Lalla Baines has her hands full; she’s planning her wedding to Caleb Stone, the county sheriff, keeping her dad’s crop dusting business going, dealing with her aunt wanting to barbecue her dad’s pet goat, and her man-hungry cousin with her eyes on her top pilot; and, that’s just the start of her day. A new pilot turns out to be a CPA on the run from a Vegas hit man, and then has the misfortune to drop dead at a barbecue at her dad’s house. When his wife is tabbed as the main suspect, Lalla is sure she’s innocent, but no one seems to agree, so it’s left to her to prove the woman’s innocence and catch the killer. Unfortunately, the killer has other intentions, and it involves killing Lalla.
Dead Red Oleander by R. P. Dahlke is a fast-paced mystery with lots of action and a Texas-sized dose of humor. There are so many suspects in this story, you almost have to keep a list to keep them sorted out. But, Lalla is a determined sleuth who, with the surprising assistance of her cousin, Pearlie—she of the wandering eye—doesn’t stop until she gets her man.
You’ll be hooked on this story from page one, and won’t want to stop reading until you get to the end. The ending will leave you breathless.
I give this book four stars.