Review: South by Southwest

  • Title:
    • South by Southwest
  • Author:
    • Troy Lambert
  • Release:
    • October 8, 20221
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Joseph L. Stevenson
  • Series:
    • Capital City Murders #11 – 15

This is a collection of my individual reviews from books 11 – 15

Silenced in Salt Lake

This one is meh. The mystery starts out feeling more like a horror story than a mystery. As far as Shaggy spotting details or helping out, it’s all over the place. The story repeats several of the previous stories’ plot points, which always feels lazy. Due to the biggest load of BS plot contrivance, he finds his way into the mystery and fumbles his way through it. At one point, a character with his tongue cut out is doing sign language on his way into the hospital and Shaggy just happens to have a deaf cousin. It feels as if the authors had no idea how to tie these occurrences together, so they just didn’t even try, going with the laziest ideas that came to mind.

Shaggy and Daphne are finally ‘dating’, despite the distance. But they never stop telling each other they love each other. It feels incredibly rushed, even fast romance novels aren’t this rushed. They sound like a couple of high school kids who need to reaffirm their infatuation with each other every 20 minutes.

The narration was alright, as always. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything to “write home about”.

Poisoned in Phoenix

Maybe it’s a little too early to tell, but the lack of a second writer for this story is noticeable. It seemed like the story went on and on about details that barely felt relevant. The overall mystery was alright, but nothing special. It seemed to focus more on the behind-the-scenes drama than actually solving the mystery. Yet again, it feels awkward for a relatively young protagonist to be referring to women as “gals”, and saying “supper” instead of dinner. It reflects the author’s age more than the characters.

The narration was alright, as per usual. Though I got extremely sick of the narrator’s inability to tell O and zero apart. It should be obvious that phone numbers don’t use the letter O, seeing as they’re PHONE NUMBERS.

Stung in Santa Fe

The perpetrator is obvious, but the roundabout way the mystery is solved is convoluted, much like book 12 in this series. The perp could have easily gotten away with it as well, the fact that he didn’t was mind-numbingly stupid, as it should have been trivially easy to clean up after the fact. But plot contrivances demanded it not be so.

Aside from the mystery being a little meh, the world-building is nice. Shaggy’s parents are always amusing and it shows just how quickly he and Daphne have grown to trust each other, as she was his first thought after getting stung.

The audio in this book is awful. The narrator still can’t tell the difference between O and 0, he constantly mispronounces prescription throughout the story saying “perscription”, which I find to be utterly insufferable. But worse than that are the 3 (possibly more) AWFUL audio hiccups. It sounds as if the recording was badly cut mid-word or something. They’re extremely noticable and it tells me that this wasn’t listened to post-editing, the quality control just isn’t there.

Axed in Austin

I’ve been stumped for a few hours, trying to find anything to say about this mystery. It’s just not interesting anymore. It feels like ‘we’re’ just going through the motions. Obligatory scenes of Shaggy telling his new girlfriend he loves her a dozen times, cops being dicks, a mystery with clues that you’d likely never put together. The series (to me) has lost any of the charm it had. It feels as if there are 3 distinct groups in this saga. The first 5~ were alright but needed serious work. The next 5 got it right, and these last 4, probably 5 are all just janky and lacking any real charm.

As always, the narrator does a passable job at narration.

Offered in Oklahoma City

Just when I was cumpletely done with this series, it had to go and get interesting again. Shaggy gets shot and I couldn’t help but hope it was the end of the series, or at least him. Then Daphne shows up and proceeds to help, keeping the story interesting, as well as providing some more character backstory and personality for her. Shaggy finally realizes he doesn’t really know this person he’s barely getting to know, has been dating for weeks, and is already telling her he loves.

Of course, he has to go and make it weird right after by bringing marriage up. That, on top of the stupidly incorrect phrase “could care less” in the preview for the next book annoy me. Bad writing is bad writing. Where would this series be without it?

Yet again, the narrator does a passable job at best. I’m glad I don’t have to listen to another one of his narrations, or his inability to tell O and zero apart.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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