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