Personal note: there’s something about cozy mysteries that, to me, works so well with audiobook. Maybe is the informality of it. I don’t know. But it works!
The series is Viola Roberts Cozy Mystery by Shéa MacLeod, narrated by Yvette Keller, a cozy mystery.
A corpse in the Cabana ~ The Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries, Audiobook 1
Buy on Audible
Sassy, snarky Viola Roberts quit her boring accountant job to pursue her dream of writing novels, even if it meant eating ramen noodles every day. Now that her career has taken off, she’s headed to a writers’ conference at an exotic Florida resort complete with white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees, where she plans to lounge in the shade drinking frosty beverages with little umbrellas. And, of course, no sojourn to tropical climes would be complete without her boozy, wise-cracking best friend, Cheryl.
When Viola discovers the diva of the author world dead (as a doornail) of unnatural causes, the police immediately consider Viola their prime suspect. But when the head detective turns a gimlet eye on Viola’s best friend, the author has had enough! Along with help from hunky fellow writer Lucas Salvatore, Viola is determined to ascertain who killed the corpse in the cabana before she or Cheryl winds up in jail. Or worse.
Note: there are 7 books in the Series
- The Corpse in the Cabana
- The Stiff in the Study
- The Poison in the Pudding
- The Body in the Bathtub
- The Venom in the Valentine
- The Remains in the Rectory
- The Death in the Drink
About the Author: Shéa MacLeod
Shéa MacLeod writes urban fantasy post-apocalyptic sci-fi paranormal romances with a twist of steampunk. Mostly because she can’t make up her mind which genre she likes best so she decided to write them all.
After six years living in an Edwardian town house in London just a stone’s throw from the local cemetery, Shéa headed back to her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She plans to live out her days eating mushroom pizza, drinking too many caramel lattes, exploring exotic locales, and avoiding spiders.
Shéa is the author of the Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries and the bestselling Lady Rample Mysteries.
About the Narrator: Yvette Keller
Yvette Keller’s first job as a narrator was reading aloud to keep her little brother out of trouble. Her favorite party trick is reading words upside down. Little kids need to see the pictures. Yvette lives in her beloved home town of Santa Barbara, using a lifetime of vocal stamina in her home studio. She produces technical VO industrials for Mesa Steps Consulting clients in addition to audiobooks. A lifetime of reading and speaking has proven one thing: Yvette loves stories. She is thrilled to be making books accessible and engaging through her narration work.
Let’s start with when did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
I always wanted to get paid to read books. But how was always the question. Who pays other people to just read books? I “made do” with a career teaching people stuff from books, making technical training videos, and speaking in front of audiences. At some point, enough people said to me, “Hey, why don’t you narrate audiobooks?” that I started believing it might be possible.
How did you wind up actually narrating audiobooks?
I’d been asked several times whether I was an actor or a voice over pro and I always said, “No, I’m just a corporate trainer.” But (secretly) I took some classes and researched low-cost options for my self-published author friends. When I read the Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries, I contacted Shea immediately: “I feel like you wrote these books FOR ME. Can I (pleasepleaseplease) narrate them?” Narrating satisfies two dreams: Getting paid to read books AND supporting fantastic indie authors!
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
Honestly, I started out listening to audiobooks that I suspected I wouldn’t like. By that I mean books that I worried would not hold my interest. I figured that listening to them while I drove, washed dishes, or pulled weeds meant I wasn’t “wasting” my time. I’ve since realized that only certain books work for me as audiobooks: Literary books with rich language and deep themes frustrate me as audiobooks – I want to read the words myself. On the other hand, action adventure novels, mysteries, and autobiographies (read by author is my favorite) are wonderful companions to have pouring in through my ears. Now I’m addicted and convinced that audiobooks make chores go faster.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
My favorite part is knowing I’m contributing to accessibility: By making the story come to life in an audio format, someone who can’t read the book can listen to it instead. Whether that is someone with a disability or just someone who doesn’t have the time to read, I’m expanding the reach of fun stories. My least favorite part is the “producer” role. Editing, mastering, and to some extent marketing the books all take time away from reading another book and bringing more books to the audience.
Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
My primary training is not as an actor, so I’m unsuited for anything that I personally would never read. That means if you have a blood-soaked thriller, or a gory true-crime book, or a horror novel, sorry, but I’m not available.
How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
As close as possible! As an independent producer, I’m really providing a service to the author. I want them to be ecstatic when they hear their book! That means I take advantage of whatever time they offer me to get background on characters, make sure I pronounce things correctly.
Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
Yes! I love interacting with reviewers and fans, especially through Goodreads. This is super-natural to me because I was an instructor and facilitator for so many years. Back then the “learner” or “client” really mattered to me; I wanted to be a great trainer or facilitator so they met their goals. Now, I want to be an amazing narrator so that listeners are entertained. If they provide feedback about what they like (or hate) about my performance, I appreciate that they took the time and effort to share that with me. I’m super grateful!
Which ones stand out to you most, positive or negative?
All reviews are one data point; one lister’s feedback. What stands out is when a group of reviewers will leave the same feedback. For example, I gather fans really like my pace and the fact that I keep the voices consistent across all the books. Sadly, negative reviews are rarely constructive. “I didn’t like it,” or “I don’t recommend this,” isn’t helpful to me. Negative ones *might* stand out if they included why something hit them wrong way, but without that, the review isn’t actionable – I can’t learn from it, so I move on.
Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from outside the recording studio?
I’ve been told since Kindergarten that I am an “outstanding” reader. By then I was reading Cajun Night Before Christmas in a Creole dialect, and mimicking the Southern accents of my friend’s mom. I was a kid-actor and participated in theater all through school. In college, I was taking an intensive, 6-week class where we only read Moby Dick. One of the best compliments that stuck with me came from the Dean of American Studies, who said one day after class, “You are one of the few truly great readers of Moby Dick.”
THE CORPSE IN THE CABANA
THE STIFF IN THE STUDY
THE DEATH IN THE DRINK