Monday, August 22, 2022
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Author: ACF Bookens
Narrator: Aven Shore
Length: 5 hours 10 minutes
Series: Stitches in Crime, Book 5
Producer: Audiobook Empire
Released: August 1, 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Old Douglas Fir timbers bring good money, but maybe not as much as keeping quiet about the story of a murder. Paisley Sutton hates to see an old barn falling down, so when she has a chance to take in a crew of friends to salvage timbers, she goes in with gusto. But when they find the bones from a decades-old murder, Paisley begins to wonder if maybe some things should just be let go to ruins. Maybe some secrets need to stay buried. If Paisley decides to salvage more than just wood and reveal the murderer, will she be the next body buried in a barn?ACF Bookens loves a good mystery, a quaint bookshop, and a good cup of coffee. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she takes joy in the mountain views and the quiet back roads. She lives with her son Milo and a beautiful rescue hound who inspired Mayhem in her St. Marin's Cozy Mystery Series. Aslan, the cat in her books, is based on her departed first cat by that name, who spent an inordinate amount of time digging up her houseplants. In her books, Bookens addresses issues of justice and writes with intention to disrupt the white supremacy that says that "whiteness" is normal by making purposeful note of every character's ethnicity. She is weary of books that assume everyone is white unless the author says otherwise because being white is not the default of reality. Her hope is that readers enjoy escaping into her stories and are challenged, just a little, to make themselves better people and the world a better place from the reading. Aven is an audiobook narrator living in her off-grid tiny house in rural Eastern Canada, surrounded by forest and chicken friends, and honeybees. She loves books so much she's listening to one almost every minute she's not narrating one (she narrates romance as Avie Paige). She narrates live on Discord with other romance narrators on the Haven server. She is longing to travel and hike in mountains again, and dreaming of sleep in the lava fields of Iceland under Northern lights again, her favorite place in the world. Her past lives include being a carpenter, firefighter, tax accountant, and competitive snowboarder. At Audiobook Empire, audio reigns supreme, narrators are hailed as heroes, and headphones are worn with pride. Marrying pomp and circumstance with quality you can count on, Audiobook Empire is a full-service production house that produces and promotes audiobooks with gusto. Give your audiobook the imperial treatment by producing it with Audiobook Empire. I love a good mystery, and the plotline of Stitch X For Murder hooked me into listening despite being book five in a series I had never heard of prior to this. However, I can assure you, having gobbled this up like an ice cream sundae on a summer evening, that I will be returning to the beginning and continuing through all ten books presently in this series. ACF Bookens sets several precedents for me as a reader and I am all about it. First and foremost, it is very hard for a well-established series to walk that line of gently recapping former events or character arcs - too much info and you turn off established readers; too little info and a new reader is lost to the pertinence of certain events or characters. This series struck the perfect balance and I didn't feel I missed a thing. The other crazy item of note: the story setting felt hauntingly familiar, so much so that I figured out it is literally set one county away from where I live. Spooky, right?
Stitch X For Murder begins with Paisley Sutton and her crew tearing down an old barn. While collecting small items for her new shop, they unearth a skeleton, kicking off a search for answers with Paisley's boyfriend, Sherriff Santiago. The plot thickens when Paisley learns that the remains belong to a reputed war dodger from 1940s. Paisley's father and several of his friends appear to know more than they are letting on. Through the course of the investigation, the body count rises and even Paisley and her son Sam become targets. Paisley and Santiago will have to dredge up traumas from the past to solve the crimes and regain safety and peace in their bucolic town.
ACF Bookens writes with confidence and flair. She creates characters that live and breathe. You can't help but adore Paisley's relationships: with her parents, her best friend Mika, her boyfriend Santiago, and her son Sawyer Her descriptions of the physical area are so colorful and detailed. I can vouch that, despite Octonia being a fictitious town, it is in a very real place and is exactly as she describes. And every scene with Mika and her knitting made me stare forlornly at the basket of fibers in my office waiting for me to pick needles back up and return to my work in progress.
Aven Shore narrates with pitch-perfect aplomb. She manages to create unique voices for each character and keeps the story moving at an excellent pace. Having listened to her in other books, I had high hopes and was not disappointed.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Audiobook Empire. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.