Sunday, February 8, 2015

Death & The Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross | Blog Tour with Review and Giveaways

The Blurb

Auctioneer Wren Morgan is cataloging the contents of the Campbell house, an ante-bellum mansion with a Civil War-era lost jewels legend. She was hoping to find something interesting, but the naked dead guy on the stairs is an unwelcome surprise. When the body turns out to belong to a small-time criminal with ties to a more recent jewel heist, Wren suddenly finds herself face-to-face with Death.

Death Bogart (pronounced “Deeth”) is a disabled Marine combat vet, down on his luck and trying to start over as a private eye and part-time bounty hunter. The stolen jewels he’s searching for are the final evidence needed to convict a murderer — and the reward money could turn Death’s life around.

In Wren, Death finds a friend and a willing ally — someone to help him learn to overcome his new physical limitations, and possibly even a second chance at love. But Death and Wren aren’t the only ones searching for treasure. Two ruthless men are also on the hunt, and they will do anything to eliminate the competition. To survive, Death and Wren will have to solve two mysteries spanning a century and a half and outwit a pair of cold-blooded killers.

“Ross’ thoroughly entertaining debut combines smart details about the auction business with two engaging mysteries and a uniformly appealing cast. Fans of small-town cozies, especially those by Denise Swanson, will love this, as will mystery readers who double as thrift-store aficionados and followers of auction reality shows.” — BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)
“[A] winning debut.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“The witty sarcastic banter between the lead characters was charming and endearing.” — RT BOOK REVIEWS
"Ross' debut features a likable pair of sleuths, some local Missouri history and a nice little mystery." — KIRKUS REVIEWS

Death & The Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross 
Series: An Auction Block Mystery, #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: February 8, 2015
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738743936
E-Book File Size: 3441 KB

Amazon Barnes & Noble |Book Depository | Midnight Ink Press | Indiebound Goodreads

 Click here to go to the Amazon page for an excerpt.


The Review

I just finished reading the best book, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it.

Death & The Redheaded Woman, a cozy mystery, is the first book in the Auction Block Mysteries by Loretta Ross. I was hooked by this book from the moment I began reading, and had to finish it the same day. It's that good, y'all. I don't know when the next book in the Auction Block Mystery series will be out, but I am certainly looking forward to reading it. 

The book takes place in East Bledsoe Ferry, Missouri. With her accurate descriptions of small-town life and citizenry, Ms Ross has created a very believable world. She has also created some wonderful characters. 

The main characters Wren and Death have great chemistry together. They are attracted to each other from the start, and have a flirtatious witty banter with one another. They are so fun to read about, individually and together. 

Here are some passages from the book, as examples:

Wren's sense of humor (and mine, I guess — I might have responded the same way she did) as she is being questioned by a police officer after finding the naked dead guy 
"Did you touch anything?"
Wren thought it out. "The doorknobs on both sides of the front door, the door jamb to this room, and I felt his neck."
"You felt his neck? Why?"
"For a pulse. To see if he was really dead."
Grigsby glanced up at her and she caught a glint of dark humor in his eyes. "You do realize that human heads can't turn that way, right?"
"It never hurt my dolls."

Death, as he's being scolded  (Why? Read the book!) by a paramedic  
"So you went with passing out on him as a defense strategy? What were you gonna do? Gasp him into submission?
"Man, you sound like my brother! Is it an occupational thing? To get your paramedic license you have to pass 'being a pain in the ass 101'?"

Wren, the police chief, and Death 
Wren - "I was just trying to describe his car for them."
Chief - "She thinks it may have been a Grand Am, or maybe some kind of Toyota or Mitsubishi."
Death laughed and shook his head.
"I don't do cars," she defended herself. "I know art, jewelry, books, furniture, antique toys and glassware. I see no reason I should know cars too."
"It was a Chevelle. Mid-eighties. I didn't get a close look. Light blue."
"With a six-foot spear sticking out the back window," Wren added.
He [Death] ogled her. "You atlatled him?"
She glared back and raised her chin defiantly. "He shot my flower."
He gave her a cheeky grin. "It's okay, darlin'. I'll pick you another one."
One of the cops milling around was taking notes. "What's an atlally ... what you said?"
It was Chief Reynolds who answered. "An atlatl. It's a prehistoric spear launcher." 
.... "They're legal for hunting in Missouri now," the chief threw in. "Not Chevelles usually."

Death and Wren, after he questions if her truck's running okay because they're barely moving —
He raised his eyebrows. "You mean you're driving like this on purpose?"
"What's that supposed to mean? I'm doing almost the speed limit, you know."
"Huh. You drive like a little old lady."
"How do you think they get to be little old ladies?"
"Cute. Well, I'm gonna be a little old man by the time we get anywhere."

The other folks in town are also funny, and fun to read about. My favorites are Sam and Roy Keystone (the heads of Keystone and Sons Auctioneers, where Wren works) and their wives. 

Roy, his wife Leona, and Wren 
"There's been a problem with the Campbell estate."
Leona looked up from her books, concern in her eyes. "Oh, honey! We heard. Are you all right?"
"You heard? Already?"
"Naked dead guy," Roy said. "That sort of thing tends to get around." He thought about it. "Well, actually, it's just news of that sort of thing that tends to get around. Naked dead guys don't' usually go anywhere, as a rule. Not without a lot of help, anyways."

Leona and Wren 
"So, was Death The Bounty Hunter as gorgeous as Naked Dead Guy?"
"Oh, more gorgeous! Magnitudes more gorgeous. And he was living. But, unfortunately, he was dressed."
"There's just no such thing as a perfect man," Leona said wisely.

Sam and Roy 
Sam was up on the step-ladder calling [the auction] and Roy was modeling the old dresses against his wiry frame. He held up a bold print dress and crowned his head with a little hat with small flowers and a dark blue veil. 
"There you go," Sam said. "See? It makes him look just like Jackie Kennedy, if Jackie Kennedy had been an ugly old man."
The crowd laughed as Roy called out, "you do remember we're identical twins, right?"

I hope I've teased you enough with these mini-excerpts. Have I convinced you yet? I loved Death & The Redheaded Woman, and highly recommend it. There's laughs, chuckles, some snark, mystery, suspense, romance, and only a wee bit of nudity (and he's dead, so it really doesn't count)Death & The Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross is a must-read, which has earned our highest rating of Five Kitties.

Note:  I  received a complimentary copy of Death & The Redheaded Woman 
from the publisher and Great Escapes Book Tours, in exchange for an honest opinion of the book.

The Author

About Loretta Ross

Loretta Ross is a writer and historian who lives and works in rural Missouri. She is an alumna of Cottey College and holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has loved mysteries since she first learned to read. Death and the Redheaded Woman will be her first published novel.

My Website is at

My blog is connected to my website at

I’m on Twitter as @lorettasueross and my profile page is at

The Giveaway

Loretta will award these fabulous prizes to TWO randomly drawn winners 
via rafflecopter during the tour.

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