For dog trainer and search-and-rescue volunteer Raine Stockton, the last few months have been marked by murder, danger, and betrayal. A luxury vacation to the Caribbean resort island of St. Bart's sounds like the perfect antidote for stress, particularly since it includes three of her favorite traveling companions: her boyfriend, Miles; his daughter, Melanie; and Raine's happy-go-lucky golden retriever, Cisco. But even in paradise, trouble finds them. An American actress has suffered a fatal diving accident, and someone close to Miles appears to have been involved. As more and more people from Miles' past surface, he and Raine are drawn reluctantly into a murder investigation.
Raine, far more comfortable in her native North Carolina mountains than in this foreign culture, surrounded by the baffling behavior of the rich and famous, is at a distinct disadvantage. But she faces her worst fears when someone she loves goes missing, and she is forced to navigate unfamiliar terrain in an alien land to track down a killer. And this time even Cisco can't help her.
©2014 Donna Ball (P)2015 Donna Ball
"There can't be too many golden retrievers in mystery fiction for my taste." (Deadly Pleasures)
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"Quick, light and fun with a twist of murder"
Beach romp mystery
Cisco, the dog, of course. Why else read books with dog characters? As far as people, I liked Melanie, his young friend, with her playful curiosity and naïveté.
Without spoiling the ending, Cisco's high-five trick.
I enjoyed this book. It was fun and fast-paced. Don't get me wrong; it is a murder mystery and there is an element of danger, but Cisco's antics made me smile and gave comic relief to the tenser situations.
Well-narrated. The Southern accents are authentic!
"Dog days at the beach!"
Yes, as I think the second time around I would pick up on clues that I missed during the first listening.
At the end when the mystery is solved. While I didn't see it coming, it wasn't one of those out of the blue, no it really couldn't have happened that way kind of endings.
This was my first book by Ms. Postel. I loved the way that she was able to portray a wide range of characters and make each of them believable. From the joy of a 10 year old child to the concern of that 10 year old's grandmother, all the characters were real.
Double Dog Dare is book 8 in the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series. Raine joins her boyfriend Miles, his daughter Melanie and Cisco, her beloved golden retriever on a vacation on St. Bart's. While there an American actress dies and one of Miles' friends is suspected of murder. Did he do it? Listen and find out!
This was the first book that I had listened to in the series and I wasn't lost for a single moment. Ms. Ball gave enough of Raine's background that jumping in here was ok. I'm looking forward to listening to more books in this series.
"Beach Dogs Mystery Oh My"
I really enjoyed the narrator Donna Postel.
Loved the names used for the characters they are family names so that was fun.
"An easy, enjoyable mystery"
This is my second Raine Stockton dog mystery. It's the 8th book in the series, and the other one I read was the very first book (Smoky Mountain Tracks). I was afraid I'd be bothered by what I'd missed in the intervening books, but the author gives enough background in the course of the story that I could mostly fill in the missing pieces.
This is a fairly cozy mystery, though a child does get put into a bit of danger. It takes place in St. Bart's, where Miles, Raine's boyfriend, has taken her for a much-needed vacation. And of course there is murder involved. Raine tries to navigate the world of the rich and famous, but feels a bit alienated. She misses her mountain home.
The mystery part is pretty straightforward. The author does foreshadow some of what's going to happen from the very first, and there weren't (to me) any real surprises in how the plot worked out. But I liked the way two themes of the plot dovetailed at the end, and echoed each other. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers here!)
I started listening to this book on Wednesday night, and finished listening on Thursday afternoon. A book that keeps me listening straight through is fairly rare! It helps that the narrator has a warm and lovely voice. She does just enough different voices/accents to help keep the characters clearly defined. I liked that Miles' mother's South Carolina accent was just a bit different from Miles' Atlanta accent.
It's an easy, enjoyable listen, and I'm glad I had the chance to hear it.
One note: I was slightly disappointed that she left her Aussies at home. If she'd had an Aussie with her instead of a Golden Retriever, she probably wouldn't have had a dog that would go off with a stranger! Aussies are generally more cautious than that. :) (Yes, I've shared my home with Australian Shepherds for many years.)
Full disclosure: I received this audiobook for free in return for an honest review.
"Another exciting mystery for Raine Stockton!"
Great book! I love listening to these mysteries with Raine Stockton. I love how much she loves her dogs! This books doesn't disappoint us either.
Raine Stockton is known for training dogs and always manages to stumble upon another murder mystery. In this book, "Double Dog Dare" Raine is whisked off to a tropical Island (St Bart's) for some relaxation. Miles (Raine's man) took Raine, Melanie (Miles's daughter) and Rita (Mile's Mom) to this Island in a private plane. This way Raine could bring Cisco too (one of her dogs). Miles brought mom to stay with daughter while he took Raine out at night. Once they arrived to the Island, they learned a murder happened shortly after they arrived. Read along as Raine discovers what really happened and what will happen to them. Experience danger and suspense in this mystery.
The author Donna Bell did a great job on this book. I enjoyed the plot with all it's twists and turns. I had guessed several times as I read this the book as to who dun it and I was wrong every time. A very exciting read at that! The narrator, Donna Postel did an awesome job delivering this story to us too. with all her multiple voices and accents. I love reading a series that uses the same narrator in each book making the characters and their voices and accents so much more relate-able and believable!
"Very entertaining - not your expected mystery!"
Excellent getting to know Raine, Miles, and more outside usual environment. Narrator did super job with new cast of characters!!! Great listen and still true to original characters.
"Love this series I don't want to get to the end. I"
I wish that all the books were on audible. I really enjoy the series. Funny, dramatic, dogs, what's not to love
"engaged early on"
The first I have read from this author, I was expecting a cozy mystery with some doggie highlights. What I didn’t expect was to find myself engaged early on and finding the intersection of mystery and romance working really well for me. In addition, the dog-training tidbits, especially the well-intentioned attempts gone wrong, were entertaining and amusing.
Raine is the heroine of the story, and she is in need of a vacation. Her love interest, Miles has spirited her off to St. Bart’s for a much needed break amongst the rich and famous: a huge change from her quiet life in the Smoky Mountains. Not long after they arrive, there is a murder, and Raine being her curious self has to investigate. The contrast of her more simple approach to life with the more bourgeois atitudes of the other vacationers and residents was a nice inset – the grass isn’t always greener, despite Miles’ glam attempts to spirit her away.
Cisco is a lovely Golden, and very typical of the breed: friendly, goofy and often prone to selective obedience. I couldn’t help but picture that ‘golden smile’ as he meandered through the plot, even when he was bad. Adding in his own daughter and mother, Miles’ showed a side of men that is often lacking in the fiction I read: the nurturing / caring side. It was an interesting subplot to show their interactions and relationships in a unique way, even adding a dash of drama for young Melanie.
Narration for this story is provided by Donna Postel: utilizing pitch and tone changes she deftly moved between characters, accents and story presentation that keeps listeners engaged and easily able to distinguish characters and emotions. Without over-acting or over-reach in the emotional moments, she presented the story beautifully.
A fairly straightforward mystery, some foreshadowing hinted at things to come, without overwhelming the moments in the present, and it was fun discovering Raine’s process as she solved the story. Plenty of background information on the characters was provided, in a way that was not overwhelming but allowed me to feel comfortable early on, and I did not feel as if there were major gaps in understanding characters or story.
Fans of cozy mysteries, a touch of romance with their mysteries and those who enjoy dogs who are a part of the character’s lives in ways that are honest and true to real life will enjoy this audiobook.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the narrator via AudioBook Blast for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
"A Mixed Bag"
Although I haven't read all the Raine Stockton books leading up to this eighth one, I've read several of this series, and it's one I've always enjoyed and wanted to catch up on. Since this could be read as a standalone, when I had the chance to read this audiobook, I was happy to do so. This is also my introduction to Donna Postel's narration. At first, it was a little stilted for me, something in the pacing that just didn't appeal to me. It's nothing that made me want to stop it immediately, which is something I've absolutely had to do with other audiobooks, just something that didn't completely work for me. However, once I got used to it, it didn't bother me, and I went on to appreciate her skill at narration. Each character was distinctive and well done, and there was only one instance later on in the book where I felt a (minor) character switched from one voice to another and back again. Otherwise, the emotions, cadence, and quality for each character was done well, along with Raine's commentary. I wish I could say the same for the story. In the beginning, it was a pleasure to see Raine and Cisco again and catch up on what's been happening in her life. I enjoy Raine's independent, small town personality and her love of her dogs and what she does. This installment takes place mostly away from her mountains, so there was a chance to see what she does/thinks really outside her usual world. I thought the exploration was nice. This felt heavier on that aspect and her relationship development with Miles and his family. The mystery felt less important here and wasn't the most engaging part of the story. It felt a bit clunky to me overall, but it was really the resolution of it that dropped my feelings about the story from a solid 4-star read to 3 stars. There's one aspect brought to life about the culprit that was handled really poorly and left a distinctive bad taste in my mouth. On the whole, I'm glad I visited Raine's world again and wouldn't hesitate to do so again.
"American Actress Goes Missing"
Double Dog Dare started with Raine Stockton not wanting to leave North Caroline. She gave every excuses to her boyfriend Miles in not going. But through every justification, Raine gave in to Miles and his daughter, Melanie. She wouldn't Cisco, her golden retriever beyond.
As Raine, Miles, and Melanie embarked to St. Bart and mingled with the rich and famous, they overheard of an American actress suffering from a fatal accident. Raine noticed small simple things that didn't fit the investigation. When her family is endangered, Raine knew that there is more to the American actress' accident.
Donna Pastel gave a very good performance in narrating the the story. However the story starts off very slowly before it starts to build up that Raine's vacation in St. Bart is far from a R&R vacation.
What I like about this story since this is my first Raine Stockton's story, is that the story gives enough background on the the characters that I didn't feel like I didn't know them. It also brings Raine's interaction with law enforcement. Raine is no stranger to police procedure. Her character is enough for me to try another book from the Raine Stockton series.
I was given this audio book from the author via Audiobook Blast for an honest review. I was not compensated or influenced by the author or Audiobook Blast for this review.
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