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Publisher's Summary

No one in the small town of Placentia, California is surprised when Benny Needles's house catches fire. The outside hasn't seen a paint brush in years. The inside is stuffed with Dean Martin memorabilia. It would be a simple case of homeowner negligence, except for the body found inside.
Under suspicion of both murder and arson, Benny turns to the one person who has always helped him, private investigator Peri Minneopa. Fire investigation isn't on her menu of services, but Peri's weak spot for Benny overrules her reluctance, and she agrees to look into things. Her investigation takes a dangerous turn as she uncovers family secrets, going back several decades.
There are skeletons in everyone's closet, and even Benny's bones are rattling.
©2012 Gayle Carline (P)2014 Gayle Carline
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By shirley on 11-02-14

great mystery

Would you listen to The Hot Mess again? Why?

Yes. I already have.

What did you like best about this story?

It kept me guessing

Any additional comments?

I really enjoy listening to Wendy Pitts readings. She brings every character to life and they each have a voice

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Shirley on 09-02-16

Read but don't listen to Peri Minneopa books!

What did you like best about The Hot Mess? What did you like least?

I will start with the least liked... the narrator! Benny's unusual personality reminded me of some patients I had as a nurse years ago whose quirkiness I enjoyed. Benny was what/who I liked best. Actually, the writing was very good, only 2 characters, Benny and Peri, had any personality to develop since they were the only characters who it was necessary to convey who they were related to the plot. I thought the relationship between Peri and Skip was totally unbelievable due to the narrator's total inability to speak like an adult either male or female.
I like the ending of the book related to Peri and Benny.

If you’ve listened to books by Gayle Carline before, how does this one compare?

This was my first Gayle Carline book. I won't pay for any audible books, regardless of the author, or how good the reviews are if they have this narrator. I will read the printed copy of any subsequent Peri Minneopa books but Benny will not be as enjoyable without a voice. I like the author's work. I kept listening because I paid for the audible version.

What didn’t you like about Wendy Pitts’s performance?

Wendy Pitts's voice and reading sound like she is reading a 2nd-grade primer. Her voice is too young to fit Peri's character, actually, it didn't fit any of the characters she was portraying not just in the voices but the way she does non-speaking passages! In perhaps 10 years the narrator's voice will sound adult enough to narrate an adult book. I apologize to the narrator for being so critical but an audible version of any book needs to be done well for a listener to appreciate the author's work. In my opinion, the narrator's voice and manner of reading would be acceptable for teenage or youth books.

Do you think The Hot Mess needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Since I enjoy audible books a follow-up Peri Minneopa book is not necessary for me if it has the same narrator! I loved Benny's quirky character, his obsession with Dean Martin and Peri's way of handling Benny so, yes, I want more follow-up books TO READ. But only if Benny is present. I am not sure if Benny would be so enjoyable in a read-only version. If the narrator is the same I will not pay for an audible version.

Any additional comments?

I received the book without cost but I paid for the audible version. I am going to ask for my money back due to the narration. This is my honest review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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