A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry, Narrator: Katina Kalin

A Skeleton in the Family
A Family Skeleton Mystery, Book 1
Written by: Leigh Perry
Narrator: Katina Kalin

Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins

A Skeleton in the Family By Leigh Perry image
A Skeleton in the Family

Katina Kalin narrator and voice coach image narrator reviews
Katina Kalin Narrator

Narrator Review:  Katina Kalin is enchanting and beyond spectacular. Kalin's performance of this imaginative and outstanding book, is polished and impeccable. There simply are not enough adjectives to praise her with. Her voice is gentle, expressive and very appealing. Every mood and nuance is captured in a magical way making Ms. Kalin a shining star in the audio book world. I love listening to her and she now tops my list of favorite narrators.

 Leigh Perry, author of A Skeleton in the Family image narrator reviews
Leigh Perry Author

Book Review: A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry.
Sid, the Thackery's resident skeleton has resided in their attic for the past thirty years. He amuses himself watching television, reading books and comics and he loves to eavesdrop.

Georgia an Adjunct Professor, was hired mid-term at the local college, was able to move into the family home rent free while her parents are on sabbatical. Fourteen year old Madison once again has to adjust to a new school. Adjunct Professors move around a lot, and Madison has adapted to school changes pretty well for a young person.  

Georgia has considered Sid her best friend since she was six years old, but, daughter Madison knows nothing about him. Georgia wants Sid and Madison to meet but Sid has every excuse a skeleton can come up with to not let Madison know about him. Georgia has credible concerns about keeping Sid a secret. Sharing the same house for very long proves to be a challenge.

Skeletons rattle around and there's always the chance that Madison will run into him unexpectedly. Georgia's sister Deborah, has ignored Sid for years in the belief that it's not possible for a skeleton to talk. This kind of hurts Sid's feelings, I thought it was funny when he asked if she 'liked his new haircut' but she ignored him. She flat out refuses to acknowledge him in any way.

"Sid, are you sure you want to play it like this, I'm sure Madison is ready to hear about you. Sid and I agreed when Madison was born that it would be best if we waited to let them meet to face to skull. it wasn't that he was over terrifying in appearance. My fathers Great Aunt Margaret who used a pound of white face powder a week and dyed her hair to the darkness of a black hole, was much scarier.... "

Sid hears (by eavesdropping) about an anime conference to be held locally so he wheedles Georgia into taking him as shinigami from Soul Eater. Sid, decked out in a shinigami costume is happily doing the shinigami chop on everyone that passes by.

Until he recognizes a woman  that triggers feelings of fear from when he was alive. He doesn't know who she is or why she causes such a turmoil of emotions in him. With no name tag on, there was no way for him to identify her. Sid is now possessed with wanting to know who he was, and doesn't foresee that this is setting him and Georgia on a deadly path with his killer.

We've had books with talking cats, dogs, and people who can communicate with them. A living skeleton is a new twist on this theme. A skeleton has a lot more leeway for story lines than a cat or dog. Sid is funny, and Georgia is charming and clever her daughter Madison is the typical teenager maybe a cut above.

I never knew a thing about anime let alone Soul Eater and had to google it. I also was not sure what an Adjunct Professor was and had to google that too. My impression from Georgia's experiences, it sounds like they not only do not pay them very well, they do not treat them very well either. Overall, the book is promising of future stories with Sid and his wise cracking bone jokes and I am certainly looking forward to them. 


Waverly Curtis The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice Narrator Laura Darrell

The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice
Author: Waverly Curtis
Narrator: Laura Darrell

Audible Studios
7 hours 40 min
The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice Waverly Curtis image narratorreviews

The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice
Waverly Curtis 
Narrator Review: Laura Darrell
It certainly was a pleasure listening to Laura Darrell narrating The Chihuahua Always 
Sniffs Twice. Compared to the first three in the series the text portions are smoother with less over pronunciation and emphasis on each word, also there's a significant increase in dramatization. PePe's Mexican accent is impressive, as is Jimmy G's. Laura Darrell has successfully become the embodiment of all the players in The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice. Listening instead of reading gives much more impact and dimension to the story. 

Laura Darrell Narrator

Audio Book Review: The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice, By Waverly Curtis

Geri plans on sunbathing, in the rare for Seattle, sunny afternoon. Seattle doesn't get many warm sunny days, when Jimmy G. calls her to come into the office 'pronto'  it's always pronto with Jimmy G. With a sigh, she tells the now dancing around her feet,  PePe that indeed The Gerard Agency they work for has a case for them. Nothing makes PePe happier than having a case to sink his canine teeth into. Well, maybe the Spanish Tella Novella's he is fond of watching is a close second. 

"PePe headed for the overflowing wastebasket, and began rooting around...."  "You and your ratdog, he looked at PePe, who was sniffing something he found in a corner, 'yum'  I heard PePe say. Don't eat anything you find down there I warned him, I don't want you getting sick.  'Funny you should say that, Jimmy G. said, that's the case, someone tried to poison some dogs......"
"Oh my God, who would do such thing? "Si, said PePe," coming over to me quivering with indignation, a poisoner of pero's, is lower than a cocaracha....." 

Jimmy G. sends Geri and PePe to Whidbey Island to meet with Barrett Boswell the executor of Lucille Carpenter's estate.  Luciille died and left her fortune of five million dollars and her home to her dogs. Leaving her children to fight among themselves, the one's left out of her trust want to prove she was crazy when she wrote it. Only a crazy person would leave a fortune like that to four dogs. Right! Seems someone is trying to kill the dogs, surmising that once the dogs are all dead the money will then go to them. Except, which one them is targeting the dogs. Which one if any of them is what Geri and PePe will have to find out as well as to try and protect the dogs.

As soon as Geri left the office, Jimmy G. calls up Bernie Bickerstaff, the attorney across the hall from Boswell. Bickerstaff wants to meet with him in person, but, lazy Jimmy G. really doesn't like to handle cases, himself, but double the fee is a sweet persuader. Sounds like Jimmy G. is up to one of his double, double crosses that he likes to brag about. Bickerstaff fails to show up for their meeting at the Windjammer Bar, Jimmy G. thinks because he was late arriving, that Bickerstaff left already, until the bartender tells him about the excitement earlier when the police arrested a murderer. "Yeah says Jimmy G. who was murdered?" An attorney with an office upstairs, Bernie Bickerstaff.  They arrested Barrett Boswell the attorney across the hall from him. 

Another winner from Waverly Curtis, this story was a bit more complex than the previous three in the series.  PePe is the star and brains of this private detective duo, Geri is often at a loss as to what to do next, or what to ask. PePe prompts Geri and makes intelligent decisions, too bad the boisterous little beast never gets credit when he cleverly solves the crimes. 
Dial C for Chihuahua
Chihuahua Confidential

The Big Chihuahua


The Big Chihuahua By Waverly Curtis Audio Book narrated by Laura Darrell

The Big Chihuahua: A Barking Detective Mystery
Series: Barking Detective, Book 3
By Waverly Curtis
Narrated By Laura Darrell

Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins

Audio book image of The Big Chihuahua by Waverly Curtis
The Big Chihuahua by Waverly Curtis

Narrator Review: Laura Darrell

Laura Darrell narrator, The Big Chihuahua by Waverly Curtis image
Laura Darrell Narrator

Laura Darrell, has really developed the character of PePe in the  Barking Detective Series. She absolutely can make you believe that a Chihuahua can talk. Geri, rescued PePe from the animal shelter and once he started talking to her it is non-stop chatter mostly about himself and all the brave and heroic things he's done. Her boss and suppose to be mentor, Jimmy G. who refers to himself in the third person is an avid gambler, drinks pretty heavy and continues to call PePe, the rat dog and Geri, doll. Again Laura Darrell does a really exceptional depiction of this wanna be Sam Spade, a true throw back with his brown felt fedora, trench coat, and thin little mustache. Every voice is unique and outstanding. I even like the way she announces the chapter numbers, so upbeat. I wish there was a lot less over enunciation on words when Geri is thinking or the basic text of the story. It would be perfection without that one little distraction. It is not bothersome enough to make me not love the stories or buy the books. You may not even notice it. Ms. Darrell also has a lovely tone to her voice.

Audio Book Review: The Big Chihuahua:

Series: Barking Detective, Book 3
By Waverly Curtis

Mark Darling hires the Gerard Detective Agency to locate his wife Tammy. Tammy had been depressed after a miscarriage and got involved with the Dogawanda cult. That was the last place he'd heard of her being, and he'd only one note from her saying to forget her and not look for her. Shortly after receiving it she withdrew twenty- five thousand dollars out of their joint bank account and he thinks she gave it to the Dogawanda.

Geri and PePe go undercover to a Dogawanda free weekend hoping to find Tammy, if she is actually there. They do find her right away and Geri delivers Mark's message. Tammy isn't happy with the message especially when she finds out that Mark changed all their bank accounts and she can't draw out another twenty- five thousand, without it she can't move up a level in the cult, and she did not want to leave the compound until she reached that next level.

The next day Geri and PePe find Tammy dead. With Tammy dead and the message delivered Geri returns to Seattle get paid.  Unfortunately Jimmy G. failed to tell Geri she was suppose to collect half their fee before starting on a case. With Jimmy G. bragging about showing her how to get their money, they go to Mark's to collect. Mark out foxes them by making a deal with them to find out who murdered his wife, as he is suing the Dogawanda to recover the money. Jimmy G. can't resist a gamble, so instead of leaving with their thousand dollar fee, they leave with nothing but a promise of a percentage his lawsuit.

Geri and PePe, return to the Dogawanda compound to do further investigations. Geri is not as pleased as PePe with the life style of the Dogawanda's. She is frustrated when she finds out they don't serve coffee, deprived of her morning jolt of caffeine she's not a happy camper. At lunch she learns there are no utensils to eat with, as they ate the way of the dog, with their hands, this is the beginning of her frustrations. PePe thinks all humans should worship the dog and he loves the Dogawanda compound.

During an evening meeting, Crystal Star, channeler for the great Dogawanda takes an interest in PePe and seems able to not exactly hear PePe the way Geri does but, knows what he is saying or seems to. All this attention goes to PePe's head and he's ecstatic with his power over the Dogawanda members. PePe the little egotistic makes all the Dogawanda members bark. He becomes less pleased with Crystal when she relays his message in ways he doesn't like and didn't say.

The Big Chihuahua by Waverly Curtis image
Waverly Curtis and PePe
I laughed so much with this entire book beginning with word Dogawanda. It's almost thumbing your nose at cults. The performance of Crystal channeling Dogawanda for dog wisdom had me laughing till my sides ached. Jimmy G. is a riot, with his swaggering bravado he's almost as bad as PePe. PePe even mentions to Geri that they should start their own detective agency. I would miss Jimmy G. if he was dropped from the story.

With PePe's keen sense of smell and sharp hearing they solve the cases on their own. If not for them, Jimmy G. would be homeless and living out of his car. Yet, Jimmy G. manages to come through in the nick of time to help the detective duo. The Big Chihuahua is definitely a winner. We have the on going romance with Felix the dog whisperer, two murders, more about Geri's missing sister and her older sister who bullies Geri. She just can't accept that Geri is a private eye. So listen to the book and get some Dog Wisdom.

As good as the first two in the series, Dial C For Chihuahua, Book 1. and Book 2. Chihuahua Confidential, are I thought The Big Chihuahua was the funniest. Fingers crossed that the next one The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice meets the same high octane standard of humor.