Author: Stella St. Claire
Narrator: Machelle Williams
Length: 5 hours and 6 minutes
Series: Happy Tails Dog Walking Mysteries, Book 1
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Released: Jan. 4, 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Some people would kill for coffee….
Olivia Rickard would kill to keep everything just the way it is. She’s got a gorgeous boyfriend who loves her, a supportive sister to lean on, and a dog walking business that’s briskly barking away. But just as she’s getting comfortable, her sister suddenly wants to buy an entire brownstone with her, and her boyfriend looks like he’s going to pop the question at every opportunity. Changing the status quo has always been disastrous for Olivia, and now everything is changing at once….
What Olivia needs is a distraction, and she’s found one in stumbling upon Yvette Dunn dead in her coffee food truck – drowned in a vat of fresh coffee. Olivia starts out as an unlucky bystander to the crime, but she’s forced to dig in deeper when it looks like her sister could be involved in Yvette’s death.
Olivia is running out of time in regards to the mystery, the mortgage, and the marriage. She’s going to have to solve all three problems – and quick – or face a future most foul.
Stella lives and breathes cozy mysteries! With her head always buried inside these books, it’s no wonder that she would put pen to paper to bring her own cozy mysteries to life. The words flew onto the page, and she’s already teeming with ideas for the next cozy mystery series.
With her trusted canine by her side, it seemed only natural to be inspired by her beautiful beagle Doogle and the many hours they spent walking through scenic New England villages. When Stella’s not reading books, she’s off on road trips, exploring every nook and cranny in neighboring towns, seeking inspiration for her next book.
She’s keen to see what her fellow cozy critics think of her new cozy mystery so please leave a review and share your thoughts with Stella.
As an audiobook narrator with 23 years of experience moving audiences with her voice through corporate facilitation and public speaking, Machelle knows how to connect with the intent of the author to bring their vision to life. Her compelling yet casual voice draws the listener close, transporting them deep into the story and keeping them hanging on every word with full attention and anticipation.
Machelle’s voice is nuanced and delivers reads that range from soft and soothing to dramatic and smoky. She specializes in Mysteries & Thrillers, but her Bespoke repertoire also includes Non-Fiction, Religious, Urban and Noire.
Machelle is based in Northern Virginia with her two Boston Terriers, Daphne and Lilah, and her fully equipped studio from which she provides quick turn-around of professional quality recordings.
When you need a narrator to take your listener to the edge of their seat and their breath away – trust the telling to Machelle.
With all the cozy mysteries I’ve read in the past I can’t say that I’ve had any dog walkers solving them! So for that I give this book a lot of bonus points for originality 🙂 The setting was interesting. It takes place in a quiet and small city like usual for cozy mysteries, a place where no one can believe someone could be murdered. Although the main character doesn’t seem to really like her boyfriend or sister much…she’s supposed to love them but the way it’s written it seems like she’s very annoyed by her sister and at least falling out with her boyfriend even though he wants to propose to her. It felt really weird hearing her inner thoughts about them. I can understand being annoyed by a sibling and still loving them as I’ve got two siblings that fit that bill for me, but it felt like she almost resented her sister. Beyond that weirdness the story itself isn’t too long. We have a couple twists and find out who the murderer is pretty easily. I give it a 4/5 stars.
The narration felt a little dry to be honest. I felt like she could have done better with the characters. Given them more emotion. Because the accents were great and the little differences she did with their voices worked well too! But they were all a little monotone and it bugged me. So I give the narration a 3.75/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Stella St. Claire. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Q&A with Author Stella St. Claire
- How did you select your narrator?
- Machelle tried out for me and I feel in love with her warm and homely voice. I thought she would make the perfect narrator for a cozy mystery!
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- There is a coffee foodtruck at my local dog park and this was the inspiration for the murder in Barking up the Wrong Bakery!
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- Doogle, my dog, is my biggest support. Taking him for a walk refreshes me a great deal and helps keep me simplify ideas, he keeps me focused on what matters. Reading my reviews and readers’ emails keep me motivated to keep writing!
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Yes, I listen to an audiobook every month. I adore the format! I listen to a book while I’m doing a mundane task like laundry. It makes dull tasks so much enjoyable!
- If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
- Olivia Rickard would be played by Olivia Munn.
- Janelle Allendale would be played by Mandy Moore.
- Andrew Patterson would be played by Timothy Olyphant
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