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A Dead Red Cadillac (A Dead Red #1)

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3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  1,510 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
Twice divorced NY model, Lalla Bains, now runs her dad’s Crop-Dusting business in Modesto, California where she’s hoping to dodge the inevitable fortieth birthday party. But when her trophy red ‘58 Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask why a widowed piano teacher, who couldn’t possibly see beyond the hood ornament, was found strapped in the driver ...more
Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published March 3rd 2011 by Dead Bear Publishing (first published March 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Una Tiers
Dec 20, 2015 Una Tiers rated it liked it
A very very slow start. A plot with twists and turns, but more repetition than I like.
Polly
Mar 23, 2012 Polly rated it it was amazing
Lordy, lordy, Lalla Bains is turning forty. What a character for a series! Lalla is a former New York high-fashion model, now crop dusting pilot, and on her way to being a serial divorcee because her choice in men stinks, resulting in two bad marriages. And did I mention she's turning forty? Just the thought has her on the verge of depression. If that description sounds far-fetched, R.P. Dahlke makes it work in the best possible way. We meet Lalla with a cast on her leg after a plane crash. She' ...more
Bill Tillman
Okay a side story if you will. I was 16 and wanted to drive a Queen in the Homecoming parade. My Aunt was the proud owner of a brand new 1969 Cadillac convertible in fire engine red! Oh it took a lot of whine and plead to get the keys. So I'm behind the wheel a beautiful gal sitting on the top cover in back smiling and waving at the crowd. I started pushing on the steering wheel horn, but something horrible happened the chrome ring broke off in my hand. No more honking from the big red beast! I ...more
Martha Cheves
Jul 10, 2011 Martha Cheves rated it it was amazing
A Dead Red Cadillac – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘I hung up, and with hands that palsied, I grabbed the nearest set of keys and drove our old farm truck into Modesto. I ignored the familiar rattling of the loose drive shaft, the torn vinyl headliner, the missing door handle, and the growing spider web of broken windshield on the passenger side. The drive was a no-brainer, one where I can easily divide my attention between the road and work schedules before hitting t
...more
Jinx Schwartz
Jul 04, 2011 Jinx Schwartz rated it it was amazing
Lalla Bains is not a happy gal.
She once excelled in the brief glory, glitz, and glamour of New York’s fashion runways, but now she’s a slave to a dusty runway near Modesto California where she runs the family crop dusting business.
And not only has she just planted her Ag-CAT’s nose in a tomato field—earning herself a leg cast in the process—she’s facing a fate far more depressing than a little plane crash: she’s turning f-f-forty.
Living back at home with her crusty old father is hardly where
...more
Kellie
Mar 18, 2011 Kellie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a good mystery
RP Dahlke's A Dead Red Cadillac is a mystery that will make you sit on the edge of your seat in suspense, laugh out loud at the splashes of humor, and maybe even shed a tear. It took a little bit to get into the story, but once there - which didn't take long, I was hooked. We are introduced to Lalla and grow to really like her. I especially enjoyed the relationship elements in this book. The relationship between a daughter and her father; a daughter and her mother; and a sister and her brother. ...more
L.W.
Oct 29, 2011 L.W. rated it liked it
Had a tough time starting this. Didn't care for the main character and I wondered if this was even worth my time.

I have a 100 page rule...force myself to read 100 pages and if it doesn't pick up, then in good conscience I don't have to finish. In this case, it did pick up and actually turned out to be a pretty good story. I still didn't care for the main characters...they just weren't likable, but I figure that's part of the story. A good who done it
Carolyn Rose
Lots of twists and turns in this book and plenty of trouble for Lalla Bains to dive into--which she gleefully does. It's a fast read and I was guessing who-dun-it until the end.

(As always, if I have a relationship with the author, even an e-relationship, I steer clear of awarding stars.)
Elaine
Lalla is in for a surprise when her vintage caddy is not in the barn where she usually keeps it. She's quick to think it's her conniving ex who took it and off on one of his escapades. However, she's in for more of a surprise when she discovers the truth.

I thought the characters were okay. I liked Lalla however I really liked Roxanne. I liked the way she was there for Lalla and gave her perspective. I also liked that she didn't spread gossip. "That's a leap you don't want to take yet." - Good a
...more
Ines
Mar 03, 2012 Ines rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Lalla Bains is a little too worried about the impending doom of her 40th birthday. With two failed marriages, a failed modelling career and some other failures to add up, Lalla considers herself a loser - an old loser, in fact. While Lalla thinks her age is the worst of her problems, her beloved red Cadillac is found in a lake with an almost blind old lady behind the wheel. She becomes a suspect in the murder case and decides she can solve the mystery and prove her and her father's innocence. He ...more
Diana Hockley
Sep 28, 2011 Diana Hockley rated it it was amazing
RP Dalhke's novel featuring female agricultural (crop dusting) pilot, Lalla Bain, whose gorgeous vintage red Cadillac is found in a lake, complete with dead body inside, is as rollicking and sharp a murder mystery as any on the market. Regarded as a convenient suspect by the homicide detective investigating the case, Gayle Rodney, Lalla feels that she has to save herself from the clutches of the law, rather than allow her long time friend, local sheriff Caleb Stone, to extricate her from the mes ...more
Lctevergreen
Oct 02, 2013 Lctevergreen rated it it was amazing
R.P. Dahlke was very good about giving you enough suspects so "who done it" wasn't obvious while also giving you enough clues so that you could work on figuring it out for yourself. Mysteries need to keep you in the story, not try to confuse you with unrelated characters, and not totally give you a surprise guilty person at the end whose character was never developed within the course of the story. R.P. Dahlke did a great job doing this.
The main character Lalla is a small town girl but I like th
...more
Anna Burke
Feb 17, 2014 Anna Burke rated it it was amazing
Lalla Baines is a woman after my own heart! This was a quick, fun book to read with a lead character who takes no guff and rolls with life's challenges. Like crashing her crop duster, turning 40 and finding her beloved Cadillac upended in a local watering hole. And did I mention there's a dead body in it? Great start to a series set in a part of California that doesn't get a whole lot of attention--small town, rural community where agriculture, more like agribusiness, is a way of life.

I bought
...more
Mar Preston
May 06, 2011 Mar Preston rated it really liked it
I value books where I learn something, and this fast-moving amateur sleuth mystery engaged me. Here's a woman pilot who also runs a crop dusting business in California's Central Valley. I blog about the politics of the Central Valley at marpreston.com so the story grabbed me.

Both the good guy romantic interest and the bad guy romantic interest are well-drawn. Gradually the bad guy, who looks so good in the beginning, morphs and we hope as readers she's going to stay away from him.Several other
...more
Bobbye Hudspeth
Mar 05, 2012 Bobbye Hudspeth rated it liked it
How could you not love a book in which one of the main characters was a nicely tuned, prettily painted red 1958 Cadillac. Protagonist Lalla Bains is a retired model with enough failed marriages behind her that she says drily "they should revoke my license." She's come back home to live with her dad and help with his crop dusting business. One of the first scenes is of her crashing her plane into a neighbor's pasture...from there on in we're hustled through a murder investigation muddled by cross ...more
Cheryl Rhodes
Oct 13, 2012 Cheryl Rhodes rated it it was amazing
Lalla's red Cadillac has been stolen. She suspects her ex-husband because he wasn't too happy she got it in the divorce decree. The car is located in a pond with a dead woman sitting behind the wheel. The very woman who beat Lalla out of first prize for the best jam at the county fair.

A Dead Red Cadillac is a fun, lighthearted mystery with lots of twists and turns. One of these books that I didn't want to put down until I finished it. A real page turner that kept me guessing until the end. Loved
...more
Mare
Jan 16, 2012 Mare rated it really liked it
Lalla Bains is rapidly becoming one of my favorite protags. She's gutsy, impetuous, brave, stubborn, and seems so much like a long-time friend that it's sometimes hard to remember that she is a fictional character. When a body is found in her red Cadillac partially submerged in a lake pointing the finger at Lalla she jumps right into solving the mystery with both feet and occasionally little thought. It's very entertaining to watch Lalla's friends cope with her actions and the next book can't be ...more
Cheryl Cooper
Feb 19, 2015 Cheryl Cooper rated it it was amazing
This was a fun easy read. Lalla is our main character. She's been married twice to the typical bad boys she has a habit of falling for. She was a model in New York but now has returned home to join the family business of crop dusting. And, did I mention she's about to turn 40? The fun begins when her prize possession, a red cadillac she got in a divorce settlement from her second husband is found in the lake with a dead woman behind the wheel. I fell in love with the characters and look forward ...more
Lynnette Phillips
Dec 11, 2011 Lynnette Phillips rated it it was amazing
A nice change of pace...well maybe it's just that you very seldom experience a protagonist who is a woman crop duster.

Lalla Baines is a strong, smart and opinionated who now helps her Dad run the family crop dusting business. While hiding her fears and emotions she is also determined to clear her reputation and her family's name, when her beloved classic Cadillac embroils them in a twisted murder.

Lalla, with the help of R.P. Dahlke lead us through her personal saga and perilous exploits with hum
...more
Kathleen Rowland
Aug 16, 2012 Kathleen Rowland rated it it was amazing
DEAD RED CADILLAC is penned by a master mystery writer with in the moment action from compelling characters. R.P. Dahlke created lovable optimistic Lala, and her name fits her. It's okay Lala has high hopes, some of which could be in LaLa Land. Dahlke sifts in just a hint of back story to let the reader know what's going on, and a whole lot is while she rushes, leg in a cast, to solve a murder. I look forward to being entertained by other books in R.P. Dahlke's top-notch series.
Susan Furlong
Oct 05, 2012 Susan Furlong rated it it was amazing
What I liked most about this mystery was the main character, Lalla Bains. An ex-model who’s returned home to help run her father’s crop-dusting business, Lalla proves to be one tough lady when she takes on the big boys to solve a local murder. This story presents a fast-moving plot, intriguing twists and a satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend A DEAD RED CADILLAC. It’s a super start to what’s sure to be one of my favorite mystery series.
Tulay
Dec 05, 2014 Tulay rated it really liked it
It's murder mystery, but you'll be smiling.

After reading A Dead Read Oleander, had to read this one and it was good too. I'll be reading more of her books. But long before the cell phones on land lines you did see who was calling, how come he didn't know it was Lalla? And in so many books I read people comes home without washing their hands sits down to eat.
Denise
Mar 01, 2017 Denise rated it really liked it
First time i read a book in this series. I liked that the main character is a crop dusting flyer -something different. I also liked the so etimes contentious relationship between her and her father. I found the relationship between her and the sheriff to be predictable romance. The mystery itself was not predictable. A pleasurable read.
Ashley
Dec 29, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book and once I got about a third of the way in I had a hard time putting the book down. It was a fun read, the main characters and relationships were easy to get wrapped up in as well. If your looking for a fun book to read, this is a great one.
Pragati Bidkar
Jan 31, 2016 Pragati Bidkar rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I have read many books by RP Dahlke and she's a fave author. Dead Red Alibi is my number 1 pick in this series. I have read this series in reverse and finally read book 1.

There is nonstop action, twists and turns, colorful characters and Lalla Bains herself.

A fantastic read for mystery lovers.
C.L.R. Dougherty
Dec 28, 2011 C.L.R. Dougherty rated it really liked it
The story is a little slow to start, but perseverance is rewarded. It's a good tale, well told. There are plenty of twists and turns, ups and downs to keep it interesting, once you're into it. Well worth reading.
Lisa Cox
Sep 03, 2012 Lisa Cox rated it liked it
I keep imagining Cybill Shepherd playing the lead role. The lead character is smart sometimes, dumb sometimes, impulsive, loud, confrontational. It wasn't a heavy mystery, but it was fun. I loved the fast pace, lighthearted feel, and the mystery.
Les
Jun 12, 2012 Les rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
It was a good light read. The plot was interesting and kept the story moving.
Misterg
Nov 01, 2015 Misterg rated it really liked it
A nice Sunday read. Lots of characters, and a bit confusing at times. Many plot twists, and the obligatory romantic nonsense common to these books.

Recommended, at the right price!
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I write the Dead Red Mystery series,
and a romantic sailing mystery trilogy starting with A Dangerous Harbor and now Hurricane Hole. I LOVE to hear from readers! e-mail me: rp@rpdahlke.com

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More about R.P. Dahlke...

Other Books in the Series

A Dead Red (5 books)
  • A Dead Red Heart (A Dead Red, #2)
  • A Dead Red Oleander (A Dead Red, #3)
  • A Dead Red Alibi (A Dead Red, #4)
  • A Dead Red Miracle (A Dead Red, #5)

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