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Loose Screw (Dusty Deals Mystery #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  1,697 Ratings  ·  174 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, 284 pages
Published March 20th 2011 by Lead Dog Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Eileen Patterson
Feb 06, 2012 Eileen Patterson rated it it was ok
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
Jan 16, 2016 LORI CASWELL rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
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
Jan 26, 2013 pdarnold rated it really liked it
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,
Aug 27, 2012 Lyn rated it liked it
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
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
Oct 08, 2013 Kai rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 17, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it
From her very infancy Lucy Mathews was taught the importance of having good manners. And sometime in her early childhood, Lucy intuitively understood that her mother's definition of "good manners" translated as "compliance with all requests and avoidance of all confrontations." This comprehension may have helped Lucy, as a child, to survive the bully that was her mother but it left her, as an adult, with no backbone and a set of feet good at running from any hint of conflict or anger.

Now, at the
Sally Hannoush
Oct 18, 2016 Sally Hannoush rated it really liked it
There were a lot of fun things in the book that made me smile like a Scooby Doo watch and a Regency Romance reference. There's the whole Pepsi and milk combo I remember from Lavern and Shirley- I've yet to actually try that combo. The story had a few suspects and hidden motives. It was a good read and sorta funny in a few parts. It turned out in part how I thought it would and also in part a surprise.
Oct 12, 2016 Abneale rated it really liked it
Another fun book, interesting characters and location for a series. I enjoyed the book and will likely read others in the series but I'm not totally hooked, at least not yet.
Thought this was just ok. I thought the malamute 'Kiska' was the best part of the book! Just did not find this book engaging, and seems the author was paid by the word, because there was just so much that I did not find interesting or to have anything to do with the story, in fact I'm not sure what the story was!

Some of the other books in the series sound much more interesting, so will try one or two of those.
Sep 27, 2016 Carole rated it liked it
It was cute. ok. definately a CHICK book .
Nov 17, 2014 ♥Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cheryl Landmark
Oct 17, 2014 Cheryl Landmark rated it liked it
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
Sharon Tyler
Mar 21, 2014 Sharon Tyler rated it liked it
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
I am fairly giving this book an official ~Eighth~ four star rating. To be fair, I got this book for free. All I did was double click, so that was the first plus in my book. Now, this was the first non-fanfiction book I'd read in a while (not counting a novella I read right before that was absolute TRASH) and I finished it in about a day and a night. I'm not sure the exact day, but it was sometime in June, I can guarantee.

The protagonist, Lucy, is an absolute trip! She's great! Despite the othe
Sep 20, 2016 hana rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016, my-k
hmmm, mc is a lovely character and has lots of good friends. she was such a push over and has no confident in herself. not sure what make Blake notice her, there really nothing show that he care. but suddenly they kiss at the end of the story
Mar 21, 2013 Bookadventurer rated it liked it
Shelves: nook, 2013, series-1
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
Cryssy Matz
Lucy Matthews is the owner of Dusty Deals, an antique store in Helena, MT. While at the local auction, she watches a medicine man outfit sell for $40,000 to an outsider from Colorado. Later, that same man is found by Lucy next to the dumpster in the alley behind her store. Now, her old boss (the publisher of the town’s newspaper) wants her back to write the story. He knows there is no one else on staff that can do the job. Pulled into the mystery surrounding the death, Lucy rolls up her sleeves ...more
Apr 12, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it
This book is the first in a series (there are four thus far) of the Dusty Deals cozy mysteries. Lucy Matthews and her trusty malamute, Kiska live near Helena, Montana. Lucy had been a reporter with the local paper, until the editor decided she was a "wuss" and unable to get the stories they needed. He fired her, and now she runs her antiques store, Dusty Deals. When a buyer from an action she attended is killed right outside her back door, the editor decides to give her another chance to come up ...more
Kelly Nash
Mar 21, 2013 Kelly Nash rated it it was ok
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
Bryan D.
Mar 01, 2015 Bryan D. rated it really liked it
20 of 75 for 2015. Two Montana based books in a row. This time set in the very real city of Helena, surprisingly with no mention of it being the state capital. Loose Screw is the first in a proposed series of Dusty Deals mysteries, so named for the second-hand/antique shop owned by the series' protagonist. Lots of local color, and no end of colorful characters, one of whom ends up dead behind the Dusty Deals shop on (what I think is) Helena's Last Chance Gulch. How he died is no mystery. The kni ...more
May 01, 2013 Annette rated it really liked it
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.

Patty Brower
Apr 04, 2016 Patty Brower rated it liked it
Get some spine!

This was a pretty fun book to read. The authors writing style is short and snappy just what I like.

Unfortunately, the heroine, whose name I cannot even remember, is amongst the most annoying people I have ever read in the history of, you know, the last few books I have read. I kept wanting her to stand up for herself and it was pretty frustrating when she kept bending on even the littlest things.

I mean who takes a job because somebody tells her to when she doesn't even want to? W
Jul 29, 2013 Julia rated it liked it
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
Joan - xstitchfan
Mar 28, 2014 Joan - xstitchfan rated it really liked it
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
Jun 23, 2016 Rosemarie rated it really liked it
I discovered this book via an online e-book sale for the first three books in this series. Because I have an online antique/vintage shop on Etsy (shameless promotion here -, I thought I would enjoy this book. I was right, on more than one account.

The book is told in the first person by Lucy, a former journalist (and I'm a writer) who owns and operates an antique store in Helena, Montana. From the first chapter, in which Lucy describes her emotional ups and downs at an
Dec 26, 2014 Dhaunivan rated it liked it
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
Nov 28, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
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
Sarah Walker
Jul 08, 2012 Sarah Walker rated it liked it
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 (5 books)
  • Cut Loose (Dusty Deals Mystery #2)
  • Loosey Goosey (Dusty Deals Mystery #3)
  • Let Loose: Dusty Deals Mystery Series: Book 4
  • Loose Lips: Dusty Deals Mystery Series: Book 5

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“I needed a break from the conflict in my life as of late. Just one day without any yelling, kissing, or dying. Well,” 0 likes
“His luggage was in the car. He checked out of his hotel around 3:30, but the only signs of this ‘outfit’ he’d bought were a few feathers and some kind of dried up rodent on a string.” “You mean the dried weasel?” 0 likes
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