Tuesday, January 22

Review: Nearly Departed in Deadwood by Ann Charles

This is the first book in the Deadwood Mystery series by Ann Charles.  In this book, we are introduced to Violet Parker, single mom of 9 year old twins and fledgling real estate agent.  Violet works for Calamity Jane Real Estate in Deadwood, North Dakota.  She is just a few weeks shy of losing her job, because she has yet to sell a house during her 3 month probationary period.  Violet works with Jane, her boss, Mona, her mentor  and Ray, the smooth talking charmer, to everyone but Violet.  To her, he taunts and sneers about not waiting until she loses her job to his nephew, Benjamin, another new real estate agent.  Needless to say, Violet is getting a bit desperate to make a sale.

At the start of this book, Violet finds out that another little blonde haired girl has gone missing in the area.  This makes 3 in the past year.  And the last little girl was the spitting image of Violet's little girl Addy. When Addy makes a friend of Kelly, who was the best friend of one of the other little girls who went missing, Violet starts investigating the kidnappings to make sure that her daughter is safe.  

Along the way, she meets the new tenant of the office next door, D.R. "Doc" Neecy.  She has a hard time figuring him out, but can't help but feel attracted to him.  As one of her new clients, and the the man her best friend Nathalie has "claimed", she tries to keep it professional, but the sparks and tension are high.

She also ends up with Jeff Wymonds, Kelly's dad, as a client when he has to sell his house due to his wife leaving him for another woman.  At first she things he might have had something to do with the little girl's disappearance, and does everything she can to keep her daughter away from that house. But as she gets to know Jeff, she finds it hard to believe that he has anything to do with the girls disappearances. 

Her first listing, belonged to Willis "Old Man" Harvey, who she is introduced to with the double barrels of his shot gun "Bessie" right in her face.  He is quite the character and has some of the best one liners and dialogue in the book.  Harvey looks after her and helps her as she works toward figuring out just what is going on in Deadwood.

After reading the Jackrabbit Junction series, I have become a fan of Ann Charles, and she surely did not disappoint with this book.  I couldn't wait to read the rest of the series, which is why writing this review took so long. *g* I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

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