Friday, August 16, 2019

Nailed (Alex Harris Mystery #8), by Elaine Macko (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Audible Audio, August 2016

Alex Harris runs a small but successful temp agency in her home town of Indian Cove, Connecticut. Her sister, Samantha, works for her, and the small number of Alex's office employees are a tight-knit little family. Alex also has a close extended family, including not just her and Sam's husbands, and Sam's two children, but the sisters' parents and grandparents.

And then Alex's husband, Indian Cove police detective John Van der Burg, messes things up by showing up at Alex's office to arrest Sam for the murder of the building inspector who failed to pass the new sunroom addition to Sam's house.

Well, really, just take her in for questioning, because they have a witness saying that Sam had a loud confrontation with him the previous morning in which she may have threatened to kill him.

Alex and John are coming up on their one-year anniversary. After this outrage, she's not sure they'll make it. In fairness, it should perhaps be noted that even at the height of her outrage, she's not entirely serious about that last bit.

Sam refuses to give any kind of an alibi, which does make it harder for the police to drop her as a possible suspect, and of course Alex can't help but get involved in trying to find the real killer to clear first Sam, and then her husband, Michael, after it's clear Sam isn't a viable suspect. In the process, she learns a great deal not just about the dead inspector, but his family, his dead wife's family, the school both his and Sam's kids attend, and an impressive array of other people who may or may not be connected to his death, but in this small town, were definitely connected to him, one way or another.

It's a lively, interesting story, with unexpected bits of humor. I especially like the fact that the characters are well-developed and complex. We meet several characters who are definitely quite flawed and hard to like, yet prove to have some quite positive traits as well. Nor is it a simplistic, "see, everyone is nice after all." These are characters who are truly a realistic mix of the good and the bad.

Another thing I really like is that Alex, while by no means a professional investigator, doesn't do reckless or foolish things. That doesn't mean she never makes a mistake, but she doesn't do the things that make you want to scream at the page or the screen that doing that is insane and you're going to get yourself killed. She considers them sometimes, but she doesn't do them. I love that simple possession of common sense as well as intelligence.

Michelle Babb always enhances anything she narrates, which is why I rarely pass up an opportunity to review her audiobooks. Her voice is clear and easy on the ear, and she's both expressive, and good at distinguishing the characters.


I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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