Lorado Martin has loved junk since his grandparents took him bottle digging in the backwoods of New England when he was a boy. The search for antiques and collectibles led him to a unique hobby: digging through the estates of the newly deceased, arranging the sale of goods for the heirs, and keeping the leftovers for himself.
To make a living he builds and maintains housing for recovering addicts and along the way he’s employed a number of his clients. The men wrestle with the siren call of drugs and teach Lorado about the difficult struggle to stay clean one day at a time.
When these two worlds come together, Lorado learns that not every elderly person dies of natural causes and that some estates are sold to benefit a killer. His latest project hits close to home. A woman he’s known since childhood haunts him from a fresh grave. Her grandson, an affable addict who has fallen off the wagon, stands to inherit a considerable sum whether he deserves it or not.
I read Wests' book, The End of Marking Time, and really enjoyed it. So, I was excited to read one of his books again, but with a different premise. Lorado is a big hulking man, who is toughie with his trademark cowboy yet, yet a sof tie inside. He likes trinkets and he makes his living with them. He goes through those that have passed away's belongings and does estate sells, pocketing some money and sometimes putting something a little 'nicer' away for himself.
He employs those that have had a problem with drug addiction, who are on the mend. He likes to give second chances. But when his latest client is found to be not dead by natural causes, Lorado has to take a closer look at his employees and the bric-a-brac that has his name on it - when he hasn't met the lady before!
With believable and eccentric characters, a solid, twisting plot and stellar writing, Dinner at Deadman's is a great whodunnit that is almost impossible to put down. Although Lorado gets off to a few false starts, he eventually gets on the right track and brought this reader right along side him. I look forward to reading what West writes next!
C.J. West is the author of seven suspense novels including The End of Marking Time and Sin and Vengeance, which was optioned into development for film by Beantown Productions, LLC (screenplay by Marla Cukor).
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through Partners in Crime Tours.
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