Double Duplicity: A Shandra Higheagle Mystery (Volume 1) 1st Edition
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Yep, the book is as much romance as mystery, but that would be an asset if its characters were more consistently developed. Or if the murder victim was more sympathetic. Or if the intricate plot moved faster. Or if the writing were competent.
By the end of the book, I was ready to write off Shandra Higheagle. But my Kindle version also included the first chapter from the second book of the series “Tarnished Remains.” I gave it a try—and what a difference. The characters were suddenly engaging, the action lively, and prose markedly tighter and more professional. So I’ll give this series another chance. Only ten more books to go.
This book has some mysticism to it – Shandra’s recently-deceased Nez Pierce grandmother keeps appearing to her in dreams, guiding her to help solve the crime. I was fascinated by Shandra trying to walk in two worlds. She struggles with accepting herself because her mother and stepfather made her hide her Indian heritage. The cop on the case, Ryan Greer, puts more faith in her visions than she does. When Shandra starts having dreams about Ryan, the tension ratchets up and the race is on to find the true killer.
This started to fall a little more on the “romance-dressed-up-as-mystery” side for me, but the plot was interesting enough, and the characters likable and engaging, so I continued to read. I’m glad I did. This was an easy, entertaining read, and I’m glad to see I have at least three more books to go in this series.
I really liked this book, I have read several other books in this series prior to reading this first book. I really enjoyed seeing how Shandra and Ryan originally met. I love the characters; my favorite being Shandra. She is a strong female lead who is very in touch with her artistic side and is learning to embrace her Native American Heritage. The descriptions of the setting are well done, you can really picture everything as if you are there. The mystery has a great pace with several twists and turns and suspects along the way. I was very surprised at the end who the actual killer is. There is something for everyone offered in this book… romance, paranormal, suspense, animals, female leads, small-town charm, and Native American Heritage. I recommend this book to all mystery lovers.