Series: Deadwood #1
on Feb. 1, 2011
Genres: Adult, mystery
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 for one reason. The setting. I grew up only a few minutes from Deadwood in the town of Sturgis (yes, where the motorcycle rally is). Reading a book where I was super familiar with the setting was something I was really excited to do. Plus I knew it would bring back a lot of fond memories. I also thought I would enjoy it because it’s a mystery. But I didn’t expect to like it THIS much. Like total squee-worthy love. Like WOW, I love this so much I just want to start reading the 2nd book right this minute, kind of love.
My first concern was that since I’m so familiar with the area that I would find inconsistencies and things that just wouldn’t make sense. Usually this is with travel distance times, etc. And at first I kept nitpicking at silly things. I kept trying to find flaws where there weren’t really any. Just because my family and people I know might not say some of the things the same doesn’t mean others don’t. I finally just let it go and realized that none of the things are truly ‘wrong’. Well, none that I noticed.
I love, love, love the characters. The main character, Violet, is fantastic. She’s real and she has her faults but that made me like her so much more. I loved how she dealt with different situations. I also loved that her kids were a a big thing in the book. They said and did the best things and really had me rolling in laughter. They were quirky and so lovable. But ALL the characters (every one of them) was really well done. They all just really came alive. I found some I loved and some I detested (we were suppose to) and some that I wasn’t sure if they were good or bad but they sure had a personality that came out on the page.
The romance. WOW. Now THIS is romance done right. I can’t spoil anything for you so I have to be super vague. But I’ll tell you there’s an excellent build up for this one. I always say that it’s all about the ‘moments’ and this one was full of ‘moments’.
There are some twists and turns in this book. The mystery is that girls have been going missing and they are all Violet’s daughters age so she has an interest since she’s concerned about her daughter. The mystery of who-done-it was one I definitely didn’t guess though I think it may have crossed my mind. Some of the twists caught me off guard. Some I guessed ahead of time. My favorite one I took a little while to figure out but I figured it out long before Violet did or it was revealed. I didn’t really mind and I still think it was done well.
Once I started reading this book I really didn’t want to stop. I think I liked everything about it. It’s a mix of cozy mystery and horror. But the horror element is very, very short and I mostly say horror because it was really really dark. But it was just for a chapter or so. Maybe less. The majority of the novel is quirky and fun and even a bit romantic. I was going to say that the characters are my favorite part but honestly I think the characters, setting and plot are all equally fantastic. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it!