In the interests of fair disclosure, I first met Randy Rawls at the recent HHCC convention in Dallas. A friendly human being and a neat guy was my initial assessment and that never changed. I went away from the conference wishing I had been able to sit and talk to him about writing as well as life in general more than I was able to over those short two days. That same feeling held true while I read his latest novel which was the first book I had ever read by him. Reading his book was one of the few times in my life that it felt like the author was speaking directly to me and telling the story.
By Randy Rawls
Hilliard and Harris
Large Trade Paperback
Dallas, home of the fictional Lee Henry Oswald written by Harry Hunsicker is also home to the fictional Arthur Conan Edwards, Ace to his friends and his writer friend, Randy Rawls. Stylistically opposite in extremes, both are always open to helping damsels in distress especially if it is a redhead as Ace has a weakness for redheads. Summoned by his good friend Clint Ravel, lead detective on a homicide case, Ace leaves his two cats, Sweeper and Striker, home alone to tear up the place while he drives over to meet his latest potential client, Jasmine Loverly.
Ace is divorced, drives a convertible Chrysler Sebring, has a good friend and neighbor, Mr. Harbinger (who keeps an eye out for him), knows a very good lawyer by the name of Candi Maladay, and the fore mentioned two cats and weakness for redheads. Jasmine Loverly is definitely a redhead and definitely beautiful. She is also definitely, a suspect in the murder of Doug Isendorf, III. He died from a kitchen knife being shoved deep into his chest and the beautiful Jasmine, who cries almost continuously, has his blood on her hands. His father is convinced she did it and wants her buried under the jail. When she isn't crying, she's gorgeous and before long, Ace is trying to clear her name while following a trail that leads from Dallas/ Ft. Worth to East Texas and back again.
Released through Hilliard and Harris, this latest novel in the series was a first for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having met and talked with Randy Rawls at the recent HHCC convention in Dallas, I found his book to read just like Randy talks. It’s a cozy style novel told from Ace's viewpoint with a cast of solid recurring characters and an intriguing mystery. Much like Randy, the work carries a quiet confidence that everything will turn out in the end. The result is a comfortable page turning read where the bad guys get theirs in the end, Ace has his girl and his cats, and all is right with the world. Pop a Killian, Ace's drink of choice, and sit back and enjoy.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2007