Author: Meredith Potts
Narrator: Lainie Pahos
Publisher: Meredith Potts
Series: The Daley Buzz Cozy Mysteries, Book 1
Released: Oct, 23, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Sabrina Daley is still haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her sister 10 years before. Even though the case went cold long ago, she keeps holding out hope that one day she will discover what happened to her sister. Sabrina’s life is turned upside down again when she discovers her friend’s dead body in the alley way behind her family’s coffee shop. If that isn’t bad enough, after a week of investigating, the local police appear to be stumped. Terrified about a second case going cold in town, Sabrina decides to take matters into her own hands. She sets out on her own, determined not to give up until she has brought her friend’s killer to justice.
Meredith Potts loves corgis, cupcakes, and captivating books. Her mysteries usually feature all three.
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Lainie Pahos is a Chicago native who is currently based in Los Angeles continuing her work on stage and screen.
When I saw the focus in her eyes, I realized it was no use to avoid the topic. Before diving into emotionally choppy waters, I took a deep breath then replied, “Yes.” Elizabeth sat down next to me and put her arm over my shoulder. “I miss Jessica, too.” With the topic already broached, instead of pulling back, I dug deeper. “It is more than just missing her. I feel like I wake up every day with a piece of me missing. I mean, we’re living our lives with this big question mark hanging over our heads.” My mom sympathized. “I know what you mean. When I sit down to pray every night, she is the first thing I pray to God about. Not a day goes by that I don’t ask for answers, for clarity, and for a map to brave this uncharted territory we’re living in.” I took a deep breath. “Sometimes I think about what I’d give to just talk to her once more. What I’d say to her.”
Murder is heartbreaking, tragic and final, especially when it is a loved one that is victimized. Disappearances may be even worse. With death, at least there is a way for someone to move on and to grieve over their loved ones. But, without a body and with the realization that they could very well walk into their lives again at any moment, it is a perpetual discontinuance of life. Life is on hold and they are left waiting continuously. Waiting and wondering.
With the disappearance of her sister Jessica, Sabrina still holds the hope that she will walk back into her life. It has been ten years, but still nothing has been found. No one remembers anything about the disappearance and there is still hope. When a body turns up in an alleyway, everyone is shocked and secrecy runs rampant within the small town. After her boyfriend, who is a police officer for the town, tells her that they have no leads on the murder of a neighboring shop owner, she plunges right into the investigation. She is determined that this case will not be the second cold case in the town. If the case went cold, Sabrina may not be able to hold it together. But, is she putting herself in danger if one of them is the killer?
Potts has an entertaining murder mystery; however, there are a lot of untied ends which may or may not be broadcast in later installments. The characters are all pretty detailed and cagey, allowing the reader to be suspicious of everyone that the victim knew. The pace is fast and flows together and the book seems to have been written well. This review is complementing the audiobook; therefore, this observance is from the voice relay. The narrator did personify the main character exceptionally well; however, her other vocalizations and personalities weren’t very pronounced or lacked differences. If you are a reader of cozy mysteries and women’s fiction, this may be something to pick up.
An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page from Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating for Chocolate With a Side of Murder by Meredith Potts.
Q&A with Narrator Lainie Pahos
- How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
- I am an actor/singer and wanted to make money on my own time doing what I’m trained to do! It’s a fun gig to do on the side!
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
- I take lots of breaks! I only record for an hour at a time and then I will do push ups or sit ups or take my dog for a walk or something (I’m also a personal trainer so sitting and talking all day is hard for me!) When I come back from that I’m ready to go for another hour!
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Yea! I listen to Audible a lot! I like to listen in the car or at the gym. I am very busy so it’s hard for me to find time to sit down and read so I multitask!
- What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
- I love getting to act and try out different character voices! It’s a great way to use the skills that help me in my career.
- Sitting for so long!! I need to take breaks and stay active! And it’s hard on the voice too. Lots of tea with honey!
- How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
- I look at the text and get context clues of where they’re from or what they’ve been through and if the text doesn’t say much then I invent a backstory for them!
- What types of things are harmful to your voice?
- Shouting and low voices. Many books written by men have a lot of male characters I find it difficult to record for long periods of time when I have to do so many different male voices.
- If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
- Oh, I’d absolutely use it!! I think I’d go back to different eras and see some of my favorite singers perform!
- If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
- The Silverwing series. I just remember loving those little bat books so much!!
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- I’d say that’s incredibly dumb! Some people are auditory learners and they’ll get more out of it if they listen to it. Other people have dyslexia and can’t read very well. Plus some actors can bring books to life in a way someone who finds reading boring can’t themselves. Some people are too busy to set time aside to read so they multitask with audiobooks. Everyone’s situation is different and no one has a right to judge how others take in their entertainment.
- Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
- I have a very large selection of burps recorded should anyone need them for an animated series! And puppy sounds as well. I’m a “take your dog to work” kind of person!
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