Loose Screw

Loose Screw (Dusty Deals Mystery #1) by Rae Davies

Thoughts Before Reading:

I received this book free in return for an honest review. I love Westerns and mysteries, so when I read the description I was all for it.

Plot Synopsis:

Lucy Mathews was a reporter for the Helena, Montana newspaper, but left because her editor thought she was a “wuss”. Lucy isn’t a coward, she just doesn’t like confrontation.

After leaving the newspaper, Lucy went into the antique business, having a western specialty store Dusty Deals. She leaves alone with her Alaskan Malamute, Kiska.

Recently, famous Helena pioneer Denton’s Deere’s objects have come up for auction. Lucy heads over and manages to score a box of pottery with an antique stoneware item hidden in, and a box of books she can easily resell.

The big ticket item is a Medicine Man outfit, that ends up in a bidding war. It is finally sold to an out-of-town dealer, James Crandall, for $40,000.

The next day, Crandall comes into the shop trying to buy some books on the Deere family. Lucy sells him a book and he is seen later arguing with the other bidders from the auction- a local dealer in Native American objects, Bill; and Andrew and Melaine Malone, out-of-town- dealers who are starting a Native American museum in Washington D.C.

Later that evening, Lucy is heading home with Kiska when she discovers a dead body by the dumpster, and not just any body-James Crandall.

Lucy calls the police and the newspaper (hey, once a reporter always a reporter). And finds herself caught up in the middle of a murder mystery with the Medicine Man suit missing except for a dried weasel.

To further complicate things, her old editor has asked her to come back and write a series of stories on the murder. Lucy finds herself investigating friends and prominent people in the community.

To make things evem harder on her, she has to try to work with Detective Peter Blake. Blake hates Lucy and never aids her in anything, always having made her life as a reporter tough. Things have gotten even more strained as Blake flits between making things hard and making a move on Lucy.

So now Lucy has to balance Dusty Deals, reporting, investigating, a police detective, her dog, a jazz festival, and someone coming after her.

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was a good story. I liked the characters and the concept.

At times I did wish Lucy was a bit more assertive, such as when her editor who is paying her nothing yells at her. I would have told him, heck no, I am not being paid you deal with it.

And it was pretty obvious at times who the villains were.

Otherwise, it was good and fun.

For more antique shop mysteries, go to Larceny and Old Lace

For more mysteries featuring a reporter, go to For Whom the Bluebell Tolls

For more Western mysteries, go to Paper Roses

For more mysteries, go to The Night Sister

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The Butterfly and the Violin

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The Butterfly and the Violin (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel) by Kristy Cambron

This book is two stories intertwining that connect by the end of the novel.

He’s cute!

First we have Adele Von Bron concert violinist and Austria’s sweetheart, living in pre-World War II Europe. She is the daughter of a high ranking Nazi official, but doesn’t agree with his politics as they go against her Christian faith.

She is part of the Philharmonic, where she meets the son of an average man, but the one she falls in love with is, Vladamir.

Everything in her world is changed when she is caught trying to help a Jewish family flee Austria. She is caught and her punishment to be sent to Auschwitz to work in the camps.

But when she gets there, she is set to join Auschwitz’s Women’s Orchestra. There she goes through all kinds of troubles and problems, doing her best to stay alive.

The second half of the book is about Sera James, art gallery owner. She was left at the altar two years ago, and has been completely brokenhearted.

Since then she has focused all her attention on trying to find this painting of Adele Von Bron, one that was created while they were in Auschwitz.

Her research has reached a dead end and Sera is at a loss for the next step until she discovers a a copy of the painting behind an object up for auction at an estate sale. She emails the owner and then receives a plane ticket and request from millionaire and businessman Will Hanover.

She flies out to meet him and finds out that Will Hanover is in a tough spot. His grandfather died recently and left all the money, assets, and business to the owner of the painting of Adele.

He has been searching for the owner when he heard from Sera. He infuriates Sera when he accuses her of trying to steal his family’s fortune.

He returns and asks for forgiveness. The two then begin searching and Sera starts falling for Will. But does Will feel the same way? Or is he just using her to get the painting?

Hmm…

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Thoughts After Reading:

The book wasn’t that good.

The author suffered from trying to do too much with the two story lines that it caused her to fall into overdone clichés and have a lack of character development. The book was rushed too fast to reach a conclusion, and to quote Wayne’s World they made it a “super happy ending”.

I hate it

I didn’t care for it and thought it would be better if it had been focused on either storyline of Adele or the search of the painting instead of stretching the author with these two pairings. Adele’s journey is told in half points with a quick summary of what happened next, and Sera’s search barely anything as the painting felt like it was instantly discovered after the two “joined” forces.

That’s it?

Like Will’s grandpa just choose to leave it to the girl so Will could become a minister instead of taking the mantle of the business. Well that’s fine for him but what about everybody else? Did you even think how that would affect them all?

And what qualifications does that woman have to run a business? I mean really? All he knows of her was what happened in WWII. How do you know she won’t run everything down to the ground?

For more historical fiction, go to Whistling in the Dark

For more books that take place in World War II, go to The Hyde Park Murder

For more Christian books, go to The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

For more bible verses, go to Everybody Called Her a Saint

The Cat Who Turned On and Off

Merry Christmas! Let’s celebrate with our final Christmas Mystery!

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“Why don’t you go ahead, Qwill, and do a Christmas series on antiquing?’ ‘I hate antiques [Qwill said]…Look, Arch, I wanted to write something with guts! What can I do with antiques?” (pgs. 13-14)

Book three picks up several months after The Cat Who Ate Danish ModernQwill’s family has extended to include a a female feline friend for Koko, Yum Yum. The trio have moved out of the VV, as they were only watching Harry’s place for a month, and Qwill is currently searching for an apartment as the motel he is living in isn’t the best place for him and his animals. It is almost Christmas and Qwill is a little depressed ar his prospects as Cokey broke up with him for an engineer. Qwill now has no date for the Christmas Eve party, he is still writing about interior design, his ex’s parents are begging him…

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