Friday, September 7, 2018

Sophia Rose Reviews Murder With a Twist by Allyson Abbott, narrated by Nicole Poole

Once again I turn the blog over to reviewer extraordinaire, Sophia Rose who's today got an audio cozy, Murder With A Twist.

Murder With a Twist by Allyson Abbott, narrated by Nicole Poole

#2 Mack’s Bar Mystery
Publisher:  Tantor Audio
Published:  8.7.18
ISBN:  0758280173
Time:  8 hours 38 min
Rating: 3.5
Rating for Narration: 4.5
Format:  MP3
Source:  Tantor Audio
Sellers:  Amazon -  Audible -    Barnes & Noble

 ADD TO: GOODREADS           

GoodReads Blurb:
The regulars at Mack's Bar love putting their heads together to solve a good mystery. But Mack is learning there's a big difference between barroom brain teasers and real-life murder. . .
Milwaukee bar owner Mackenzie "Mack" Dalton has a unique neurological condition that gives her extra perceptive senses, and police detective Duncan Albright is convinced Mack's abilities can be used to help catch crooks. Mack may be at pro at mixing drinks, but she's still an amateur when it comes to solving crimes--and she's not sure she should mix business with pleasure by working with a man who stirs up such strong feelings in her. At her first crime scene--a suspicious suicide--she experiences a heady cocktail of mixed sensations and emotions that make her question whether police work is right for her. But when Duncan asks her to help find a kidnapped child, she knows she has to give it a shot. . .

Sophia Rose's Review:

A cozy mystery set in and around a Milwaukee bar and an amateur detective having a rare neurological condition that gave her stronger senses by a new to me author and read by a new to me narrator tickled my fancy.

Murder With a Twist is book two in the Mack's Bar series, but I had no trouble reading it out of order as the first few chapters recapped matters (sans the solution) and led in slowly to the new mystery set up. 

The intro to Mack and her special mystery-oriented bar, her patrons, and her romance with police detective Duncan Albright dropped me easily into the world of the series.  I thought it was fun that the bar is patronized by the law enforcement community and a crime solving group calling themselves the Capone Club.  Mack goes with it and even serves special crime themed drinks each night.

This might have been the second book in the series, but it felt like the first one in many ways.  The early chapters of the book were taken up with catching the reader up on Mack's past, details of her condition, how she came to have a crime-themed bar, her staff, her patrons, and how she came to be acquainted with detective Duncan Albright.  Next, it introduces the first crime scene he takes her to even while detailing out her sensory gifts and what it’s like for her as she encounters new stimulae.  I found it fascinating at first, but on top of the longer introduction, I did get impatient and wanted things to start moving.  Mack's hemming and hah-ing around about whether she wanted to be involved in police investigations along with all the rest left me with that feeling that first books sometimes leave.

There were a couple of cases for Mack to work on with Duncan's team and it was neat how her condition really helped.  I liked following along with her and Duncan.  Things were very tentative all around and I wanted her to get some confidence in herself as the story went along.  The Capone Club group cases were interesting too, but paired with the current cases she was working on, it was a lot going on.

Nicole Poole is a long-time favorite of a few audiobook loving friends so I was eager to listen in to her work.  She has an amazing versatile voice for both genders and a large cast.  I felt her narration definitely added a fantastic layer of goodness to this book and can definitely see why others enjoy her storytelling.

All in all, this was just light and mostly fun.  Loved the crime-themed bar setting and found the heroine's quirky condition an interesting twist on the usual.  Not a particularly riveting book, but has definite appeal particularly when taken on audio.  Those who enjoy the lighter Cozy mysteries might want to give this one a go.

Author’s Bio:
Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by Beth Amos, author of the suspense novels COLD WHITE FURY, EYES OF NIGHT, SECOND SIGHT, NICK OF TIME, and FACE OF DEATH. Beth is also the author of the Mattie Winston mystery series written under the pseudonym Annelise Ryan, which includes WORKING STIFF, SCARED STIFF, FROZEN STIFF, LUCKY STIFF, and BOARD STIFF.
Beth lives in Wisconsin, where she changes identities nearly every day.

Narrator Bio:
Nicole Poole is a classically trained actor with equal passions for literature and improvisation. She has toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company, has been a member of the critically acclaimed Walter Thompson Orchestra for over fifteen years, and recently became a member of the Parisian groups SPOUMJ and Anitya. She is honored to have been recognized for her narration by an AudioFile Earphones Award, a Publisher's Weekly Listen-Up Award, and nomination for an Audie Award.

Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:


  1. Yeah I've sometimes had trouble with series books where the author tries to "catch up" the readers. It's a fine line between just enough background and too much. But this does sound good Sophia Rose and I like the premise of a protagonist that uses ESP-ish ways to solve crimes. Thank you!

    1. Yes, exactly. I don't mind a bit of recap and usually need it if the releases are a year apart, but the balance of going into too much can be tricky.
      I thought her gift was a neat one, too.

  2. I really like the sounds of the mystery. And this is a new one to me too. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Great review too.

    1. Yes, there were some fun points that really pulled me in. Hope you get the chance, Jenea! :)

  3. I don't read too many mysteries but this sounds ok.

    1. For some reason, this is the time of year when my mystery craving goes into overdrive. ;)

  4. Replies
    1. It was. I wasn't so into the mystery as much as her really cool bar and the murder club. :)

  5. Sounds like a really fun read. Sometimes it's cool to just read a book that's not too heavy. Hugs...and Happy Tuesday to you both! RO

    1. Exactly. It didn't challenge my emotions with a bunch of drama, but it was a nice little bit of entertainment.