Murder at the Circus in “Dead Freaks Tell No Tales”

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Dead Freaks Tell No TalesThere is a website, Audiobook Boom!, that offers audiobook listeners the opportunity to listen to a free audiobook if the readers are willing to do a review of the audiobook. Here I have found some delightful books whose series I have added onto my library by myself by purchasing books from Audible. I always look up a potential book on Audible and Amazon to get a sense of whether a book might appeal to me. This time I discovered that Dead Freaks Tell No Tales by Kendra Ashe is not the cozy mystery of its label or most reviews. Instead this is sort of a cozy supernatural book.

This book is the third book in the Undertaker Mysteries series featuring Jazz Sweeney, which made the book so confusing to follow because it does not explain any of the back story, leaving the present story too hard for me to keep track of. This book is full of the supernatural, with witches and many forms of creatures, such as werewolves, shape shifters, and familiars, which includes a monkey that is the familiar of Jazz’s grandfather and thus talks, in this case in a formal speech pattern. Besides leading haunting tours, Jazz is a reaper, assigned to help people get to the light or dark, whichever they deserve, when they die, but it appears she has been so for only a short time and doesn’t fully know the ropes yet.

Then one day the Gustav Brothers’ Circus comes to town, and Sir Edward, the monkey, demands that Jazz take him there because he wants to see all the animals. With her recently-discovered abilities to understand animal speech, Jazz finds the circus a scary place, especially when Sir Edward disappears to find more non-human primates. The next day, then, Jazz gets awakened with a call to visit a homicide scene, as she does some kind of consulting for the police, though I failed to understand what her role is. Someone has lured the ringmaster and owner of the circus to the area where the big cats are kept, and then the assailant released the cats from their cages to maul the man, who is not popular among the people in the circus. Thus, the range is suspects is broad.

I found this book to be both strange and confusing. I suspect that even someone who knows what a familiar is or why someone might be selling wolf pheromones on the black market would do best to start with book one in the series. The characters, especially the monkey Sir Edward, are drawn in a very lively way, so they add a lot of fun and drama to the book.

Julie Kelly performs the audio edition of this book and does a lot to make it fun and enjoyable. I suspect that the audiobook is more effective than the physical reading copy.

I personally did not enjoy Dead Freaks Tell No Tales, but that is because it was marketed as a typical cozy mystery and not a supernatural one. However, I do think that most readers of Fangirl Nation will thoroughly enjoy this book. The writing comes across cleverly and delightfully. So it is hard for me to give a rating to this book. Personally, I’d give the book two stars, but I think it would rate four or five stars among readers of Fangirl Nation, especially if you read the first two books first.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free through Audiobook Boom!, but that in no way affected the content of my review.

To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.

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