Friday, March 10, 2017

*Audiobook Review & Dream Cast*
The Secret Life of Anna Blanc!

Hiya guys! DRR is excited to share an audio-book with you today! This was a fun story to listen to, and I'd be curious to see what you think of it! Check out my review, my dream cast, and the author's playlist, and be sure to let us know what you think!

 The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
~Released: Nov. 14, 2016

~Author: Jennifer Kincheloe

~Narrator: Moira Quirk

~Length: 12h 44m

~Publisher: Jennifer R. Kincheloe, Ltd 2016

~Genres: Historical Mystery, Thriller

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, she buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are covering up. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. 

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding.

Anna must choose--either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

 Teaser #1

 About the Author

 Jennifer Kincheloe

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

About the Narrator

Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself.  Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She's won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible's prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”

"And so, Anna did what any normal girl would do..."

The ironic line that repeatedly announced another stupid decision this naive socialite would inevitably make, provoking readers to shake their heads. The humor of the line used with each dumb decision is clever, and is one of my favorite aspects of a rich, deeply entertaining book.

To get the veggies out of the way first, I did not enjoy how sexually charged Anna Blanc is. I don't enjoy books with a high level of sexual tension and whatnot, so that being a continuous aspect of the story was off-putting. Luckily, I agreed to listen to this book for a review, so I had more incentive to keep going with it, despite the situations that would normally have me stopping the book and turning in a DNF review. The desserts of the story were worth putting up with the parts I didn't enjoy.

I read quite a bit of mystery novels, and grew up on Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. It now seems to be difficult to find a good mystery, as most tend to be painfully predictable. I can almost always tell the who/what/when/where fairly quickly, and only finish reading the novel to prove my theory right. All that to say, when I find a novel that has me guessing, or simply out-right proves me wrong, I can't help but be impressed.

I had figured out one mystery - the rapist. The murderer though, kept me guessing. I thought I had it figured out, and would have bet money. I would have lost. Once it came out who he was, I was shocked, and quite pleasantly proved wrong - not a feeling I am able to enjoy often.

Whatever else I disliked about this story diminished once the killer was announced, and my respect for the author cemented. The twists and turns of this story are some of the best I've come across in a while. Between the two different serial criminals, the swirling drama around the men in Anna's life, and the constant uncertainty of what in the world she'd do next, the mixed layers of mystery and thrilling drama was addictive.

The characters all fit their time period, and I was impressed by the thoroughness of the details. I'm not quite sure Anna could "match wits with Sherlock Holmes," as the synopsis suggests, but she was clever. Or rather, she was hyper and had a wild enough spirit to follow her gut and want something more out of life than simply to get married. She wanted adventure, and that pushed her to look at things no one else did - more passionate and dedicated, than witty.

Being brought up as a socialite in California society, she was a bit dumb when it came to street smarts or the real world. Her constant naivety proved how sheltered her father had kept her, and shows the level of luck, at the fact she not only survived, but accomplished what she'd set her mind to. As a person, I'd have wanted to smack her, but in the setting she was written into, she fit perfectly.

The story overall was well written, and flowed very, very well. I doubt I would have enjoyed it nearly as much had it not been narrated so well, though, and wonder how I would enjoy the written edition. I attribute my ability to finish it, despite the aspects I generally refuse to read/listen to, directly to the impressively talented narrator.

If this book's synopsis appeals to you, and you don't mind a street-stupid girl with way too much pent up sexual frustration, then this is definitely a story you'll enjoy. I will certainly be looking into more novels by this author, and anything done by the narrator.

*I was given a complimentary AudioBook copy of this story, from the author via Audiobookworm Promotions, to listen to in exchange for an honest review.

Who would be cast to play the characters if this book was made into a film?

Some suggestions have been made on The Bookcaster here - you can even vote up your choices!

Personally, I'd pick:

Hayden Panettiere for Anna Blanc
Photo by Steve Granitz, Image courtesy of WireImage

Kevin G. Schmidt for Joe Singer
Photo by

Jackson Rathbone for Officer Wolf
Photo by Leonidas Jaramillo - © Jackson Rathbone

Jean Reno Christopher Blanc
 Jean Renu
Photo by Jeff Vespa - Image courtesy of

Beau Mirchoff for Edgar Wright
 Image courtesy of Beau Mirchoff
Image courtesy of Beau Mirchoff

Devon Aoki for Eve McBride
Image courtesy

Reba McEntire Madam Lulu
Photo by Lester Cohen - Image courtesy

Courtney Cox for Madam Monique
Photo by Lester Cohen - Image courtesy of

Billy Connolly for Captain Wells
Image courtesy

Matthew Lewis for Mr. Melvin
Photo by George Pimentel - Image courtesy

Jake Abel for Louis Taylor
 Jake Abel
Image courtesy of Jake Abel


Songs selected by Author Jennifer Kincheloe

All Tomorrow’s Parties by Nico (for the Pink Ball)
Sucker by Tori Amos (for the sting operation in Boyle Heights)
Doll Parts by Hole (for when Anna’s getting ready in the brothel)
Everybody Hurts by Patti Smith (for the scene when Joe bails Anna out of jail) 
Kamikazi by PJ Harvey (for the showdown with the villain)

Let us know what you think of this book!

Thanks for visiting! =D