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on Oct. 20, 2013 :
DEATH ON A DIG is an interesting mystery investigated by an amateur sleuth. I appreciated the fresh premise and the various events that occurred to keep the story moving.
I would have liked to have seen more interesting characters. The main character is likeable enough, but none of the people involved were really memorable. Half of the time when the characters spoke to each other their conversations were explained rather than played out in dialogue, which didn't reveal much of their personalities.
Still, the mystery is an interesting one and I recommend this book to anyone looking for a nice cozy mystery.
Review disclosure: I received a free ebook copy in exchange for a review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Aug. 14, 2013 :
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
"Death on a Dig" by Lois Browne is an exciting, pulse-pounding debut novel by an author who will no doubt produce many more exceptional mystery thrillers in her career. What starts out as a woman with two stepdaughters away at college, and a husband who is just "away" and not planning to return, soon careens wildly out of control outside the bathroom at a bar and grill. Approached by the mother of her daughter's former roommate, whom she had met only once before, Gwen Madden quickly finds herself aboard a flight from Canada to Mexico, to search for the woman's missing daughter, Alicia.
Alicia had been hired for the summer to work on an archaeological dig deep in Mexico. The dig was hard, hot, dry work, and the rewards were not always tangible. Rumors of a long-hidden stash of stolen artifacts - Gomez' Cache - seemed to be heard and passed along by virtually everybody, except the Mexican Government and the overseers of the dig itself.
Why, then, did it appear those rumors had picked up sharply after lying dormant for many years? What was the source of a few valuable artifacts that had recently appeared on the black market? More importantly, why is this novel called "Death on a Dig"? That certainly portends trouble to come for Gwen Madden - or somebody!
Lois Browne has spent much of her life writing for a living. That experience and expertise glows throughout "Death on a Dig". From an established novelist, "Death on a Dig" would be considered the quality one would expect. From a debut novelist, the quality of this novel is astonishing.
The story is filled with intrigue, unexpected twists and turns, and a superb collection of intertwined sub-plots. Her characters are believable, her insight to human nature is right on target, and everything seems to play out just as it should, except that you never see it coming. Many stories have a surprise ending. "Death on a Dig" has a surprise beginning, middle, and ending.
I strongly recommend this book for fans of archaeology, mysteries, whodunnits, and just plain good writing. This story is especially appropriate for young readers, from middle grades on up, as it is entirely free of profanity and "adult" situations. If I were in the sixth grade right now, aside from being the oldest in my class, I would just gobble this book right up; it is that captivating. In fact, if you have a reluctant reader in your family, "Death on a Dig" is the sort of story that could turn that unwilling reader into an unstoppable reader.
"Death on a Dig" by Lois Browne is well worth the five stars it has earned.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on July 14, 2013 :
A very engaging first novel. The Mexican dig is a great setting for a mystery. The characters are all crdible. I look forward to meeting Gwen Madden again in future books.
(reviewed the day of purchase)