Review: Drop Dead Ornaments by Lois Winston

Fast-Paced Christmas Comedy and Mystery

I flew through this book. Winston knows how to make a reader turn the page. It’s more than a puzzle to solve—I was rooting for people I cared about. Anastasia Pollack is easy to like, a good mother, a good friend, and in a healthy romantic relationship, the kind of person you’d want on your side in a difficult situation. She’s been through some tough times and keeps her head above water with humor and creativity, never wallowing. I like how she’s comfortable in herself, knowing her own strengths and weaknesses, and acting on her convictions, including her conviction that her older son’s girlfriend’s father is innocent of a crime the police think he committed.

Anastasia’s relationship with Detective Spader is one of the many gems in the story. They’re not quite friends, not quite enemies, but teetering in between, annoying each other respectfully. The dialogue between them is brilliant.

I’m impressed with how Winston has managed to take Anastasia through so many escapades in a short period of the character’s life without making her readers step back and doubt it. One way she does it is through regional color, the nature of crime and family connections in the protagonist’s part of New Jersey. The backstory is blended so smoothly that a new reader could start the series here without feeling lost, but I recommend getting to know the series from the beginning.

The ongoing sagas of Anastasia’s colorful elder relatives—her communist mother-in-law, her spendthrift, husband-hunting mother—continue, adding more laughs. But I have to say, I hope to read a book in which Anastasia and her sons are finally liberated from Lucille.

Check this blog again Sunday for an interview with the author!

Buy Links for Drop Dead Ornaments

Buy Links for book one in the series, Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun

Everywhere #Bargains #99cents and #free #e-books

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Everything listed on this site is a bargain, of course, indie prices being what they are, but these are a few of the super-bargains.

 99 cents:

Chains of Prophecy by Jason Crawford

Sales links: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-urban-fantasy

Reprobate by Martyn v. Halm

Sales links: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/suspense-and-thriller

Time Shifters by Shanna Lauffey

sales links: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-science-fiction/

  Free:

The Outlaw Women by Amber Foxx

Fundamental Error by Martyn v. Halm

both can be found on: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/short-story-singles-and-collections

and one of the books I just reviewed, Lost Cause by J.L. Simpson

download links: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-mystery

Two Reviews: The Daisy Dunlop Mysteries

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Lost Cause (Daisy Dunlop Mystery #1)

This is the kind of book you could read nonstop. Witty, naughty, fast-paced, well-plotted. Think of an R-rated British I Love Lucy with a whole tangle of mysteries—a missing heir, insurance fraud, a man with a secret, and murder—and you’ll get a sense of what you’re in for. Daisy is a colorful character. She’s smart, attractive, accident prone, inquisitive, and happily married to a man who wants to keep her out of trouble, though the job he finds for her does nothing of the sort. It was refreshing to read a book where the passionate romance is between husband and wife, parents of a teenager. The twists and turns of this story surprised me constantly. The contrast, conflict and repartee between Daisy and her employer Solomon kept me entertained. This is the only book I’ve ever read where a shot was fired that made me laugh out loud. It was a perfect punch line for the whole plot. When you get to it, you’ll know what I mean. I think this is the shortest review I’ve ever written, but with a plot like this, it’s hard to say more without spoilers. I’m hooked on Daisy Dunlop and look forward to keeping up with the series.

Lost and Found (Daisy Dunlop Mystery #2)

Would the sexual prowess of a poodle really incite someone to murder …?

This line from the blurb made me laugh. Many events in the book made me laugh, too—especially the method by which Daisy enacts a heroic rescue near the end. I still laugh thinking about it.

The humor is natural and authentic, coming from characters, relationships and situations, and is funnier for being so genuine. While this is essentially a comic mystery, the murders are handled with realistic seriousness and there are moments of human connection and caring that are true to life rather than risible. When there’s sex, though, it can be hilarious. Daisy and Paul’s marital romance continues to be one of the delights of the series, along with Daisy’s conflicted working relationship with her husband’s best friend Solomon.

The author is incredibly creative. The plot is full of unexpected events and original, colorful characters from beginning to end. And as for the poodles? Read the book to find out.

Buy links (and other great books)https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-mystery/

Lost Cause is currently FREE and Lost and Found only $2.99.