r.p. dahlke

Review of ‘A Dead Red Oleander’

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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.

Review of ‘A Dead Red Alibi’

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Lalla Bains is scheduled to marry her sweetheart, Sheriff Caleb Stone, but he’s a no-show at the ceremony. Angry, Lalla decides to go off and cool down. When her Aunt Mae gives her a wedding present, the deed to an old abandoned mining property in Wishbone, Arizona, Lalla decides it’s far enough away from Modesto, California to meet her needs, so off she goes with her father to check out her new property.

Things quickly go from bad to worse when her dad goes off by himself, and she later finds him at the bottom of an old mine pit, along with the body of Wishbone’s sheriff.

R.P. Dahlke’s A Dead Red Alibi is a rib-tickling murder mystery, with enough chuckles and scares to keep you awake for a good long time. Witty dialogue, descriptive settings, and more plot twists than a roller coaster at a Six Flags amusement park, this story sets the standard for humorous mystery. Between laughing and shivering, you’ll find something here to like on almost every page. It has everything, from coyotes (both the four-legged kind and the alien smuggling kind) to cold-hearted killers for chills, and wacky characters with enough unresolved issues to warm the heart of a therapist. This one’s a keeper, for sure.

An easy five stars for Dahlke’s fourth volume in the Dead Red series of humorous mysteries.