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Loose Screw (Dusty Deals Mystery #1)

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  907 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Lucy Mathews, crime reporter turned antiques dealer, avoids confrontation like a home perm. She even lets a cat shove her around.

When Lucy trips over the body of a buckskin-clad relics trader, her ex-boss asks her to cover the story. She tries to tell him no, but old habits die hard and soon she finds herself directly in the path of a killer and the exasperating, if attrac
Kindle Edition, 189 pages
Published March 20th 2011 by Lead Dog Books
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichTracing the Contours by Honor Amelia DawsonI Scream, You Scream by Wendy Lyn WatsonHard Eight by Janet EvanovichDiners, Dives & Dead Ends by Terri L. Austin
Cozy Crimes
63rd out of 193 books — 135 voters
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene HanffKiller Stuff by Sharon FifferAstor Place Vintage by Stephanie LehmannThe Old Curiosity Shop by Charles DickensThe Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Fictional Antiques & Collectibles
76th out of 79 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,996)
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Eileen Patterson
As far as the mystery goes, this book is a lot of fun. There are hidden clues, some red herrings, and it's fun to unravel the details. I also liked the main character...but this is where it gets hairy. Normally I wouldn't have a problem giving this book four or five stars because I enjoyed the mystery so much, but this main character kept putting herself down and saying what a loser she was, and that was sad, because she was an interesting character who owned her own business and had a lot of fr ...more
Lucy Mathews is a very flawed protagonist. She not only can’t say no to anyone but she is really hard on herself and the people she surrounds herself with do not help her one bit. I am hoping she gets stronger as the series continues especially if she is going to be hunting down killers. As a side note, she adds milk to her soda, yuck!! It must be on Montana thing. I know the author lives in Wisconsin and having lived here my whole life I know it is not a Wisconsin thing.

My favorite character wi
This was a quick read. Interesting enough. I think it was the writing that kept me going because it certainly was not the character who I could not relate to or her, who needs enemies with a friend like this, friend Rhonda or the mystery that really did not grab me either and it certainly was not the domineering grumpy, unatractive bully Detective Blake. Lucy has trouble saying no and a very poor self-esteem, I mean why else would she be interested in someone like Blake, he strikes me as the typ ...more
Lucy is a kick! There are many moments where I laughed, giggled and snickered. A fun light read. Not to be taken seriously but rather with tongue in cheek. It's a murder mystery full of peculiar, loveable characters. A humorous look into the life of a antique dealer, her malamute Kiska and a unwanted weasel.

Antique auction, murder, small town life in Helena Montana, pushy well meaning friends, antique shop and bookstore right next to each other (my idea of pure bliss), learning to be assertive,
I read this book for free through a Kindle Daily Deal.

I enjoyed this book, it was a funny read. The main characters are interesting, the dog is silly, and the main character is very relatable - (other than her constantly adding cream to her soda, which I never heard of and sounds kind of gross to me ;) ) she suffers the usual pains we all do as adults.
Some of the secondary characters aren't flushed out very much considering the book is longer than I expected it would be, but it was better than
This was a cute little mystery. The heroine is very quirky. It was hard for me to get into in the beginning but it picked up 1/3 of the way in for me.

One thing that kept ripping me out of the story was that the guy Crandell's name kept going back and forth between Crandall and Crandell. That happened several times throughout the book and I thought someone in editing should have gotten that.

Otherwise, I enjoyed it. I liked the way the author tried to throw us off the scent of the killer. I also l
This is my first "Loose Screw" mystery by Rae Davis and Lori Devoti. I enjoyed it even though the heroine was a bit unassertive for me. But the setting was interesting, Helena, Montana, and the supporting cast was colorful. And I did root for the heroine. The thing was that the climax made me uncomfortable. You see in my experience unassertive people choose the oddest times and ways to suddenly try to become assertive and they end up, looking silly. I enjoyed it, but it didn't have the big finis ...more
Sharon Tyler
Loose Screw is the first book in the Dusty Deals Mystery series by Rae Davies and Lori Devoti. Lucy Mathews is crime reporter turned antiques dealer. She is not a big fan of confrontation, and does her best to keep everyone happy. When Lucy trips over the body of a buckskin-clad relics trader, her ex-boss asks her to cover the story. She tries to tell him no, but old habits die hard and soon she finds herself directly in the path of a killer and the exasperating, if attractive, detective in char ...more
Oct 08, 2013 Kai rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cozy Mystery lovers
Shelves: mysteries, ebook
This was a light fun mystery read. The story moved along quickly and I really liked the wussy heroine. Though I think she's made of sterner stuff than she knows. After all, not many can refuse being a cat pillow. When a cat wants to use you as a pillow, you're a pillow. Nothing wussy about it. Right now there are two more books in the series and I'm looking forward to reading them.
This is a nice, easy, cozy mystery with some good pluses and one minus. The biggest pluses for this book are: 1. a nicely crafted mystery that will be enjoyable to read at night even if it's been a really long day for you. 2. the inspired setting of Helena, MT - a place I knew little about and enjoyed learning about while reading fiction. The only negative for this book was many of the main characters need to go into therapy for their personality disorders! Lucy, the mystery solving heroine, is ...more
enjoyable quick read

I found this an enjoyable light hearted read, and I admit the mystery aspect had me trying to figure out who all was involved for quite awhile. I have to say I'm not sure why Lucy is best friends with Rhonda when she views her so poorly, that relationship didn't make much sense to me. And I was a little tired of hearing about how she wimped out of being a newspaper reporter, and very little detail was given as to why being a journalist was so important to her, but she just qu
Cheryl Landmark
I enjoyed this light cozy mystery for the most part but it wasn’t awesome. I think some of my lackadaisical attitude toward it stems primarily from the main character and also her supposed love interest.

I can relate somewhat to Lucy’s meek attitude and wussy behaviour because I too hate confrontation and conflict and try to avoid them as much as possible. But, Lucy was just too much of a doormat and timid mouse throughout the whole book. She allowed herself to be bullied and pressured into doing
Set in Helena, Montana this very light mystery centered around Lucy, owner of Dusty Deals and her moonlighting as a newspaper crime reporter. I found the mystery to be a little slow at times, and I didn't like Peter Blake, the detective who is extremely condescinding and disrespecting toward Lucy; he greatly reminded me of another detective I dislike, Mitch Stone in Tempest in the Tea Leavesseries.

Interestingly enough, where I'm from peanuts in a Coke a native thing, but I have never heard of m
3.5 Stars! A quick, light mystery read, Loose Screw was entertaining and kept the mystery right to the end.

Lucy Mathews isn't your average crime reporter. Lucy has a problem with being nice. She just is and there is no easy way for her to be mean, and she hates confrontation. Obviously foregoing pushiness and backing down from conflict doesn't work well in the newspaper business, so Lucy trades in to be an antiques dealer. Now she owns her own store, Dusty Deals. Lucy is fascinated by a
Kelly Nash
Ok I did something I almost never do, skimmed to the end just to call this one done. Still don't care about the story.

Lucy is a pushover yeah, but I could live with that I mean while I don't let my cat lay on me if I don't want her to I do avoid confrontation when I can. I am a bit of a wuss myself. My problem is that it seems like she and everyone in the book are just taking turns at making fun of her cause she wont fight back. A few jokes maybe, but by the half way mark it seems more like just
This goofy mystery story takes place in Montana where Lucy Matthews runs an antique business, writes part time for the local paper, and owns a Malamute. THere has been an auction where a Native American outfit sells for $20,000. The buyer, backed by someone else, gets murdered. Who would want this item, including a dried up weasel? THere is a local divorced man named Blake, who might be interested in Lucy, and the story gets unnecessarily convoluted at the end.
This story is interesting. The scene is Helena MT. And there are many descriptions of areas and events. I enjoyed learning about some of these things. There is a great deal of description detailing living with an Alaskan Malamute. The descriptions are very interesting. I am a dog person, and I enjoyed many of the dog stories.

But, I believe the story would be helped if it were written a little more tightly. And if the descriptions were not quite so complete about what people eat for lunch etc.

This was a pretty good mystery. I liked that the main character, Lucy, owned an antique shop. I would have liked to learn more about various antiques in the book. The medicine man costume was a unique item that was at the center of the mystery.

I did not really like that Lucy was also working as a reporter on the side. I realize this gives her an excuse to investigate, but I did not like that aspect of the story at all. Her boss at the paper was a condescending jerk, and I am surprised she would
Trudy E
This is a fun, fast-paced whodunit that takes place in Montana.
When the highest bidder on a set of Indian artifacts winds up dead in the alley behind the antique store, owner Lucy Matthews returns to her roots as a reporter for the local paper and the search is on for the killer.
Looking forward to the further adventures of Lucy and her faithful canine companion, Kiska.
Loose Screw

A really cute mystery. Lucy Mathews, journalists, quits newspaper job and becomes an antique store owner and amateur sleuth, but still has the journalism bug. Throw in a murder, a handsome cop, and lots of laugh-out-loud situations and a few red herrings and it makes a great rainy afternoon read.
This book was what I expect from a cozy mystery, a fast light read. Although the characters were interesting enough to keep me reading, the heroine's insecurities did start to grate on me towards the end and I personally did not find the "love interest" cop all that appealing. When I'm looking for another light beach read next summer, I would consider reading the next book in the series.
Ella's Gran
Only gets the three stars because of the writing, setting and quirky mystery with lots of clues and red herrings. The main character is so unassertive she becomes annoying, and the attempt at romance was another annoyance and failure. Not sure if I'll read further in the series.
Patricia Urban Korsak
Liked it and will probably read more by this author. Have been home recuperating from a lower back injury, alternating Valium/Percocet induced rest with reading. Read this in one day inbetween snoozing and healing.
Great mystery featuring Lucy Matthews, a former newspaper crime reporter, now antique shop owner in Helena, Montana. When Lucy stumbles across a dead man in the alley behind her store, the former news hound just has to get to the bottom of this killing and write the story. Her former boss asks her to cover the story, since his new reporter isn't quite up to the job. As Lucy tries to get the scoop, she keeps running into sexy Peter Burke, the police detective investigating the case. I liked the i ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Cheryl added it
Not Bad. A quick, cute read. My first "cozy" mystery so I'll probably finish the series. Not sure I like this subset of mystery because it's a bit formulaic and predictable. It's a fun read, nonetheless.

the murder different reasons for the murder.the antiec dealer. who was a newspaper reporter.the people who had revisions were all interested in Indian artafats.
Happy Delsigne
Simple but entertaining.

easy read, not too deep!

not very deep but entertaining for a young mystery reader, wouldn't recommend for advanced reader

Cute and easy to read, nice mystery. I liked Lucy. Like some other reviewers I couldn't like Blake because he was a bully. He was borderline abusive, physically and with his words. In order for me to read the series he's going to have to have a big personality change or get replaced by someone that has respect for women. If he were real I'd worry about his son. On the other hand, it was really good to read a book where the main character has a pet but doesn't leave it alone all the time and most ...more
Lindsay Nelson

this was a cute story, but I had a hard time getting into it. I loved the humor, but it wasn't a page turner for me.
Sarah Walker
I really hate to judge.

I wanted several titles for this review. 'Banality at it's best.' 'Magnificently mundane.' 'Does Cozy mean slow?' I've settled on If your have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. Ms. Davies does write a thorough, clean text. Precision and procedure are her strong points. That and the dog. I loved the dog. He was the bright spot of my experience. She got the dog just perfect. She probably got the protagonist too, but I chafe at the fact Lucy started out a timid mouse a
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Rae Davies is the pen name of goodreads author Lori Devoti.

Lori Devoti worked for three different newspapers in two different states before deciding to stay home with her children and begin writing fiction. Lori has been a finalist for many awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award and is a member of Novelists Inc., a prestigious group for professional writers. She lives near Madi
More about Rae Davies...

Other Books in the Series

Dusty Deals Mystery (4 books)
  • Cut Loose (Dusty Deals Mystery #2)
  • Loosey Goosey (Dusty Deals Mystery #3)
  • Let Loose: Dusty Deals Mystery Series: Book 4
Love is all around (Looking for Love #1) Cut Loose (Dusty Deals Mystery #2) Loosey Goosey (Dusty Deals Mystery #3) Let Loose: Dusty Deals Mystery Series: Book 4 Loose & Lethal: Dusty Deals Mystery Series Box Set: Books 1 - 3

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