• Optical Delusions in Deadwood

  • Deadwood Mystery, Book 2
  • By: Ann Charles
  • Narrated by: Caroline Shaffer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,948 ratings)

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Optical Delusions in Deadwood  By  cover art

Optical Delusions in Deadwood

By: Ann Charles
Narrated by: Caroline Shaffer
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Publisher's Summary

Someone is spreading rumors around Deadwood that Violet Parker likes to chat with dead folks.

With her reputation endangered, her bank account on the verge of extinction, and her career at risk of going up in flames, Violet is desperate. When the opportunity to sell another vintage home materializes, she grabs it, even though this "haunted" house was recently the stage for a two-act murder-suicide tragedy.

Ghost or no ghost, Violet knows this can't be as bad as the last house of horrors she tried to sell, but sexy Doc Nyce has serious doubts. Her only hope of hanging on to her job is to prove that the so-called ghostly sightings are merely the eccentric owner's optical delusions.

But someone - or something - in the house wants Violet stopped…dead.

©2011 Ann Charles (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Optical Delusions in Deadwood

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

finally getting around to reviewing this one

Wow, where to start on this one. let's start with Ray, Violet's co-worker, I get it he's supposed to be obnoxious. But am I supposed to believe that there are women who will tolerate someone walking in the door and yelling 'hey slut' at them in the workplace? There may be, and if so they are imbeciles. This is tolerated ostensibly because he sells a lot of homes. This makes Violet's boss, Jane, also an imbecile, because tolerating that kind of behavior in the workplace opens you up to all kinds of liability.
One of my pet peeves are characters who do incredibly stupid things in order to move the plot along. This series seems to rely on this plot device in spades. Two books and Violet has already put herself in mortal danger twice. That is just boring.
This is considered a mystery/romance which means it will include some obligatory sex scenes, which it does and they are truly cringe worthy.
As for some other characters: Harvey is kind of a crusty old coot who can be funny. Also he is thankfully Violet's only client who isn't trying to get her into bed or kill her (the jury is still out on Coop). Doc, the ghost sniffing love interest, is apparently so hot that Violet would have sex with him even in public. Always a good career move. Then there's Natalie, the best friend since childhood. She is also quite pathetic. To start off she is supposed to be some kind of contractor, but she was on top of a tin roof in cowboy boots and is currently in a cast. Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't hire someone who went on a roof in cowboy boots. The 'I'm cute and flirt with everyone' can only get you so far. Then there's her 'relationship' with Doc that is only in her head. Violet and Nat have all the maturity of twelve year olds. What exactly does Doc see in Violet other than that she is blond?
On the positive side, it did have some laughs. There are still hints of ghosts,but nothing too overt.
I almost got all the way through this one then there was another tedious sex scene. At least it was at the end so i could skip it.

21 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Look. Free is the right price.

The reader is good. The author sucks. She portrays women as really, really dumb hypersexed creatures and considers that character development. Men are primarly portrayed as perverts throughout the first 2 books, and completely objectified by the main character. No one acts like real people and no one seems to be able to use logic at all. I get that it's fiction, but it's still bad.

5 people found this helpful

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Another good one

I don't know why, but I'm really enjoying this series. If you're into cozy mysteries, then this book is for you.

5 people found this helpful

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Love this series and the narrator!

Usually I get tired of hearing a narrator's voice after so long, but this narrator has done so well that I feel like I'm talking to her as she tells me this story! This is the second book in the series I've listened to and I'm so impressed! I will be downloading the third one right now!

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Didn't get any better

Would you try another book from Ann Charles and/or Caroline Shaffer?

Ann Charles - Not in the Deadwood series.
Caroline Shaffer - Probably, depending on which book it was.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ann Charles again?

No.

Any additional comments?

I liked all the supporting characters but if you don't like the main character it kind of ruins the whole book. Violet was just too immature and all the sarcastic remarks she makes in her mind gets old fast. I'm sure they were supposed to be cute or funny, but to me they just fell flat.

It did end on a cliffhanger and there are still some unanswered questions, some even from the first book - the author seems to like to drag things out so you'll buy the next book - but I don't care enough to find out.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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mildly entertaining

Some of the dialog was entertaining and amusing. Some corny and immature. It bothered me terribly that the main character had stupid reasons for some of her actions. I could not stand that she constantly lied and was coy for no good reason.

4 people found this helpful

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Great!!!

Again this had humer, murder, mystery, sex, and kept me entertained all of the way thru. I had read some reviews claiming the reader was bad. I liked her. She has a good voice and was able to keep up with the taunts. Now I am ready to listen to the rest. Like.. Now... not good with waiting.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Unbearable at times

I'm not sure if it's was just the mood I was in but I found the main character whiny, idiotic, nosey, naive and annoying. Perhaps it was even the performance that came across as a girl who uses a baby talk voice failing miserably to channel Marilyn Monroe. I very nearly aborted the audiobook because I wanted to slap the stubborn, foolish, lust addled ditz. If I had a different book queued up, I would have. I'm not sure if I'll continue with the series. The mystery didn't make sense.

3 people found this helpful

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Love the idea of this story...

...but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve listened to 4 books, sort of, on 2x speed (not because of the narrator; she’s great) and skipping through at least a third of each book. I like the idea of a struggling single mom getting caught up in weird ghost situations. I like the idea of a developing relationship with a guy who can sense the ghosts. I like the way the overarching story continues on with each book.
But... I hate the supposedly funny, demeaning situations Violet is constantly put in. She doesn’t know the word No. Not to her harassing coworker. Not to her spoiled snotty kids. Not to her clients. Not to her chauvinistic boss who literally dresses her up to use her as sexy advertising bait. And very much not to the local cop who harasses and verbally abused her every very frequent time he speaks with her. Oh, and the guy she’s ‘dating’ observes the harassment and quips a snarky joke to embarrass her. I think it’s supposed to be funny. As a plot device it is way way overused. Another overused plot device is the interruption technique. Pretty much every time crucial info is about to be disclosed, there is an interruption and we are left waiting several pages, or yet another looong internal monologue, to find out what will move the story forward. I’m kind of over it. And I am also over waiting for Violet, or one of her loved ones, to stick up for her and prevent her from being used, manipulated, publicly humiliated, or verbally abused.

3 people found this helpful

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Ok

The story is well written but I wouldn't call it a traditional cozy mystery which is what I prefer to read. There's too much relationship and romance/sex in the plot. However, I may read the next one. I can always fast forward the parts I don't want to hear.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie Paul
  • 09-13-21

Oh wow!!!! This is bad

I have been a fan of the Sookie Stackhòuse Mysteries and the Halfmoon Hollow series. I had thought this would be in the same vein. Sadly it isn't. I mean its not even close. Limited storyline, poor, often creepy dialogue, not enough ghostly action and a female protagonist who is too busy trying to get into Doc's pants rather than looking after her children, She is utterly unsympathetic as a main and I found myself hating her very very quickly.
The narrator is Ok, but she makes Violet seem whiny rather than likeable. I just cannot express how loathsome this book is.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A bedtime listener
  • 10-02-21

An enjoyable mystery

Things I liked: the narrator was good, a light voice, American but no overdone mannerisms.
Witty story and many good characters. Ray, Violet's co-worker was a bit of a pantomime villain, but the rest of the townsfolk were interesting and pretty believable.
The paranormal angle is handled well and is something I want the author to reveal more of in later books.

Things I was less convinced by: too many sex scenes so that it became a rather obvious page filler or padding device. The author doesn't need to try to keep readers that way as the plot is good enough to hold one's interest.
I found it hard to believe Violet's new friends and neighbours would rally round quite as much in real life. Instant childminding and vehicle loans felt a bit too good to be true for a single mother.
It took an awful long time for V’s boss to notice Ray’s sexual harassment and bullying, however tough her divorce.

They're relatively small cons and may be a cultural difference between the US and UK, so I only knocked off one star. I'm certainly willing to continue listening to the series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • KMS
  • 11-05-22

Dreadful

Not for me. I gave up. Dull plot, dull heroine. Flat characters. The dialogue made me wince.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Debby Towers
  • 10-18-22

Really bad

This is listed as a cosy mystery. It is not. Bad language, bad plot, way too much sex and very thin characters.

This was written in the 21st century but it sounds like something from the 1970s. Very disappointed.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Wimble
  • 08-25-22

Slow mess

There are a few good bits in this story. Notably Harvey’s funny sayings. He is the most interesting character in the book.

Unfortunately the story moves slower than a snail covered in glue. I skipped more and more sections as the book progressed. Nothing missed. Sanity gained.

Violet is a nosy realtor. An amateur snoop uneloquently rummaging through people’s houses and getting caught more often than not. She is tight lipped and never lets anyone in. This is immensely frustrating as she ends up trying to do everything herself except she is a pretty poor detective. Her inability to talk to people with honesty (even her best friend) makes her unlikable and causes the story to drag.

The characters are stereotypes, reminiscent of overdone horror shows from the 80’s. Yawn. To make it worse, there are the jealous love triangles and unimaginative men that seem to have time traveled into the story from the 60’s.

I guess this might be a likable read for some, but it was an unimaginative slow mess to me.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron W
  • 03-28-22

Good-ish

The story would receive 5 stars but there was way to much pining and moping after a man, in addition, once they got past that, there was way to much sex or foreplay. Now I don't have a problem with either of my above criticisms as long as they classify the book as romance, which is where they belong.

Negativity over and done with. The story was good but not brilliant. I would say this is a good continuation to a series.

The narrator, in my opinion, did a top job with the characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. C. J. Mchardy
  • 03-04-22

Fantastic series

This is a fantastic adaptation of Ann Charles wonderful book. I am of to listen to the next in this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marie Asp
  • 02-17-22

I really loved this book!!!

I love the bad jokes and mystery with the perfect narrator. I will definitely keep listening to the whole series.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-16-21

struggled to get through this book

I don't leave feedback on books often. but I feel I have warn others.
story is good. but too much desperate for sex and love middle aged mum. and too insecure. so unrealistic.

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  • Emiloly
  • 10-20-22

Excellent!

This story is so well written. Great characters and good mystery that kept me interested. The narrator is fantastic.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 09-19-22

something different

great story. loved it!! and Caroline Shaffer, wow, what a sexy voice 💝 i could listen to her all day and night

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 08-06-22

Sexy plot filled

Awesome well rounded integrrating ghosts, investigations, nosy amateurs with sexy undertones in a who done it novel with interesting characters and well chosen reader who intoned even the gruff male voices

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly
  • 05-21-22

3 star listen

interesting. I dont really find a kinship with fmc at this stage. She makes heaps of stupid decisions, including what shes doing with doc and not telling her best friend making her look like a fool.

Ill continue the series because its good enough to continue with the series.
listened via audio, audio narrator was good.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kaylon
  • Kaylon
  • 11-04-21

Well, I finished it.

It's not my favorite but it also wasn't the worst. narration was good! But the story itself... everyone just kinda was meh. Main character? Meh. Love interest? Meh (also, olive green cargo shorts and a yellow top isn't really drool worthy attire). The villains? Meh. Everyone is weirdly sexist, even the MC. And the MC just generally blows at life.
The storyline was unsurprising, no real 'OMG didn't see that coming!' moments.
All in all, probably not reaching for the next in the series.