In Dog Gone by Mike Faricy, P.I. Dev Haskell finds himself pet sitting his new girlfriend’s dog, a golden retriever named Morton, when she has to leave town for a family emergency. Through Morton, Dev meets Princess Anastasia, a standard poodle show dog looking to take top honors. When it becomes clear that someone is angling to keep the Princess out of the contest, Dev goes to work to keep his canine friend’s love interest safe and healthy for her bid to win the crown.
In Wedding Bells for Brett by David D’Aguanno, Brett Cornell, a heartthrob for the 80s, once again finds himself in hot water. A young woman that Brett married as a proxy of sorts is found dead in a hotel room under suspicious circumstances. Can Brett solve the case and dodge the sentence for which he seems destined.
Wedding Bells for Brett is the fourth book in the Brett Cornell series.
The author gave me a copy of this audiobook in exchange for my review.
While listening to Wedding Bells for Brett, I was really struck by the idea of bringing characters who are generally reprehensible and treat people horribly doing awful things into the realm of humanity (to misquote the movie “Capote”). The bullied school shooter, the abused child who kills their parents and then Brett whose outlook on women and life seems to have been shaped by emotional abandonment. There are reasons and whether one considers them valid there are always people who pat the hand and say “You can’t really blame them.” You can. In fiction we have the ability to suspend disbelief and right wrongs. Not that I’m suggesting Brett is that deep. These days he’d be considered a pariah but for his time, he was what men were. Brett is not a character who would be embraced in all walks of life. He’s a misogynist who considers sex with him part of the job description for his employees (no fatties need apply) and conflict an art form. He moves from woman to woman slapping asses and not bothering to take names but it’s just not necessary. In Wedding Bells for Brett we get an added dimension to the character in an offhand way. We know that he’s not the most reliable of narrators. He’s a legend in his own mind if not his community but how he came to be that way has been hinted at lightly. In Wedding Bells for Brett, Brett furthers the topic mentioning overhearing his mother talk about dropping him off in the country like a stray dog. We realize that Brett is rejecting connection before it rejects him.
Wedding Bells for Brett is a complex tale and, as with the other books in the Brett Cornell series, goes off in a number of directions before coming back to the main thrust of the story. Brett is asked by Daniel Denson to marry Pamela as a proxy and then leave her at the hotel. That Pamela dies at the hotel with Daniel never showing up doesn’t speak well for Brett nor does his adversarial relationship with the police department who would be beyond ecstatic to see him sent down for the murder. The problem with being a proud bastard is that there aren’t that many people who are going to go out of their way to make sure you don’t spend the rest of your life behind bars. D’Aguanno manages his story lines with dexterity so that there’s a natural flow. Everything is a build. Brett’s malapropisms as he tells his story (He’s a big deal, you know, probably had “descendants on the Titanic) keep the readers amused and on the train serving as action as the tension builds giving those unexpected moments, so rare to frequent readers, extra impact.
Travis Henry Carter really shines in this newest look at the man with the golden mustache. Listening to Brett’s voice you’d think that there is no way he can credibly change characters let alone voice a female. He does tend to shift perhaps a bit prissy in cadence but when the character shift happens it is clear and natural. While I’ve thought Carter embodied Brett from the first audio book, the narrator really stepped into his own as far as smooth shifts in Wedding Bells for Brett. All of the characters are distinct and consistent.
Wedding Bells for Brett is a wonderfully amusing story that is masterfully narrated. Pick the series up today and make sure you do so on audio book. Seriously, you’re missing out if Brett’ story is not in his own voice.
Wedding Bells for Brett
Travis Henry Carter
6 hours and 46 minutes
March 15, 2018
Prefer the book? Read and excerpt and buy the book Wedding Bells for Brett by David D’Aguanno on
Better World Books Reading Challenge – A Book that Rewrites History
Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride by Michael Wallis is a retelling of William Antrim’s story based on what is known of his life from cradle to grave and a look at the events that contributed to his outlook on life and interaction with the growing western population.
At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson is a collection of stories that deal with everyday historical aspects. Bill Bryson, who lives in a historic parish in Norfolk, tours his house with his readers and talks about the life of the previous owner. Let At Home: A Short History of Private Life take you on a journey into the past.
The Seven Year Dress: A Novel by Paulette Mahurin, is the story of Helen Stein. Helen is a teenager ripped from her family and sent to Auschwitz and lives its horrors but also finds a kindness and selflessness in humanity that helped her survive against the odds.
In The Earth Bleeds Red by Jackson Baer, Scott Miller’s daughter, Ashley, is kidnapped and presumed dead. Her boyfriend is the only witness and is, to the police, the obvious suspect until three other missing girls are found dead bearing the mark of a serial killer known to the FBI. With the clock ticking on Ashley’s life, will she be found in time?
In Gables Court by Alan S. Kessler, Samuel Bass moves from New England to Gables Court in Miami. When he meets Katie, he’s a virgin waiting for marriage and the attraction, for him, is instant. She’s a college student looking to experience life and wants to have sex without strings. In the meantime, Bass’s life is complicated when the young lawyer’s new clients attract the interest of his crime lord father.