Dayna Chrissie, the leading Crime Scene Analyst for the LAPD, enjoys nothing more than finding the one clue that can solve a crime. The day she finds a golden medallion on a body that's been dumped at a downtown construction site, she doesn't think much about it. Until that medallion transports her to the magical kingdom of Andeluvia. Dayna discovers that she's been summoned to solve the murder of the realm's king, before war breaks out between Andeluvia and the Centaur Kingdoms.
When the trail of evidence leads from Andeluvia, back to LA, Dayna must bring all of her forensic skill to bear in order to solve the case. The price of failure? A war that will kill millions and devastate both lands. Hope she works best under pressure.
©2011 Michael Angel (P)2012 Banty Hen Publishing
"Great alternative crime story!"
This was an interesting and fun crime story. I would like to see more along this same line.
The way the author blended actual crime scene techniques with fantasy charicters and events was a fun twist.
She was very articulate, had good timing and voice inflections.
Can't wait to see if the author decides to write more like this one!
"Narrator did not do it for me"
As David mentioned the narrator makes this, which is a pretty thin story to begin with, hard to continue to listen to for longer periods of time. I find myself pausing and switching over to music on my ipod just to not get overly frustrated.
"Great book with a disappointing narrator"
Dayna Chrissie is the lead Crime Scene Analyst for the LAPD, and from the perspective of a former crime scene analyst, I found myself breaking out in laughter at just how apt our first introduction to Dayna is. Michael Angel really “gets it.” CSI may be “sexy” to the television watching public – but it really isn’t sexy in real life!
As Dayna arrives at the crime scene where we first meet her, she cracked me up right away. First, we have the idiotic politico, Deputy Chief McClatchy, whose response to the murder in question is to send beat cops swarming all over the crime scene, stomping any possible evidence into the ground, and telling the “scene techies” to “Hurry up, we’ve got real work to do,” is spot on, and her response to him, which has him running for a puke bucket, is hysterical. Then there is her description of her crime scene wear; ‘the overall which assures that her hips stay slim and the cottage cheese stays off her thighs,’ because, damn those things are hot, and her “Stompy Gothic Boots of Doom” (They wouldn’t win any awards on the fashion runway. But they would keep corpse juices out of my socks.) Angel caught my attention right away. If you can make me laugh and identify with the main character that quickly, you have my attention. And Angel never lost it.
This particular scene is an odd case, to say the least. Peculiar clothing is only the start. Besides bullet wounds, there is a huge, charcoaled hole in the middle of his chest and Dayna has no idea how it was caused. Add that to “python-like” patterning all over his face and upper body, well, he is a puzzle wrapped inside a riddle, forensics wise.
Oh, but this isn’t the oddest thing. Oh, no. For Dayna finds an odd gold coin inside the body – a gold coin that transports her to another world. Oh, and what a world! I was tempted to say that Centaur of the Crime could be described as Alice in Wonderland Meets CSI but that is doing Dayna a disservice. She is a strong, competent, take-no-crap woman (hey – if you are a woman in a police position, you have to be all those things – just breathing the testosterone in air can cause unwarranted beard growth!) But she is also kind, understanding and very, very intelligent. A balanced character that I couldn’t help but admire.
Pulled into another world to solve the murder of a king, Dayna takes the transition well. She doesn’t go hysterical and flighty when she realizes she is surrounded by centaurs and “The Parliament” (wait till you meet these creatures – they are wonderfully written) and tasked with an investigation that no one here thinks can be done. Especially not by a woman from another world.
I loved this book. The fantasy aspects, the world building, as well as the creative development of the species and their various aspects. I have read what I would call “modern-day day fairy tales” before, and this one is at the top of my list of favorites. Enough so that I am dying to see the second volume, The Deer Prince’s Murder, come out on Audible. I am also adding some of his other works, especially The Detective and the Unicorn, to my Audible library.
Of course, a narrator can make, or break, an Audible recording. In this case, I was very disappointed by the narrator, Katrina Carmody. Narrators should understand that they are creating a piece of performance art with every book that they read, and Carmody does a less than acceptable job. As another reviewer, Busy Reader from New York New York put it in their Audible.com review: The pacing was terrible, the characters all sounded the same (with the exception of one character, which had an Irish accent, which would have been fine except that she used this accent for the Hispanic character, who otherwise didn’t have accent); she mispronounced very basic words, sometimes used the wrong words which changed the meaning, and even left words out (I checked with the e-book). Where was the director?
Drove. Me. NUTS. Yes, I have heard worse, but she is far, far from the best. How can a professional narrator care so little for her work product? And how can the production company expect to retain business when they’re offering is so poorly done?
Other than the disappointing narration, I would highly recommend Centaur of the Crime to anyone who loves a good fantasy novel with centaurs, griffins, and other fantasy creatures. And if you also like procedurals, Angel has a good grasp on that aspect also, so it is all good! Highly recommended.audible
About Michael Angel
Michael Angel’s worlds of fiction range from the unicorn-ruled realm of the Morning Land to the gritty ‘Fringe Space’ of the western Galactic Frontier. He’s the author of the bestselling Centaur of the Crime – where C.S. Lewis meets CSI. His books populate shelves in languages from Russian to Portuguese.
Michael currently resides in Southern California. Alas, despite keeping a keen eye out for griffins, centaurs, or galactic marshals, none have yet put in an appearance on Hollywood Boulevard.
"Appallingly bad narrator"
From Michael Angel yes but only if Katrina Carmony doesn't narrate it.
The pacing was terrible, the characters all sounded the same (with the exception of one character which had an Irish accent, which would have been fine except that she used this accent for the hispanic character, who otherwise didn't have accent); she mispronounced very basic words, sometimes used the wrong words which changed the meaning, and even left words out (I checked with the ebook). Where was the director?
What a pity. I've read another book by Michael Angel on my Kindle which I quite liked, but listening to this was excruciating (I'm not exaggerating). Next book of his will be on my Kindle again.
A nice combination of fantasy and CSI-type story. I loved the descriptions of the various fantastical creatures. The story moves right along, and has many interesting twists and turns.
The narrator needs to make sure she knows how to pronounce words she is reading! The many mispronunciations were irritating. I can understand misprounouncing 'adipose', but not simpler words. Where are the editors?
"The reader ruins the book"
Carmony comes across as amateurish and unfamiliar with the text. She pauses awkwardly, has a hard time doing accents, and mispronounces words (e.g., "wryly" pronounced as "wirely.") I was not able to finish this book because of how poorly she performed it--it was just too distracting! If you really want to get this book, listen to the sample text for the full duration to get a better feel for whether or not you can stand the style.
"Exactly as you expect"
What happens when you take a LAPD medical examiner and throw her in a high fantasy realm to solve find a murderer who has committed crimes in both worlds? Exactly what you'd expect. This book is an amazing blend of the high fantasy and procedural cop genres. I wasn't exactly floored by the voice actor, but she wasn't bad and did do some different voices for different character. The plot was unique, in of that it used a misplaced adventurer type mechanic to blend what would otherwise be a rather standard forensic book with a rather standard 'gather a group of adventurers to quest' type fantasy book. You should definitely check it out.
"decent detective story"
The story was fine but the voice acting wasn't very consistent and often didn't fit.
"Suspend disbelief and just have fun!"
Bought this as WhisperSync on the cheap, but it is worth paying real money for all the laughs it brings. Hint: Don't try listening/reading this one while in a crowded waiting room, people look at you funny when you spontaneously react to things. Won't do a recap or spoilers, just think Temperance Brennan in LA with friends of Jim Butcher. Including the snarkiness.
The audio performer, Katrina Carmody, is a conundrum. She is involved, pleasantly voiced, and emotive, but there are these occasional peculiar word pronunciations. And we won't really get into a personal pet peeve about CAValry vs CALvary. Even so, she gives depth and adds to the fun.
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