***** 5 stars Fabulous Mystery of a Bygone Era by Rox Burkey
Author Deb McCaskey creates a fun story about an actress, Frankie Franklin, making movies during the depression. Frankie is a beloved bright spot in American films. The details of Frankie and her environment pull the listener (and I imagine the reader) into this wildly exciting crime Frankie commits using a prop gun during filming at a major Hollywood studio sound stage.
This unique story takes one inside Hollywood in the 1930s. Here failing stars, studio manipulators, and even the cops become possible suspects for planting a live round that Frankie shoots into a co-actor.
The voice of Frankie, my favorite character, on the set kept me listening on the edge of my seat.
As I crouched there in my flesh-colored bathing suit, Sam’s bloody hand in mine, the horror remained, now joined by surprisingly fierce anger. Damnit, this was just a picture, with costumes and made-up things to say. With blood that was just glycerin and chocolate syrup. No one was supposed to really be shot. I felt ill. I wanted Sam to be unshot. And I wanted to strangle whoever was responsible.
The writing is vivid and comes across clearly in the narration, where people, places, and things are quickly painted in one’s imagination. The details like the fountain pen and gumshoe squarely identified this story as well-researched and spot-on for the times. I felt like I was walking among the stars, trying to find out who was to blame.
The well-developed characters and scenes make this original storyline even better. As Frankie moves from clue to clue overcoming crazy obstacles compelled me to keep listening.
Mary Castillo provides fantastic voice narration, with a great pace from start to finish. Her voice is part of why I am now a fan of Frankie. The quality of the audio is excellent, making the tension loud and clear during every minute. I highly recommend you give this story a listen. I cannot wait for Author Deb McCaskey to release the next Frankie Franklin Mystery.
About the Author
Deb McCaskey is a third-generation native of cool and windy northern California who has always harbored a secret fascination with sunny and apparently carefree southern California. This probably has something to do with Disneyland. A former newspaper editor and features writer, which gave her the opportunity to meet and interview a number of celebrated people including Julia Child and George Takei, and also gave her an appreciation for a good story and a good quote. She has always been intrigued by the way different people handle fame, success, failure and just life in general. She has always loved movies but found what goes on behind the scenes almost more interesting than what ends up on the screen. Now she is happy to spend time with the people and movies of Hollywood’s Golden Age, imagining new stories featuring Frankie Franklin and her friends and family. A horse lover who learned to ride at age six, and who loved the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley and all the books by Marguerite Henry, she could not resist including them in the story. Deb lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their independent-minded rescue dog Mrs. Hudson.
About the Narrator
Mary began narrating and publishing my own audiobooks in 2016. As a multi-published author of romantic comedy and mystery, I found a new avenue of bringing characters to life with distinct accents and attitudes. Debra Holland, NYT & USA Today best-selling author of the Montana Sky series and founder of Montana Sky Publishing, recruited me to narrate and produce the Harper Ranch historical western romance series and I’ve been narrating historical mystery and nonfiction titles, specifically memoir and spirituality.
I’m available to work with independent authors and publishers directly or through ACX & Findaway Voices.
Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org