Molly's Reviews

Red RosesRed Roses For a Dead Trucker
Anna Ashwood Collins
Pendulum Press, 2001


Abby Doyle is an efficiency expert with a somewhat less than perfect driving record who also has been known to solve a crime or two. Driving a 'make do' rental to the ritzy Catskills resort 'The Babbling Brook Inn,' now that Avis and Hertz will no longer rent to her Abby finds herself explaining to the police that the reason she is sitting in a ditch is not her choice. Abby meets an old friend at the resort, however Todd Mason dies before he can tell Abby why he asked her to meet him in the out of the way spot. Abby is sure there is more to Todd's death than meets the eye. From time to time Todd has been known to delve into a bit of intrigue himself. When Todd's mother insists that Abby investigate the circumstances surrounding her son's death Abby is anxious to learn everything she can about Todd and what he may have been working on.

Before the story ends Doyle will come close to death herself, uncover a cover-up, learn more about Todd than she wanted to know and come to grips with what she herself has had to do to keep herself alive.

Writer Collins' "Red Roses For a Dead Trucker" presents a fast paced conundrum sure to captivate the most discerning mystery reader. From the opening lines in which Abby sets the scene for us with headlights looming closer and closer in her mirror to the end paragraph as she sits and chats with her grown daughter this work by Collins will hold the reader fast.

Collins' characters are well developed. Dialogue is often hard-hitting, bitter and acrimonious. "Red Roses For a Dead Trucker" is filled with a rich mélange set against a tapestry of sights, sounds, exciting locales and intrigue. Set in the first person the narrative does not weaken as writer Collins carries the reader from remote thinly populated Catskills to New York City with all the noise and tumult to be found in one of the largest cities in the nation. First person is not an easy form to accomplish. Collins pulls it off with aplomb.

"Red Roses For a Dead Trucker" is an exciting little work perfect for a rainy evening spent sitting in front of the fire place.




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© 2005 by Molly Martin