Sunday, February 10, 2013

Book Spotlight: Richard Houston's A VIEW TO DIE FOR

by Richard Houston

Kindle Edition
File Size: 452 KB
Print Length: 223 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Amazon Link


When the phone rings at two-thirty in the morning, it is one of three things: someone is in jail, someone has died, or in the hospital. When my phone rang that fateful Sunday, it was all of the above.

A View to Die For is a mystery novel of a divorced, over-forty, outsourced software engineer, Jacob Martin and his dog, Fred, who leave their Colorado retreat to help out family. His sister has been arrested for the black-widow murder of her fourth dead husband and his father is on life-support. Jacob tries to solve who really killed his sister's husband, but not after hunting for a stash of gold coins buried by Jesse James, and a brief love affair with a beautiful nurse.

This is the first book in a series with Jacob Martin. It's not a police or hard-crime series, but more in line with the Burglar series of Lawerence Block, or Sue Grafton's Kinsie Millhone – there is no graphic sex or violence. Readers say it makes them laugh and cry while trying to figure out who-done-it.


The cave itself looked more like an Anasazi cliff dwelling than the dark hole I had envisioned. It was simply a very large, deep depression in the limestone bluff. Fred had managed to make it to the cave before me – several times before me, in fact. He would run ahead, turn around and look at me as if to say, “Are you coming slowpoke?” then come back to see what was taking me so long.

That’s when I saw the footprints. A cold chill came over me and stopped me dead in my own tracks. We were not alone. The prints had to be fresh because they were as deep and visible as mine and Fred’s. There were none of the tell-tale marks of boots or tennis shoes. The stranger must be wearing street or dress shoes or the prints would have left grooves like my hiking boots. Fred stood at my side panting while I tried to listen for the intruder. “Quiet, boy,” I whispered. It did no good. I couldn’t hear anything besides Fred’s panting. Whoever had been here before us was gone now.

I followed the foot-prints to the cave. Other than a still damp spot next to the wall of the cliff where someone had recently relieved himself, there wasn’t much else to see. There were no signs of digging or anything – just the spot on the wall and ground. I went up to the wall and made my own contribution; not so much to mark my territory, but to gauge the height of the intruder. I figured he had to be less than six feet tall because his spot was several inches below mine. Of course, he could have been much more endowed than I, in which case all bets on height assessment were off.


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Funny how a cover can put us off a book. Not a novel I would have picked up on seeing the cover and yet your review makes me want to do so, thanks for the recommendation.

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