25 October 2018

Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan Audiobook Review


Murder at the Flamingo
by Rachel McMillan

From Thomas Nelson, audiobook narration by Kristin James

This is my first book that I've read by Canadian author, Rachel McMillan. I was drawn into the story and really enjoyed the settings and the characters. Having visiting Boston during a college exploration trip for our daughter, it was fun to go back in time to 1930s era in Boston. I did get a couple of the characters mixed up and I reached out to Rachel to help clarify for me. Obviously if I'd been reading the book rather than listening this wouldn't have been an issue.

I was delighted to read where the hero has an Anxiety Disorder. Frankly, we don't get to read many stories that feature a flawed hero like Hamish. I was looking forward to hearing how God helped Hamish overcome. Was thinking this could even be a good bibliotherapy book. See my next comments.

The story reminded me very much of a clean reads novel from another author. I kept listening for the Christian fiction component, the spiritual arc. And I kept listening. It was an engaging story, the characterization was good, and I enjoyed Rachel's author voice. But I never did find the Christian fiction component or the spiritual arc. So at the end I felt rather flummoxed. This was a Thomas Nelson story and it read like a clean read story not a Christian fiction. I was disappointed. I do think the market is going in this direction and we're going to find this more often. So I'll be checking in future to make sure the time I invest time in a listen is for a CF story -- I do want that clear spiritual arc.

Here's what Rachel McMillan had to say about the Christian element. She has given me permission to quote her: "It's more thematic. It's infused in the mentions of Hunchback of Notre Dame. In the grace distributed by Nate to the North End community. In the loyalty and unconditional love of Hamish to Luca. My books don’t have overt Christian elements or frames. It is more implied in message and symbol."

Publisher's Summary
“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure....”

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times - including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand.

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo nightclub.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston - and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.

Giveaway: Box of books. Leave a comment to enter.




29 comments:

  1. This book is on my tbr list. Would love to win it. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. The giveaway is for a box of books Sandra. It is not for this novel.

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  2. Thank you for your review. This book will be going on my TBR.

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    1. Are you good with there being no overt spiritual arc Sherry?

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  3. Great review! Thank you for sharing! And thank you for the giveaway opportunity. mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. I enjoyed it too Leila. But I expected a spiritual arc.

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  5. It’s on my to-read list. It sounds interestingšŸ˜Š

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  6. I enjoyed your review and learning more about this author.. Dee Stevens

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  7. Box of books!! Here I am! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net
    I prefer a book over audio, as my mind wonders and I have to go back and re-listen. I am a "visual-learner" so like the printed page.

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    1. Hi Kathleen! A lot of people say that about audiobooks!

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  8. I usually don't read too many mysteries, but this one sounds really interesting! Thanks for sharing your review.

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  9. It sounds like an engaging story. It sound like a compelling book to listen to. Thanks for reviewing it for us!

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  10. Haven't read this one yet, but I love the name Hamish!!! Thank you for sharing about it.

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  11. Thank you for the review. I also find myself looking for the Christian aspect in a fiction book. I have some audiobooks that I haven’t listened to yet, so I will keep in mind that I could get “lost” in the recording.
    perrianne (DOT) askew (AT) me (DOT) com
    Perrianne Askew

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  12. Thanks for this helpful review. I have found over the years that I prefer the spiritual aspect of a book to be overt rather than covert. Your giveaway sounds wonderful - please enter me. :)
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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  13. I’ve enjoyed Rachel McMillan’s previous mystery series and this book goes into the “next generation” of detectives so it would be fun to read even without a visible spiritual arc. Thanks for the review and the giveaway of a box of books.

    mindyhoung AT msn DOT com

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  14. I have not read any books by Rachel yet, though a couple novellas arecon my kindle. I appreciate your heads up about the spiritual thread. I, too prefer it. Thanks Carrie for the chance to win the box of books.

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    1. Hi Paula! That's definitely the point of me reading and writing Christian fiction. Without the spiritual arc I don't feel like I got my soul fed in any way.

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  15. This sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

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  16. Sounds so good and suspenseful!
    Thank you

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  17. This is sitting on my bedside table!! I need to crack it open!

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  18. This book sounds imteredinte. I'd love to win a box of books

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  19. I've not read Rachel's books but if I'm reading CF, I want there to be a noticeable spiritual arc. TY for the honest review.

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  20. I've not yet had the pleasure of reading Rachel's books. Thank you for the wonderful review.
    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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  21. Completely new for me on different levels; story's spiritual side, the time period...sounds intriguing. This is a great review, Carrie--thank you.

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  22. I've never read any of Rachel's books, this sounds very interesting! Thanks for sharing Carrie! Also, thank you for sharing a chance to win a box of books! Woot! Woot!
    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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  23. I have not read any of Rachel's books, but I know I have one or two on my Kindle. I don't mind if it doesn't have strong spiritual content as long as it is ckean, but that is good to know going in.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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