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All the Wrong Moves (A Samantha Spade Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – November 3, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Samantha Spade Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The first in prolific author Lovelace's Samantha Spade mystery series draws on the author's former career as a U.S.A.F. colonel. Samantha, a smart-mouthed air force lieutenant, tests gadgets for the military at a Texas desert facility. On an early morning hike, Samantha finds two badly decomposed bodies, soon identified as a weapons dealer and a smuggler of illegal aliens. After an arsonist burns her test lab, Samantha ratchets up her involvement in the investigation, with handsome border patrol agent Jeff Mitch Mitchell keeping her heart racing as they search for the killer. Well paced, this chatty first-person narrative develops the character of the not-so-military-type heroine who doesn't deal well with authority figures but does the best she can because she knows her job's important. Crime fans will look forward to Lt. Spade's next adventure. (Nov.)
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Review

"Riveting..Lt. Samantha Spade, a sassy, sexy heroine, is brave, funny, and fine in her first adventure." -- Carolyn Hart

"Samantha is great--sassy and indomitable and believable... The action never stops." -- Joanna Carl

"A 21 -gun salute for All the Wrong Moves, a fast-paced, original, authentic military mystery that builds to a pulse-pounding finale." -- Carolyn Hart
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Product Details

  • Series: A Samantha Spade Mystery (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425231186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425231180
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,423,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As an AF brat I lived in France and Newfoundland, both of which I loved, and at least half of the fifty states. As an AF officer, I served tours in Taiwan, Vietnam, the Pentagon, and the rest of the fifty states!

Now I'm having a blast putting all those adventures into my books.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Merline Lovelace's new novel, All The Wrong Moves, is a great start to a new mystery series. I enjoyed her fast-paced first-person narrative, and I like United States Air Force Lieutenant Samantha Spade a lot. She's young, quirky, and hip, the kind of girl you can take home to mom and still depend on to cover your six during a mugging. She shares not only the events of the investigation with her readers, but also her views on life, the opposite sex, and the military in equal doses. She's quite compelling.

Lovelace is a retired USAF colonel herself, with all kinds of postings in exotic (and not so exotic) hot spots around the globe. She has a great knowledge of the military, technology, and people. All of that shows on the pages of this novel.

I also really love the background Lieutenant Spade is played again. South Texas is near a lot of trouble, so her budding relationship with Border Patrol Agent Jeff Mitchell feels natural. The fact that Fort Bliss is so close, complete with inter-military problem potential, is another facet that I expect will be explored. We get a touch of it here, and it ups the ante for Spade's investigations.

Most of all, though, I love the fact that Spade is part of a DARPA program that tests new technology designed for military use. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency isn't quite as hush-hush these days as it has been, but lots of folks are still fascinated by all the technology and cutting-edge science those people play with. Lovelace hangs enough of it out there to whet the appetites of geeks everywhere and send them scrambling for the Internet to find out more.

The story is twisted in several places and I had to pay close attention to who was doing what, which is fair in a mystery novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
USAF Lieutenant Samantha Spade is detached to DARPA as the head of FST-Three testing innovative inventions to see if any military applications apply. She and her unit are stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas where they are testing EEEEK (Ergonomic Exoskeletal Extension); a gizmo that is supposed to make the wearer, stronger, faster and enhance the senses.

While outside the town of Dry Springs, Sam steps on two bodies melted into the desert. One of the deceased turns out to be mercenary arms seller James Hucker, who was involved in an incident in Columbia in which three marines died. EEEEK downloads crime site data locating a fingerprint that identifies the killer as the father of one of the dead marines. An anonymous cell phone call led to Hucker's homicide and the team using one of the gadgets locates the throw away cell. In the meantime someone blows up Sam's lab. The outraged Sam after filling out a quadrillion forms Techno Diva Sam teams up with Border Patrol Agent Jeff Mitchell; they hunt for the deadly dealer.

Although at times the heroine feel isolated from the air force as she works in the beyond even with Fort Bliss being an army growth activity, she and her eccentric crew feel they are doing important work; as "Inspector Gadget" seeking inventions that will make the military safer and more effective. She also knows the alternative to the blissful heat of the Tex-Mex border is HQ FST-One above the Arctic Circle. Merline Lovelace once again affirms her position as a five star author with this strong look at military testing inside a wonderfully drawn investigative thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The military setting and the intriguing concept of military testing and the 'robot' would have been enough, but Merline Lovelace has created a tense, compelling thriller with an admirable heroine I fell in love with. Can't wait to read more stories featuring Samantha Spade. Another hit for an enduringly superb author!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a mystery with a lot of action. I loved it!

Samantha Spade is the head of a team out in the middle of the desert, living in a bunch of trailers that have been modified to make up a complete lab and living quarters. The team tests inventions to see if they might be of use to the army. The one they have now is an exo-skeleton, nicknamed by them EEEK, which greatly enhances someone's endurance and power, has perfect night vision, and sends reports to the lab on what it is seeing. After spending several days being taught by the company's rep, she decides to go out at night as it's too hot in the day. Everything is going smoothly until she tries to jump over what she thinks is, perhaps, a dead coyote. Turns out that it's two dead bodies, and EEEK steps on them!

One had been murdered, the other shot and left to die, both in the desert sun.

The story becomes more complex as investigators look into the whole thing.

Although this sounds grim, there is a lot of humor and some romance in the book.

Recommend it highly.
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USAF Lt. Samantha Spade-thats your first clue. This hard boiled upfront sassy chick is in the AF and is in charge of testing out new inventions to robotics and such. In this testing she accidently runs over some dead bodies and the chase is off. She figures if she wants to keep doing what she enjoys doing out here in the desert she is going to have to find the culprits responsible for all the murder and mayhem. She meets Border Patrol officer Mitch Mitchell and together they work to solve the crime, stay out of the linelight with the military and keep things moving toward the restoration of her testing site and equipment. Oh yes, by the way, someone torched her testing facility. This is a first adventure for Samantha Spade and I hope to see her so and often as she is a delightful character.
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