House of Cuts & House of Dads by June Gillam: Audio Book Review/Giveaway

Oct 29, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win audio book copies of both House of Cuts and House of Dads by June Gillam, and links to purchase print copies of the books from Amazon.

I have recently become a big fan of audiobooks enjoying the freedom they offer to work on my ‘To Do’ list, enjoy a quiet meal, or break up the monotony of a long commute. The variety of narrators is fascinating: a British accent for one, a male for another, two different narrators working in tandem, consistency with the same narrator for books in a series. The only issue I have with audiobooks is they can be more expensive than the eBook or print version; that can be cost prohibited for some people. However, if available, you can purchase the accompanying audio for a print/eBook you have already purchased at an excellent cost, and Audible does offer a membership program worth exploring.

House of Cuts: A Hillary Broome Mystery By June Gillam
Narration by Ginny Harman
Review by Kathleen Costa

Do you remember the Five&Dime on the corner with the penny candy, the family owned restaurant where the owner always knew your name, the ice cream shop with the on-site creamery you could watch through the big window? Where have they all gone? Many communities have had the same change in the landscape, but despite several ongoing emotional protests, the superstore Price Cuts still broke ground. Sadly, after a year, several Mom and Pop shops are being forced ‘out of business’ making a plan to destroy the superstore an obvious response…and as Francis Bacon says, “Revenge is like a wild justice.”

bookHillary Broome left New York and an ex-boyfriend (that story, a flashback in Hillary’s memory) to return to the Central Valley. Working at the local college with journalism students along with writing for a small paper, The Acorn, she is pleased with the anonymity, trying to avoid any revelation of her “P” (plagiarism) problem that could ultimately derail her career. Her current assignment is to interview Steven Brookfield, HR Manager at the new Price Cuts superstore, but instead, she finds herself in the middle of a gruesome murder investigation. A clue was left, but no one caught on, so the killer arranges for a second dismembered victim hoping this statement would not be missed. Who could be so angry at the big store that is employing so many it put out of business? Is progress really that bad?

Detective Ed Kiffin is leading the investigation and Hillary is more than willing to help him in his efforts, as she explores the evidence and interviews key people. While writing articles and hoping her byline goes unnoticed by those who know her past indiscretions, they discover questionable parties, a local ‘peeper,’ disgruntled former shop owners and a surprising attraction to each other. Will Hillary step on the wrong toes, perhaps take the wrong stand in her articles? Will she put herself at risk of being discovered…or worse? What will come of this budding relationship?

This is the first book in the Hillary Broome Mystery series offering an extremely engaging story. The first couple of chapters sets up the gruesome murder and motive, but leaves the killer’s identity still hidden allowing a few different possibilities for readers to sort out for themselves. However, it does become clear and the reader sits poised on the edge of their seat fearful that someone else is about to become the next ‘head’ line. The narrator Ginny Harman is excellent with vocalizations that move perfectly from female to male characters, professional to quirky styles, light to eerie, very eerie.

House of Cuts story earns 5/5 Price Cuts’ Coupons. The audio version is excellent!

House of Dads: A Hillary Broome Mystery by June Gillam
Narration by Ginny Harman
Review by Kathleen Costa

Funerals can be a trying time for any family, and when the only male, poised to take control of the family business, keels over dead, Hillary wonders if there is more to this close knit family facade than what she sees. Hillary’s father, who died recently, never fostered a good relationship with his estranged family not even for Hillary’s sake, so many of the relatives are a mystery to her. Cousin Violet, devastated by the death of her twin brother, Teddy, thinks about the wonderful circumstances it has gifted her. Could she now be in line for the head of the Broome Corporation?

bookThe reading of the will is usually a formality since the trust, set up by Granddad Patrick, states that only a male heir would run the company. But with the only male heir dead, Violet was named CEO and unless another male heir, natural or adopted, can be verified, she will remain in charge. Her mother, never supportive and often dismissive of her daughter’s existence (a situation causing Hillary to think of her own mother), angrily interrupts the proceedings announcing her plans to adopt twin sons and derail Violet’s claim. Violet still moves forward with her new responsibilities, including taking the advice of a psychic to protect herself from her mother’s attacks.

Hillary and Ed (their personal story unfolding) join together again to see if the untimely death of cousin Teddy was purposely timed. Their investigation uncovers a young protestor trying to turn a spotlight on Broome’s shoddy construction and black mold complaints, an employee in love with Teddy and angry about his recent engagement, another possible heir, questionable mortgage lending and a second suspicious death. Will Hillary be able to uncover the truth?

This is the second book in the Hillary Broome series which continues to provide a thrilling story. Each chapter is cleverly written from the first-person perspective of a main character: Violet, Hillary and Ed, offering the reader an intimate look into each character’s thoughts and motivations. Ginny Harman, the narrator, adds an emotional tone to Violet’s despair, Hillary’s thoughts of her father and her estranged mother, and Ed’s feelings of his daughter who long ago lost her life in a hit and run. This was a wonderful experience.

House of Dads story earns 5/5 Family Photo Albums. The audio version was excellent!

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To enter to win audio book copies of both House of Cuts and House of Dads, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “house,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 5, 2016. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to purchase these books from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 3 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds like a great series. I don’t have a lot of audio books, but a friend of mine uses them a lot. She listens in her car while driving back and forth to work. Me? I’m retired, so I’m reading.

  2. I really like listening to audio copies of books while I’m doing other things. I get through more books this way, by reading and listening also. Thankyou for the opportunity! JIll,

  3. I’d like to try audio books and Hillary sounds like a character that would interest me.

  4. I’m with you on the price of audio. I get many at my library, both physical and electronic. Also I agree Amazon offering audio for $1.99 if you buy a paper copy is great because I frequently prefer to read the paper form first then listen whenever I want after. Sometimes listening to audio can be difficult to follow due to distractions or complicated story lines. When I’ve read it on paper first, I don’t have a problem picking up the story if I’m distracted.

  5. We have a winner!



  1. Let’s hear it for audiobooks! | - […] the KINGS RIVER LIFE review of House of Cuts and House of Dads on Audible! And glad to see…

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