The first I have read from this author, I was expecting a cozy mystery with some doggie highlights. What I didn’t expect was to find myself engaged early on and finding the intersection of mystery and romance working really well for me. In addition, the dog-training tidbits, especially the well-intentioned attempts gone wrong, were entertaining and amusing.
Double Dog Dare
Raine is the heroine of the story, and she is in need of a vacation. Her love interest, Miles has spirited her off to St. Bart’s for a much needed break amongst the rich and famous: a huge change from her quiet life in the Smoky Mountains. Not long after they arrive, there is a murder, and Raine being her curious self has to investigate. The contrast of her more simple approach to life with the more bourgeois atitudes of the other vacationers and residents was a nice inset – the grass isn’t always greener, despite Miles’ glam attempts to spirit her away.
Cisco is a lovely Golden, and very typical of the breed: friendly, goofy and often prone to selective obedience. I couldn’t help but picture that ‘golden smile’ as he meandered through the plot, even when he was bad. Adding in his own daughter and mother, Miles’ showed a side of men that is often lacking in the fiction I read: the nurturing / caring side. It was an interesting subplot to show their interactions and relationships in a unique way, even adding a dash of drama for young Melanie.
Narration for this story is provided by Donna Postel: utilizing pitch and tone changes she deftly moved between characters, accents and story presentation that keeps listeners engaged and easily able to distinguish characters and emotions. Without over-acting or over-reach in the emotional moments, she presented the story beautifully.
A fairly straightforward mystery, some foreshadowing hinted at things to come, without overwhelming the moments in the present, and it was fun discovering Raine’s process as she solved the story. Plenty of background information on the characters was provided, in a way that was not overwhelming but allowed me to feel comfortable early on, and I did not feel as if there were major gaps in understanding characters or story.
Fans of cozy mysteries, a touch of romance with their mysteries and those who enjoy dogs who are a part of the character’s lives in ways that are honest and true to real life will enjoy this AudioBook.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration: 5 Story 4
Title: Double Dog Dare
Author: Donna Ball
Series: The Raine Stockton Dog Mystery #8
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Narrator: Donna Postel
Published by: Blue Merle Publishing
Published on: 10 December 2013
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 30 minutes
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For dog trainer and search-and-rescue volunteer Raine Stockton the last few months have been marked by murder, danger, and betrayal. A luxury vacation to the Caribbean resort island of St. Bart’s sounds like the perfect antidote for stress, particularly since it includes three of her favorite traveling companions: boyfriend Miles, his daughter Melanie, and Raine’s happy-go-lucky golden retriever Cisco. But even in paradise, trouble finds them.
An American actress has suffered a fatal diving accident, and someone close to Miles appears to have been involved. As more and more people from Miles’s past surface, he and Raine are drawn reluctantly into a murder investigation. Raine, far more comfortable in her native North Carolina mountains than in this foreign culture surrounded by the baffling behavior of the rich and famous, is at a distinct disadvantage. But Raine faces her worst fears when someone she loves goes missing, and she is forced to navigate unfamiliar terrain in an alien land to track down a killer. And this time, even Cisco can’t help her.
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A copy of this title was provided via Narrator for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.