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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
An exciting trip back to Deadwood to visit with Violet-real-estate extraordinaire/part-time sleuth. This time with ghostly encounters in the mix. I liked how the story started just a short time after the first book ends. A rollicking romp through the streets of Deadwood sprinkled with sexual innuendo from Harvey,Violet's cantankerous friend to the steamy romance scenes between Doc & Violet. It all mixes together like lemons and sugar to make an inventive lemonade. I absolutely love Violet's eccentric kids. They remind me of some of the shenanigans of my children:)
The sexual tension between Doc & Violet left me with the desire to shake the two of them and say get with it and get together:)
The ghostly twist whet my appetite, wondering what other experiences are waiting in the wings for Violet and will she finally become a believer?
Another fun read that left me smiling. The ending left me anxiously awaiting book 3.
Bravo, Ann Charles for your wit and humor. Your masterful storytelling makes this a gem to read.
I recommend this book to readers who like mysteries, romance, with a dash of paranormal.
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
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