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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
Optical Delusions in Deadwood (Deadwood Mystery Series)

An exciting trip back to Deadwood to visit with Violet-real-estate extraordinaire/part-time sleuth. This time with ghostly encounters in the mix. I liked how the story started just a short time after the first book ends. A rollicking romp through the streets of Deadwood sprinkled with sexual innuendo from Harvey,Violet's cantankerous friend to the steamy romance scenes between Doc & Violet. It all mixes together like lemons and sugar to make an inventive lemonade. I absolutely love Violet's eccentric kids. They remind me of some of the shenanigans of my children:)
The sexual tension between Doc & Violet left me with the desire to shake the two of them and say get with it and get together:)
The ghostly twist whet my appetite, wondering what other experiences are waiting in the wings for Violet and will she finally become a believer?
Another fun read that left me smiling. The ending left me anxiously awaiting book 3.
Bravo, Ann Charles for your wit and humor. Your masterful storytelling makes this a gem to read.
I recommend this book to readers who like mysteries, romance, with a dash of paranormal.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Loved the first book and wondered if this second book could be as good. It is!! I'm totally hooked...love love love this series! Guess there's no question how I feel! Highly recommend for a fast paced mystery with lots of humor and the right amount of romance!! The writing seems effortless it flows so well. Outstanding! I just want to go hang out with Violet, Doc, Harvey and the rest of the crazies in Deadwood. Can't wait to see what happens next in bk3... Hurry please!!
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I met the author at a waterfront book festival a few weeks ago. What attracted me to her books was the book jacket. So many new writers tend to have jackets that look like a toss away from a B movie. Jacket was professional and well done.

The book is fun..fun and smart. First of all the main character is not a 20 yr old ," I'm so pretty and misunderstood...and so pretty..and ...um angry...and I have POWERS!!!". This chick was 35..single Mom of two intense kids. She is working as a real estate agent with a villian as a co worker..I loved the character because she was able to brush things off , as she wasn't a 20 yr old nymphette..and her insecurities were honest and hyyyysterical!! The Man..was good looking..all the stuff we gals like to read..but he had his own bag of oddness to make him less than perfect. It's refreshing as the babe in these books tend to have it all together while the hero swoops in and saves the heroine in some fancy ensemble (L Hamilton- hear my plea..thigh high boots?? STOPPPPP!!!)

This has something for everyone..you like mystery, humor and a little gore (serial killers terrify me...give me a monster anytime). The main characters dialogue was hysterical and honest. I downloaded the 2nd book immediately and it was just as great if not better.

I am ready for the 3rd...I was ready for the 3rd after the 2nd but I supposse I will just have to wait. :)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This time - (thank goodness) I wasn't on a plane when I read the next installment of the indomitable Violet via her conduit Ann Charles. I'm not a huge reader of first person, mystery or even humor but this book like the first has me hooked! Ms Charles weaves a great story with unforgettable characters, it has it all including paranormal and romance. I really am enjoying this series and I can't wait for the next book. (to tide me over I've just purchased Dance of the Winnebagos I think that title says it all - LOL)
My only disappointment it wasn't long enough. Can't wait to find out what trouble Violet gets into next and what happens between her and Doc.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This was dreadful...horrible. After reading the first book in the series, I was pretty excited to read this as well. How disappointed I was. Where as some books can be hard to get into because they lack descriptions...this one is partially awful because it has BOTH way too much, yet still not enough; both the writer and the main character will go on and on at lengths over the same things..at times the most unnecessary things...yet glaze over key things.

Violet comes across as an idiot, yet its hard to really blame that all on the character as opposed to her creator. She's paranoid about the things she could easily toss aside, and nonchalant about the things that are supposedly very important to her. She is so consumed with sex with doc that everything else is clouded. Its hard to understand why any character would find her appealing, other than maybe for physical reasons. She's a walking contradiction, and not the good type.

As for the writing style, its so wishy washy and borderlines on immature. I usually do like it when an author takes us deep into a character's head...but Violet really has no depth so there is nowhere to go. The dialogue she has with herself could have been funny at one point, but then gets irritating really fast because its a bunch of nonsense. Based on this (and on her actions) its hard to really see her as taking ANYTHING at all seriously...not her kids, not her job, not the relationship she spends 99.9% of the story obsessed with, not Doc..not anything. The woman finds time to make jokes in her private thoughts, when they should otherwise be focused on saving her life and the stuff that's going on around her...this specifically reminds me of a cartoon.

It would also really be good if the author would make up her mind about what she really wants to write....does she want to actually tell a thrilling story, or does she want to focus more on smut and make storyline less than secondary. Personally, I think she should try for the thrilling angle because her sex scenes are all over the place and still nowhere. The sexual encounter that Violet had with Doc in this book was a mess, and it took me Violet referring to it some time later to realize that they did indeed have sex during the encounter.

The book was also so very rushed, which for me was a good thing because I was only determined to finish this book because i hate leaving things incomplete. So much time and words were wasted for 98% of the book, and so the last 2% was a bang up rush job where an attempt was made to actually deal with the story the book was supposed to be about.

Ugh....I can't imagine reading book 3....I also can't imagine seeing so much as the book cover for this book again and not feeling a bit woozy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
An exciting second in the Deadwood series! I am completely hooked and am on baited breath for the third book. This installment into Violet's life is even better then the first. As a single mom trying to make it in the real estate world, despite the machinations of a misogynistic co-worker, Violet works hard to ilk out a living and still be the best mom she can be. This can prove to be a challenge with a pair of twins who create a whirlwind of interesting adventures on their own. Her ability to attract trouble and ghosts works for and against her leaving me wanting more after each page!

Violet is a believable and real person. She does not have long flowing hair and legs up to her arm pits, she struggles with the baby weight she has had since the twins were born, is short, has unruly, wild hair and real financial issues. Even the most despicable characters in the novel are likeable simply because of the fact they are real, fleshed out individuals, be it her Aunt or the chicken. With each page they embroil themselves into your life, especially Elvis the chicken!!

If you have any doubts, just do a test read, I guarantee you will be hooked and reading them in no time!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I am really liking this series. The stories have a good mystery line as well as humor that is developing nicely as the series matures. I like that we have two hero's for our heroine ......reminds me of Stephanie Plum and her two galant suitors:-) Also that brings some FUN into the main story of Vi's life. This is a great book, just give the sample a spin and see for yourself!...freaking skeptics, can't tell them a bloddy thing.....oh "bloody"?...haha, I made a funny! ...read it and see why....;)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I rate this book half and half. Half bad and half good. OPTICAL DELUSIONS is the second book in the Deadwood Mystery Series. Unfortunately I read it first. The book goes back to the first book with dozens of references that lost me. A line or two would suffice. So I would have to say: read the books in sequence.

Our hero: Violet Parker, is plucky, witty, and horny but to me is rather dense and needy. This is not a good thing for me if she is to be my hero. Much of the book concerns her second guessing herself. This gets old fast. Her lover, Doc, is sketchily written and comes across as a 'goodguy' stereotype. In fact most of the males in this book are broad stereotypes.

She comes across to me as dishonest and disengenious. She constantly makes excuses for why she isn't forthcoming with her boss, the cops, her friend, her family and her boyfriend. She, in effect, creates her own problems. There are times I want to say to her: TALK TO THE POLICE (or your friend, or your boyfriend)...but noooooooo. Finally, I found her jealousy to be infantile. I want my heros human, even with flaws but not unlikeable.

The good parts of the book are in the dialogue when Violet says something outloud and then adds a quiet aside. These are laugh outloud moments. Violet is sexy and constantly thinking about getting laid. There is much SEXPLANATION, so be sure to read all the nibble/lick parts as (not believeable) Violet and Doc 'multitask'. Skim over this and you will miss the major plot points.

All in all I give it 2.5 stars.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Wow. Just wow. Most authors fall short on book 2, or come close, a few improve - but Ann Charles knocks Optical Delusions out of the ballpark! Readers will learn more about the area around Deadwood. They'll get another "Full Harvey" from that quirky old buzzard - plus some sizzling hot scenes between sassy, spunky Violet and her main squeeze, Doc Nyce. And they'll enjoy a howlingly funny, can't-put-it-down read with hints of even better mystery to come in the next book! What's not to like?

If you haven't read Nearly Departed in Deadwood, get in on the action now - and follow up with Optical Delusions! You'll indeed beg for more.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
that thoroughly kept my nose in the story. waiting for book 3 is going to be very painful! HURRY!
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