Author: Michaela James
Narrator: Kimberly M. Wetherell
Length: 10 hours 25 minutes
Series: Scarlet Oaks Cozy Mystery Series, Book 1
Publisher: LW Media Group Ltd.
Released: Nov. 9, 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Is it possible Scarlet Oaks, the reluctant new host of a men’s call-in show, inspired the first serial killer San Francisco’s seen in some 40 years? Struggling to pay the rent after her boyfriend’s sudden departure, continue her role as mediator in an unconventional family, and feed a micro pig who appears less micro by the day, Scarlet’s life is far from perfect. But when an eerie sounding caller is identified as the bay area’s latest serial killer, it appears her life will never be the same. With the killer continually calling into Scarlet’s show, while managing to stay one step ahead of the San Francisco police, Scarlet begins to fear she’s his next victim. Enlisting best friends Niles and Tom and their often-hilarious help, Scarlet sets out to find the elusive Serial Caller…before he finds her. Root for Scarlet during this heart-pounding and alternately humorous mystery thriller. Fall in love with unforgettable characters, recognize familiar family members, and hold on tight for an adrenaline-filled ride. If you’re a Stephanie Plum fan, make room for Scarlet Oaks! This is the first book in the Scarlet Oaks series.
Michaela lives near Reno, Nevada, where there are lovely walking trails and lots of sun. She was born and grew up in Hampshire, England, where there is less sun, but better chocolate! A professional voice over artist and the voice of a local radio station, Michaela enjoys watching great movies with her husband and grown sons, playing tennis and and drinking lots of tea.
A bright, versatile, broad-next-door type, Kimberly M. Wetherell is rapidly becoming a sought-after talent in the voiceover market, specializing in audiobooks, commercials, and animation. Kimberly has worn multiple hats in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. A graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University, Kimberly has been an actor, a singer of musical theatre, director of both opera and film, and producer of opera, film, and most recently, commercials. She speaks French, Italian, and German (all thanks to her 15-year career in opera), and, as a lifelong lover of language, has a large catalogue of dialects and accents from around the world at the tip of her tongue. Equally active in the literary world, Kimberly is a published essayist and contributing editor of The Nervous Breakdown. She founded and hosted DISH, a monthly food & drink reading series at SoHo’s Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, as well as having hosted other reading series around NYC, such as NPR’s Dime Stories at Brooklyn’s Barbès and TNB’s Literary Experience at Chinatown’s Happy Endings. Voiceover artistry is the perfect marriage of her life’s two passions, and she couldn’t be happier with this new career pursuit.
As a fan of cosy mysteries, I had an inkling that I was going to enjoy this audiobook. I was right 😉
Firstly, what a great title – perfect for a cosy. It was off to a great start. Secondly, Scarlet is a DJ, now that’s original. Even more so when she’s taken off her successful Top 40 show and given a new slot hosting “Mending Men”, a late-night show for men. Most have sporting stories and gripes to share, but occasionally a caller is looking for advice. Scarlet is well out of her comfort zone, and the building is an eerie place at midnight when she finishes her shift. Thirdly, and here’s where the mystery kicks in – a caller with the slowest of slow drawl has a problem with his wife. He likes Scarlet’s suggestion, and calls back a few days later to thank her and let her know he is much happier now. Yeah! Read into that what you will; don’t dismiss him too easily. The narrator is fabulous, especially with this caller.
Outside of her job, Scarlet has a dysfunctional family whom she adores, but who bring a plethora of drama to her life. Her best friends are a marvellous gay couple who care a lot about her, and enjoy entertaining. But the absolute star of Scarlet’s household cavalry is Prudence her not-so-micro micro pig.
Back at work, Scarlet finds flowers on her car windscreen. The same flowers found at the scene of a murder. Are they connected? Is Scarlet in danger? When Stu, the slow drawl caller, rings again, his messages seems more threatening and infinitely personal. But as she hasn’t seen him, only ever heard his voice, she has nothing to go on in terms of tracking him down.
Until …it’s apparent that he has been watching her, and together with her friends she builds a picture of him. But the police can’t find him, and the man’s wife has been murdered. See! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
As New Year’s Eve approaches, Scarlet’s friends decide to hold a masquerade ball … Uh oh – you can see where this is going, right? Well, now might be the time to get the book and see if your hunches are correct 😉
This is a hugely entertaining story. The narrator, as I said previously, is wonderful. She injects great personality into the characters, and it’s very easy to follow …and get totally drawn in.
As the end approaches, there are some tense moments, but the resolution of the mystery falls a little flat in its delivery. Overall, though, a great story with highly likeable characters and plenty of scope for more mayhem. I’m ready for more from Scarlet Oaks. Bring it on!
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Michaela James. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card
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