Audiobook review: Fried Chicken & Fangs
Author: Bella Falls
Narrator: Johanna Parker
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Series: Southern Charms Cozy Mystery #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Source: Tantor Audio
With Fried Chicken & Fangs opening just a couple months after the conclusion of the first book, we discover the town of Honeysuckle Hollow, along with main character Charli, embracing some changes brought up in the first title. The town added a non-witch council seat to its governing body, and the election is in full swing. Additionally, Charli is more open about her tracking talent, openly using it to help the town’s denizens. Yet when valuable personal items go missing, suddenly Charli struggles with her abilities.
When one of the beloved townsfolk is found dead, and crimes start implicating the various candidates, Charli decides it is time to get involved. While it is pretty clear from the beginning who is behind the problems in Honeysuckle, the entire investigation is entertaining to follow. I enjoyed listening to Charli as she pulls out clues and pieces them together. However, it is a bit odd that other than Charli, the only other competent investigator appears to be Warden Mason. Luckily the pair works well together, and I like them together, despite my reservations over a potential love triangle brewing.
Outside of the murder mystery, Charli’s personal life and ties to shifter Dash, are expanded upon in Fried Chicken & Fangs. Apparently, there was some sort of mishap with a cupid’s arrow or love potion gone wrong that takes place between the first and second books, but the reader isn’t privy to the details. I felt like I missed reading a novella or something. While it added a bit of confusion for me, I was able to glean that both Mason and Dash made it known to Charli they are interested in her. This plays out with Dash being an aggressor of sorts (the book is very “G” when it comes to romance), and Mason embarrassed and distant. I’m glad the author gives us (and Charli) more of Dash and his past, but just when he grows a little closer, his past pulls him away. I like Dash and Charli together, they seem to fit, and I hope the author continues down this path.
Ms. Parker provides a wonderful southern drawl to Charli, bringing her wit and charm to life. Her easy-going narration sets the tempo and mood, keeping the cozy mystery light and entertaining. Additionally, she creates a number of unique voices for each of the paranormal creatures, from squeaky fairies to snooty vampires. While some of the characters sound a bit odd, it suits their nature and helps develop the setting and scene.
In the end, I enjoyed my return trip to Honeysuckle Hollow. Fried Chicken & Fangs is a stronger story than its predecessor, and I look forward to listening to the third book soon!
Review copy provided by Tantor Audio.
About the Book:
Magic & Mystery are only part of the Southern Charms of Honeysuckle Hollow…
An upcoming election and some new visitors to Honeysuckle shake up the magical small Southern town. When a beloved family member of one of the candidates disappears, it’s up to Charli Goodwin and her special talents to get on the case.
What starts as a simple search uncovers a darker layer of manipulation and sabotage. Will she be able to figure out who is pulling the strings before the foundations of the town are destroyed?