Bad News and Trouble, by Maxine O’Callaghan****

badnewsandtrouble.jpgI am always on the lookout for a new, well written female detective series. There are some Grand Masters out there that I adore, but the problem is that I can read faster than they can write. So when I was given the opportunity to check out Delilah West, a sleuth whose stories originated during the latter half of the 20th century, I jumped on it, and I am so glad I did. Thank you, Brash Books Priority Reviewers Circle, for the free DRC. This book is available for sale now.

Delilah West may be cozy at times, but she is never cutesy or smarmy, and “never pert”. She never wonders why she didn’t bring her gun, because she always has the sense to have it with her. In Bad News and Trouble, we are treated to seven short stories, each of which is a separate case that Delilah describes to us. The suspense is thick, but now and then the feverish pace slackens just long enough to bring a good, hearty guffaw from the reader. Each episode is set primarily in California. She is a lone wolf, independent and smart as hell. She knows how to get things done, and she never has to call on a big strong man to save her personal ass. Believe it.

My favorite among the stories is second to the last, “Going to the Dogs”, a case in which a client is convinced that someone out there is trying to steal one of her dogs. I won’t give away the goods, but I will tell you that it kept me on the edge of my seat, made me laugh out loud more than once, and the ending was unusually satisfying.

You’ll have to excuse me now. Brash has more Delilah West stories on tap, and I am going to go find them. You should do the same.

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