Review: Death and the Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross

Posted June 18, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Death and the Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross
Death and the Redheaded Woman

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
two-half-flames

Series: Auction Block Mystery #1
Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Midnight Ink
Released on Februrary 8, 2015
Pages: 284
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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The Delight

This was a book I picked up because I read the fourth book in the Auction Block series and wanted to come back and start with book one.  This did read like a debut book, but was not a disappointment.  What a startling opening line!  It was fun to meet Wren, Death, and the others who would become series regulars along with a fun treasure hunt-style murder mystery that gets a little gritty.

Review

Death and the Redheaded Woman opens on Wren encountering a dead body when she goes to sort the goods at the Old Campbell Mansion for auction.  After giving her statement, she encounters new bounty hunter and private detective, Death (pronounced Deeth) Bogart who gets permission from the new owners to join Wren at the mansion so he can hunt for some old, lost family jewels.  Unfortunately, they both end up in danger when a newer stolen cash of jewels were also hidden at the mansion and the thief wants them back.

As I mentioned, this is a debut novel.  It reads like one as elements of the story are not always smooth or developed as well as they could be and some scenes are rough on the transition.
That said, I thought there was some shine to this one that continues through the series.

Wren and Death both have troubled pasts in their own ways though they are not wallowing in the present.  Wren was hurt and humiliated when the guy she was dating turned out to be gay and was with her until he got the courage to come out to their small town.  He is what some might call flaming gay.  If I thought there was an iffy element it was how this was handled though I’m glad that she stood by him and Death also does, too.  Now she and Cam are best friends, but she still hasn’t been able to live it down that she was fooled.
Death’s issues go much deeper.  He’s lost all his immediate family members to death and while he was deployed overseas in the Marines, he was injured in an IED blast.  He was heroic and saved others, but it permanently left him with a disability and PTSD.  His wife left him and took their whole bank account when she did so when he got discharged due to the permanently compromised lungs he now has, he’s homeless and destitute and looking for a new start.

The pair are attracted and jump into working together on the mysteries of both sets of jewels.  The romance comes on quickly, but wasn’t entirely unbelievable since they spend a lot of time together and seemed to be just lightly exploring their attraction at first.

The historical references through the homes and items Wren is working with in her auction house work and also the auction work itself were really neat and unique.  Death’s bounty work and private eye work were also great side lines.

Most of the book is light.  There is sexual banter and some hijinks over the top moments.  But, there are some surprising gritty elements when it comes to the villains that cause lots of excitement at the climax of the story.  The villains were the easy part since they were obvious to everyone.  The real mystery was the location of the lost jewels.  I was glad to figure out where one set was and got a nice surprise on the big reveal about the other set.

Between the personal and professional elements along with the romance and mystery, I was captivated.  Definitely a series I can recommend to cozy mystery and light romantic suspense fans, alike.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #193 RS

Recommendations

Review Through His Eyes by Deborah Camp  

Preview

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Melliane
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I usually really enjoy books like that from time to time

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, its fun to pick up a cozy mystery now and then for a change of pace. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Wow, it sounds like they both have had it not so easy up to that point in their lives. Sounds like a good story.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I felt so sorry for Death especially. Meeting Wren and the people of the town really turned things around for him. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Lorna
Guest

Wow. Who names their child Death, no matter how it’s pronounced. I know, it’s fictional. I was thinking this was going to be paranormal with that name. And Wren is unusual but was actually the name of a major character in the arc I finished last night and not a female. I’m glad it kept you captivated. Sometimes cozys aren’t a favorite and I keep putting the one I’m reading down. It’s an arc. It may be a DNF.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I forget what literary classic its in, but his name and his brothers come from books. But yeah, it still reads dum da dum dum, Death! 🙂 Oh ouch! Hopefully it will pull through and get better for you. Last fall, I had three cozies in a row that were blah and I was ready to give up on cozies, but then tried a few others that worked out better. I like Angie Fox’s Southern Ghost Hunter and Tanya Kappes’ Kenni Lowry. This series is good. I want to try the witch ones that Melanie and Kimberly like.

Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!
Guest

Sounds like a good story. Sorry you figured out where some jewels were tho. Not much mystery I guess.

Sophia Rose
Guest

There was still one good twist that I didn’t work out ahead and then some of the stuff that came out about their private lives. But yeah, its a light one. 🙂

Nadene@Ttly addicted 2 reading
Guest

This sounds like a fun read and the mystery looks intriguing.

Sophia Rose
Guest

You said it, Nadene. It was a fun one for sure. I’m going to keep going with the other two books I haven’t read yet. The auction house part is a unique setting that I enjoy with the people and mystery, of course.

Carole's Random Life
Guest

Sounds like a fun start to the series. It is always interesting to compare an author’s earlier works to her more recent books. I am curious about that opening line 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, there was marked differences in writing from book one to book four (that I read first). Neat to see.

Ha, yeah, it wasn’t nearly the most shocking thing I’ve read, but for a first line, it startled me. 😉

Evie
Guest

This sounds interesting and I’m glad you decided to give the series a go despite the few things you mentioned that could’ve probably been done better. You got me curious on the reveal of the jewels 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, there is nothing like a treasure hunt to perk one up. 🙂

It helped that I had read book four and most of what I found niggling in this one is all smoothed over three books later into a better developed book.

Lily B
Guest

this serious has been on my radar for a while, it sounds like the author really grew a well rounded character

Sophia Rose
Guest

For sure, Lily! I can attest to that after reading book four and comparing with book one. Definitely going back for two and three. 🙂

shootingstarsmag
Guest
shootingstarsmag

Seems like a fun read! That’s great the book you read before this one made you want to start the series from the beginning. 🙂

-Lauren
http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

Sophia Rose
Guest

I have had a few like that this year now that I’ve slowed down on taking new reviews so I can enjoy backlist titles or stuff off my own shelf. I’m hoping to get my hands on books two and three at some point.