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, Violet 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?
©2011 Ann Charles (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
AKA The Geeky Blogger
Read/Listened for Fun (Kindle/Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.75
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 4.50 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: Nearly Departed in Deadwood is a seriously fun cozy mystery that had me giggling, gasping, and growling (in a good way)!
Story Thoughts: They mystery is strong in Nearly Departed in Deadwood, grasshoppers! Ann Charles knows how to write a twisty mystery that will keep you guessing. In true Jessica Fletcher style (which is the bar I hold all cozy mysteries too) knocks out suspects as she goes. I love when an author lines up your suspects and then slowly knocks them down! I laughed at poor Violet as she juggled her job, trying to protect her daughter, the crazies she met (even the adorable fun ones --->Sylvester Schwarzenegger), and dating. I could buy her getting involved in the case because like any mom, the desire to protect the offspring (no matter how annoying they get) is strong. Overall the story was very strong and had some great moments!
Character Thoughts: I really liked Violet till the end of Nearly Departed in Deadwood and she broke the code. I truly thought that could have been handled better but other than that, Violet was a delightful leading lady. Depending on how the situation is handled in the next book, I might even forgive her breaking the code(her friend is a tad bit of a "I claim every guy" kind of gal). Violet's kids though were awesome. I love how Ann Charles didn't push them to the background. It made Violet more real and easier to relate too. I know lots of single moms who get those "emergency" calls at work, have a hard time dating, and seem to always be frazzled/rushed. The fact that it was all part of Violet's personality too just made her more likable. All the rest of the characters are great (even the sleazy annoying ones) and I can't wait to get back to Deadwood.
Narrated By Caroline Shaffer / Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
I don't think I have listened to a book narrated by Caroline Shaffer before but I certainly will in the future. She was fantastic and well suited to a cozy mystery. She had great comedic timing, good voices, and just enough "lightness" to make it fun.
Final Thoughts: Totally loved Nearly Departed in Deadwood! Can't wait to continue the series!
I have such mixed feelings about this book. There were parts I loved and parts that drove me nuts or grated on me. On the one hand, it was well-written and well-narrated. Some parts were hilarious and had me laughing out loud. Other parts made me so frustrated with the main character that I just wanted to strangle her. For example, the fact that she puts up with the blatant, extreme sexual harassment from her co-worker without ever complaining to her employer really frustrated me. It was funny at first but then it just became annoying. Also, I felt like she let her kids walk all over her. Do the good parts outshine the not-so-good parts? I'm not sure. Am I sorry I read/listened to it? No. Would I recommend it? Only with reservations.
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