Friday, April 12, 2013

Audiobook Review: Frank Sinatra in a Blender

Frank Sinatra in a Blender
Author: Matthew McBride
Narrator: Keith Szarabajka 
Length 5.5 hrs Unabridged 
Publisher: Blackstone Audio 2013

Publisher's Summary:
Nick Valentine has problems. He’s a drunken ex-cop who lives in his shabby office, hangs out at strip clubs, and has only one real friend—Frank Sinatra. But he’s one of the best private investigators in Saint Louis. So when an inept crew robs a credit union, only Valentine can figure out who made off with the millions—because sometimes solving a crime takes a hard guy who’s not afraid to work outside the law. Valentine swerves through the underbelly of Saint Louis looking for answers, and with every law he breaks, every drink he takes, and every OxyContin he snorts, he lurches closer to finding the truth—or floating facedown in the Missouri River.
Brutally funny and wild, this no-holds-barred crime novel reads like Elmore Leonard on meth: crazy 
and addictive—you’ll want more.

My Thoughts:
Frank Sinatra is a cute little yorkie.  What kind of monster would put him in a blender? He's also a funny little cuss and the best (or only) friend of Nick Valentine, hard drinking private eye who likes his OxyContin (preferring it crushed for snorting) and various other drugs.  It's usual for Nick to go into one of his strip joint hangouts and order several mixed drinks with a couple of beer chasers and that's just the first round.  He always travels with a spare beer cooler in his trunk but no spare tire. He has recently quit drinking coffee because he gave up cigarettes. He couldn't drink coffee with out smoking so had to give up both.  Nick was on the police force until his drinking got him kicked out.  He is helping his former chief with the investigation of a credit union robbery.  Money is stolen and then stolen againTorture and murders happen and Nick is hot on the case.  One of the funniest scenes is when Nick and a cop are searching a murder scene.  Nick can't resist drinking wine from the refrigerator and leaves a door unlocked so he can sneak back to steal more wine and use the toilet.  I enjoyed Matthew McBride's warped sense of humor so much I immediately listened to the novel again.  But it wasn't just the story and dark humor that made me enjoy Frank Sinatra in a Blender so much.  I loved hearing it read by Keith Szarabajka. There couldn't be a more perfect narrator for this novel.  He is a true voice artist.  I felt like I was hearing a whole cast of characters - Telly, English Sid, Johnny No Nuts, Big Tony, Amish Ron, Doyle, Nick Valentine, and yes, even Frank Sinatra. 

If you have no tolerance for profanity and an aversion to gore, it's best to pass on this one.  But if you like over-the-top characters and wicked humor, you will laugh all the way through it.  The pace was so fast that at times I had to rewind to see if I had missed something and the gore was almost too much but the laughs were worth it.  I give it 4.5 stars.

Review copy provided by Blackstone Audio.  




  1. The title had me intrigued. Now I may have to pick it up, it sounds like a blast.

    1. I enjoyed it. Keith Szarabajka is an awesome narrator.