Dead Like Me by Kelly Miller

Narrator: Angel Clark

Publisher: Kelly Miller (2017)

Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

Series: Book 1 A Detective Kate Springer Mystery

Author’s Page

Set in Tampa, Florida, Homicide Detective Kate Springer has just returned to the job. She and her partner catch the next murder case, a teen-aged girl, Kimberly Callahan, who shares an unexpected connection with Kate. As they dig into the murder, several suspects catch their eye. However, Kate is distracted by one in particular and that distraction may be her downfall.

There was a lot I enjoyed about this book. It was mostly Kate Springer who held my interest. I believe she will be a great main character for the series. She’s got this dark past that haunts her a bit even though she is well into her 30s. Throughout the book, she’s seeing the department psychologist off and on and that’s where we learn the most about her past. I also like that Kate knows she has certain behaviors for deflecting people which keep her from having close friendships and meaningful romances.

This book does deal with child sexual abuse. While none of it is revealed in detail, the author does a good job of focusing on how that abuse affects not only the child but the adult that child turns into. The story also brings non-sexual abuse and just plain neglect into the story as well.

Some aspects of the book were a bit formulaic. For instance, the killer was easy to identify. In fact, from the moment they strolled onto the page, I was pretty sure. Also, I didn’t ever really worry about whether or not Kate would live through this investigation, since we all know this is Book 1 in a series.

I really liked Kate’s work partner, fellow Detective Patrick Jessup. The two have a good rapport going with their jokes and random fact bets. I also liked the crime scene tech and her knowledge of etymology; for instance, she knows where the phrase ‘humble pie’ comes from.

There were a handful of things that felt a little rushed or slanted in a certain way for convenience. When Kate is doing her sessions with the psychologist, she’s asked to discuss her triggers and Kate doesn’t know what that means. Yet I was pretty sure that Kate had spent some time working with a psychologist or two in the past and also reading up on her own, so I don’t know why she wouldn’t know this basic term. I felt that was put there to give the psychologist the chance to explain it to the reader, not to Kate. Also, there is a fat, bullying cop who Kate is always trading insults with, though Kate’s insults are nearly always about his weight (which I felt was immature). My biggest complaint is that Kate’s past and her connections to the case remain unknown to the homicide department at the end of the story. I didn’t think this was realistic at all.

With that said, this book still gripped my attention. I really wanted to see how things would unfold, even though I had already guessed the killer. Kate is a fascinating character in many ways. She has issues but her focus on her work keeps her centered. The trusting relationship between her and Patrick, who is a happily married man with kids, leads me to wonder if things might get complicated for Kate in the future. Kate is slow to discover who the killer is, or rather, accept what her subconscious is already pretty sure about. I felt this was realistic and I enjoyed the cat and mouse game as Kate finds evidence to support the case. I look forward to Book 2 and seeing where Kate goes from here now that she can lay part of her past to rest.

I received a free copy of this book.

Narration: Angel Clark was a great Kate Springer. I really liked her voice for Kate, especially the more emotional scenes. Clark also went the extra mile and included special effects to mimic speaker phone, PA system, and cell phone calls. Sometimes I did find a few of her voices for minor characters to be a little cartoony, but that is my only little complaint. 

What I Liked: A tough case involving a teen; Kate’s difficult past; her rapport with Patrick; the random facts stuck into the story; the cat and mouse wind up to catching the killer; how the killer is finally brought to justice.

What I Disliked: Sometimes Kate’s insults are a bit immature; it’s unlikely that her past would remain a secret from the department after this case; sometimes the narration was a little cartoony.

What Others Think:

Illiterarty

ZDate: A Zombie Romance by Charley Allen

AllenZDateWhere I Got It: Review Copy

Narrators: Angel Clark, Melissa Chatwood, Ray Greenley, David Dietz, Andrew Wehrlen

Publisher: Charley Allen (2015)

Length: 39 minutes

Author’s Page

 

Gary is a programmer and has been hired by zombies to create a zombie dating website for them. Gary is not too enthused at first, but then begins to see the monetary advantages to such a website. Meanwhile, Greg and Amy have met through the website and are trying to meet in real zombie life.

This was a fun audiobook with a fun cast. There are basically only 5 characters – Gary (evil programmer), Amy (hottie zombie), Greg (another hottie zombie), Stef (Amy’s BFF who would like to be more), and Zed (Greg’s wingman). Being zombiefied is just a new way of life that the young generation has gotten use to. Zombies hold jobs, go to college, and date. Hence, the need for a zombies-only dating site.

The story is told in a humorous fashion, often breaking that fourth wall and talking directly to the listener. Occasionally, the humor was a little overdone, a little over accentuated. But for the most part I was found it amusing and engaging.

My favorite character was Stef (with Gary being a close second). Stef chose to go zombie in order to stay friends with Amy. And I do believe Stef wouldn’t mind if things became more than friendly. Alas, I think she is in for heartache in the future as Amy seems completely oblivious.

Gary was fun partly because he is still human and partly because he is an ass. He really doesn’t like zombies and thinks of them as subhuman. Yet he will take their money to go start a website. He continues to be a jerk throughout the story, but his jerkscapades grow proportionately throughout this short tale. I loved the anticipation of watching him fall!

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from one of the narrators (via the GoodReads Audiobooks group) in exchange for an honest review.

Narration:  The narration was tip top on this book. The full cast, not something you usually see for such a short story, really made this book work. Obviously, each character had their own distinct voice and each narrator did a great job of giving them attitude and emotions (even the zombie characters).

What I Liked:  Fun, humorous zombie tale; zombie dating!; interesting evil character; my favorite character was Stef; fun ending.

What I Disliked:  Occasionally the humor was a little overdone.