Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blog Tour: Admit to Mayhem by D.J. Adamson (Review)

About the Book

Title: Admit to Mayhem
Author: D.J. Adamson
Publisher: Horatio Press
Pages: 286
Genre: Mystery/Amateur Sleuth
Purchase at AMAZON

With a contrary attitude and an addiction for independence, Lillian Dove admits she has not been a success in life. In fact, she considers failing as one of her addictions. Yet, when she comes across a suspicious house fire with a history of arson and murder, she instinctively attempts to help someone trapped. Lillian becomes the only possible eyewitness to criminal arson, and her life begins to spiral out of control.

Lillian Dove is an endearing “everywoman” struggling with life issues, emotional complexities and a habit of doing just the opposite of what she’s told to do. These qualities in a heroine give the reader an ability to vicariously struggle along with the protagonist in this intriguing Midwest Noir mystery.

My Review

Lillian Dove is a recovering alcoholic, but she does have other addictions like chocolate, Pepsi and men. She is striving to make a good life for herself and even has a new guy in her life, Chief Charles Kaefring. Lillian is owned by a cat named Bacardi and holds down two jobs – one as a phone facilitator for the police department and one has a clerk in a liquor store, of all things.

On her way home, after spending the night at Charles’ house, Lillian spots a house fire. She calls for help, but notices that someone is trapped inside. She tries to help the person, but ends up receiving injuries of her own and there is no sign that anyone had been trapped inside. It’s beginning to look like Lillian saw an arsonist and now she’s the only eyewitness. Unfortunately, she didn’t see clear enough to identify anyone.

Things get worse as she is laid off from her job at the police station and she’s responsible for her sick mother. None of this stops her from snooping around trying to figure out who is behind the arson and why. She learns there is more here than meets the eye. Now, she finds herself, and those she loves, in more danger than she could imagine.

This is a captivating novel with a main character who is very realistic. She’s a middle-aged woman trying to make ends meet. She’s not perfect and she refuses to back down from a fight. She’s a character I felt I could cheer for. I’m not sure about the secondary characters in the book yet, but I’m sure I will learn more as there is a sequel coming.

The author gives us an interesting mystery set in a small town in Iowa. Frytown is complete with people gossiping and knowing everyone’s business. The storyline is something mystery lovers will enjoy sinking their teeth into as they try to uncover the culprit right along with Lillian. Good, solid start to the series.

For reading challenges:
My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2015
Where are you reading? challenge (Iowa)

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Excerpt

My name is Lillian Dove. I am a recovering alcoholic, five years sober.

      Five long years, yet the clink of ice in a glass still sets me on edge.

      There is no graduation from alcoholism. Or life, for that matter. I am also addicted to Pepsi, chocolate, men, being afraid, being afraid of not being afraid, men—again--and my independence, co-dependence and unsettling ability to fail no matter my attempt. There are other compulsions and bad habits, but I can’t think of them right now. Memory loss, see? And I obsess on how much I forget, if I remember. Giving up alcohol turned out to be easier than changing some of my other behaviors.

      Especially my bad judgment when it comes to men. The type of man I’m most attracted to is like a tall, Tom Collins on a sweltering, summer day:  gin, a little lemon--but not too sour—with sweet syrup and bubbly soda.  It’s hard to resist, even if I know it’s not good for me.

       I’ve pledged a Tom-Collins-abstinence.

      Yet, Chief Charles Kaefring began offering me his attention. I thought my sobriety realigned my sexual magnetism. I was attracting a different type.

       He started coming to my desk to tell me he was leaving and instructed me to send all his calls to his assistant. At first I couldn’t figure out why he thought I needed this instruction. I already transferred his calls as a manner of routine. Then a week after making sure I was aware of his whereabouts, I bumped into him lakeside at Louise’s Italian Kitchen.

       Louise’s is my Friday night routine. I celebrate making it through another week.  One spaghetti dinner at a time.

      After that Friday night, I saw him at Louise’s every week. If he got there before me, I’d see him glancing toward the entry as if waiting for me to arrive. If I got there first, I’d pretend I never expected him to show up--which was the truth. Each and every time he arrived, I was flabbergasted.

      I wasn’t sure what was starting up between the two of us or who started it. I mean, how could a man like him seriously be interested in me?

       And even after weeks came and went, I still didn’t trust him. At each dinner he’d ask if I’d like wine with my meal. “Of course,” I’d say, letting my glass set without drinking it. If he worried the wine wasn’t good, I’d bring the glass to my lips, without sipping. I figured if he knew I had a drinking problem, he’d beat the hell out of there. Eventually though, he stopped asking if I wanted wine and only ordered one glass instead of two.

       Still, he kept showing up.

      I knew I was starting to slip into a situation that could toss my sobriety into the toilet, but meeting for dinner didn’t seem like backsliding into emotional drunkenness. Although, it never feels like slipping until you find yourself in a ragged heap of discontent.

      Our routine altered when on a Sunday afternoon he telephoned giving me a weather report. He said the day was hot and getting hotter. He said he was putting a steak on the barbecue, and he just happened to have two.  Are you hungry?

About the Author

D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author. Her family roots grow deep in the Midwest and it is here she sets much of her work. She juggles her time between her own desk and teaching writing to others at two Los Angeles area colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.

Her latest book is the mystery, amateur sleuth, Admit to Mayhem.

For More Information

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