Jove Brand Is Near Death by J.A. CrawfordJove Brand Is Near Death by J. A. Crawford
Narrator: Tim Campbell
Series: Ken Allen Super Sleuth #1
Published by CamCat Books on July 13, 2022
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mystery
Length: 8 hrs 6 mins
Pages: 336
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at or Audible
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The name is Allen. Ken Allen.

These days Ken Allen is a nobody.

But once upon a time, his name was Brand. Jove Brand.

Eighteen years ago, Ken Allen played the famous fictional superspy in Near Death, a movie so bad it was never meant to be seen. Since then, Ken has faded into cult obscurity, but when his celebrated successor is killed in the same ghastly fashion as the villain in Near Death, Ken is cast as the prime suspect.

The only way for Ken to clear his name is to go full method and once again play the part of Jove Brand, except this time it's for real. As murder surrounds him, the secrets behind Near Death Ken fought to keep buried for eighteen years begin to surface.

Jove Brand Is Near Death is tons of fun. Ken Allen, is a personal trainer and martial arts expert in LA. His 15 minutes of fame came years ago when he played fictional spy, Jove Brand, in a single film in the blockbuster franchise. He had the looks and the action hero moves, but his acting was awful and the script was not much better. It was the worst Brand movie, but Ken has moved on, more or less. Until a new Brand is announced, and people connected to the series start turning up dead, killed with one of Ken’s signature movie moves. Now Ken has to prove he’s innocent – and figure out who the killer is.

This was a perfect summer read, with plenty of action and gadgets galore. The characters are a varied lot, from Hollywood royalty to the cop who is sure Ken must have something to do with the murders to the special effects guy who helps outfit Ken for his real-life Brand adventure. They all have their quirks, which seems appropriate for LA. Ken himself is great. He’s a talented martial artist, has a dry sense of humor, and is actually a good guy. The plot is convoluted and over the top in the best possible way.

I listened to the audio and the narrator did an awesome job. I’m not sure where the series is going to go from here, but I’m looking forward to the ride. The second book comes out today, so I will maybe listen to it before the month’s out.

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that it took me a moment to realize the stag was a motorcycle, not a souped-up mechanical deer.

About J. A. Crawford

J.A. Crawford wanted to grow up to be a superhero. He studied Criminal Justice at Wayne State University, specializing in criminal procedure and interrogation.

Despite what his family thinks, Joe is not a spy. When he isn’t writing, he travels the country investigating disaster sites. Before that, he taught Criminal Justice, Montessori Kindergarten, and several martial arts. Joe is an alum of the Pitchwars program.

Joe has too many interests and finds every topic under the sun absolutely fascinating. He especially loves the stories behind the stories. Joe splits his time between Michigan and California. He is married to his first and biggest fan, who is not allowed to bring home any more pets.


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