Narrator: Rebecca Roberts
Publisher: RMSW Press (2015)
Length: 11 hours 39 minutes
Series: Book 1 The Magnolia
LiAnn Tuck, retired detective, and her daughter Karina Summers, along with the dog Ranger, are moving from sunny California to Sheridan, Arkansas. There, they move in with LiAnn’s parents (Ruth and Junior) to help keep up the small farm and care for them. It’s a much slower pace and they have lots to learn. Both ladies are accomplished in their careers and both had to leave broken-hearted affairs in California.
Meanwhile, the Mob has their claws in one of the local independent living retirement homes, The Magnolia, as well as a mortuary and an ambulance service. Sometimes they assist the aging into their graves a little early and harvest the organs for sale on the black market. But they come under LiAnn’s and Karina’s notice when a Magnolia resident, Cecil, talks to them about his concerns. He has a lot of money in different banks and he worries that someone is trying to steal from him. Karina, who use to co-own a detective agency, dives right in to the new case. It’s just the thing to add some zest to her life.
This story starts out a touch slow, being more focused on developing the main characters. Yet there is still movement with the plot even as the two ladies move from California to Arkansas. The book cuts back and forth between them and the main Mob family. They are definitely crooked but they have their own woes as the head of the family starts to slip mentally. Things eventually turn into a cat and mouse game as the Mob becomes aware that someone is looking into their affairs.
The mystery was well laid out with several moving parts where things could go wrong. As things start to unravel for the mobsters, the danger increases for LiAnn and Karina. I loved the tension and the plotting on both sides. Then there is all this romance stuff that I could have done without. Both ladies left failed relationships behind and both have difficulty moving on. Yet both give it a go in Sherridan, each hesitant to do so. There’s one detailed sex scene that was sweet. There’s also some ridiculous endearments. Meh.
I liked that so many age groups were represented in this book and the senior citizens weren’t simply background or a mild comedic relief from the main story. The Mob family have this ingrained attitude or culture they were raised with that really becomes the center of what drives most of them. And yet they still watch out for each other even as they steal from others. The ending was pretty intense. I was worried that one family member wouldn’t make it. The ladies kept their common sense handy throughout the story.
I received a copy at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Rebecca Roberts was pretty good, pulling off some Italian and New Jersey accents. She also did a good job of making old people sound old. However, her male voices lacked masculinity.
What I Liked: Two women detectives looking to start new lives; the Mob and nursing homes are not what I expect but it works out great; the Magnolia is a beautiful setting; the ending was intense.
What I Disliked: Not really a dislike but the romance stuff was filler for me and not really all that interesting; the narrator could use more masculinity in her male character voices.
What Others Think: