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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘A Dead Red Heart’ by R.P. Dahlke

“Billy Wayne? Wake up! Come on now,” I said in disgust. “This is getting out of hand. You’ve got to stop this nonsense.” I like having a man at my feet. Tough guys who grovel are my favorite, though I’m not averse to a little toe kissing when appropriate. I leave the toe kissing for those uneven date nights when my sweetie, Sheriff Caleb Stone, is not on duty and I’m not neck deep in summertime work as a crop duster. None of which had anything to do with the man presently draped across my feet. Dead drunk, I figured, looking down at the patriotic red, white and blue ribbons binding his ponytail. I was too late for that heart-to-heart I’d come for; he was already out cold.

Clicking on the cover image will take you to the book’s Amazon ‘buy’ page

They say that the first lines of a story, are always the most difficult to set down on paper. It seems to me, that they may also be the most definitive, as I find they often set the scene in my mind, even before I have turned the first page and I am already sensing that there is going to be some humour in this story, just from the tone of those opening lines.

If our character is a crop duster in the summer, I wonder what their winter job is?

Is the fact that our character wants a heart-to-heart chat, the reason why Billy Wayne is dead drunk?

Do the patriotic coloured pony tail ribbbons have any significance?

What is ‘Book Beginnings’ and how can you join in the fun?

 Would the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

 Click on the link and visit Katy, at ‘A Few More Pages’

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Katy and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time.

This mystery romance novel was gifted by its author, R.P. Dahlke,  as a request for me to read and publish my comments about and as such was free of charge.

This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in this, or any future blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments will be my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Laurel-Rain,

      You definitely have to take this story and its array of mis-matched characters, with a big pinch of salt. There is a real murder here to be solved and as yet I have no idea who the culprit might be, but aside from that I have found the book to have quite a witty and humorous narrative and the picture I have in my mind’s eye of many of the characters, makes me chuckle the more I read about them.

      So far it is an enjoyable fun read, that has lifted my spirits.

      Thanks for stopping by, as always.

    • Hi Eva,

      I certainly didn’t know where this book was going to take me, just from reading those opening first lines.

      I read one of Rebecca’s previous books ‘A Dangerous Harbor’, and I obviously got many of the signals wrong in my interpretation of that story.

      I wrongly assumed that Rebecca wrote serious mystery stories, which would involve quite a lot of police procedural work. I was to discover from the author herself that this was not so: … “I write light weight mysteries with some humor and romance, and if reader/reviewers can honestly say that they were entertained, then I’m happy.”

      I would now class her books as ‘cozy’ mysteries more than anything else and I am only just now getting to grips with the obvious differences between the writing styles of the US author compared to those of the UK author and they are myriad, believe me!

      Having got some way into the story I am enjoying the light humour which litters the book’s pages, together with a good ‘whodunnit’ story and the obligatory romantic interludes.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely weekend.

    • Hi Srivalli,

      If you had asked me a few months ago if I would enjoy any book which contained a modicum of humour, I would have replied instantly with an emphatic NO!

      Author requests for reviews just recently have however led me down the path of reading several books with a humorous twist to them and to my surprise I have found myself enjoying them much more than I ever thought I would.

      I hope that you enjoy ‘A Dead Red Heart’ should you decide to give it a try.

      Enjoy your weekend.

    • Hi Jo,

      In Lalla Bain’s world, nothing is quite normal, or as it appears.

      I suspect that there is a little of the author in the character, as R.P. (AKA) Rebecca Dahlke, was also raised on the family’s crop dusting ranch in California.

      I didn’t realise until I read the author profile and started the book, just how dangerous a job crop dusting can be. In fact ‘A Dead Red Heart’ nearly never got finished when Rebecca’s son, John Shanahan, died in a tragic crop dusting accident in California, whilst the book was still being written.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend

    • Hi Kathy,

      I have to say that I am still not entirely ‘sold’ on the idea of the ‘cozy’ mystery, especially with the added humour element.

      I think that the stories have very little depth or factual reasearch in them and often the quality of the writing is not great. On the other hand, as the author of ‘A Dead Red Heart’ points out, if the reader can honestly say they were entertained, then she feels she has achieved what she set out to do.

      I am now almost half way through this book, I still haven’t worked out who the murderer is and I have been very well entertained by the antics and personality of Lalla Bains and her fellow characters so far, so this book to me is a positive hit to date.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    • Hi Vicki,

      The rest of the book is just as quirky, I can assure you.

      I am about half way through now and I have no idea who the murderer is, which is a good thing.

      I am wondering just how we are ever going to find out though, with the strange turns of events that keep happening when Lalla Bains is around.

      I was thinking about how I am going to pitch my review of this one and it is going to be quite difficult, as the only analagy I could come up with, is that the book would make a great television script for a re-make of one of those off-beat 1970/1980’s detective series, like ‘The Rockford Files’ or ‘Petrocelli’.

      The book is definitely high up there in the entertainment stakes though and I am really enjoying it so far.

      Thanks for the comments and for the visit, have a good week

  • I’m not sure I would pick up this book and continue with the read just from the opening and cover. I guess it helps if you already know the style of writing of this author. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Linda,

      I wouldn’t read this genre of book on a regular basis, so if I was faced with just those opening few lines, I doubt whether it would be my first choice of book to read, if I am perfectly honest.

      I made that mistake with the the last review I undertook for this author, not really knowing enough about her style of writing to read the book in the syle and context in which it was intended.

      When you take Rebecca’s books for the genre which they sit comfortably in, they are actually quite a fun reads, with well concealed mysteries and some not too serious or graphic romance thrown into the pot.

      Thanks for stopping by to share your views, I appreciate it.

  • Dear Yvonne, I can’t thank you enough for, as we yanks say, “hanging in there” with my books. I really appreciate your genuine interest in my very American style of writing, especially since I’m the first to acknowledge that I don’t purport myself to be a literary master of womens fiction. Instead, I’m happy to entertain readers, and best of all, if I’ve made you smile, allowed you to escape for a few hours into my mad-cap world, then I feel that I’ve done my job.

    I’m presently working on the next Lalla Bains book, A Dead Red Oleander, and will probably have it up on Amazon by April of 2012 (this year, already?). Thanks again for taking me on.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave your comments. It is always good when an author not only reads the posts of bloggers and reviewers, but also takes an active part in the comments of its followers.

      I am still reading ‘A Dead Red Heart’, but my review will be up soon, I promise.

      I am definitely being entertained by the trials and tribulations of poor Lalla Bains and haven’t yet worked out who the murderer is, which is good from my point of view.

      I have been visiting your blog regularly and following the progress of ‘A Dead Red Oleander’, which I look forward to reading, not long now then if things go to plan!

      It has been a pleasure to read your books and I am really pleased that you found Fiction Books and offered me the opportunity to review for you.

Written by Yvonne