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“B” Is for Bad Girls by Rebecca Cantrell and Sean Black

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“B” Is for Bad Girls by Rebecca Cantrell and Sean Black "B" Is for Bad Girls by Rebecca Cantrell, Sean Black
Narrator: Madeline Mrozek
Series: Malibu Mystery #2
Published by the authors on February 23, 2016
Source: Author
Genres: Mystery
Length: 5 hrs 15 mins
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon or Audible
Add on Goodreads

Maloney Investigation's newest private detective, Sofia Salgado, is back on the case that turns into her mother's worst nightmare when she ends up undercover in one of Malibu's many rehab clinics.

If she doesn't solve the mystery in time, she and all the bad girls she meets inside, including rock star Brandi Basher and reality TV train wreck Monaco Jane, might just end up going to the big rehab center in the sky.

“B” Is for Bad Girls is #2 in the series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone. It’s short, funny and has a good mystery. Sofia is a great lead character. She’s new to the detective business, although she played one on tv— literally, she quit acting to become a detective. The paparazzi is still happy to get pictures of her in awkward situations though, like peeing in public or coming out of a rehab facility for example. Part of what makes it fun is that her semi-celebrity status in Malibu lets us meet other celebrities, like the bad girls at the rehab center where she is undercover. Well, not really undercover, since she’s still being herself, just pretending to be a drug addict, which she is not. It’s neat to have the entertainment industry in the background of the series.

Sofia is a riot she has a great sense of humor about herself and about life. Her friends and family are caring, but all a little over the top. Her mom tends to attempt interventions and wants Sofia to get together with her (gay) neighbor. Her niece and nephew are dangerous, period — keep them away from tools and don’t look at them funny, but they’re cute, I just wouldn’t want to watch them for a weekend. the guys at the detective agency are competent and good at what they do. While there’s a lot of teasing, they have Sofia’s back and do appreciate her unique skill set. And you have to meet the seagull. Oh, and the puppy.

I really enjoy light mysteries that can truly make me laugh and this one of the few series I’ve run across lately that fits the bill. The mystery itself is actually pretty good, too. I did guess who dunnit, but the clues were worked into the story well. Sofia did do the standard female detective thing of putting herself into a dangerous position with no way of contacting anyone, but of course it worked out. It wrapped up a bit quickly, a few questions were left unanswered, but they solved the mystery they were hired to solve.

Mrozek does an excellent job as the narrator. She’s perfect for Sofia, but handles all the other characters well. Even though some of the people and situations are outrageous, she keeps it all under control, lets it be believable. I’m looking forward to listening to more of Sofia’s adventures in detecting.

About Rebecca Cantrell

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell has published nine novels in over ten different languages. Her novels have won the ITW Thriller, the Macavity, and the Bruce Alexander awards. They have been nominated for the GoodReads Choice award, the Barry, the RT Reviewers Choice, and the APPY award. She and her husband and son live in Berlin.

About Sean Black

Sean Black grew up in Scotland, but also spent parts of his childhood in the United.

By the time he graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Sean had already published some short fiction and print journalism. Before he became a full-time novelist, e taught college and wrote television drama.

“A” Is for Asshat by Rebecca Cantrell and Sean Black

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“A” Is for Asshat by Rebecca Cantrell and Sean Black "A" Is for Asshat by Rebecca Cantrell, Sean Black
Narrator: Madeline Mrozek
Series: Malibu Mystery #1
Published by Mainly Murder Press on January 15, 2016
Source: Audiobook Blast
Genres: Mystery
Length: 6 hrs 38 mins
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon or Audible
Add on Goodreads

After a decade spent in the glare of the Hollywood spotlight as the star of kids' TV show Half Pint Detective, Sofia Salgado has had enough. Desperate to build a life outside showbiz, she quits acting to do something that everyone around her - including her family - thinks is plain nuts. Get a real job.

They think she's even crazier when she announces that she's going to become a real detective, instead of playing one on TV. She's convinced the technical consultant from her TV show, Brendan Maloney, to take her on in his detective agency, but can accident-prone Sofia hack it?

I have to admit this one surprised me. It was a blast – funny with great characters and a good mystery. It’s light, not a cozy, but not too violent. I think part of it is that even though they’re dealing with dangerous situations or shady folks, Sofia and Aiden, the owner’s son and her partner, keep their sense of humor. The banter is perfect and the chemistry is clear between them, even if they ten to get on each other’s nerves, it’s all part of the fun.

Sofia used to be an actor, but she decided she wanted a job that could make a difference, so she’s now working at a detective agency. In her new position, her fame can be both a hindrance and a help. The opening scene is hilarious, when the paparazzi catch a video of her in rather an awkward situation, which leads to some running jokes.

The story doesn’t solely rely on the characters though. The mystery’s actually good, enough clues and suspects to make it interesting. I could have done without Sofia’s moral issues – what if we’re working for the killer, what if our work helps put an innocent person in suspicion, but in the end they are of course on the right side.

Madeline Mrozek as the narrator did a great job, she brought the characters to life, especially Sofia, and kept the  tone upbeat. She helped with the amusement value of the story. Rebecca Cantrell has a fun interview up with her on her blog. You can find it here, along with a couple audio clips.

I am definitely looking forward to the next in the book, hopefully on audio. I also enjoy an actually funny mystery.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

About Rebecca Cantrell

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell has published nine novels in over ten different languages. Her novels have won the ITW Thriller, the Macavity, and the Bruce Alexander awards. They have been nominated for the GoodReads Choice award, the Barry, the RT Reviewers Choice, and the APPY award. She and her husband and son live in Berlin.

About Sean Black

Sean Black grew up in Scotland, but also spent parts of his childhood in the United.

By the time he graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Sean had already published some short fiction and print journalism. Before he became a full-time novelist, e taught college and wrote television drama.

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