Random Victimy

Looking for a good mystery, I start listening to a story about:

…a woman with nightmares about a recent firey accident who has a dinner party. A malicious event leads her to confront the caterer, who tells her to ask her husband about it. We find out much later that the husband is a jerk, that he has been screwing another woman as well as the books.

…..an Amish woman who becomes involved with an Englisher policeman. The same policeman who has arranged for her parents to be murdered, so that he can marry and control and gas light her.

…a Texan police officer who discovers a baby girl safely deposited at the police station. The female cop investigates to find that the baby is the result of a cult leader who has sexually abused an underaged worshipper.

…a veterinary pathologist who goes home and saves an unprofitable neighborhood veterinary practice . His first case involves a man who brings the family dog to be euthanized after lying about his identity as well as his dog’s. His second case involves a gold digger who has gifted an elderly cat owner with a zirconium engagement ring, which shows up on the X-ray….

Still lacking a good listen, I seek an audio book without an immediate and obvious victim, without any abused women, children, dogs or priests. Ideas?

The Dollar-A-Year Detective by William Wells

Another alcoholic ex-cop running a bar? Yes! This time in Fort Myers, living every cop’s retirement dream: living on a houseboat, dating a Cuban woman and solving murders on the side.

It’s good.

From the very first paragraph Jack feels like a detective, sounds like a detective, and makes it clear that in his world there are good guys (military, ex-military, marines) and bad guys (criminals, politicians); good music (Chicago blues, Springstein) and music that he doesn’t play in The Drunken Parrot. You don’t like it, go elsewhere.

Lea Wait, Thread and Gone read by Christina Delaine

Stitched into textiles by young girls in the early 19th century, some terribly bored,  are poems.  These needlepointed poems are featured as epigraphs in  another “cozy” mystery about a woman who returns to Maine.  Life in a small town in Maine is mostly monotonous and cold.  It is also cumulative. For some, local accumulations are the stuff of identity; for others they are the stuff of profit. For Lea Wait  they are the stuff of mystery.

Not Hemingway. Sea Glass Sunrise by Donna Kauffman read by Amanda Ronconi

Yes it is well written. Yes, it reels you in and captivates you, and the dialogue is peppy enough to make you grin. But. All Hemingway needed to write was: Who was she? for Bacall to deliver the message that Bogie was being a dick, and she wasn’t having any, cause it wasn’t her fault.

Why does it take 6 hours and rolling for Donna to message that whoever it is that comes on the scene of Blueberry Cove has a history, and that history is going to determine their fate, even if fate only ever appears as an accidental encounter.

Hmmm.

 

 

Granny Under Cover by Harper Lin read by Sara Morsey

Have you ever wondered what a 70 year old ex-CIA agent is thinking while being greeted by an over-friendly young woman at a Senior Center?

“Are you lost honey?”, she asked in a volume more suitable for calling me from the other end of the hallway…”

“Are you trained to speak louder than normal?”

To her credit, she didn’t skip a beat. “Yes, I am….”

…she’d turned up the volume.  Did she know I could break both her arms?

Barbara Gold is a retired widow and grandmother, specializing in small arms, undercover surveillance, chemical weapons,  and small terrorist countries… She is also taking up gardening in Cheerville, where her very normal son is growing a belly and a real estate agency, and where her surly 13 year grandson is trying to kill himself with a mountain bike.

She is also solving murders.

Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon read by C.S.E. Cooney

Despite the silly title that announces the ‘coziness’ of this mystery and tags it as irreal, uncruel and bloodless, there is some ‘spur’ to this tale. Not enough to kick into a plot, but some.

First, there are characters: a dead cryptographer father, a glassblower-daughter, a local kid with Aspergers, a lazy police detective, a  bunch of sweet and nasty neighbors who only want the land, or the money..

Then, there is St. Pete. The left coast of Florida, on a hurricane-loving gulf, among some old and interesting leftovers of something like the South…

And there is the semi technical charm of making glass, cutting glass, glazing it, blowing it…