takes with this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Fun and enjoyable

I wonder if Viola Roberts is taking applications for more friends because I want to apply! I do love a heroine that understands the importance of wine and food. She is also just a lot of fun to be around.

In this book, Viola is out to prove her BFF is innocent of murder. Her methodology is both ridiculously simple and ingenious – things that always work when trying to solve a crime in a small town because there are always secrets and someone always knows something; it’s just a matter of how you go about obtaining that information.

Viola’s detection methods at times hamper official police efforts but what’s a woman to do when they choose to treat her as an annoyance? And in my eyes, it’s Viola that seems to be doing the better job.

The mystery is ultimately solved in a believable manner. A couple of loose ends remain unresolved but nothing to hamper the credibility of the story.

Yvette Keller does a great job with the audio; Viola, her friends, the exasperated detective and other characters are narrated very well. I was engaged from the start all the way to the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Very Enjoyable

I received the audiobook in exchange for an honest review. Some spoilers.

I quite enjoyed this book. The characters were funny, and smart, and the author kept me guessing until the very end.

The main character, Viola, is a romance writer who gets caught up in a murder. Her friend is accused of the murder and Viola is determined to prove she had nothing to do with it. Add a cop who Viola does not think is doing his job correctly and mayhem and mystery ensue.

One thing that I noticed that was off about the plot line was the author missed wrapping up a few loose ends .... the black SUV (which the reader can assume was the murderer's, so not a real big problem; and the wine glasses. Viola followed up on the wine glasses as the basis of her investigation, but the police didn't seem to even make note of them, no comments regarding DNA or prints .... and maybe this was deliberate to keep the reader guessing, but I was expecting something to be made of the wine glasses beside the information Viola turned up. Ie. the police looking into the prints on the wine glasses. It just made it seem that the police were not looking for other suspects, when that could have been used as a hint that maybe Viola's friend wasn't the one in the study. (Even if a comment was made that the police knew the DNA didn't match but the wine glasses really didn't prove anything.)

However, I really enjoyed the book, I found it well done and humorous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Fee
  • Scotland
  • 05-20-19

The Stiff in the Study

The Story: 4 stars
Viola Roberts is back, and once again finds herself caught up with murder investigation - this time in the bid to clear her friend Portia's name.Viola always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when there are dead bodies concerned, and there is never a dull moment that is for sure. This was a great little clean cozy mystery that you can get lost in for a few hours. I loved how Lucas - Viola's sort-of love interest from book one is still on the scene and how he gets roped into the situations along with her BFF Cheryl.

I noticed though that there were a couple of loose ends that remain unresolved -the black SUV for one, and again there was a moment when Viola has spoken to Portia who said she wishes she had killed The Louse and later when Viola visits Portia in jail, they have the same conversation all over again as if it never happened the first time. Maybe this a quirk that Shéa MacLeod has, whilst it does't impact majorly on the story, it certainly is memorable to the reader/listener that we have a sense of déjà vu....

The Narration: 5 stars
I am so glad that Yvette Keller is back and narrating this book, she is just perfect for these characters. Again she brings them to life and injects the realness of the situations that Viola gets herself into with humor.

overall - 5 stars

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

The Stiff in the Study

Back again with another murder to solve! The Stiff in the Study is a cozy mystery set around a murder that takes place in the quaint little town of Astoria with not much else going on. Shea MacLeod will have readers ready to dive into another mystery with Viola Roberts and her friends; this time, Voila is not the suspect. You’d think that solving one mystery would be enough, but then again–maybe Viola has a knack for this type of thing.

Viola Roberts receives a phone call from a dear friend who is in a bit of trouble…okay, a lot of trouble. Portia stumbles into the office, thinking that someone accidentally left some lights on, and finds the dead body of her boss, August Nixon. Horrified by the sight, she immediately calls Viola for help. Viola knows that her friend couldn’t hurt a fly, but she also knows that the police won’t think twice before putting her name down on the list of suspects. Viola shows up right before the police do and then everything starts tale spins from there. Portia is arrested for her prints being on the murder weapon and Viola must race against time to find proof of her innocence…or rather just find the killer! She’s done it before right?! Shouldn’t be that hard…but may be more dangerous than she originally thought that it would be. When everyone who she interviews has a solid alibi, her and her friend Cheryl may find themselves in hot water before they even know what hit them.

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 second installment within The Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries, readers may want to read the first installment called The Corpse in the Cabana. This can be read as a standalone; however, the lives of the characters do continue to progress from one installment to the next.

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 Stiff in the Study by Shea MacLeod.

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

I LOVED IT

THE STIFF IN THE STUDY is the second book in the Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery series. Though each will stand alone, I highly recommend reading them all and in the order of release. There is mention of the previous case, but not in a way that you would need that information to solve this one.

I loved this cozy mystery. I loved the camaraderie of friendships. I loved the way the stories the characters were creating were woven through the story we were reading.

I loved that Viola’s main squeeze, Lucas Salvatore, is still on the scene and cares for her very much. Their relationship is slowly building and is sweet. Though she seems to have an eye that is attracted to the men in blue. Of course, she’s just looking and there’s nothing wrong with admiring beautiful art.

Again, I hope this book is early in Ms. MacLeod’s career. Your readers (listeners) remember when you’ve already mentioned something and then repeat it – or refute it. (view spoiler) It doesn’t destroy the mystery in this case, but it does give me, as a reader, that “hey, wait a minute” pause that takes me out of the story.

The only other point that tweaked me was the over-feminism. When the detectives arrived on scene for the murder and the first three to show up were all male the question was posed “aren’t there any female cops in Astoria?” In return, I ask, “does every team have to have a female (or a male, or a ____. )?” Get over your political correctness to the point of absurdity.

Bottom line. I love cozies. This series is beautifully written so far and I would love to continue reading them…. Oh look, I have another one! (I only wish I had them all) See you soon.

Narration: Yvette Keller continues to be an entertaining narrator. She will definitely be on my list of ‘must listen to what she’s reading’ narrators.

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


Title: THE STIFF IN THE STUDY
Series: Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery #2
Category /Genre: Cozy Mystery
Recommended for: 18+ due to sexual content
Listenability: OK for ears
Received from: Shéa MacLeod (as an Audible gifted copy)

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

I've come to love the Viola Roberts mysteries

I’ve come to love the hilarious adventures of Viola Roberts and her sidekick Cheryl. Listening to this audiobook reminded me of the Golden Girls, or Laverne and Shirley from the old days of television. They feed off one another, complement each other. Narrator Yvette Keller plays the part perfectly. Her voice characterizations are on the money and color each personality just enough draw you into the story.