In Holy Hell, Lillian Byrd (our most amusing heroine) found herself at risk of murder and yet she still ploughs right in when there is mystery that needs solving. But hang on, I am getting ahead of myself here, let me start at the beginning.
Lillian gets a phone call from one of her oldest friends. She is in crisis and needs help. Lillian doesn’t have a full time job so there is nothing keeping her in the unpleasantly cold Detroit winter when she can head off to Palm Springs.
Her friend has tickets to the Dinah Shore golf tournament and an invitation to an exclusive pre-championship party. At the party, while her friend is off chatting up women, because she thinks she may be a lesbian, Lillian meets a sexy LPGA superstar and goes home with her.
They fall mad passionately in lust with one another and Lillian soon realizes that the woman she is sleeping with has a secret. Someone is quietly terrorizing her. Lillian goes undercover as a reporter in an effort to find out who the threats are coming from and to put a stop to it. Things, though, are not a simple as they seem. As she peels back the layers Lillian finds herself disturbed by what is uncovered.
Lillian is an entertaining character with an insatiable curiosity and a penchant to get herself into trouble. I love that she isn’t a traditionally jaded or overly sweet character, she is unique and wonderfully different.
I also loved Lillian’s friend – although she wasn’t a big part of the story her antics were fun and added a lighter touch to the otherwise dramatic story that was unfolding.
Lillian’s rabbit is just the most wonderful addition. I love his personality and how well Sims describes the relationship between them.
The Writing Style
The pacing and storytelling was fab. I loved the revelation and the process it took for us to discover what was really going on. Lillian had more depth in this one than she did in Holy Hell and the character growth made her more likable.
Dina Pearlman did a good job of bringing the story to life. Her narration suits the characters and feeling of the novel.
This was a very entertaining listen. I really enjoyed it and recommend it if you enjoy quirky characters, women in sport and a fun mystery.
There weren’t any.
I enjoyed this audiobook and look forward to continuing with the series. Sims found a great rhythm in this one and it made for an entirely entertaining story. It’s reminiscent of old fashioned mysteries where everyone is hiding something and it is up to the hero to uncover the truth.
Damn Straight is good fun and I recommend it. This is book 2 in the series but absolutely fine as a stand alone.
Excerpt from Damn Straight by Elizabeth Sims
The power struggled back up for about ten seconds—ten brown little seconds—then failed again. I shivered at the moaning, primeval sound it made and tugged down the cuffs of my sweater.
It was March, it was darker than a stack of black cats, and wind-lashed sleet was dragging down utility lines from Monroe to Saginaw. This winter had been a long and sorry one, and spring was supposed to be coming. Most people vent their winter rage on February, but how easy it is to forget treacherous March until it rolls around. You’re anticipating spring, you’re remembering a bygone balmy March thaw, and your reservoir of strength and cheer against cold and trouble is low. You long to be restored by the sight of a crocus poking its brave yellow petals through a patch of snow—just one goddamn crocus is all you ask—but it doesn’t come.
I put on another sweater, my red lambswool one, over my turtleneck, which overlaid my polypropylene long johns. Then I pulled one more pair of socks on, overlapping the cuffs of my corduroys, and lumbered into the kitchen. The water was ready, bubbling above the gas flame. I poured in the macaroni. It was a good night for my specialty, macaroni and cheese primavera, a dish I relied on in times of uncertainty. I got out the frozen mixed vegetables, poured them in after a few minutes, and snipped the foil cheese pouch.
Todd and I dined by candlelight, sitting together on the floor. He was happy enough with his carrot top and a handful of bunny chow. I stroked his fur and gave some more thought to my plan to kill Mrs. Gagnon’s dog.
Most dogs are wonderful by nature, but this particular one was terrible, vicious to the core. Monty. He’d almost murdered Todd last summer, twice. And Mrs. Gagnon thought it was funny. It got so that whenever I took Todd outside, she’d let Monty out to rocket across the street, snarling and snapping. The first close call, I’d had Todd more or less corralled inside the coiled garden hose as I washed my car, and had to dive for him, shielding him from Monty’s jaws with my back. My T-shirt got shredded.
The next time, I hadn’t even put Todd on the ground when Monty made for us as if we were the last spaceship out of Detroit. He tried to rip Todd from my arms, puncturing my wrist with one of his fangs. Only a kick to the nuts with all my strength made him back off.
It’s not right to want to kill someone’s pet. But it made me feel better to fantasize about it. What if I left a package of hot dogs to rot for a month, then fed them to him? If he didn’t die, at least maybe he’d get good and sick.
Whenever Monty was out, Mrs. Gagnon sat on her porch and cackled. “Monty! Ha! Monty!” I’d moved into the neighborhood before she and Monty had, so I was doubly indignant.
What if I could give him a noseful of cayenne somehow? That was a thought.
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The Lillian Byrd Series
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 978-0692351727
- Publisher: Spruce Park Press
- Audiobook Publisher: Audible Studios
- Narrator: Dina Pearlman
Elizabeth Sims Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Damn Straight by Elizabeth Sims. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.