Thursday, November 24, 2011

Latest in Darryl Billups Mystery Series Becomes Favorite!

EyeImage by aepoc via Flickr
"Hudson reminds me of that joke about the man
whose wife catches him buck naked in their bedroom
with another woman. After swearing up and down
that nothing is going on, the man asks his wife, "Who
you gonna believe--me or your lying eyes?"

Don't Believe Your
  Lying Eyes:

A Darryl Billups Mystery

By Blair S. Walker

I was pleased to have the opportunity to read the latest novel written by Walker and hope that the series continues in the near future. Darryl Billups is a good man, an investigative journalist who, because of his skills, got promoted, but then decided to return to the streets to continue using his very real talents in helping to solve crimes--I appreciate when a character is drawn so that his moral integrity is visible and used to move the story along. 

Like the realty shows now playing on television, a local collector has purchased the material in a storage area which had been sold for nonpayment of rent--a big mistake made through a clerical error that resulted in the uncovering of a mummified woman's body, dead for many years. And the injured and dead body count increases quickly immediately after the body is found; i.e., before the body itself is stolen from the office of the medical examiner! It was later determined that not only had the lady been somewhat of a local celebrity, she had also been engaged to a man who was now a powerful leader in local politics.

The whodunit is not so much a surprise, but the later twists and unexpected ending does provide a quite satisfying solution to the mystery and, of course, Darryl is right there finding out what is needed and working to solve the case, alone if necessary.

But this time he is joined by a new female cop, Thelma Holmes, who is now partnering with Scott Donatelli. I loved Thelma and do hope to see her becoming closer to Darryl in the future--even closer than they get in this novel...and, that, readers was all "on the job...!"

Quite a bit of personal fluff starts the novel and provides a different humorous side to Walker's writing. Darryl and Yolanda are having dinner at her parents' place to announce their engagement. Yolanda unfortunately invited Darryl's sister, who doesn't think Yolanda is good enough for her brother, and when she starts sniping during dinner, it not only turns funny (for readers), but finally leads to blows being exchanged... And...almost immediately, Darryl decides that this was the last draw and declares the engagement over. Both throw out anger and hurtful claims but there is a gentler ending later so that readers feel everything worked out...

And, of course, the breakup allowed Darryl to consider the charms of Ms. Thelma Holmes when, in joining forces (actually, Darryl had used business as an excuse to ask her out), they are kidnapped and held hostage!

While this crime investigation was not so thrilling, I enjoyed the overall lighter story, looking into the personal lives of all the characters. Walker effectively shares the total picture of each of those he has created so that we feel a connection--we're invited into dinner conversation that probably should never be heard by anybody outside of those who are fighting...and later we suffer with and see the strength of character of Thelma and Darryl as they work together to free themselves, only to be unsuccessful...

Of the three, this was my favorite from Blair Walker--but I hope it is not my last! I'm already looking forward to what Thelma and Darryl might get into on their next case, or on a more personal level... Loved this one!

Book Received Via 
Amazon Vine


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