A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Drama Cruise (A Nicky & Noah Mystery #3) by Joe Cosentino and Brad Enright (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Theater professors and couple, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are going overboard as usual, but this time on an Alaskan cruise, where dead college theater professors are popping up everywhere from the swimming pool to the captain’s table. Further complicating matters are Nicky’s and Noah’s parents as surprise cruise passengers, and Nicky’s assignment to direct a murder mystery dinner theater show onboard ship. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the curtain down on vacationers before it is lights out for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, ribald, edge-of-your-seat entertaining third novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and ship ahoy!

I’m a real fan of Joe Cosentino’s over the top murder mystery drama series, The Nicky & Noah Mysteries.  Campy with a heart is one way I love to describe them, so I had already read Drama Cruise and was looking forward to the audio version.

Drama Cruise is one hilarious story about a cruise full of professors, Nicky, Noah, their parents, and a killer out to kill of the professors one by one.  I laughed my way through the book, puzzling over the mystery, loving the interaction between men, their parents, and all the crazy wedding plans.  Really, the book is terrific.  So how did the audiobook version measure up?

Great story is still there, so is the mystery.  But somehow the narration of Brad Enright just didn’t do it for me.  His voices seemed to slide between either way too bland.  I had a hard time telling the difference between some characters unless the author told me there was a change to the hugely campy tones (think 50’s television Italian roles in comedies) used for Nicky’s parents.  I just felt that the narration swung from campy to realistic to bland which threw me off.  I felt the narrator should have chosen one tone and then just  gone for it.

Love the Nicky and Noah mysteries?  You’ll love this one but I think I would go ahead and read the ebook or paperback version.  That’s the story I highly recommend.

Cover art is the wonderful movie poster/high camp version I so love and come to expect.

Sales Links:      Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 5 hours and 56 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Joe Cosentino
Audible.com Release Date: August 10, 2017
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B074N6Q1SB

An Ali Audiobook Review: Crime Wave (Jimmy McSwain Files #2) by Adam Carpenter and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
crime-wave-audiobook-coverJimmy McSwain returns to help his sister’s boyfriend fight a murder charge–and finds he may just have a lead on a cold case.

Hell’s Kitchen private investigator Jimmy McSwain returns in a twisting tale of past sins and present-day vengeance. Jimmy McSwain isn’t thrilled about taking a case for free but when his sister fears her boyfriend, Rocky, is cheating on her, he has no choice. But the case takes a deadly turn when Rocky is standing over the body of a man he was just seen kissing, and he’s holding the gun. He begs Jimmy to prove his innocence.

Meanwhile, as a sweltering heat wave claims New York City, a gunman with a thirst for blood is targeting Manhattan deli owners and has already claimed two victims. Jimmy knows a thing or two about those as fourteen years ago his father was killed outside a deli, and it’s possible today’s killer could be linked to that unsolved murder, one that continues to haunt Jimmy. Enlisting the aid of sexy NYPD Captain Francis X. Frisano, Jimmy finds himself torn between the two cases, as well as the heat simmering between himself and the hot cop. Suddenly a quiet summer has erupted into a full blown crime wave.
This is the second book in a series and I had not read book one but I found that this was fine as a standalone.  As the blurb states, Jimmy is a private detective who is helping his sister out as a favor.  This leads to him witnessing the tail end of a murder that his sister’s boyfriend is accused of committing.  Jimmy doesn’t really want to get involved but he feels bad for Rocky who is devastated over the murder and swears he is innocent.  Jimmy ends up investigating the murder and finds himself in the middle of a complicated crime.
In addition to this plot there is also a side plot of Jimmy trying to find out who killed his father when he was a teenager.  Some events happen that lead Jimmy to believe he is close to getting some answers.
There is a bit of romance in this between Jimmy and a police Captain that he works with.  It appeared there had been some attraction between them in the previous book but they get together for the first time in this book.  This was my least favorite part of the story.  I didn’t care much for Francis and I didn’t feel any chemistry between the two men.  It was more telling me how they felt than showing me.  
I enjoyed the overall plot of the book and I liked the murder mystery that involved Rocky.  I thought that was done well and had a few interesting twists.  The writing style did not completely work for me though.  There were passages that felt too wordy and there were sections, especially when the two men were together, that were filled with purple prose.  I think that also led me to dislike the romance between the two.
This audio was narrated by Joel Leslie.  I thought he did a good job on the narration.  His voice for Jimmy was well done as were the side characters.  There were parts that bothered me but those weren’t really the narrator’s fault.  He was simply reading the words the author wrote.  Even knowing that I still found the purple prose parts annoying and had to remind myself it wasn’t the narration that was bugging me but the text.
Overall this was an average read/audio.  I didn’t love it but I did like it well enough that I will probably try the next book in the series at some point.
Cover:  The cover is average and it is a good representation of the story plot.
Sales Links
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Audiobook Details:
Length: 7 hrs
Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published December 7th 2016 by Linden Corners Press (first published July 1st 2015)
SeriesJimmy McSwain Files #2