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The Rich Are Different (The Dakota Stevens Mysteries) Paperback – May 19, 2014
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"THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT brings back the smooth Dakota Stevens with his keen eye for detail, gentlemanly behavior and general wisecracking and witty shtick that make him both charismatic and agreeable. Stevens narrates with insightful and humorous observations that bring the nostalgia of the detective noir style...Orcutt's writing is succinct, clear and smooth...Though clues are artfully revealed, the plot has several twists that keep the reader guessing in this charming sequel to A REAL PIECE OF WORK. (5 stars; IR approved)" — IndieReader
From the Author
Where did you get the idea for The Rich Are Different?
The original manuscript that became this novel grew out of a trip I took to Montana in 2002. Besides seeing Yellowstone National Park and the vast Montana plains and wilderness, I visited several ghost towns, including Bannack, and Virginia City & Nevada City, MT.
I saw what tourist attractions these sites can be, and I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if some rich person created a modern-day Old West park?" I imagined such a place, staffed by actors, with a town and its own railroad, and then I imagined the owner of the place being murdered and his sister being an heiress on Long Island.
I decided I wanted to write a mystery novel that also paid homage to two works I deeply admire: Westerns and The Great Gatsby. I wanted to contrast the East with the West in such a way that would make readers look at both places a little differently. I think I've accomplished that while also adding, in a modest way, to both the detective and Western genres.
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And it was worth the anticipation. Dakota is smart and witty, without being smart-ass, which I appreciate. He and Svetlana play against each other perfectly. I can't find anything not to like about these two characters, I just want to read more!
There were enough twists and turns in this story to keep me guessing right up to the end. I figured out the what, it was the who I couldn't figure out. The first death is Sidney Vaillancourt, the wealthy owner of a period Old West town in Montana, which he runs as a sort of dude ranch. Dakota and Svetlana are hired by Sidney's wealthy sister, who wants them to find the truth about her brother's death, initially ruled a suicide. After that, the bodies pile up and Dakota is chasing from Martha's Vineyard to New York City to remote and vast Montana property known as Ricochet, trying to root out the killer.
All in all, a very enjoyable read, and I realized how much I had missed both Dakota and Svetlana. More, please!
An eccentric heiress wants to interview them for job to look into the death of her brother in a faux western town in Montana; brother has created a resort set in the late 1800's. The detectives are driven to a vast estate on Long Island in a Bentley; the driver is the young niece and ward of the heiress. Dakota and Svetlana are hired. In the following days, someone tries to kill Dakota and a few minor characters die. Then it is off to Montana!
This could be called "expensive cars, planes, trains, boats, & horses." All of these modes of transportation are in this book.
As in book #1 of the Dakota and Svetlana series "A Real Piece of Work," emphasis is on the athletic skills and gun expertise of Dakota, and the talents of the multilingual Svetlana and her analytical mind. Dakota is obviously a macho man, but he does have his almost Southern-gentleman style when it's needed.
We have possible bad people, shady people, sexy women, Native Americans, and other interesting characters. Chris Orcutt makes his characters seem so real that I would recognize them if they walked out of the book and down my street. Chris also tosses humor into the story; rare and refreshing to find in a detective novel.
Just when you think you have it figured out, you are wrong! Twists and turns until the end of the book. I was sad when this book ended, as I understand that book #3 in the series is still being written. Can't wait for more adventures of Dakota and Svetlana!
1) Lead characters with admirable traits, and also endearing flaws.
Most mystery protagonists overcome the most dangerous odds without breaking a sweat. Dakota Stevens and Svetlana Krush have many strengths and talents, but they also have vulnerabilities and flaws that make them more appealing than the perfect leads of other stories. Their ability to perservere and truimph in spite of their blunders makes them very human.
2) Really witty banter that reveals much more.
While Dakota and Svetlana are professional partners, the way they interact reveals deep fondness, acceptance and trust.
3) Gorgeous prose.
Orcutt is a master of metaphor, and his descriptions are like those found in good literature -- rare in this genre -- but without the seriousness.
One reviewer compared "The Rich are Different" to pulp fiction. It's funny-implausible, not eye-rollingly absurd. Rather than a harrowing suspense that one can't put down, it's a great adventure with friends.
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For reasons I won't go into (because they aren't interesting), I am reading the Dakota...Read more