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Loose Screw (Dusty Deals Mystery #1)

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  644 ratings  ·  87 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...more
Kindle Edition, 189 pages
Published March 20th 2011 by Lead Dog Books
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Cozy Crimes
62nd out of 155 books — 128 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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,...more
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
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...more
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...more
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 antiques and...more
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...more
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...more
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.
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
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...more
This was a fun easy to read mystery. I liked that it was set in Helena Montana.
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...more
Maureen Grenier
Loose Screw (Dusty Deals Mystery Series) by Rae Davies and Lori Devoti. The heroine captivated me right from the start—a cool woman with enough quirks to keep her interesting and not enough to make her annoying. The mystery was fun and I suspected everyone in turn of being the killer and was pleasantly surprised at the end when we discovered who and why. The setting was new to me and I like learning a little bit when we are out there tracking down murderers (when I am safe in my bed, of course)....more
Adrienne Testa
Lucy Matthews local reporter turned antiques dealer had potential. Snappy and witty in her thoughts but then the story crashes and burns. Story is about a ruby hidden by the dead wife of Denton Deere, the wealthy rancher in the town. The man who bought the collection at the auction turns up dead and the hunt is on to find his killer. Been there done that.. more in the style of Stephanie Plum, Lucy Matthews has no spine... can't stand up to danger or any slight bit of confrontation. She can't mak...more
This was a very entertaining and interesting story. I really liked the characters , they were well written and very likeable. The mystery was very interesting and intriguing. This one kept me guessing!! The romantic part was also good, without being cheesy. The best thing about this story was that it wasn’t full of the silliness I have come to expect out of “ cozy mystery’s”. The heroine in this one didn’t rush stupidly into danger to further along the plot. She instead used her brains . I highl...more
Fun,light read. Hoping next in series, cut loose will be even better
Lisa  Marie
I'm giving this the "it was okay" star but I really didn't like it BUT I don't really know why. Weird, I know. But it started out so promising and I kept wanting to like it. But when I find myself cleaning instead of reading, I know I'm not into the book. I read until 35% and it was still just dragging. I found the main character so boring after awhile. I was waiting for SOMETHING other than the murder to happen and it was just taking too long. I found myself avoiding this book and now I decided...more
Very good cozy mystery. Just enough romance and humor! I will definitely continue the series.
Monica M
What i like about this book: Many part of the stories makes me giggle (not mention in such unexpected way which is good). The storytelling is good too.
Lucy has potential to be more likeable. At this point, i already like her, that is except her continously 'can't say no' to ANYONE. Especially to her nasty ex-boss. I kinda wish in the end, she's gonna kicking his ass with her new confidence or whatever, but unfortunately it doesn't happen. She still reserve.
Yeah, i don't like that part, i also do...more
Llona Cunningham
Lucy owns an antique shop in Helena, MT, and lives with an Alaskan Malamute that gives her something to look after besides herself -- interesting setup. Adding a side job as a news reporter felt pushed just to give an excuse to investigate, and that's where the story begins to fade for me. Even with a good mystery to solve, it was too hard to care why the protagonist stepped into it. Would be better if development of the male characters made them less condescending (or gave them a reason to be t...more
I had some problems with this book. The main character was at times just not likable. She cheers for a crass tv reality show, she puts down her best friend when her friend is offering her help, she does not seem to have much emotional security although she was improving as the book went along. And I like dogs as much as the next person, but the blow by blow descriptions of dog care drove me nuts -- to be honest I had trouble liking her dog too.
It just wasn't my cup of tea.
This is a very light mystery, very low-stakes; the story itself seems to have no impact on the story world, which is a little odd. Other reviewers complain about the main character being weak-willed and the male characters too domineering, which I didn't notice at the time (not being personally sensitive to such portrayals), but I can see in retrospect. I actually found that aspect a welcome change from the usual Mary Sue-ish author insertions in these types of books.
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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
More about Rae Davies...
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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