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The Mad Hatter's Son

An Annie Collins Mystery
Narrated by: Suzanne T. Fortin
Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

The Mad Hatter's Son is a gripping tale of love, friendship, betrayal, and unexpected twists and turns that leave you unable to pull away. 

Annie Collins is an OR nurse who is used to caring for others - both inside the operating room, and in her own personal life. So it isn't a surprise when she is drawn - albeit unwillingly - into the chaos that is her long-time friend Libby Crowder's life. 

The friendship between Annie and Libby began deteriorating after Libby met the cold and wealthy Edward Matheisen, and quickly ended after she married him. It's been four years since Annie and Libby parted ways. But now she's back and seeking Annie's help. With puzzling symptoms and a plea for help, Annie can't help but wonder: Is Libby really ill or is there more to the story than what Libby is saying? 

Annie's suspicions heighten when Libby's close friend is severely beaten and dies. Faced with Libby's own apparent suicide, Annie is beside herself with guilt and unable to stop asking questions to uncover the truth. But the answers to these questions don't come without a price. Annie finds herself drawn into a life that has derailed, and pursuing the mystery of Libby's illness threatens to derail her own life as well. 

Friends change, love betrays, and the end results are never what you anticipate.

©2018 Helen Starbuck (P)2018 Routt Street Press

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mystery/thriller

A good debut novel with amusing lead character. The dialogue is engaging, and as with every good mystery, you are not really sure of the outcome until the last few pages.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • bluepits73
  • @AudiobookObsession Houston, TX
  • 16-02-19

A Great Mystery!

To me this book was somewhere in between a cozy mystery and a thriller. It wasn't quite fast paced enough to be a thriller but it also wasn't a light enough mystery to be cozy. We are in Annie's point of view throughout the entire book. I actually really liked Annie as a character, she is smart and able to piece things together as well as a strong female main character in general. This was a well written book with some very surprising twists and turns, especially towards the end. It does start off kind of a little slower at the beginning but that is to be expected. Annie does have some romantic interests but it isn't really the main focus of the book, however it is interesting how this author incorporates it as the story unravels. It does end in a cliffhanger but it didn't leave me feeling like this book was incomplete, its more of a cliffhanger to leave it open for the author to write a second book; which there is a second book.

I liked the narrator, I think her voice perfectly captured Annie as a character and helped her seem more serious and almost clinical in the face of tragedy; which is necessary for Annie as an emergency room nurse. Her character voices were differentiated well and she was enjoyable to listen to.

I received a review copy at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

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A Well Crafted Murder Mystery

A very interesting preamble prior to the main action builds the central characters into believable people we care about and have empathy for. Annie Collins, a well rounded individual with a few flaws but very likeable, is cajoled into helping out an old college friend who has fallen ill. She soon suspects all is not as it seems and from there the plot unfolds with plenty of twists and turns. She is not the usual sleuth but more a concerned friend who just wants to quench her own curiosity. The narration is excellent and keeps the pace just right. A very enjoyable listen.

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  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 08-01-19

Awesome Listen!

The Mad Hatter's Son by Helen Starbuck is an incredible listen! I was immediately pulled into the story. I loved the unexpected twists in this book. It's great that I did not have the killer figured out until the very end. The author wrote well developed characters and had the book well plotted. Suzanne T. Fortin performed the book spectacularly. She brought the characters to life and had distinguished voices for them. FYI the title makes sense after listening to the story and is very fitting. I will definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • 19-06-18

Suicide or murder?

In <strong>The Mad Hatter's Son</strong> by Helen Starbuck, Annie Collins, an OR nurse, gets a phone call she will forever regret returning. Libby Matheisen, Annie's former roommate from college and after, is a high- end painter whom Annie hasn't seen in four years since Libby's marriage to Edward, a rich computer specialist with whom Annie does not connect. So it is with surprise that Annie gets a message from Libby to call her. Libby tells Annie that she had a miscarriage recently and has never been well since, with a vague set of symptoms like depression, achiness, and hair loss. She wants to hire Annie to care for her, though her husband makes Annie sternly aware that he believes any problems Libby may have are post-pregnancy-related depression and that she doesn't need Annie's care.

Annie soon discovers that Libby is a difficult patient, not letting her get certain tests run and complaining a lot. The last straw comes when the pair run into a man at the farmers market, someone Libby clear knew and seemed to react to strongly, but whom she refuses to discuss with Annie. When Annie arranges to meet with the man, Jeff Davies, she learns that he had a two-year affair with Libby, but she cut things off upon learning about her pregnancy, which she never disclosed to him. As Libby still refuses to discuss things with Annie, Annie decides that this job is not for her and leaves. But then the next day, a man gets sent to the ER after having gotten beaten up outside his work within an inch of his life and needs major surgery. Unfortunately, however, a week or so later, Jeff dies. And before long Libby has died, supposedly of suicide, but Annie thinks that unlikely.

Annie gets involved in the case to research what happened to Libby despite the objections of Annie's boyfriend and lawyer next- door- neighbor. But even if she gets to the truth, will the truth be too much for Annie to handle?

<strong>The Mad Hatter's Son</strong> starts out as a nice- seeming, maybe a little slow, book, but it quickly turns into a book that grabs ahold of the listener. The plot was of interest, though I guessed the identity of the criminal before I was halfway through the book, so instead it turned into a how-dunnit instead of a who-dunnit. The book did keep me listening, though it was a little intense for my mild tastes.

I did appreciate the quality of how the characters were depicted, so I could picture even Annie's OB nurse friend, Maddy, who is not a major character in the book. Our image of Libby changes as we get to see her through the different lenses of the different people who knew her. Often a character who insists on pushing for a solution comes across as less than believable, but we accept Annie's persistence as natural to her identity.

Suzanne T. Fortin performs the audio edition of <strong>The Mad Hatter's Son</strong>. I recently listened to her perform <em>The Hanged Man's Noose</em> and was even more impressed by her this time than in that book. She takes us through the gamut of emotions experienced by Annie, whether excitement, love, fear, or numbness. I appreciate her perspective on bringing this book to life on audio.

Though <strong>The Mad Hatter's Son</strong> is not my typical style of mystery, I thought it a strong book. I liked the way things unfold slowly, but I would have preferred not to have the identity of the criminal be as obvious as it was to me long before I should have been able to start guessing, especially since I am not usually one to guess at the identity while listening to a mystery, focusing more on the process than guessing the identity. I did appreciate the book in general and give it four stars.

<strong>Disclaimer:</strong> I received this audiobook free through Audiobook BOOM, but that had no effect on the content of my review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dee
  • 17-06-18

Liked the book; hated everyone in it

I don't know how it's possible to hate (most) everyone in a book but I managed it with this listen. The main character, Annie, was insufferable. Not only was she clueless but she was unlikeable and spiteful. And what nurse tells so much of their patients business!! Sheesh.

Libby is the friend and the subject of the mystery and she too was hard to take. Libby's husband was sinister and reckless and a rich asswipe. And Ian, Annie's love interest, tipped the scale on the ick-o-meter. I'm telling you, this book was just full of a bunch of unlikable people.

I finished the book because even though there were some slow points and the whodunnit was not much of a mystery, I still wanted to see how things panned out. I give the narrator all the credit for that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deedra
  • 21-02-19

The Mad Hatter's son

I loved this book!It was so good I didn't want to put it down! Suzanne T. Fortin was a terrific narrator. I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mercy Griffin
  • 26-01-19

A Great Introduction to Annie Collins

One of the best things that I liked about this book was the narration. Suzanne has a soothing voice and she's very articulate, which allowed me to have a totally enjoyable listen. I just love the way she potrayed Annie - simply perfect!

The story was good and quite intriguing - some parts though were a bit predictable. It was also hilarious because even though nothing was going right, Annie never really gave up trying to find out the truth.

As a debut book fo the Annie Collins Mystery series, The Mad Hatter's Son was a great introduction for nurse Annie Collins as she jumped into an unexpected journey to murder investigation.

I am definitely looking forward to listening to the next book.

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  • Taj-Marie Lingofelter
  • 23-01-19

If I could give this book 10 stars I would

This is amazing book!! I stayed up all night to finish it. The characters are well rounded, storyline kept me in, and the narrator's voice was amazing! This is a listen to again!!

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  • Victoria Haugen
  • 15-07-18

ANNIE & LIBBY! DEFINITELY A GOOD READ/LISTEN :)

I thought this was a really good book, definitely got invested in the characters & their complicated relationship. It's a great mystery with all the fixings, and I really enjoyed it! I'd definitely recommend it to others, I enjoyed the writing, characters, plot and narration, all awesome!
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • The Dark Side
  • 02-07-18

Loved this mystery.

The Mad Hatters Son is one of the only books I’ve listened to and didn’t miss a word. It was brilliant !

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Book Lover
  • 02-07-18

Great Book, great narrator!

I loved this book! This is a great read for anyone who LOVES mystery, suspense, and great friendships!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen
  • 21-06-18

Mad Hatter's Son

On one hand, I loved this book and on the other, it was only okay.

The Mad Hatter's Son grabbed my attention right from the beginning, it drew me in and wouldn't let go. There was a mystery, which I figured out somewhere in the middle, and yet I wanted to keep listening to see how it ended.
This is a well written story and I look forward to more books by Helen Starbuck.

The narration by Suzanne Fortin was okay. As much as the story was drawing me in the narration didn't. Ms. Fortin has a very soothing voice, but there isn't a lot of variation between the characters voices which makes it hard to figure out who is talking.

"This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

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  • BookLover
  • 19-06-18

What's the Matter my Dear? Don't you Care for Tea

This book was incredible! The narrator did a WONDERFUL job on the character voices and I feel bringing out exactly what the author intended.

For the story-line, I wanted Libby to "get better" and to trust her instinct that "something was wrong" and it was not all in her head. I wish Annie would have been a true friend and listened and helped Libby with her thoughts and feelings, vs just dismissing them like they did not matter or that Libby was just trying to get attention. Having compassion for people goes a long way.

As for the "Mad Hatter's Son" who would have thought it? Certainly not me? Which is the sign that the book was wonderfully written, when you cannot figure out who the killer is.


This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom