Author: Jennifer Kincheloe
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Length: 12h 44m
Publisher: Jennifer R. Kincheloe, Ltd⎮2016
Genre: Historical Mystery/Thriller
Release date: Nov. 14, 2016
It’s 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels, but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era’s rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. If the police find out, she’ll get fired; if her father finds out, he’ll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he’ll cancel the wedding. Midway into her investigation, the police chief’s son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity, and shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail. Anna must choose – either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.
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Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse’s aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She’s currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.
Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself. Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She’s won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible’s prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”
Songs selected by Author Jennifer Kincheloe
All Tomorrow’s Parties by Nico (for the Pink Ball)
Sucker by Tori Amos (for the sting operation in Boyle Heights)
Doll Parts by Hole (for when Anna’s getting ready in the brothel)
Everybody Hurts by Patti Smith (for the scene when Joe bails Anna out of jail)
Kamikazi by PJ Harvey (for the showdown with the villain)
I was provided the audiobook for this story in exchange for an honest review and as part of this lovely blog tour.
The story captivated me from the very beginning. The first few chapters can offer an idea of what type of character Anna really is and the narrator definitely did an amazing job to give voice to these traits. What is absolutely fabulous about the book is that not only the story is great and keeps you focused from start to end, but also the setting, the character and the writing style (+ in my case, the narrator).
The action is quite present throughout the pages, since Miss Blanc has a tendency to always start trouble, or better to look for it. She plans to elope, she gets mixed with women that can only ruin her reputation, she wants a man’s job at a police station and, as if these weren’t enough, she starts her own investigation. I just love this woman! There are twists all over the pages and there just isn’t one moment of boredom! So from plot point of view, it has all my points J
What really made me give 5 stars to this book was actually the character. The author did an amazing job at creating Anna Blanc – a strong woman, one that knows her values and believes she can do anything she sets her mind to. All these while trying to maintain a reputation of a decent lady. In a time where women were regarded as inferior to men, in time where they started challenging for voting rights, Anna is a great symbol of what means to be determined, what means to fight for your dreams and not feel beneath the people around (be those men or women).
As for the narrator, I was mentioning in the beginning that she is absolutely great! Her voice is intelligible and she does a great job at making the difference between characters. But to top that, I believe she is fit for Anna’s character. I don’t know, but Moira has that voice I imagined for a person like Anna (not sure if this has much sense). Oh, and the emotions are also very nicely captured!
All in all, I loved this audiobook and I am lucky to be part of this tour. This is one of those books that can be an inspiration. For me at least it was. I’ve been having some tough days lately and Anna reminded me that we can me strong, we can still follow our dreams. Although I am not a convinced feminist (as I do believe men are better at some things), the story has more to it. I recommend it and I hope you like it at least as much as I did!
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One thought on “Audiobook Review: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc”
Seriously excellent review, Lilly!