Holy Hell by Elizabeth SimsHoly Hell by Elizabeth Sims was a fun audiobook. It is about Lillian Byrd a reporter at a local newspaper. She ends up stabbing the owner’s son when her warnings about his sexual harassment are ignored. Needless to say she ends up without a job.

Things get worse when she  is following up on a story of a local murder and realizes that she knows the victim.

Lilian is drawn into a spiral of events that lead to life and death situations and a dark subculture.

Couple that with an amusing, unwanted love interest, a pet rabbit and a sexy writer who joins forces with her and you have a fun listen.

The Characters

Lillian is an entertaining character in terms of her ability to get into all sorts of awkward situations. However, I found her difficult to relate to. She goes through some really awful things in this book and it was like they didn’t really affect her emotionally.

There was a large cast of memorable characters. They were diverse, fun and altogether enjoyable. It was easy to keep track of who was who and I enjoyed how Sims wove the characters into the story.

The Writing Style

It was a light, entertaining mystery novel. The pacing was good and the plot kept me listening.

The Narration

Dina Pearlman did a good job with the narration lending personality to even the strangest characters in the novel – and believe me when I say there were some strange characters.

The Pros

The research and plot lines were really interesting. I enjoyed a look into a subculture that we don’t often hear about. I also loved the pet rabbit.

There are some beautiful scenes where Sims added little touches that I appreciated like the downstairs neighbour and the donuts – listen to the book and you will get it.

The Cons

I wanted to connect a little more emotionally with Lillian. She was a distant heroine.

The Conclusion

An entertaining audiobook. The story is well thought out, the topic is interesting and the narration was good. All in all, I recommend it.

Excerpt from Holy Hell by Elizabeth Sims

After a moment, still gazing into my drink, I became aware of a looming presence. My peripheral vision registered a sturdy leg encased in heavy blue denim. A boot flew up from the floor and landed with a bang on the seat of the empty chair next to me. I didn’t have to look up to know it was Lou.

But I did look up, out of reluctant politeness. I’m not short, but from my seated position it was long way up from Lou’s booted foot to the yawning crotch of her overalls to her loud plaid shirt to her column-like neck to her stern red face, tonight sporting an aggressive smile for me.

She leaned down and propped an elbow on her knee. She’d been letting her iron-streaked hair grow out, I noticed; she has it in a rather bouncy ponytail that took a few years off her.

She was a Snapdragon regular.

“I was hoping you’d come in tonight, and you did,” she said, a note of triumph in her scratchy voice.

Lou had liked me for a long time, way before the Snapdragon existed. I thought she was a nice enough person, from a distance anyway. I have nothing against husky women in overalls who happen to be a little lacking in manners. I just didn’t like Lou the way she liked me. Over the years at the Snap and other places – blind pigs and house parties – I’d managed to dodge her advances without hurting her feelings. But tonight she was especially intent.

“You and Judy,” she said, and drew a finger across her throat.

“Well,” I said, “not exactly. Um…”

She heaved her boot back to the floor, yanked out the chair, and straddled it. She appeared perfectly capable of devouring me in one bite. Her eyes locked into mine. “Are you or aren’t you two together anymore?”

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The Lillian Byrd Series

Holy Hell

Damn Straight

Lucky Stiff

Easy Street

Left Field

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9780692351703
  • Publisher: Spruce Park Press, originally published in 2014
  • Audiobook Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Narrator: Dina Pearlman

Elizabeth Sims Online 

Note: I received a free review copy of Holy Hell by Elizabeth Sims. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.

About the author

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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from Amazon.com to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born