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Desert Drop (Las Vegas Mystery Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Rex Kusler
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Private investigator and former homicide detective Alice James was just six months old when her father, Leon Stapper, abandoned his family. Forty years later, Alice has convinced herself she’s over it—until her half sister, Corina, calls her up and wants to meet. But before Alice and Corina can get acquainted, everything goes terribly, tragically wrong. Determined to uncover the truth behind what happened to her sister, Alice calls in reinforcements: Jim Snow, her partner in Las Vegas’s James & James Detective Agency who knows a thing or two about family drama. Their investigation takes them from Sin City to Silicon Valley, where Alice and Corina’s father reigns as a high-tech CEO. As Alice and Jim dig for clues, they find that Leon’s best friend and attorney Ron Bale took a very personal interest in Corina. Not to mention the fact that he used to be married to Leon’s ex-wife—until she vanished without a trace. Alice is convinced that if she and Jim can uncover the truth about the missing wife, they will discover what happened to Corina. But first, they will need a little help from some old friends.

Smart, sharp, and entertaining, Desert Drop is the third installment of Rex Kusler’s Las Vegas Mystery series, starring one of contemporary crime fiction’s favorite investigating duos.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rex Kusler was born in Missouri and raised in a small town in Iowa. Thanks to a lifelong fascination with mathematical probability and gambling, he enjoys spending his free time in Las Vegas and looks forward to retiring there. For now, he lives and works in the Bay Area of Northern California, seeking humor and fun in whatever he does.

Product Details

  • File Size: 638 KB
  • Print Length: 269 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 161218278X
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (April 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,910 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A practically perfect detective story April 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What a delightful little mystery. It really is nearly perfect. The characters are well-drawn, there's a fair dose of humor (someone gets hit by "a texting drunk driver"; when a character is told to be more proactive, he wishes he'd been more "pro-hesitant"), and best of all, the plot is one of those little gems that peels like an onion, with each discovery revealing more and more aspects of the crime or, as it turns out, crimes. The story starts out with a ransom phone call but quickly and steadily (very nice timing, by the way) expands to encompass larger and, ultimately, more personal crimes. And when Mr. Kusler brings the story back around to where it all began, I nearly wanted to applaud.

But even the best mystery needs more than a decent plot; it needs decent writing, and here Mr. Kusler hits a home run. His writing is spare and focused. Nothing is extraneous, nothing is superfluous, nothing is missing. Each step in the story leads inexorably to the next. It was instructive reading "Desert Drop," because I had just finished reading another crime novel, "Cloudland" by Joseph Olshan which contains scads of extraneous material (you can read my review at Cloudland). Plunging into "Desert Drop," therefore, was not unlike plunging into cool water after an hour in the sauna; Kusler's book is so clean and well-crafted that it renews the system wonderfully.

"Desert Drop" begins as a story about a kidnapping. The relatives of the kidnap victim do everything required by the kidnappers, but then things start to go wrong. Following the clues related to the kidnapping leads our detectives to another crime, which leads to another, which leads to yet another.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twists and Turns Keep Things Interesting April 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Private Investigator Alice James recently found out she had a half-sister. Corina was born forty years ago when Alice's father left the family. On the verge of meeting her for the first time, Alice received a shocking phone call letting her know Corina had been kidnapped. The voice on the phone demanded a ransom from the women's father or Corina would die.

After the ransom was delivered and following detailed instructions for Corina's release were discussed, Alice and Jim drove to Lake Mead to pick her up. Unfortunately, the situation did not turn out the way they anticipated. When the FBI became involved, Alice and Jim began their own investigation to find out what happened to her sister.

Desert Drop is the third novel in the Las Vegas mystery series written by Rex Kusler. The author has created an unlikely and entertaining duo that fit well together although their ups and downs keep things interesting. Kusler has fit them together like two key pieces of a puzzle, interwoven yet with their own distinct personalities.

He keeps the plot interesting and the pace moving quickly forward without spending a lot of time on long discourses. The twists will have readers thinking they know what happens next, only to find a surprise from the author. This book is more than just a mystery; it is an entertaining thriller that will have readers longing for more cases from James & James Detective Agency.

Desert Drop (Las Vegas Mystery)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remorseful Reunion May 14, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)

Alice James, a former police detective and current private investigator, fears she has lost her sister, Corina, again when she receives a ransom call.
A strange distorted voice claimed to have her sister and threatened Corina's life. The telephone call came on her sister's cell phone, which gave credibility to the threat. . She quickly enlists the aid of her partner, Jim , another former police detective.

Alice was abandoned by her father when she was an infant and had no contact with him for forty years. Her father, Leon Stapper, a billionaire industrialist, contacts her and arranges a meeting with her sister. Neither Alice not her sister, Corina Stapper, were aware of the existence of a sister. While traveling to the first meeting, Corina is kidnaped and held for ransom.

Desert Drop is the story of Alice James's search for the kidnapper of her sister. Alice must confront several perplexing questions: is her sister alive, who would wish to kidnap Corina, who would have reason to put either sister in this horrible situation?

The agreed upon ransom is only 150 thousand dollars, a small sum for a billionaire. Why so low an amount? Is the kidnaping really a ploy to hurt Leon Stapper? With such a low ransom demand, what are the real intentions of these criminals?

Desert Drop is a fast paced, suspense filled novel. The action is constant, filled with several plot twists, and the intrigue is intense. I recommend this book for anyone who likes a good mystery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love these Las Vegas Mystery Series! March 25, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am a big Rex Kusler fan from these Las Vegas Mystery Series, and what I like is they are all nice, fun, easy reads. Desert Drop fits right in like another finger in the glove. It is the continuing adventures of Jim and Alice, partners in James & James Detective Agency. They have a great chemistry between them, like watching "work spouses" bicker and joke, but in a respectful way. This time the case they are working on is Alice's half sister Corina, who was supposed to be visiting Alice and meeting her for the first time, except she's been kidnapped. As always, there are unexpected twists and turns, we run down a different rabbit hole, find more strange things, other interesting characters come and go, and then it all gets tied up neatly at the end--another case solved! Great literature? no, but after a week of burning every brain cell on technical issues at work, these make my tired brain happy. Fun, relaxing, entertaining, and by the end I don't feel drained from reading it (except being tired from staying up too late to keep reading!)

My only tiny, very tiny beef with Desert Drop is that it almost seemed to end too quick. But maybe I was just yearning for more to read :) Looking forward to the next one in the series Rex! Keep 'em coming!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was enjoyable reading
Published 3 months ago by Rebecca L. Fry
5.0 out of 5 stars Really improving, #3 surprised me
I loved the twist, wasn't expecting it, was a real surprise. So good I am going to start #4 in a few minutes. Just keeps getting better.
Published 5 months ago by AleeaB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
nice read -- continue
Published 5 months ago by Dorothy Dutkevitch
2.0 out of 5 stars Moe
Iuuuuuuuiiiiii hhhhhhhhhhhjn bb. Mm nhhh high fffffggg ggggg ttttttt dddddd hhhhh gggggg kkjjkk dddd jjjjj ggggb hhhhh hhhh hhhh hhhh
Published 5 months ago by Moevb
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Predictable and not up to the expectation I had from the previous novel featuring the detective team of James & Snow. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Richard Jansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed this series. the characters and the plots are inviting. these were my beach buddies this summer.
Published 6 months ago by rosie
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
Rex Kusler done another good job, even thus it went good part without much action but soon it catches up and kept me glued to the book till the end. Read more
Published 7 months ago by hala morsi
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read
Interesting characters, interesting story line, surprises, overall a fun read.
Published 8 months ago by David M. Wathen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book. Luv his books
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Little character development and no substance. The plot was OK.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Rex Kusler was born in Missouri and raised in a small town in Iowa. He spent his most formative years reading Mad Magazine and playing tiddlywinks. His writing began with a newsletter for a beer club he founded in San Jose in 1982. Soon afterward he tried his hand at short stories. After success selling some of them to a few regional magazines he began writing novels. Seven years, four novels, three agents, and a pile of rejection letters later, he gave up--for a while. In 2003 he wrote ANGELA. In 2009 he completed the first novel in his Las Vegas Mystery Series PUNCTURED, based on his experience selling his trailer for cash in an RV storage lot after dark. After success as a self-published e-book, it was re-released in May 2011 by Amazon Publishing. The second in the series is ASHES TO DUST, followed by DESERT DROP, and many others.

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