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Extended Audio Sample Whistling in the Dark Audiobook, by Lesley Kagen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,983 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lesley Kagen Narrator: Lesley Kagen Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Whistling in the Dark Series Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9781482981896
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Sally O’Malley made a promise to her daddy before he died. She swore she’d look after her sister, Troo, and keep her safe. But like her Granny always said, actions speak louder than words. And Sally would have to agree with her. Because during the summer of 1959, the girls’ mother is hospitalized, their stepfather has abandoned them for a six pack, and their big sister, Nell, who was left strict instructions to take care of them, is too busy making out with her boyfriend to notice that Sally and Troo are on the loose. And so is a murderer and molester. Highly imaginative Sally is pretty sure of two things: who the killer is and that she’s next on his list. If nobody will believe her, she has no choice but to protect herself and Troo as best she can, relying on her own courage and the kindness of her neighbors.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the summer’s hot reads.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Innocently wise and ultimately captivating.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • “The plot is a humdinger…a certifiable Grade A summer read.”

    Capitol Times

  • “Delightful…gritty and smart, profane and poetic.”

    Milwaukee Magazine

  • “[A] compassionate debut, a coming-of-age thriller…An enchanting protagonist.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Kagen’s debut novel sparkles with charm thanks to ten-year-old narrator Sally O’Malley, who draws readers into the story of her momentous summer in 1959. The author has an uncanny ability to visualize the world as seen by a precocious child in this unforgettable book.”

    RT Book Reviews (4½ stars, Top Pick!)

  • “Kagen’s debut novel sparkles with charm…The author has an uncanny ability to visualize the world as seen by a precocious child in this unforgettable book.”

    RT Book Reviews (4½ stars, Top Pick!)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dev | 2/13/2014

    " I loved this book! It was fabulous! I laughed at the way little Sally O'Mally told her story -she has quite the imagination! The characters were so real that I could picture what each one looked like in my mind. I was confused about one aspect of the book, did Sally actually jump into Sampson's pen and the end of the story? I would have to say that this book is not for the faint of heart -language and sex stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mandy Griffin | 2/13/2014

    " Great book. An enthralling story of family, community and the every day decisions that become life-changing, Whistling in the Dark is a mystery combined with laugh-out-loud humor told in a way that only a 10-year-old perspective could tell. Definitely worth picking up, but you won't be able to put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carlin | 2/11/2014

    " I really felt like the author took you into the neighborhood and into the characters lives. It's told from a 10 year olds perspective, which is humorous at times, but definitely adult material as Sally (10 year old) tries to uncover who might be murdering/molesting young girls in the neighborhood. A lot of different adult themes going on: death, language, fear, adultery, drinking, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha Stevenson | 2/5/2014

    " I loved it! It grabbed me from the prologue, and I didn't put it down until I was done. I am not an avid reader so this is a BIG deal!! The voice that Kagen gave to the main character was so appropriate and humorous in light of the terrifying situation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jeanne | 2/1/2014

    " more like 2.5 stars. I just had a hard time getting into the book and caring about what happened. It also was pretty apparent how the book was going to end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 1/28/2014

    " I fell in love with the main character Sally. Coupled with the fact that she's only 10 years old and it's written from her perspective in the late 50's, helped me even love this book more. A worth-while read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 1/27/2014

    " I thought this book was a little hard to get into but once I did I really liked it. I loved its depiction of neighborhood life in the late 50's. Some of the characters really endeared themselves to me and I loved the relationship between the sisters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylvia | 1/19/2014

    " I remember picking this book up by chance and I am so thankful I did. A compelling read, I could not put it down. Sally and Troo are characters impossible not to love or care for, making this book even more successful in touching the readers deeply. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol Vuillemenot | 1/1/2014

    " I really like this one because it took place in 1959 and in the midwest. The story is told from a ten-year-old's view and displays her innocence. She is the middle child who made a promise that is difficult to keep. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi | 12/28/2013

    " What a fun summer read! The narrator had true grit, as did her little sister. If you like Fanny Flagg's style, you'll enjoy this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 12/24/2013

    " Liked this story quite a bit - the voice of a young girl who was in some ways very mature, but in other ways very much a child. Laugh & cry worthy. Just a solid book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue Bader | 12/22/2013

    " Really a pleasant read. Did a wonderful job of portraying a child's universe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 12/21/2013

    " Fun read. It's set in Milwaukee-- and every page included some sort of Milwaukee reference... almost too many. It felt a little distracting-- even though I love the Brew City. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 12/16/2013

    " A good story. Easy read for summer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emmy Chang | 12/12/2013

    " I couldn't finish this book. It started off good but then got really slow and boring. And I got anxious to start reading 'Twilight'. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 12/7/2013

    " Definitely evokes the feeling of the time and place. Some of the story lines are a bit implausible, especially given the ages of the two girls, but overall a fun read. I liked the stream of consciousness style of storytelling from Sally's perspective. A good beach book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill | 10/23/2013

    " This book was the "can't put it down without finishing it" kind of read. A good story; bit of a mystery; bit of comedy; bit of suspense. All in all, one of my favorite books ever! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 9/3/2013

    " Written in a ten year old's narrative, so it's not the most intellectual read but a good lazy day book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Naomi | 9/5/2012

    " I love love love this book, so well done! The author takes you immediately back to what it was like to be a child, I love that the story is written through the eyes of a 10 year old. I can't wait to read Good Graces! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 7/24/2012

    " Great step back to the year 1959! Many memories of my childhood fondly resurfaced. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Cain | 3/21/2012

    " Written through child's eyes. I like it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leahjoypro | 3/8/2012

    " This was an interesting, quick read. I know I overuse the term - but probably a good "beach read". I read it for book club and enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susie Steadman | 2/20/2012

    " I enjoyed this story very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 anne | 2/7/2012

    " a quickie in between book club books-sad "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee Anne | 1/12/2012

    " I loved Sally's "voice" in this story and enjoyed the nostalgia of revisiting the 50's. It seemed there was more foul language than was necessary or even accurate and an excess of sexual references. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristina | 12/31/2011

    " I had forgotten that I read this a couple years ago! My mom lent it to me and I remember liking it. The story line is kind of disturbing, with child predators and stuff but I liked the protagonist, Sally, and thought the author's writing was well done. "

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About the Author
Author Lesley Kagen

Lesley Kagen is an actress, voice-over talent, and restaurateur, as well as the author of multiple national bestselling novels. Whistling in the Dark was a Midwest Choice Honor winner. Land of a Hundred Wonders, an Indie Next pick, was also nominated for a Midwest Choice Award. She lives near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.