Publisher: Audible Studios (2013)
Length: 9 hours 53 minutes
Series: Book 1 A Davis Way Crime Caper
Davis Way use to be a cop in Pine Apple, Alabama. That is, until, she kind of lost her mind and went after her thieving ex-husband, Eddie, a little too harshly. So she is terribly excited to be hired at the Bellissimo Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. At first, she isn’t too sure what her job really is. There’s wigs and a variety of uniforms. She’s set tasks and she accomplishes them. Eventually, she is handed something bigger and funner. That is until she runs into her ex-husband. Erg! Big trouble lies in wait for one or both of them if Davis can’t keep her cool.
This book was mostly humor with just the right touch of seriousness. Davis has been through some tough times, some of which were of her own making. However, she’s trying to put that behind her and make something new and shiny of her life by taking a job that is 4 hours away from her hometown and family. At first, she is ashamed to tell her father (the head cop in Pine Apple) about her security work at the casino, feeling it is a step down from law enforcement. However, he is forever supportive. Their relationship is one of the cornerstones that keeps Davis going.
Let’s talk about the casino life. I’ve been in 2 casinos in my life and each time it was to meet someone at the restaurant. So I jumped into this book partly for the experience of something very different from my day to day life. I was not disappointed. The author does a good job of capturing the ambiance of the casino and, through Davis’s eyes, showing a few of the gambling games. There is a touch of computer programing thrown in as Davis tries to figure out how a slot machine can be beaten. Yet I never felt like it was too much and became bored with the story.
Davis herself is a pretty interesting character. She attacks life with some self-effacing humor and a bit of sarcasm. She knows that she is not always the sharpest tack in the pack, but she carries on. Perhaps due to her law enforcement years, she doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff either, being familiar with handguns and having the wit to size a person up before trying any physical moves that may result in a broken bone. She’s practical that way. And yet, when it comes to her ex-husband, she loses all that practicality and becomes total emotion – much of which is rage and anger and hurt. This combination of character traits pulled me and never let me go. I was totally on Davis’s side even when she was in the wrong.
As Davis completes task after task, things become more complicated. Her employers, Richard Sanders & his assistant Nathalie, are learning to trust her and are taking her further into their confidences. Perhaps half way through the book, Davis learns what they truly want her to do. It involves her look-alike twin (Bianca), the ex-husband (Eddie), and a slot machine. Things end up going a bit deeper than that and it was definitely worth reveling in.
Towards the end, it really looked like Davis was going to lose it all and be stuck in a very bad situation. This gave her lots of time to reflect upon her life and what was important. Also, this is when a new love interest steps in and offers unlooked for assistance. Truly, I wasn’t sure how the author was going to wrap this mystery up. Being attached to Davis, I wanted things to work out for her. Yet I knew that may not happen. I was biting my nails as I devoured the last several hours of this book. In the end, I was pretty satisfied and looking forward to the next in the series.
I received this book at no cost from the author (via her publicist) in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Dina Pearlman had a great voice for Davis. She performed the character with an Alabaman accent and she also included a few sounds here and there (gasps of astonishment, choking, etc.). She really portrayed Davis quite well. Her other character voices were all distinct and her male voices were believable. I especially liked her voice for the grumpy taxi driver, George. Quite often the text required character emotions and Pearlman did a great job there as well.
What I Liked: The story’s setting; the cover art; love Davis Way!; plenty of twists and turns; a variety of characters; Davis’s humor; those few moments of poignancy really grounded the story; the new love interest.
What I Disliked: Nothing – I really enjoyed this book.
What Others Think: