Saturday, August 23, 2008

Review: In the Wash: The Rona Shively Stories

Summary: Rona Shively has seen a lot of things in her day, but nothing like the case brought to her by Gilbert Delvecchio. He is looking for his ex-wife, and she’s definitely not the woman he married. Before she knows what is happening, Rona is swept into a web of deception where everyone is both a target and a suspect.

A couple of romances and a shootout later, can she find the missing ex-wife before the bull’s-eye finds her again?

Or is it too late? -- Publish America

Of course, I am always flattered whenever an author contacts me and asks me to read their book. So when Rebecca Benston asked me to read IN THE WASH: THE RONA SHIVELY STORIES, I gladly said I would. Based on her description, it sounded like a book that I would enjoy. I like to read good mysteries, and I haven't been reading too many mysteries lately.

I was a little surprised when I opened the package with IN THE WASH inside. The book was shorter than I was expecting -- under 100 pages. I have to admit that I was curious if the book would work when it had so few pages. It actually did! I really enjoyed IN THE WASH, mainly because of the main character Rona Shively.

Rona Shively is a very memorable character. She's certainly not for the faint of heart -- her language is colorful (to say the least) and she does enjoy her men; but for some reason, I really, really liked her. I would consider her extremely tough, but I did like seeing that she had a softer side. I appreciated how the author was able to convey all of this about her character in such a short novel.

I thought Ms. Benston did a terrific job in writing the mystery angle of this book. She had me guessing until she revealed the killer at the very end. I also found the humor that she infused in this story to be extremely effective. The murders in the book were gruesome, and the book did have some touching moments; but I found Rona's sense of humor to really lighten the overall mood of the story. Some of my favorite parts of the book were Rona's snide (and crude) comments!

I was very impressed with Ms. Benston's character development as well as how she unfolded the mystery. Now that I've read and enjoyed IN THE WASH, I would be interested in reading her other Rona Shively book called UNDER LOCK AND KEY. And I'm very happy to find out that Ms. Benston is working on her third installment in this series called KEEPING THE FAITH.

This book is perfect for an evening where you want to finish a book in one sitting; and it is definitely read-able in just a few hours. I thought it was very entertaining, and I recommend giving this series a try if you enjoy mysteries with a little humor woven in.


Michele said...

Is this the beginning of a series or part way through? Sounds like one I would enjoy. Thanks for the review!

Julie P. said...


IN THE WASH is the first book in the series.

Darlene said...

This sounds good Julie. Glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes it's nice to have a short book that you can sit down with, enjoy, and get done quickly.

Cheryl said...

Good to know. I have this book on my tbr list.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed that the author could develop a mystery and characters in so few pages! Sounds like a good book, Julie!