THE CHINESE MURDER OF EDWARD WATTS
Covey Jencks Mystery, #3
Shelton L. Williams
Narrated by: Dave Clark
Publication Date: December 8th, 2020
Pages: 233 pages
Categories: Mystery / Humor
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Two years ago I had my first introduction to Covey Jencks when I read and reviewed the second book, Covey and JayJay Get Educated. Last year, I had the pleasure of listening and reviewing the audiobook. At the time, audiobooks weren’t something that I found I could enjoy given the constant interruptions that occur within a house filled with young children. But what a difference a year makes! With two of the three kids back in school and wireless earbuds and a listening app in hand, I can now spend my day hearing book after book as I complete chores and errands!
Returning to a new story with Covey and JayJay was incredibly entertaining and like we’d never had time apart! The author’s expertise in International Studies shines throughout the story as readers will learn so much about Chinese culture, the proud swagger of Texas values, and the intermingling of both as business within the oil industry brings them all together.
Oilfield like China. Peasants like roughnecks and floor workers. Party like engineers. Business like West Texas Mud. all work together, success. Always one decision away from disaster. Oilfield not a democracy.”
Though this is the third book in the series, there is absolutely no reason to think that you will be missing out. Each book is a well-crafted standalone. The author continues to create a richly drawn cast of characters that truly comes to life off the page, and for me by now, they are like old familiar friends. Whether you end up liking them or not, each character is so well developed that individual personalities and idiosyncrasies shine through.
Alternating chapters and perspectives give readers insight into both Covey and JayJay’s frames of mind, while adding many layers to the evolving mystery surrounding multiple murders. I am such a fan of the snarky humor that prevails throughout the story and the author does such a fantastic job of conveying the attitudes and self-assurance of a Native Texan that anyone who knows one will completely understand!
The West Texas answer to solving a personal issue like this is either fisticuffs or Mexican food. The former was unthinkable, but the latter, with margaritas, is the civilized path to conflict resolution.”
Between globalization, energy technology, espionage, human trafficking, and honey pots, there is a lot working to twist this murder mystery into a compelling and engaging read that also examines social and political cultures and conflicts across geographical areas.
In terms of the audio book experience, a new narrator has taken the reins and dramatically increased the overall performance. Covey comes to life through the narrator’s drawl, while also perfectly capturing the nuance of speaking Texan. The addition of various inflections and tone to represent each character helps to make them unique as well as adding the needed emotion to the more intense scenes. I would have loved the female narrator from the previous book to reprise her role as JayJay for a cast production; however, you can’t please everyone! The sound quality is amazing. I was also able to listen at almost double the speed without it sounding frenetic, making this an even faster read for its already short length. I was also given an eBook of the text and had no trouble following along or finding my place as I jumped between formats. Whichever you choose you can’t go wrong; however, I can honestly say that this was perhaps the first audiobook I have listened to where the listening experience truly added to the depth and richness of the written text. Kudos to the narrator because he absolutely nailed it!
Overall, fans of layered mysteries that feature and develop off of meaningful connections from start to finish will absolutely love getting lost within the pages of this story. There is never a dull moment when you’re with Covey and JayJay!
Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on four occasions, and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now the three books in the Covey Jencks series. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.
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|5/20/21||Review||The Clueless Gent|
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Many thanks to the author and Lone Star Book Blog Tours for providing me with a complimentary copy of the audiobook and eBook. This is my honest and thoughtful opinion.