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Summary

Pool shark Jessie Hewitt usually knows where the balls will fall and how the game will end. But when a body lands on her couch, and the cute cop in her kitchen accuses her of murder, even Jessie isn't sure what will happen next. She also isn’t sure how to catch a killer, but she's about to learn.

Her skill set doesn't exactly fit the task, however. Jessie put herself through college hustling at a pool table, and nowadays makes her living writing racy novels. This middle-aged romance author has excellent people-watching skills, a keen imagination, and street smarts going way back. Come to think of it, Jessie is the perfect sleuth.

Playing With Poison is a cozy mystery with a lot of humor, a little romance, and far too much champagne.

©2012 Cindy Blackburn (P)2014 Cindy Blackburn

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

bit too American

really enjoyed this although it took a little while to adjust to the American accent

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • hellkatjen
  • 08-07-14

Engaging and amusing

Would you consider the audio edition of Playing With Poison to be better than the print version?

No, but its a very good edition nonetheless. I like that when you're listening, things you might have skimmed come to your attention and you go "I don't remember reading that!"

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes it did, because we all wanted to know who killed the money guy. I was suspicious of the actual killer from very early on. But then, I've snorted a hell of a lot of detective novels in my time.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Miller – was your favorite?

Well now ... in the book, my favourite character was the detective. But I have to admit, in the audio version, I got quite fond of "Karen", the redhead.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I swooned. In all the right places, and in a manner entirely appropriate to some of the novelist's characters :)

Any additional comments?

Listening to the story is great, I picked up so many bits I must have inadvertently "skimmed" , and Caroline Miller gives each character just enough definition to make them recognisable, but not in an over-the-top way. I liked Caroline's "Candy" better than I did the original :)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lance Frazon
  • 13-11-14

Great Story for Mystery lovers of a Certain Age!

Thoroughly enjoyed this mystery, enough suspects to keep everyone interested and the twist end is classic. Especially enjoyed the comedic moments, the situations are so real life, you just have to laugh out load. One can almost picture the our heroine, great real life feel and responses from the characters! I think listening to this mystery is better than reading, one get the full atmosphere, which is real, one feel as if you could actually find the Stone Fountain!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Aurrora Mom
  • 03-09-14

Full of laughter and a touch of mystery

Any additional comments?

What a fun book, add a little mystery, a little romance, some quirky neighbors and I am hooked, listed to the whole book in a day! The voice actor Caroline Miller does a nice job keeping the main character Jessie lite and fun, slightly sarcastic and funny, I like how she differentiates different voices so I can tell who each person is easily. All together a fun read and I look forward to reading the series

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Laura S Reading
  • 12-08-14

A New Heroine To Love

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I liked the way the narrator read this book.Her variations in vocal tones made the characters easy to identify.

What did you like best about this story?

I listened to the Audible version of this book. I enjoyed the narrator very much. She did a great job distinguishing various voices.I read a lot of cozy mysteries. What appeals to me is the quirkiness of the characters and the weird situations they find themselves in. In the Cueball Mystery series, Cindy Blackburn offers many of the things I appreciate.She has many quirky characters for us to get to know and does a wonderful job of keeping them straight and fresh in our memories. As the story unfolds we learn more about the background of each person and how their lives intertwine. The action is swift and keeps the readers on their toes. Suspects are plentiful. So many had motive to do away with the wheeling and dealing, insulting Stanley.I enjoyed this book and look forward to starting the next in the Cueball Mystery series.

Which scene was your favorite?

It starts out with a well written scene of Stanley dying on Jessica's couch.There are other good scenes with the bumbling news crew.When the action comes to a climax on the roof you'll be holding your breath.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was listening as I was doing housework.There were times the story was getting so involved I had to stop and focus.Throughout the book I had several suspects for the crime in my mind.

Any additional comments?

I appreciated the bits and pieces we heard about the book Jessica is writing.It made me smile as I heard the behind the scenes of a writer's life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • K. April Holgate
  • 31-07-14

Interesting Cozy Mystery

Let me start by clearing up what took several pages and a murder for me to get to. Jessica (Jessie) Hewitt, AKA Adele Nightingale, is not as the synopsis would have you believe a pool shark she is a historical romance writer and if the plot of her current story, which is intermittently laid out throughout the book, is anything to go by shes not a very good one. But don't worry the actually story in Playing with poison is well written.

Jessie donned in her writing attire, a blue bra under a white men's shirt, is working on her new story when her neighbor Candy Poppe's boyfriend, Stanley Sweeter ends up dead on her couch. Jessie is quickly sized up for shackles by Captain Wilson Rye whether he has decided on prison or the bedroom for there location is the question.

Jessie is accused of not only having an affair with the much younger man but also loosing all her money in one of his bad investments. to get her name cleared and the pesky reporter off her doorstep she needs to find who really killed Stanley. She enlists the help of two of her neighbors and best friends Karen Sember and Candy Poppe.

As an easy to hate character Stanley's potential killers range from colleges to investors to Jessie's own ex husband but all roads lead to the Stone Fountain the bar across the street from Jesse's condo where she occasionally plays pool and the last place Stanley was seen alive.

I had a problem with how little Candy Poppe seamed to care that her boyfriend was dead as well as how much Jessie's age, 52, was brought up and moped about as well as her fading good looks. Wilson tells Jessie she's a little scary several times but I have no idea why. The murdered was a surprise but to be honest there really wasn't enough information to actually solve the crime but it's still fun to try. I was pleased that the police did not come off as stupid and inept like they do in most cozy mysteries. Overall it was a humorous mystery with light flirtation between Jessie and captain Rye

The book is narrated by Caroline Miller, who did a great job. She has a great tone and flow that adds to the read. It was easy to differentiate characters and I liked that she didn't try to go too deep for the male voices. She doesn't read excessively fast so its easy to listen to in 3X speed and still understand. I like a nice brisk read and she gives it plenty of energy to keep the story moving.

I am eager to listen to more of this series! Definitely giving me happy ears this week!

Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • med c
  • 30-07-14

Funny and entertaining

Any additional comments?

I liked that the book was entertaining and had its funny moments (a lot throughouot the book). The characters are well developed and easy enough to like. There were just a few parts that were predictable but solving the mystery was a challenge. The story takes place in a small enough town but mainly in an apartment building and the bar across the street. The apartment building tennants are all good friends and the main character, Jessie, who is a romance author, neighbor dies on her couch. The plot gets interesting from there. From a pushy over the top reporter to the detectives, everyone is trying to get the real story and find the murderer. Because Jessie is being investigated for a murder, she decides to take it upon herself to also invesitigate the murder. What happens next is a series of comical events.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Farrell
  • 08-05-15

Poor Narration

The story is probably better than a three-star, however the narration was so poor that it really distracted from the overall experience. Her voice is fine, but it's as if each sentence was read by itself and not part of a story, with a pause between each sentence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • AMAZON SHOPPER
  • 07-12-14

disapointing

Would you try another book from Cindy Blackburn and/or Caroline Miller?

Very disappointing. The narrator was do distracting I could not follow the story. Not worth my time to finish it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 03-10-14

Disappointed

Didn't work for me, Not good dialog, slow moving, and poorly performed. I was hoping for some humor, and not getting any. May use the return policy, since I won't finish it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cyndi
  • 06-08-14

A wonderful mix of humor and mystery

This book has a perfect mix of mystery, humor and a little romance. When I wasn't listening to the book, I found myself thinking about the characters and story. It is not a nail biting suspense book, but it still had me thinking about it during my breaks. I loved the mix of different characters in the book and really had a connection with the main character. Caroline does a wonderful job of narrating the book. It was very easy to follow along and know who was speaking from her different voices. I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful