A Dead Red Oleander by RP Dahlke is the third book in the “Lalla Bains” mystery series. Publisher: Dead Bear Publishing, June 2012

When a late in the season emergency forces Lalla Bains to accept a greenhorn ag pilot for her dad’s cropdusting business, she sighs in relief. After all, he comes highly recommended, his physical is spotless, and with a name by Dewey Treat, what could possibly go wrong?

Then her quirky relatives arrive from Texas and things go south in a hurry: Dewey Treat drops dead, his tearful widow claims he was murdered, clobbers Sheriff Caleb Stone with his own gun, and makes a run for it. Lalla, convinced the widow is innocent, sets out to prove it—against the express wishes of fiancé Caleb Stone.

Feds, local law, suspicious ag-pilots, nutso relatives, and her daddy’s new sidekick, Bruce the goat, make life a living hell for Lalla. Will her nosey nature solve the crime and save the day? Or put them all in mortal danger?

What a fun read in the latest adventures of Lalla Baines. When one her pilot suddenly dies, suspicions falls on his wife until they discover a secret and Lalla is once again on the lookout for a killer who hit a little bit too close to home. I had such a blast reading this book as the mystery kept me guessing and the witty remarks and quips kept me entertained. The arrival of her aunt Mae and cousin Pearlie added to the fun as did the supporting characters that rounded out this humorous and nicely done drama. I see new and exciting changes for Lalla Bains and I look forward to the next book in this enjoyable series.

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