Author: J.P. Wright
Narrators: Claire M. James
Length: 7 hours 30 minutes
Publisher: J.P. Wright
Released: Dec. 12, 2016
Here is a country house murder mystery of sorts, for daughters and their mothers, and anyone else who wants to learn the correct way to eat a scone.
Violet has to prepare for her Home Economics assessment, but with a house full of guests and a lunatic sister playing detective, how will she ever get it done? And if the dog did not destroy her mother’s cake, who did? Did she really see someone lurking down at the gatehouse? Which one is the bay tree, and what does nutmeg look like anyway? Should self-confessed teachers be allowed out into society?
All these questions must be answered before the weekend is over.
JP Wright lives in the south of England. Between the demands of his day-job, his duties as amanuensis to the Tickham girls, digging his garden, cycling, running and spending time with his own beautiful girls, he sometimes finds time to write for himself.
I am UK based London trained actress who now focuses on audiobook narration, writing and voice-over work. My natural accent is RP, but I can also meander happily around the British Isles. I have lived in Australia, so can give it a go…but I’m not native by any means! And let’s not forget that any English person worth their salt can fling a few phrases around in a Southern American Drawl.
Y’all have a good day now, y’all.
I’m always happy to hear from authors, producers, readers and listeners!
Doors to the stairs and hallway duly slammed, I hurled myself in a fine fury through the back door into the kitchen garden — and there I saw it. The victim, below the window, obviously having fallen or been pushed, lying amongst the parsley, in the cool shade. The distance over which the remains were spread was dramatic; the damage was clearly irreparable. My first reaction was one of horror. Marcus was there, hunched over the remains, snufflilng and slobbering. My second reaction was of hilarity. There was something gloriously chaotic about the scattering of the pieces, light and dark against the green of the parsley, an occasional cherry-red spot nestled here and there. The thought of the teetering, the toppling, the separation in midair and the crashing fall and explosion on impact, the whole slapstick nature of it, was irresistible. I leaned on the door-frame and laughed. In case I seem heartless, or a little sick, let me hasten to explain: Marcus is a dog; the victim, only a cake.
Being a child is hard, but growing up with a little sister can be downright annoyingly frustrating. J.P. Wright has a humorous, whodunit story…chalked full of sibling rivalry, child detectives, and mystery. The drama that unfolds within these pages will have readers laughing and shaking their heads in a knowing fashion.
Violet Tickham comes across a violent crime at the start of the book; someone has destroyed her mother’s decadent and infamous Chocolate Cake! With only Marcus, their dog at the scene of the crime, her younger sister Tabitha comes in at that moment to suspect her of foul play. Now, with guests coming over for their mother’s murder mystery party, a house full of guests may deter them from their important task. Violet has a Home Economics dish to make, which she has no idea where to find some of the ingredients and doesn’t let her mother know about the assignment until much too late…all because of her having to watch her snooty, little sister! Tabitha has designated herself detective on the case! She secretly knows that her sister didn’t do it, but likes to goad her into thinking she did for the pure enjoyment of getting under her sister’s skin. She is determined to find out who did destroy the cake and get to the bottom of the mystery once and for all.
Wright has an interesting take on murder mystery, while the narrator was very entertaining and brought a lot of life to the story. This is classified as a cozy, but does have a somewhat satirical sentiment, based on the thoughts and emphasis of two young sisters. The pace is very quick and the vocal portrayal is superb. If you are a reader of cozy mystery and satire, you may want to try this one out.
A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a four-star rating for Home Economics for Girls or the Tabitha Tickham and the Cake Crisis by J.P. Wright, narrated by Claire M James.
Q&A with Author J.P. Wright
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- It was not something I considered at all at that stage. Now, having had the experience of hearing someone else perform my words, I am writing the next one with that possibility in mind. I think it will improve my writing: seeking clarity and beauty in sound might lead me to clarity and beauty on the page.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- I think I gave brief notes on the two girls, but very little else. I trusted in the brilliance of the writing <ahem> or the skill of the narrator.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- I love listening to the dialogue. The minor characters have more distinctive voices in the audiobook, and now in my mind too, having heard it.
- If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
- Would time spent travelling be time lost from where I am now? In that case, no I’d not go. Too much to do here.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- After the age of five or six, reading is not about practising the mechanics of getting the words from page to tongue, but about engaging the imagination, considering the suggestions the author might be making about life, entering imagined worlds. These can be done as well by careful listening as by careful reading.
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
- I’ll tell you when I’m sure it’s finished.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- “Are you sure the world needs your dreary teen vampires?”
- Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
- Read it aloud yourself first – or get your computer to do it. Better to find errors or awkward phrasing then, rather than ask your narrator to re-record.
- What’s next for you?
- I’m nearing the end of ‘French for Girls’, and have a half-completed draft of ‘Biology ..’ waiting to be taken back up. There will be a lot of polishing before I can consider getting those caterpillars transformed into audio butterflies.
J.P. Wright’s Top 10 Perks of Being An Author
- The freedom and requirement to explore ideas: having to present them for others forces me to consider carefully and explore deeply what I am trying to say..
- It’s a good excuse to be talking to yourself.
- Venting, revenge, redress of past wrongs.
- Reading other books is ‘research’, ditto staring out of the window, watching the clouds, browsing dictionaries, listening to rivers, sitting in cafes listening in.
- Have you been out there lately? Better stay inside and write.
- Travelling without leaving my comfy chair.
- I can drink coffee at the same time; wine, I have found less helpful.
- They say material poverty is good for your soul.
- Every now and then, an idea or a phrase appears at the tip of the pen or the point of the cursor, that surprises and delights me.
- Somewhere out there there will be a reader or a listener who comes across the collection of words I spent so much time choosing and arranging carefully in order, and thinks ‘Yes, that is how it is.’
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