Lesley A. Diehl~~4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews
Lesley A. Diehl
Mainly Murder Press Trade Paperback
Deadly Drought is about murder, revenge, old secrets and
lies. Something sinister is happening in the small community of
microbrewers located in upstate New York. Diehl presents an
enjoyable mystery with a lively cast of colorful characters who
will entertain in a who done it fashion.
Hera Knightsbridge runs her own brewery since the death of
her father who apparently committed suicide because the business
was doing badly. She found brewing was hard work and challenging.
Not only was she having money problems, but she and the other
brewers were facing a serious drought that could shut them all
Complications arose for Hera when she discovers a fellow
brewer and a friend of her father murdered in her own brew barn.
Though all the owners were competitors, they have been on
friendly terms for many years. Things became even worse when
Sheriff Jake, a sweetheart from her past, placed Hera at the top
of his list of suspects. To complicate matters more, Jake advised
her that he believed her father did not commit suicide but was,
in fact, murdered. Hera and Jake join forces to find out the
truth, and the plot brews as they try to connect these two
As the list of suspects grew, so did the alibies with no
real evidence. The brewers were on edge, and Hera's life was in
constant danger. There was someone prowling around her barn
disrupting her brewing business and drugging her coffee thermos.
There was no alternative; Hera started to sleep in her barn.
Strange events occurred in the community. A neighbor's brew
barn and home were set on fire and possibly two lives could be
lost. An arsonist was now among them; the town was unraveling,
suspicions and lies were plenty. Though the odds were against
Hera and her fellow brewers, she never gave up in her search for
the truth while trying to keep her business afloat.
Unfortunately her money was running out, and the wells were drying up!
Diehl has well defined the technical aspects of
brewing and fracking in a manner that is easy to understand. A
close look into the brewing world while mixing it up with a tale
of mystery, lies, and revenge guarantees to keep readers
guessing. It does not matter whether you like beer or not, A
Deadly Drought is a page-turner with a good ending. A foamy five
star is drawn by this draft.
Lesley A. Diehl
Oak Tree Press
Emily Rhodes was the new bartender at the Big Lake Country Club. Like so many snowbirds, she migrated from the North every winter to her trailer park home to enjoy her golden years. Emily had lost Fred, her significant other, and was left without money that she was aware of. She struggled with finances and any inheritance from Fred was unlikely, as his wealthy ex‑wife wanted it all!
Mystery commences right from the first page when Emily takes out trash bags to the clubhouse dumpster after closing the bar. She detects a white object in the dumpster, a cowboy hat, called a "Silver Belly," a very expensive hat worn by an obnoxious patron she had served earlier. Beneath the hat she discovers his dead body covered in blood. Shortly after her discovery, the police arrive telling her they had received an anonymous call about the body and since she was the only one there, she is cuffed and hauled off to jail.
Clara Rogers, manager of the bar and restaurant, is well‑known by the authorities and gets Emily out of custody and advises her about getting a good lawyer, one who could deal with Fred's ex and get her out of this mess. Emily and Clara join forces to find the killer or killers and encounter another murdered man who happens to be Clara's ex‑con husband, Fat Eddie. The murder weapon is found in Clara's house so she now becomes a suspect.
Chaos abounds in and around trailer park life with a cast of colorful characters who surround Emily and Clara in a complex plot that is wonderfully scripted and pulled together by the author. Florida comes alive with many passionate family and friends helpfully intervening, and would‑be suitors attentive to Emily all playing detective to find out how the two murders might be connected. Readers will be amused by life around the golf course, tactics of a dirty cop, a retired lawyer who comes out of a nursing home to defend Emily, a very conservative judge, and a serious wild fire surrounding the area that adds excitement to the story.
Dumpster Dying is filled with humor and great dialogue. Emily Rhodes is an unforgettable character with a strong will admired for her tenacity and who knows how to get what she wants. This book is highly recommended because the author has written a red‑hot novel that brings out the Sherlock Holmes in all mystery lovers.