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A Dead Red Cadillac (The Dead Red Mystery Series, Book 1) by [Dahlke, RP]
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A Dead Red Cadillac (The Dead Red Mystery Series, Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 751 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in The Dead Red Mystery Series (5 Book Series)
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Length: 291 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... Lalla Bains, pilots us through a murder investigation with more twists and turns than the coast highway and with an ending more satisfying than the purr of a perfectly tuned '58 Cadillac."
--Lesley Diehl, Author of A Deadly Draught

"... With its engaging sleuth, R.P. Dahlke's promising debut, A DEAD RED CADILLAC, will keep you turning those pages... right up to its surprising conclusion."
 
--Kris Neri,award winning author of Revenge for Old Time's Sake

"Fast paced and fun with an outwardly tough but inwardly vulnerable lady-pilot, drug smuggling and plenty of eccentric characters."
--Rhys Bowen, award-winning author of the Royal Spyness Mysteries.

From the Author

I got to thinking why I so very much like reading and writing about strong women. To be honest with you, I think it's because I've spent most of my life as a wimp, doing as I was told, minding my manners, saying all the right, and expected, things,  until one day I realized being miss-goody-two-shoes was getting me exactly nowhere. Since then, I've been called disrespectful, annoyingly forward, and my favorite--uppity.  To make up for lost time, I now suit up as Lalla Bains, born again bachelorette, ex-NY Model, crop-duster, sometime amateur sleuth.   I might as well let her tell it... she's crowding me for the spotlight anyway. 

 Lalla Bains here, and I seldom do as I'm told especially after my lyin', cheatin' whoring  second ex-husband took up with yet another too-tasty-to-resist side-dish. 
 So what if I took a baseball bat to his recently restored vintage Caddy? It was worth it just to watch him  try to yodel  his way out of this latest lie... like I didn't catch him and his secretary fogging up the windows of his pimp-mobile.
I smashed in the headlights, the driver's side window, and just for good measure, slashed the tires. That way, he had to get a tow.  I skinned him of the Caddy in the divorce and, just for spite, painted it candy apple red.
That's me, hell raiser--well, sort of. Flying and partying don't mix during the long hard days of summer.  Even if I had the energy  I get too damn little sleep as it is and now that I'm fu-fuuu-fu-forty.--'kay, that's--that's just--rude to laugh. You try my life for a day--up at three a.m., chasing after lazy pilots and the smart mouthed ground crew I inherited when my dad when he went  in for a triple by-pass.
"Would you mind coming home and taking over the crop-dusting business?" he says, coughing lightly into the phone. "I might not be around much longer." 
Miraculously recovered, my tight-wad father is now too busy to take back his desk, what with rediscovering  a whole new wardrobe from the back of his closet.  He's in leisure suits, squiring local widows to funerals and scarfing up free meals at the wakes while I try to shake off the ankle biting Chihuahua we inherited from the last murder case.
On the bright side, my love life is finally out of the dumps since I have a wonderful relationship with Sheriff Caleb Stone. Well, that is, it would be, if only I could do as I'm told and stay away from solving crimes. It's not my fault that people die at my feet, or they're found six feet under a local lake strapped into the front seat of my trophy red caddy.
But, If I did as I was told and stayed out of trouble,  I never would have solved those cases.  Besides, it helps keep my mind off turning fu-fuu-forty.  So, now you understand why well behaved women seldom make history is now my motto.
Note to self: tattoo the above quote somewhere I can clearly see it when I'm in another jam.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3450 KB
  • Print Length: 291 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Dead Bear Publishing; re-edited 12-7-15 edition (March 3, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 3, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QOAZO2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,745 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
For some reason I kept imagining Cybill Shepherd playing the lead role. It would fit her previously played characters: smart sometimes, dumb sometimes, impulsive, loud, confrontational. It wasn't a heavy mystery, but it was fun. However, the author really, really needs a volunteer line-editor to find grammatical typos, repeated words, and what appear to be places where an edit left in the old text, too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book had a lot of promise but the inconsistencies, improbable behavior and some missing links were distracting. This didn't read like a final draft. Who edited this book??? A good editor could have improved this story a lot. Parts of the story were left hanging, references to a minor character named Brad kept popping up and I kept asking myself, " who the heck is Brad?" Some of the dialogue referred to facts that had never been previously mentioned, grammar errors, lots of examples... but it is too bad because there is a lot of promise in the character who is a beautiful but gutsy protagonist, and I liked the humor.
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This is laugh out loud fun. Well written, fast paced...I wanted to have breakfast with these people and I'm not even a breakfast person. It's like a painting in vivid colors...fun, fun. Polished work, hard to believe it's her first book. Brava Rebecca...keep them coming.
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I liked the characters for the most part, but they are pretty cookie cutter. Female amateur sleuth type with love interest in law enforcement (why is that anyway?) stumbles into a murder mystery. Peppered throughout are supporting characters, some original, others not so much. The mystery itself wasn't bad, but there were a lot of disconnects - spoiler? - Did we ever find out why Eddy didn't just wait to be paroled? If so I missed it. And what was going on with Brad? That thread was left hanging too. I do believe this could be a good series with some polishing and proofing. There were inconsistencies in the time line. Lalla mentions that her brother died at 26. Then in another part of the book she mentions he was 10 years older than her, but then later (or earlier, I can't remember right now) she states that she was 20 when he died. The math doesn't work. Another part I had a really hard time swallowing was when she forgot it was her 40th birthday. Nobody forgets their 40th birthday - nobody. Doesn't happen. Ever. I don't care what else is going on.
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Lalla Bains is a little rough around the edges, but it is for show only. An ex-model turning 40, with two bad marriages behind her. She is back home in Modesto, CA running the family crop dusting company, feeling down on herself. But when a murder of a woman happens she jumps into action to prove who is and who is not guilty. A cozy that is a fast read and will keep you turning pages to the end. I will certainly read the others in this series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"I looked out the window at the same view I've seen for the last ten years and counting. I was bored with Modesto, bored with being Noah Bains' loser daughter, two loser marriages, loser modeling career and anything else I might try my hand at--but what else could a loser like me do? I was about to turn forty, right foot in a walking cast, cane on the left, a non-existent love life, living with a mono-syllabic father who had enough of his own hang-ups to put mine to shame."

Lalla Bains's situation get even worse when the police see the fins of her prized Cadillac sticking out of a lake and discover a body behind the wheel. As she sets about to figure out what happened, she proves her self-appraisal to be too harsh. She has spunk, intelligence, and common sense. The physical injuries - sustained when she crashed her crop-duster - will heal, but what about the emotional ones?

Dead Red Cadillac is a fast read with a likable hometown cast of characters we meet at Roxanne's Truck Café in Modesto. The mystery is well constructed and the dialog witty.
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Lalla is a retired model returned home to help run her father's crop-dusting business. She tells the story. She portrays herself as a wild woman the whole town thinks of as slightly off-center, but, frankly, she just seemed meddlesome. She did not have that colorful a personality and was not nearly as colorful as she seemed to think.

This is a murder mystery. Since the victim was found in Lalla's red classic Caddie that was upended in a shallow lake, Lalla takes the murder personally. A hunky stranger comes in and the straight-laced life-long friend sheriff pales in comparison. That's the romantic triangle. Lalla pursues the murderer as the prime suspect continually changes. She learns that this murder is tied to one twenty years old and that her father was involved. Small town, romance, father-daughter and fair mystery. Amusing, but not particularly noteworthy.

Lalla is an okay character, though somewhat predictable. The other characters are fairly stereotypical: the taciturn father, avuncular family friend, straight-laced pining sheriff and the matronly diner owner always ready with a sympathetic ear, a piece of pie and sage advice.

The book was okay. A Light mystery that, all-in-all, was mediocre. The cover is very appealing though. What was that old saying? Don't judge a...
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