Several people wrote to me telling me how much they enjoy Rae Davies (aka Lori Devoti), so I added her to the Cozy Mystery site. I also was intrigued by her series, so I decided to add her to my authors-to-try list. Once I read Loose Screw (the first in her Dusty Deals Mystery Series) I added her to my “favorite authors” list. Yep! That’s how much I enjoyed Loose Screw…
The Dusty Deals series has a rather unique setting. Well, at least it’s different to me. It takes place in Helena, Montana >>> which Rae Davies makes seem like a typically small, Cozy village, even though it’s Montana’s state capital!
The sleuth, Lucy Mathews, owns and operates an antique shop, but also works as a crime reporter for the newspaper. She’s not terribly happy about being rail-roaded back to her job as a crime journalist, but it does provide a very good way for the author to explain why Lucy involves herself so much with the solving of the crime. Brava to Rae Davies for providing an absolutely great reason >>> other than nosiness!
Lucy’s side-kick “in crime” is Kiska, her Malamute. (Exactly the type of dog I’d envision in Montana!) There are also other important characters >>> which I’m guessing will be present in the following books of the series. Rhonda is Lucy’s best friend, Betty works at Dusty Deals, Gary’s the paper’s photographer, and Peter Blake is the police detective. I like all of these characters – which is important to me. If I don’t like the sleuth or the other recurring characters in a series, it’s unlikely I’ll keep reading the series.
There were plenty of red herrings thrown in, making the book more interesting. I enjoyed Rae Davies’s style of writing, too. (Rae Davies was a reporter before becoming a full-time author of novels.)
For those of you who like looking at book covers, I want to warn you about this one. I know I have a “no-negative policy” on my site, so I’ll just say this: Don’t judge this book by its cover! (I know that several of you have said you don’t like Cozies with cartoon-like covers…)
As I said before, I have added Rae Davies to my “favorite authors” list. I already have the second book in the series (Cut Loose) waiting for me on my Kindle! I hope some of you give Loose Screw a try. You may end up liking it as much as I did!
P.S. As always, if you are interested in reading some of the other entries about highly recommended Cozy Mystery series, you can find them at the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.