The Prairie Grass Murders (A Sylvia and Willie Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B004FGMT0Y
- Publication date : December 6, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 440 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 171 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,111,191 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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What makes this book so engrossing is the well-rounded characters. Sure some of the bad guys are telegraphed from the git-go, but Stolety is deft at adding motivational twists to the action that keep the reader guessing. When you think the story line has settled onto a well-trod path, Stoltey lurches off in another direction that adds a new interpretation of the facts.
The above isn't a criticism. Most mysteries are linear: A influences B, B influences C, etc. The Prairie Grass Murders' storyline twists and turns like any good mystery, but Stoltey takes it one step further. Reading her plotline is more like peeling an onion or opening a set of nesting dolls. You never quite know what you're going to find even though you have a fair idea about where the story is going.
Good story and I will continue with the series.
A hike back to the spot reveals newly plowed soil and no corpse. Suspecting a cover-up, Sylvia turns to the sheriff, her old flame, to begin piecing together clues surrounding a missing business developer and the corruption and secrets he may have taken to his grave. For Sylvia, the seemingly obvious solution has a darker spectre--one that follows her home to Florida,where danger stalks her in her own backyard.
I was intrigued. I was even more intrigued when I read the first page of the book, an excerpt from chapter one.
"Damn." Willie let his breath go with a whoosh."Bird, dead bodies have given me nightmares ever since 'Nam." He took a deep breath. "But I guess I better check this out."
Moving closer to the brambles, Willie leaned over and pulled some of the stalks apart, painfully snagging his fingers in the process.Above the shoe, a strip of black sock led to the bottom edge of a black pant leg. Willie dropped the brush back into place.
Good place to hide a body, he thought. A raspberry patch picked clean of berries wouldn't get any attention before next year's berry-picking season. And if this patch had been pulled and stacked up for burning, or hauling, the body might never turn up.
Willie shook his head in disbelief. Why did this keep happening to him?
In chapter one, with a keen eye for descriptive narration and dialogue, Patricia Stoltey takes us with Willie to the body, and then into the Lincoln County Hospital where he's going to be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation, thanks to the local deputy who caught him in the grass. But first, he's going to call his sister, a Florida judge. I know exactly what she'll say, he thinks at the end of the chapter.
This is a thought that foreshadows an important insight about him that will be useful later in the plot. It's an insight that comes from his sister at the end of chapter two: "The other thing he's good at is readingpeople--feeling vibes and sensing when something isn't right."
Chapter one is third person viewpoint, through Willie's eyes. At the end of the chapter when Willie thinks he knows what his sister will say,"he shrugged and blew a little puff of air through his lips as he imagined Judge Sylvia Thorn's reaction." And then, the next sentence we read is the beginning of chapter two.
"Ow, ouch! Blast it, Tak!" I shouted.
Is this Willie talking? Doesn't sound like him. But through snappy dialogue we immediately know we're now in first person viewpoint, and Sylvia is talking with Tequila Picon(Tak), a colorful character who will soon disappear and then reappear near the end of the novel at one of the crucial twists and turns of the plot.
I'm expecting the rest of the novel to be first person. But it's not. However, since Willie is a man of fewer words than his sister is, it makes sense that his third-person sections are few.
The viewpoint also serves to emphasize the differences between the protagonists. Willie is the reticent Vietnam veteran who suffers from a traumatic war shock and eats healthy food. Outgoing Sylvia is nine years younger than her sibling, and the savvy Florida judge who, in the words of her doting mother with whom she concurs, has "a wild side." She eats a lot of junk food while Willie silently rolls his eyes.
There are many colorful characters, snappy dialogue, and descriptive passages in this story that twists and turns to the last suspenseful page. A very satisfying read.