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A Dead Red Heart (The Dead Red Mystery Series, Book 2) Kindle Edition
What if your beating heart becomes the reason someone wants you dead?
A homeless vet pastes her vintage Caddy with paper cutouts then drops dead at her feet, a pair of blue-handled scissors sticking out of his chest. And once again Lalla Bains is a murder suspect
As she kneels down to help a sound causes her to look up, and a figure is silhouetted against the late afternoon sun.
She calls out for help but the figure disappears, leaving Lalla shocked as she realizes a killer now has her marked for murder.
"A must read!"
"Crime solvers- this is a must read to add insights into hearts and motives. Author Dahlke invites you to journey into her books in this series as well as previous and soon to be releases. I recommend this book with a high 5- star rating." Valerie Caraotta (CONYERS, GA, US) - See all my reviews (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
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"Lalla Bains, Crop Duster and Amateur Sleuth has become one of my favorite characters. In A Dead Red Heart, the second book in the Lalla Bains Mystery Series, R.P. Dahlke weaves together suspense, mystery, romance, and a touch of humor for a fantastic mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. A Dead Red Heart is on my list of favorites...." Kellie Rix,. Reader/reviewer ..Entertaining, suspenseful, totally unexpected and has a love story mingled in with it." MariLou Georges for confessionsofreader.blogspot.com
"The characters in this book are strongly defined and very, very memorable. The Modesto, CA setting is so well described that a fan and a cool drink is almost a requirement while reading this smoothly written mystery. When the ending arrives, you know that you've been on a wild ride with a spirited and feisty woman."Mary R. Fairchild "Mare F"
"Author R P Dahlke has combined suspenseful murder and even humor in the creation of A Dead Red Heart. And I have to admit, I didn't come up with the real murder until the end. This author really kept me guessing and changing my mind."
Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
From the Author
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 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.
- ASIN : B004W9NIOU
- Publisher : Dead Bear Publishing (April 12, 2011)
- Publication date : April 12, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 1216 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 313 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #319,654 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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You have to know right from the start, that this romantic mystery also has its fair share of humour and nothing is meant to be taken too seriously, which is just as well given the quirky nature of the disparate group of characters which the author has created and brought to life, in such spectacular fashion.
That includes Lalla Bains herself. Someone more unsuited to her job as a crop duster, both in appearance and personality, you couldn't wish to find and even being au fait with her background and tarnished reputation, doesn't prepare you for her quirky dispostition and flamboyant personality. Mind you, you only have to look at Lalla's father to explain where some of her eccentricities might stem from and let's not mention her past private life! trouble just seems to follow the girl around like a bad smell!
It certainly doesn't look too good, that someone who is all set to marry one of the local police officers, should keep being discovered with all these dead bodies and involved in crime scenes, that she seems intent on solving single-handedly, much against her lover's wishes, although Caleb seems to have little, if any control, over this impatient and impetuous female, who is obviously addicted to danger, as well as to him.
I got the impression though, that much of Lalla's bravado in front of Caleb, was something of a front which masked her underlying fear of committment, responsibility and getting hurt again. Her reputation had obviously preceeded her return from the city to her home town and she appears intent on shouldering much of the blame for her past mistakes, when really her only crime seems to have been one of being taken in by a hard luck story and having lousy taste in men. She hasn't necessarily chosen the way of life she now has, but on the other hand it is a great `get out of jail free' card, when it comes to hiding away from her own feelings. She can't really believe that Caleb is prepared to accept her for the person she is now and not what has happened to her in the past, not realising that if she pushes him away enough times, he may be lost to her. It is taking Lalla a long time to accept both herself and Caleb for the individuals they are, and that whilst there are no certainties in life, she has to open her heart one more time if she ever hopes to find the happiness and love she yearns for.
I found it astounding that, in a town where you have to pass an interview panel to be able to consider moving into the community, which is then only deemed appropriate when a member of the townsfolk dies to make a space for you, that there are so many unsolved crimes and murders ... and Lalla is at the heart of all the action.
The plot moves at a rattling pace, full of twists and turns, with plenty of excitement and energy. This all comes across in the lively narrative, which despite the underlying humour, is very perceptive and seeds the idea in the readers minds, about some very serious and controversial issues including; organ donation, homelessness, and PTSD.
All of the characters, no matter how small their part, have well defined personalities, which are believable, easy to relate to and become sympathetic with. They are however, without exception, exaggerated and very much larger than life. I have to say that I thought this made discovering the identity of the murderer a little too easy, however, fast changing events caused me to change my mind about the perpetrator several times, only to have my initial suspicions confirmed, but not until right near to the end of the story.
Similarly, although the motive for this string of crimes wasn't discovered until right near the end of the story, it was there right in front of you, if you read closely enough. I guess it is purely a matter of personal taste, just how much of a plot you like to be revealed `up front', but for me, it might have involved a little more guesswork and deduction on my part.
Coming from such a small country as the UK, where their presence is unnecessary, I also found amongst the pages of this book, some valuable insights into the life, work and dangers of being a crop duster. This is something which the author has first-hand knowledge of, coming as she does from a crop dusting family. Very sadly, this same occupation which gave her her start in life, is the one that has caused her most pain, with the death of her son in a tragic crop dusting accident. That she shares even the smallest insight into this necessary, yet dangerous job, is a tribute to her tenacity and attention to detail, all helping to make the reality of Lalla's situation so much more poignant.
The plural of "Doc Marten" is "Doc Martens", not "Doc Marten's".
If someone doesn't answer a cell phone, it goes to voice mail, not an answering machine (unless, I guess, you've forwarded your cell phone to a land line that has an answering machine).
And the commas, oh my God, the commas. There aren't any commas actually in the middle of words, but they're certainly pretty randomly scattered around the rest of the text. Except for all the places where there should be commas and they're missing.
This could have been a decent book, if only it was edited enough to be easily readable.
Billy Wayne had been stabbed with scissors.
Sherriff Caleb Stone (retired USMC), & Detective Gayle Rodney are investigating the homicide.
What happened to Delmar “Del” Potts (newspaper)?
Where was Grace Kim?
What was going on with Deputy Sheriff Pippa Roulette, & Byron Bettencourt (father)?
Will the murder mystery be solved?
Warning: This book is for adults only & contains violent or graphic adult content or profanity. It may be offensive to some readers.
I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one.
A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written who-dun-it murder mystery book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment.
There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great who-dun-it murder mystery movie, or better yet a mini TV series. A very easy rating of 5 stars.
Thank you for the free ebooksdaily; Booksends; book
Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
It's been a year since the last murder and life has been pretty much back to normal. She and Caleb are still dating, her dad has taken a new lease on life and she is back to flying for work. Until she stumbles onto another body. Once again a suspect, she decides to again try to clear her name. With a few zany co-conspirators, she'll stumble through piecing together clues that the police never seen to be able to gather without her help while at the same time, almost always sabotaging her relationship with Caleb.
The man is a saint for dealing with her and I am not surprised by how whiny she can be, but then again, the fact that the police let her get involved to the extent she does baffles me too. Kayla keeps saying she is not going to investigate, but then does. At the end, she does manage to solve the murder, but with potential casualties including herself.
I do like the wackiness of the stories, but I am still confused about why the snowflakes were left for her. The victim could not really know he was going to be killed and that Lalla would do all she can to find the killer.
Top reviews from other countries
I would buy more by the author, if the rest of the books are of this caliber. A light, pleasant way to spend an afternoon.