06-18 Sarah Raplee – WHY PSYCHIC AGENTS?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What the Dickens?

Robin Weaver...
Reviewing Dickens of a Death by Ashantay Peters

A quaint little town nestled in the mountains, all decked out in Victorian style for the holiday season. Granville Falls boasts tasteful lighting, authentic decorations, mulled wine, caroling, chocolate, and more chocolate. Sounds like the perfect weekend getaway, right?

Wrong! In Dickens of a Death, Ashantay Peters does what she does best. She takes this annual event and creates a quirky, fast-paced mystery by killing off the person we’d all like to bitch slap—in this case, the tyrannical Dickens’ Days coordinator, Richard Shorter (dubbed “Little Dick” by our Katie).

In this clever novella, Ashantay brings back nosy, yet lovable, Katie Sheridan, the heroine from Death Stretch, and Katie’s BFF, Ginger. Ginger and her mom top the suspect list when the victim is found outside the family home. The weapon? A potpourri of toxic holiday decorations. No one railroads Katie’s friends, so naturally, she starts snooping.

Detective Dirk Johnson, the love of Katie’s life, thinks keeping her safe is difficult, even when he's at her side. Exasperated she’s risking her lovely little neck again by playing Nancy Drew in Tinseltown (after numerous promises to “behave”), Dirk sticks to his ultimatum and puts the hiatus on their budding relationship.

Katie, never one to bury her sorrows in eggnog, escalates her snooping. She soon finds herself not only in danger of losing Dirk completely, but face to face with an ice-cold killer.

Dickens of a Death is a holiday read to die for! Don’t miss this seasonal mystery with a twist of humor.

Here's an excerpt:

   “Dickens Days is the craziest damn weekend of the year.” Dirk ran his fingers through his hair.

   “Well, second to July Fourth, but still. I’d rather you weren’t in the thick of things that weekend.”
If it were up to Dirk, I’d be Suzy Homemaker-one of our ongoing bones of contention. “At least I’ll be inside, in one location.” Have I mentioned that the decorations committee also dressed in costume while conducting heritage house tours? Yep, I was one lucky “volunteer.”

   “Plus, Ginger will be with me. What kind of trouble can I get into with her?”

   His eyes narrowed into slits. Oops. Maybe I shouldn’t have reminded Dirk that Ginger and I had gotten involved in one too many murders over the last year or so.

   I quickly added a disclaimer. “We’ll be stationed at Winslow House.”

   His expression blanked.

   “Ginger’s parents’ house. Her mom will be there with us.” Ginger’s childhood home was large and so historic it rated a name.

   Dirk shook his head and glanced at Ginger. “This is already a done deal, isn’t it?” He mumbled under his breath. “How’d you get sucked in by Little Dick?”

   I turned to face Ginger behind me. “See? I’m not the only one who calls Shorter by his correct name.”

   She looked at the ceiling and didn’t answer, but her lips quirked.

   Determined to keep my promise to Ginger, I pulled out my almost non-existent flattery skills. “Besides, you’ll be on duty, so nothing will go wrong.”

   He snorted and raised one eyebrow.

Other books by Ashantay include: Death Stretch, Death Rub, and Death Under the Mistletoe.  Check 'em out!


Linda Lovely said...

Robin, you give some great reasons to pick up Ashantay's Christmas mystery--all of them spot on. It's a fun read and a great way to treat yourself after shopping (or my preference) instead of Christmas shopping. Ashantay's cast of quirky characters gives her a great ensemble for a long series of humorous mysteries.

Ashantay said...

Thanks for the plugs, Robin and Linda. And readers, if you like sass and a ton more romance, pick up a copy of Robin's holiday story, The Christmas Tree Wars. It releases on December 10 and is worth waiting for!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for showcasing another great holiday read, Robin! The excerpt really shows the Ashantay's skill at creating interesting characters. I think Dirk doesn't stand a chance in convincing Katie to do something like sit by the fire and knit - lol.