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3.0 out of 5 starsJust a so-so mystery story....
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2016
I found this story to be okay, or maybe just so so, but it did keep me interested to find out what would happen next. Not sure I like the character Lillian Dove all that much, and her relationship with Charles felt non existent. She starts in telling about him and their night together and then he fires her and any communication between them after that pretty much is just told about in her narration, which is the way most of the book goes. I kept feeling I was reading a Stephanie Plum wannabe story, because the main character keeps getting herself in trouble, but it wasn't quite up to par with that, and Lillian doesn't have Stephanie's sense of humor or smarts in tight places she finds herself in. Don't know if I care to read a sequel.
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2014
D.J Adamson’s Lillian Dove is a recovering alcoholic. She doesn’t have issues; she has problems. Calling her mother difficult is like calling Mount Everest a hill. Her sex life is either nonexistent or screwed up. She’s just lost her part-time job answering phones at the Fryville Police Department, leaving her with only the job at the liquor store to support herself.
If all of this isn't bad enough, when she discovers a house fire, she thinks she sees somebody inside. Trying to rescue the person, she burns herself and suffers smoke inhalation, but she can’t get anybody, including the police, to believe there was somebody in the house.
Lillian Dove is a well-rounded character. You feel her desperation and get caught up in her attempts to prove there was somebody in the house. All the characters in Adamson’s book are well developed and convincing. You’ve met them all on the street. And Fryville? I lived there once. The town gossip mill is so busy that everybody in town knows what you’ve done before you do it. As Lillian tries frantically to solve the problem of the fire, what she knows shifts minute by minute as if she were turning a kaleidoscope a notch at a time. Town secrets that weren’t quite secret emerge to complicate matters as events hurtle toward a solution to the crime or to death for Lillian.
ADMIT TO MAYHEM is relentlessly engrossing as you follow a woman you’ve come to care about struggle to do something right for once in her life.
Adamson has announced a sequel. It’s nice to know Lillian will be back.
4.0 out of 5 starsAlways a pleasure to find a new author to read
Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2020
A new friend brought this book to my attention. I'm not usually a reader of mysteries, but I gotta say, I enjoyed this book. Growing up in a small town myself, I was easily pulled into Frytown (the setting for this story) and recognized the characters from my little town in this little town. I like to think that on those few occasions that I do slip over genres into mysteries, I often can tell "whodunnit" ... but, this one got me.
Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2016
Since the main character of this novel is a recovering alcoholic, and I am the daughter/former spouse of alcoholics, I feared I might find it an uncomfortable read. However, the down-to-earth and realistic use of the theme of alcoholism and dysfunction added, I thought, to the story as a whole and was appropriately done. A few tiny errors in grammar could use a really sharp editorial eye, but weren't enough to detract from the storytelling. Some of the characters were honestly and straightforwardly "hateable" (yes, not a real word, I know!) while others were delightful, entertaining, and interesting. The mystery itself was intertwined with past, present, family dysfunction, emotional confusion and impulsive behaviors, which made untangling all the layers quite fascinating. All in all, a very interesting book.
This book was very interesting. It was unique and different in a good way. I enjoyed reading it. It has so many ups and downs. I love the main character and her pursuit of the truth despite her being an addict to booze. She maintains despite all the troubles that come her way. I was surprised at the ending of the book too. It makes me want to read more from this series and this author. I will be following her from now on too!
Like a good strip-tease, Admit to Mayhem pulls us along through a delicate dance of twists and turns, surprises and false starts, and richly drawn characters set against a beautifully illustrated backdrop of America’s heartland. The book’s protagonist, Lillian Dove, is a singularly sympathetic character who battles her own multiple demons with one hand, while simultaneously never giving up on her fight to see justice prevail in her small hometown of Frytown, Iowa. A great book to find yourself lost in while rooting for good to triumph over evil.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 30, 2016
The story takes time to build but when all the players are in the story begins to become interesting!! At the beginning the story was less apparent but as I kept reading the story began to grab and the denouement was unexpected!! Maybe the next will start faster and be quicker to become involved.
The main characters in this book, Admit to Mayhem, will stay with me as will the story, so much so that I immediately checked for more books written by the author. I love her style of writing, the descriptions and the sense of humour inserted without interruptions to the flow of the plot. The main character’s struggle with her sobriety and her relationship with her mother touched me deeply. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more by D. J. Adamson.