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The Frame-Up

The Golden Arrow Mysteries Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Andrea Emmes
Series: The Golden Arrow Mysteries, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

By day she writes comic books. By night, she lives them.

MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She even works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page.

But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best - and only - lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is…superheroes aren’t real. Are they?

When too-handsome-for-his-own-good Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure. Unfortunately, MG has a teeny little tendency to not follow rules. And her off-the-books sleuthing may land her in a world of trouble.

Because for every superhero, there is a supervillain. And the villain of her story may be closer than she thinks…

©2018 Meghan Scott Molin. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dubi
  • Dubi
  • 06-02-19

Hit or Miss, Saved by the Narrator

Meghan Scott Molin had a dream one night that a friend and a posse of drag queens were chasing a killer through San Diego ComicCon, woke up laughing, and thought that was a good idea for a book. She modeled her first person protagonist on another friend (the same friend perhaps?) and came up with MG, a purple-haired self-professed nerd who writes comic books for a living but hopes to be a cosplay fashion designer.

And then she thought up every nerd culture reference she could imagine -- Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Star Trek, video games, even in a bit of meta-reference nodding at the ultimate nerd culture reference source, The Big Bang Theory (bazinga!).

Looking through the reviews here and on Good Reads, whether you like this or hate this will really depend on whether you like MG and her non-stop pop culture references. Some people do, some people don't. I liked it well enough. I attribute that solely to the narration of Andrea Emmes, who 100% captures the voice of a snarky nerd, in a good way. If not for her work, the overworked landscape of comic books, superheroes, and pop culture references presented by the author does not rise above mediocrity (and the humor is not quite funny enough).

There is also the issue of plot. Most comic-superhero stories are science fictiony, this one is structured like a mystery. Problem is, it's really not much of a mystery, especially in the do-I-care who-done-it or why-they-done-it categories. It's barely paint by numbers. But I liked MG and her pop culture references, especially as brought to life by Emmes, so four stars overall but three stars for story (more like two and a half, really).

93 of 94 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kate
  • 07-01-19

Agree with all of the low reviews.

I just want to start by saying that I enjoy a good story, especially mystery/crime fiction, and I'm no book snob. I almost never write book reviews, but the positive reviews of this one were very misleading. The main character is so pretentious, I don't know if I'll be able to finish this book. The pop and fan culture references are trite and make this book feel like amateur "nerd culture" fan fiction. The plot concept makes for a potentially awesome storyline, but it is not executed well. I borrowed this book via my Kindle Unlimited subscription, and paid for the Audible audiobook upgrade based on the many good reviews. I regret the money I spent. This is not an enjoyable book.

36 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • L. G.
  • 06-12-18

I Was Hoping It Would Be So Much More

Clever premise is marred by a so so story. Our heroine was well imagined but her actions held no real consequences. There was no real sense of drama or danger.

Maybe the next book in the series will be better plotted.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam M. Smith
  • 02-01-19

A fun read with a few problems

This book grabbed me at the start and I was really excited for its potential, but as it wore on it became a bit tiresome.

The author is trying so very hard to be hip with every nerd culture, and this quickly wears out its welcome. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were over 100, “X like <popular nerd reference>” references, as though every single thing that happened in the book had to be compared to something from Star Wars or Harry Potter.

And speaking of Harry Potter, the term muggle is used 11 times in the book, always to refer to someone that isn’t a qualified nerd in the main characters eyes, as though she is a gate keeper on nerd culture. She wants to be accepted for who she is, yet at times in the book demeans both comic book nerds and video game nerds. Maybe this is a statement on the toxicity that exists within much of nerd culture these days, but that would be a strange choice for a main character.

And on video games, the author clearly isn’t steeped in the culture, but wanted to include it without apparently talking to anyone that is. Within the book there is a great deal of confusion between a gamer, a developer, and an esport participant.

Overall, it could have been a better book had it focused more on telling a fun story than on beating you over the head with nerd references.

65 of 68 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen Marie
  • 14-02-19

Is this self published?

I cannot imagine how this got into print, much less turned into an audio book. I listened in pain through the first two chapters. I picture the author as the entitled daughter of a wealthy family (maybe a publisher?) who never hears the word "no." She may not hear it, but I am saying "no."

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kate
  • 10-04-19

Terrible

This book was so very bad. Great concept - geeky girl uses her geek knowledge to solve crimes. Terrible execution though. It turned out to be obnoxious protagonist keeps interfering in crimes in the most hamfisted ways while forcing pop culture references left and right. The narrator had an extremely irritating vocal fry and was painful to listen to. The parts of the drag queen best friend were so stereotypical and over the top by the narrator that it bordered on offensive.

Besides, it was a completely stupid plot. It boils down to everyone who isn’t in MG’s circle of friends is one dimensional and over the top bad with suspicious behavior becoming of a cartoon mustache twirling villain, and MG continuing to insert herself into situations in a way where she should have been arrested for obstruction of justice, if not an outright suspect.

Will not bother with book #2.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Marquis Burge
  • 08-07-19

Ignore the hype for the sake of your sanity.

General summing up with minimal bias: Lady meets guy(probable hipster because he ordered tea), guy doesn't seem like her type (nerdish type). Guy ends up being a detective and wants to talk lady for help with the case, but not just the case because lady is hot and nerdy, and you can tell she's a real nerd in part because she will tell you in nearly every paragraph via references and then explaining said reference and defensively arguing that she's a real nerd. And guy will be in the room and might generally nod in agreement so you know it's on.

Things it does right: (data not found)
- But seriously, there is at least an overall plot here.
- I assume the idea was to show the wealth of info that this main character could give with a feverous dash of humor over and over.
-Does some refreshing, the main doesn't just get to win everything because they're the main, but only sorta.

Things it does wrong: Just so much but I'll try to stay objective:
- Damn near every character is thin at best and relegated to a line of dialogue or two at worst
- The main character seems to confused by everything, even things that aren't even close to confusing
- The love interest isn't fleshed out enough for chemistry to be communicated effectively to the point that you might be confused with why they like each other. And while the story does tell you it's extremely tough to buy it.
- Little to nothing gets solved and the sub plot seems to be why.
- The subplot is actually the main premise of the story. This story, a mystery, really is a not great romance and self actualization tale of someone a bit too petulant and entitled for her own good.
- There's very little growth or discovery by the main character. All of her problems, even the self imposed ones, she never grows up from.
- The main has no clear arc other than the subplot and her romance happens to her.
- This story is likely going to end up being dated quick as it trenches itself in social issues with clearly defined agendas.
- The romance and actualization plots are surprisingly bad. And I realize that I've mentioned this but it bears going into further detail. It's mostly one-sided as the main character just does things that the interest is somehow charmed by. Not because he agrees or disagrees, or has a complimentary opinion on, or maybe anything that nets some kind of reason that they'd like it other than rampant," I just got lost in his eyes," moments.
- It tends to lean on humor to cover for it's lacking in plot, but is not funny anywhere. Jokes are telegraphed and surface to say the least, buff dudes in drag isn't a funny or shocking enough gag to be funny for me, so perhaps that's just a personal gripe but it's hard to look past the, "it's funny this drag queen is so fem! Too cute Tres hilaria' and now you too may shashay away!" This bit is likely as complex if not more so than what gets tossed around as a joke in this book.
- Most of the character motivations and alignments seem not to tell you why you should feel some type of way only that you should feel this way and it won't let up.

My own piece: Personally it was tough to get through each character ends up as an annoyingly evil cartoon version of a character that seems to want to affect some type of change but has no way of thinking of an idea to change it. It's hard to attach to characters you loath even harder with characters that seem to be so poorly thought out.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-12-18

It was fine

Overall, it was fine. I was super engaged by the main characters and their connection was well described and believable.

Something about this almost made me turn it off a couple of times but I can’t really pinpoint it. It’s a cool premise, I like the characters and the mystery was engaging. Sometimes the dialogue was dumb though I guess?

Anyway, I will definitely read the next one. I’m interested to hear more and see if the writing improves with time.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • rileyfrmdallas
  • 30-05-19

Fun!

First, let me say I am NOT a geek... but I loved this book! Lots of fun characters, a good mystery and plot, and a little romance. The narrator was great and really brought the story to life. Definitely worth a listen, and I can't wait for book #2 in the series.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • S.S. Fogle
  • 30-12-18

More please!!

very well written, very well recorded and I want more!! Everything about this book was spot on for me. I cant wait to read more of her work!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful