Audio Run Time: 7 Hrs 34 Mins
No one could accuse Marcella Hollister’s family of being normal. Her gorgeous Native American husband, Quinn, has a compulsive cleaning problem—which works for her, since she gets a pass on housework. Her mother, who insists on being called Thelma, lives to irritate her husband. And then, there’s Ruby. Sometimes Marcella’s not sure who Quinn loves more…his wife, or his prize parakeet.
After Marcella’s beloved stepfather passes away, leaving a sizable inheritance, the family heads to the scenic Adirondacks for a much-needed vacation at the prestigious Adirondack National Bird Show. But things soon take a strange turn—a bizarre accident involving Thelma, Ruby, and an electrified hotel pool has Thelma asking for crackers and Ruby suddenly spouting Thelma’s favorite phrases.
Then Thelma is kidnapped—and Marcella learns that the inheritance her stepfather left may be connected to the largest unsolved bank heist in U.S. history.
Now Marcella and Quinn must contend with an eccentric bird psychic, mysterious white vans, aggressive FBI agents, and a dangerous chase through the mountains as they rush to find her mother, with only Ruby’s newly acquired “Thelma-vision” to guide them. Can they uncover the secrets buried with her stepfather before it’s too late?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a wonderfully quirky mystery. I loved it!
This audiobook is narrated by Hannah Seusy. I love her reading voice, which is clear and concise. She gave the characters their own voices and brought them to life. I haven't listened to her before, but would consider listening to other books she has narrated.
Marcella Hollister is a wonderful, down to earth character. I really liked her. She usually only has to deal with her husband's compulsive cleaning and her mother's constant needling of her husband. When her mother is kidnapped, Marcella and Quinn find themselves tangled in a mystery. Can they save Thelma and solve the mystery in time?
I love mysteries, quirky or serious. This book definitely falls into the quirky category. I started to listen to this story and was instantly transported into it. I loved meeting Quinn, Marcella's compulsively cleaning husband. I love characters with flaws and, since cleaning is not one of my forte's, I wouldn't mind him visiting my house. I admire Marcella's patience with his fussing but, wanted to smack her for not telling her mother where to go when she critiques Quinn. Yes, Quinn is an adult and quite able to defend himself, but if my parent did that to my significant other, I'd tell them to wind their neck in.
The story takes the reader on an adventure that is full of danger and flying feathers. There are several twists and turns that surprised me too. Tall Pines is a hotel with a difference. Each room has a large aviary, so you can take your pet birds with you. Quinn's parakeet, Ruby, has been entered in the National Bird Show which is being held there. However, there is a run in with a bird psychic called Earl Tiramisu, and the FBI gets involved when Thelma is kidnapped. As the mystery surrounding the kidnapping unfolds, I found myself holding my breath at times. The accidental connection between Ruby and Thelma had me grinning, though I don't know if it was a curse or a blessing. Being an observer, I shook my head at Marcella's and Quinn's slow uptake. Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching them stumble from one problem to another as they tried to solve the mystery surrounding Marcella's stepfather's past in order to rescue Thelma. As the story reached the end (it doesn't end in a cliffhanger), I found myself grinning and I now can't wait to read/listen to the next book in the series, Essentially Yours, as soon as possible.
Aaron Paul Lazar has written a fantastic tale that captured my imagination. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and entertaining. I also love the flow. I have not read any other books by this author before, but he has now found another fan. I am now looking forward to reading more of his books in the future.
This book doesn't have any bad language, though there is some violence. Therefore, I recommend this book to older teen readers and to adults who love cozy mysteries or crime thrillers. - Lynn Worton
View all my reviews
Lazar created the Gus LeGarde mystery series, with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ (2004), a chilling winter mystery set in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Like Lazar's father, protagonist Gus LeGarde is a classical music professor. Gus, a grandfather, gardener, chef, and nature lover, plays Chopin etudes to feed his soul and thinks of himself as a "Renaissance man caught in the 21st century." This book has since be rereleased in 2012 as an "author's preferred edition," via Twilight Times Books.
The creation of the series lent Lazar the comfort he sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Obsessed with his parallel universe, he now lives, breathes, and dreams about his characters, and has written ten LeGarde mysteries in eight years. (UPSTAGED - 2005; TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON - 2007 Twilight Times Books; MAZURKA - 2009 Twilight Times Books, FIRESONG - 2011, DON'T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU - 2013, VIRTUOSO - 2014, with more to come.) The author has just completed his twenty-first novel.
One day while rototilling his gardens, Lazar unearthed a green cat's eye marble, which prompted the new paranormal mystery series featuring Sam Moore, retired country doctor and passionate gardener. The green marble, a powerful talisman, connects all three of the books in the series, whisking Sam back in time to uncover his brother's dreadful fate fifty years earlier. (HEALEY'S CAVE, 2010; TERROR COMES KNOCKING, 2011; FOR KEEPS, 2012) Lazar intends to continue both series.
Lazar's books feature breathless chase scenes, nasty villains, and taut suspense, but are also intensely human stories, replete with kids, dogs, horses, food, romance, and humor. The author calls them, "country mysteries," although reviewers have dubbed them "literary mysteries."
"It seems as though every image ever impressed upon my brain finds its way into my work. Whether it's the light dancing through stained-glass windows in a Parisian chapel, curly slate-green lichen covering a boulder at the edge of a pond in Maine, or hoarfrost dangling from a cherry tree branch in mid-winter, these images burrow into my memory cells. In time they bubble back, persistently itching, until they are poured out on the page."
In 2009, Kodak gave him up for grabs, and during the year off before he landed in his coveted new job with KB America, he had time to explore and reconnect with his environment. Little did he know that several trips to the Adirondack Mountains would reawaken his passion for that part of the country. Two new books were written in that time frame, starting yet another mystery series, Tall Pines Mysteries. The first two combooks in the series, FOR THE BIRDS - 2011 and ESSENTIALLY YOURS - 2012 have been winning literary awards. Keep an eye out for SANCTUARY (2014), and MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA (2015), coming via Twilight Times Books.
In between all the novels, Lazar found time to issue three writing guides based on his many years of writing advice blogs, entitled WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1-3. These are available in eBook and audio book.
In his twenty-first book, Lazar has jumped genre. THE SEACREST - OCT 2013 -, a love story, is poised to capture hearts across the globe.
The author lives on a ridge overlooking the Genesee Valley in upstate New York with his wife, mother-in-law, two dogs, and cat. He finds grandfathering one of the most precious and important times of life, and spends as much time as possible with Julian, Gordon, and Isabella.
Lazar maintains several websites and blogs, was the Gather Saturday Writing Essential host for three years, writes his monthly "Seedlings" columns for the Voice in the Dark literary journal and the Future Mystery Anthology Magazine. He has been published in Absolute Write as well as The Great Mystery and Suspense Magazine. See excerpts and reviews here:
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twilight Times Books by multi-award winning author, Aaron Lazar:
DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (print, eBook, audio book)
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
DON'T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (print, eBook, audio book)
HEALEY'S CAVE (print, eBook, audio book)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)
TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook, audio book)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (print, eBook, audio book)
MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA (~2014)
THE SEACREST (coming fall of 2013)
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (ebooks and audio books)
Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).
* 2012 ForeWord BOTYA, Mystery, FINALIST
Tremolo: cry of the loon -
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Honorable Mention, Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction
* 2011 Global eBook Award Finalist in Historical Fiction Contemporary
* 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award - 2nd place Mystery
* 2008 Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books
* 2008 MYSHELF Top Ten Reads
For the Birds
* 2011 ForeWord Book Awards, FINALIST in Mystery
* 2012 Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Top 10 Reads
* 2013 EPIC Book Awards, FINALIST in Suspense
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist
* 2012 EPIC Book Awards WINNER Best Paranormal
* 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award, WINNER Best Book in Commercial Fiction
* 2011 Finalist for Allbooks Review Editor's Choice
* 2011 Winner of Carolyn Howard Johnson's 9th Annual Noble (not Noble!) Prize for Literature
* 2011 Finalists for Global EBook Awards
Terror Comes Knocking
* 2013 Global Ebook Awards, Paranormal - Bronze
* 2013 Semi Finalist in Kindle Book Review Book Awards, Mystery Category