Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Impersonator



The Impersonator
Author: Mary Miley
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Unabridged, Length 11hrs, 58 min
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc 9/17/13

 Publishers Summary:
 In 1924, a young vaudeville actress takes on the role of a lifetime when she impersonates a missing heiress in The Impersonator, the 2012 MB/MWA First Novel Competition winner. 

In 1917, Jessie Carr, fourteen years old and sole heiress to her family's vast fortune, disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, her uncle Oliver Beckett thinks he's found her: a young actress in a vaudeville playhouse is a dead ringer for his missing niece. But when Oliver confronts the girl, he learns he's wrong. Orphaned young, Leah's been acting since she was a toddler.  Oliver, never one to miss an opportunity, makes a proposition - with his coaching, Leah can impersonate Jessie, claim the fortune, and split it with him. The role of a lifetime, he says. A one-way ticket to Sing Sing, she hears. But when she's let go from her job, Oliver's offer suddenly looks a lot more appealing. Leah agrees to the con but secretly promises herself to try and find out what happened to the real Jessie. There's only one problem: Leah's act won't fool the one person who knows the truth about Jessie's disappearance. 

Set against a Prohibition-era backdrop of speakeasies and vaudeville houses, Mary Miley's The Impersonator will delight readers with its elaborate mystery and lively prose.
©2013 Mary Miley Theobald (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.   

My Thoughts:

I loved The Impersonator so much that I listened to it again.  I don't find many audiobooks that please me so much in every way.   I love Leah Randall.  She  is a truly delightful character and it was a real treat to follow her adventure impersonating the young heiress Jessie Carr.  I loved the mystery and suspense as Leah/Jessie turned her talents to solving murders and, even though it would put her own life in danger, she tries to find out what happened to the real Jessie.

I loved that it was set in the Roaring Twenties and is all about vaudeville.  Author Mary Miley made vaudeville come alive for me and sent me researching for more about that era.  I especially loved the way real vaudeville performers were integrated into the story.  My favorite was Jack Benny.  Leah had shared the stage with Benny and become friends.  She asked him to help her with the murder investigation and he gladly did so.  I can remember sitting with my ear glued to the radio when I was a very small child, delighting in the Jack Benny Show (his later ones).  A warm memory that sent me searching the internet where I found all of the Jack Benny Shows.  

I loved the narration.  This was my first experience with Tavia Gilbert's work.  Her stellar performance gave Leah/Jessie's voice energy and sparkle.  She was great with all the voices.  I'm adding her to my favorite narrator list.

I was happy to find The Impersonator is the first in the Roaring Twenties series.  I can't wait for the next one!  I absolutely loved it and I give it 5 stars for story, narration and production.  I would recommend it to anyone who who likes a good mystery/thriller, especially one set in the Roaring Twenties. 

Review copy provided by Blackstone Audio via the Audiobook Jukebook Solid Gold Reviewer program. 


 




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