Barbara’s rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Series: Bibliophile Mysteries #16
Publication Date: 7/26/22
Period: Contemporary San Francisco
Number of Pages: AUDIOBOOK, 9 h 4 m Sara Young narrator
There are exciting times happening at the Covington Library because they have paired with the rich, handsome industrialist, Joseph Cabot to hold a Mark Twain festival. The festival, of course, is totally funded by Joseph. There is something for everyone and it is all based on events from Mark Twain’s books – there is a children’s fence painting event, a frog race, and even a series of live events showing the step-by-step restoration of a first edition of Mark Twain’s The Prince And The Pauper.
Brooklyn Wainwright and her handsome husband Derek Stone are intimately involved with the festival. Brooklyn because she is a renowned book restoration expert and paper artist and Derek because he owns an international security agency that once rescued Joseph Cabot from kidnappers and because Derek and Joseph are friends.
Part of the festivities is a look-alike contest. Strangely though, the lookalike contest wasn’t for a Mark Twain lookalike – it was for someone who looked like Joseph. I have to say, this plot point – and it was a major one – just made absolutely no sense to me. Anyway, the winner is a very affable, gregarious man who continued to march to his own tune throughout the book.
When attempted murders – and an actual murder occurs, everyone begins to look at everyone else to determine who the villain(s) are. Personally, I don’t think the author went to any great pains to hide the identity of the bad guys because it was very obvious from the beginning. However, you had to wonder throughout the book how it was managed and who, if anyone, was an accomplice.
I have read or listened to every book in this series and I have enjoyed all of them. That said, this one doesn’t have the strongest or best-written story, and when you add a new narrator to the mix — well, it becomes the least enjoyable book of the series – for me. I thought the narrator did an okay job with most of the voices and delivery, but when it came to Derek’s voice, I absolutely cringed each time I heard it and it jerked me right out of the story. Since Derek is a main character, that is a lot of jerking. 😊 So, while I will continue to read the series, I will skip listening if this narrator continues.
The narrator has a pleasant voice and a basically upbeat delivery – which seems wrong in some of the scenes. She also mispronounces the name of the library – the Covington. Since the Covington is the main location in the story, that is a great many mispronunciations. Her range of voices seems to be fairly narrow as well. Some of the voices were so similar I wasn’t always sure who was speaking until they identified themselves.
I voluntarily listened to and reviewed an Advance Audio Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.