- Paperback: 426 pages
- Publisher: Corvallis Press; 1St Edition edition (July 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983256837
- ISBN-13: 978-0983256830
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 597 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,521,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Optical Delusions in Deadwood: Deadwood Mystery Series Paperback – July 15, 2011
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"... mystery, humor, romance, and fun all wrapped up in a great book." ~BooksRUs Reviews
"Another fun read that left me smiling. Bravo, Ann Charles for your wit and humor. Your masterful storytelling makes this a gem to read." ~Earth's Book Nook Reviews
From the Author
I have an itchy case of gold fever. I came down with it decades ago when I first traveled through the Deadwood area. I'm not talking about a hunger for shiny treasures, rather a need to know all about the people and places from which the shiny pieces are unearthed.
When it comes to the Black Hills, one town reaches out to scratch my gold-fever itch--the city of Lead (pronounced Leed). While Deadwood was busy leaving its mark on the history books with tales of Wild Bill Hickok and Seth Bullock, Lead was busy staking its claim on the land. The Open Cut mine in the middle of Lead brings its industrious past front and center.
The Open Cut has always fascinated me. I have studied "before" and "after" pictures, read all about its creation (at the Black Hills Mining Museum), and stared at the geological timeline in its walls through the Homestake Visitor Center's chain-link fence. Why am I so fascinated with a big hole in the ground? Because it reveals a history full of hard work, spent lives, and change. It intrigues me how people adapt to these changes.
Over the years, I've met several Homestake miners. I've listened to their stories of what it was like to work deep inside the Earth. At the butcher in King's Grocery, I stood in line with their wives and kids. These days, Homestake is no longer an operating gold mine; most of the drifts and shafts below the town are filled with water rather than men. But Lead's industrious spirit is still alive, its down-to-earth hardiness still apparent.
I'd always planned to incorporate Lead into the Deadwood Mystery series. The two towns are like sisters, each enchanting with separate but entangled histories. Before I began writing this second book, I cruised the back streets of Lead, along Sunnyhill Road, from East Summit Street to West, and down Gold Street, searching to see how life off the main drag had changed since Homestake stopped digging for gold. I took my kids to the little park on Miners Avenue and the big park next to the Open Cut. I climbed the steep hill on Mill Street, retracing the going-to-work route of many miners. I located the exact piece of land next to the Open Cut where I'd place the house that would play center stage in the story--the Carhart house.
I hope you get a kick out of reading Optical Delusions in Deadwood. While I enjoyed introducing Violet and her friends in the first book of the series, Nearly Departed in Deadwood, this second book allowed me to shed light on the kaleidoscope of colorful characters and historical settings.
Most of you reading this have already dipped a toe into Violet's world. Thank you for returning for more Deadwood fun.
Grab your boots, because the water is getting deeper.
Welcome back to Deadwood ... and Lead.
Award-winning author of the Deadwood Mystery Series
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Top customer reviews
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I've discovered that I actually don't care about the plot as much as I enjoy Ann Charles' ability to create engaging characters. Doc makes a great book boyfriend. Violet is surrounded by an amazing cast of secondary characters; her 10 year old twins, Aunt Zoe, and best of all, Will Harvey.
Charles' other talent is her ability to make the reader laugh out loud.
"One trip to the moon had apparently been enough for Doc, whereas I was all suited up and ready to rocket out of my boots again."
"But I’m telling you, you’re going to like this one.” “You said that the last two times.”
“Yeah, well, he has no visible rashes and isn’t trying to become a famous ventriloquist.”
“Is that as far as you’re going to bend?”
“On this subject, yes. But I’m willing to bend a lot more for other purposes.”
“Speaking of sexy, you look nice. That little blue number hugs you in all the right places.”
“Thanks.” I had all of the wrong places sucked in and battened down."
If you break out in hives at the thought of romance or steamy scenes, this book is not for you. If you need a laugh and a break, get downloading.
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!
I am writing this review after rereading the book as I didn't write one after the first time I read it and I will just say that this series is easily one of my absolute favorite series. I started rereading it after being in a book funk and it is just as good as the first time I read it.
In "Optical Delusions in Deadwood", Violet is approached by two strangers who ask her to sell their home. It is in the town of Lead and next to a deep cavern in the earth - a long closed gold mine. The home has a reputation - it has seen death and is rumored to be haunted - none of the other realtors will touch it. Desperate for a sale, and not heeding the advice of others, Violet chooses to get involved. That's when the trouble begins.
There are many twists and turns in the plot to keep the reading guessing and turning pages. This story has ghosts, demonology, murder, unidentified body parts, mystery, but just too much romance and sex for my taste. Sometimes, it is a distraction and takes away from the storyline. The author does an excellent job of bringing all the loose ends together - well almost all of them - at the end of the book. Now, I'm anxious to start the last book in the trilogy to seek my answers. Recommended for anyone wanting to laugh out loud while following this group of characters throughout the story.
John Podlaski, author
Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel