A Dead Red Cadillac (A Dead Red, #1)
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A Dead Red Cadillac (A Dead Red #1)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  426 ratings  ·  76 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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Martha Cheves
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
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
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
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.)
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
Diana Hockley
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
Aug 23, 2011 Kellie rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Bobbye Hudspeth
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
Mar Preston
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
Lynnette Phillips
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
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
Holly Newhouse
A Dead Red Cadillac by RP Dahlke- A 10 Star Read!

This book was an amazing fast paced read and had me hooked from chapter one! Lalla Bains, Ex Model and now Ag Pilot for her dad's company is realistic, likable, strong, wise-cracking sleuth! Running her business for her father in Modesto, California, you go on a fast-paced mystery driven journey that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end and still leaves you wanting more of Lalla's story! This author has a wonderful gift for plot,...more
Brooke Alcock dunmore
Lalla Bains stumbles into solving this ‘mystery’ after her red Cadillac is discovered in a lake with a widowed piano teacher in it. What makes Lalla an interesting and appealing crime solver is that she’s an ex-model with a string of ex-husbands to her name, that’s resisting hitting the big 4-0 and is currently working as a crop-duster.

Basically she’s different. Different to any other ‘sleuth’ I’ve read about in recent years.

She might not always be likable, but aren’t we all flawed? The ups and...more
Reading Dead Red Cadillac brought out the sentimental streak in my heart. I enjoy reading mysteries like this the same way I enjoy watching prime-time network cop shows... they're comfort-food for the mind. Not great literature, just relaxing entertainment. The sentimental streak came in for me when Noah Bains, grumpy old farmer type and father to the heroine, bonded with a chihuahua named Spike. My own dad died several years back, a slightly curmudgeonly old farmer who had, in the last several...more
Cheryl Rhodes
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
Kathleen Rowland
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.
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
Susan Furlong-Bolliger
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.
A good mystery. The author pulled me in at the very first paragraph and kept me in her grasp until the very end of the story. The plot had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing (mostly guessing incorrectly) until the very end.
I would have liked to have a little more of the character’s background revealed but that being said, they were likable people who were very real. I found them easy to connect with. I liked Lalla. We all have a past that has shaped who we are today and so do the charac...more
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.
Lisa Cox
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.
C.L.R. Dougherty
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.
This book was a hoot! I loved it. It was fun from start to finish. The characters were well developed, the plot was very interesting. It was a refreshing read.
Michele bookloverforever
first in a series. I really liked the main character: a feisty, non=traditional heroine. good supporting characters. some humor to leaven the serious parts.
Liz Keegans
A "so-so" read! Again, one of those books I let other ratings guide my decision to add it to my reading list. As the start of a series, I think the author did a good job introducing Lalla and her career & relationship choices to this point in her life (a woman turning 40). I also think the author, RP Dahlke,did a good job establishing Lalla's history with her dad (Noah) and friends (Roxanne & Caleb). Unfortunately, I felt like the author didn't do as good a job establishing the story beh...more
Bcoghill Coghill
Good mystery. Some good ol' boy feeling about it. And some rather pointless paragraphs but a good plot. Worth the time to read.
Terry Davy
This was a good read. Very entertaining, & the characters were interesting & believable.
Fun, quick read. I enjoyed this and look forward to the next in the series.
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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'm moderator for a GoodReads group: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/4...
I also promote mystery authors with DIRT CHEAP MYSTERY READS. est. 2011, This is now multi-platform promotion. Authors get tweets, RT's, Facebook (2 pages and multiple groups) Google+ Pinter...more
More about R.P. Dahlke...
A Dead Red Oleander (A Dead Red, #3) A Dead Red Heart (A Dead Red #2) A Dangerous Harbor A Dead Red Alibi (The Dead Red Mystery Series #4) Hurricane Hole

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