Monday, March 25, 2024

Listen Do You Want To Know A Secret by Teresa Trent Blog Tour Book Review

Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret

by Teresa Trent

March 18 - 29, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


A Swinging Sixties Mystery

Everyone has a secret, and in 1964, Dot Morgan’s new job at KDUD Radio is filled with them. Her boss, Holden Ramsey, is a terrible flirt, but he’s also engaged to a beautiful socialite. When Dot finds out he’s hiding involvements with other women, these secrets lead to a grisly murder. Can Dot figure out who is murdering the women in Holden’s life before she finds herself next on the hit parade?

My Review

This novel is a trip down memory lane. This book in the series focuses on music. So many song titles and artist names bring back wonderful memories. Trent also brings out some of the cultural issues of the day, such as the difficulty Blacks experienced in getting recording contracts. They also faced prejudice like being accused of a crime when there was no evidence. There is also quite a bit about weddings and preparing for one in this novel. Who doesn't remember punch made from 7-Up and lime sherbet?

There is a murder but it really takes a back seat to the romance issues of Dot, her friends and her boss. It is a good novel for readers who would like to be immersed in the radio station and recording scene of 1964 as there is not much of an emphasis on solving the murder. There is a little suspense near the end.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my review of an earlier book in the series, If I Had a Hammer.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: January 2, 2024
Number of Pages: 230
Series: A Swinging Sixties Mystery, Book 3
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

I've known a secret for a week or two.
Nobody knows,
Just we two
~The Beatles

February 9, 1964

"Hurry, Ellie. It's about to start," Al called out.

"I'm just putting the popcorn in the bowl, Al. Keep your shirt on," Ellie yelled back. The jaunty theme song to "My Favorite Martian" played in the background as it capped off the adventures of everyone's favorite Uncle Martin.

"You're not even married yet," Ben said, "and you already sound like an old married couple."

"Yeah, well," Al said as Ellie squeezed in next to him, reaching for a handful of popcorn. "I don't have to report to prison until June." He gave us a smile, cheeks bulging with popcorn. "Isn't that right, sweetie?" He looked like a mischievous squirrel.

Ellie gave him a sour grin and then playfully hit his shoulder. "You're the luckiest man in the world." She lowered her nose slightly, giving Al a piercing, no-nonsense gaze. "Go on and admit it."

"Yes, dear," Al responded automatically. I loved the way they bantered back and forth. You could tell they loved each other dearly.

Ben reached out and took my hand on the crowded couch, and I lay my head on his shoulder. What we had was different, but that was because we hadn't been dating as long as Al and Ellie had. I tried to keep that in mind. Meanwhile, Ed Sullivan appeared in front of the gray-toned curtains. When they panned the audience, it was filled with women. Young women, and they all looked like they were about to witness the second coming. There were so many expectant looks to the stage. One girl had her fists clenched and held to her chin. I had seen the Ed Sullivan show for years, but never had I witnessed such awe-filled excitement.

"Just look at them all." Ellie squinted at the television. "Do you see any men?"

Instead of answering her question, Al added, "Do you see anyone over thirty?"

Ed Sullivan looked somewhere between excited and terrified. "Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles," Ed Sullivan yelled, and the screams rose to a feverish pitch.

I had never witnessed mass hysteria, but was sure I was seeing it on Ellie's new Phillips television set. "This is unbelievable. Those girls are going insane." The camera went from the audience to John, Paul, and George. Ringo was set up on a raised platform with his drums. They knocked out "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and with each measure the crowd screamed even more.

"I can barely hear the song for the caterwauling going on in the background," Al said.

"I wonder if they can hear each other." Ellie popped a handful of popcorn into her mouth.

"I told you the Beatles were big news." Ben was the room's professional reporter.

I couldn't get over how excited the fans were. I considered myself a bit of an expert in popular music since I landed my job at KDUD, The Smile on Your Dial. I wasn't spinning records, but I was answering the request line. We were getting more and more requests for the Beatles. Unfortunately, my boss chose Perry Como over John Lennon and Montavoni over Paul McCartney. Sometimes it felt like I was spending my days in a department store, listening to never-ending soulless melodies. Sales were down, and our listenership was too. If my boss would only switch to the popular music of the day, we'd be playing in everyone's kitchen.

It was more than these girls' crazy behavior in the presence of the Beatles. They bought the records. This was a big industry, and these four kids from England were taking America by storm. The rival station across town, KOOL, was playing them nonstop, and that's who people were listening to on their radios. Ellie told me they even made jokes about our station. We were oldies for the oldies. As Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief".

I needed to count my blessings. I had a job I enjoyed. I just hated to see how they were missing an opportunity with their choice of music.


Excerpt from Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret by Teresa Trent. Copyright 2024 by Teresa Trent. Reproduced with permission from Teresa Trent. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Teresa Trent is the author of the Swinging Sixties Mystery Series published by Level Best Books featuring The Twist and Shout Murder (2022), If I Had a Hammer (2023), and Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret (2024). She has been writing and publishing mysteries since 2011 starting with the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series and followed by the Piney Woods Mystery Series. When Teresa isn't writing novels and short stories, she spends her time creating narrated excerpts on her podcast, Books to the Ceiling, where she gets to use all that community theater experience from her teens and twenties along with a little audio editing she learned from her daughter. Teresa is a former English teacher, but also spent many years teaching music to preschoolers working with children of all abilities. Teresa makes her home in Texas with her husband and son.

Catch Up With Teresa Trent:
BookBub - @TeresaTrent
Instagram - @teresatrent_cozymys
Twitter/X - @ttrent_cozymys
Facebook - @TeresaTrentMysteryWriter


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I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Book Tours.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

1 comment:

Wall-to-wall books said...

This whole series sounds like a hoot! Thanks for the review!