Ann Charles, 2011
Audience: Adults, Older Teens
Little girls are vanishing from Deadwood, South Dakota. Fearing her daughter might be next, single mom, Violet Parker, is desperate to find the monster behind the abductions. With her savings dwindling and just three weeks left to sell her first house or lose her Realtor job, Violet is ecstatic when a handsome jeweler hires her to sell his century-old, Victorian masterpiece, until she sees the dilapidated dwelling. Now, if she could just convince her only buyer to stop rejecting vintage homes as if they're haunted. Short on time and long on worry, she refuses to give up her dream of a fresh start in Deadwood. But with a malicious coworker trying to get her fired, a secret admirer sending her creepy messages, and a sexy stranger hiding skeletons in his closet, will Violet end up as one of Deadwood's dearly departed?
I picked up Nearly Departed in Deadwood because it was a popular local read. I’ll admit that I was a bit disappointed when I saw that Ann Charles was not from the area herself, but the details in the book were good - aside from the fact that she mentioned a Piggly Wiggly store more than once. I don’t think there have been Piggly Wigglys in South Dakota for YEARS. As for the mystery, it was average. I think it could have been tighter and more suspenseful, but it wasn’t bad. Overall, the tone reminded me a bit of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. For example, the main character wasn’t doing well in reality and had a neighbor similar in disposition to Grandma Mazur. Because I enjoyed Stephanie Plum, I enjoyed Nearly Departed in Deadwood, and I hope that the mysteries improve as I read more in the series. And I will read more!