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Loose Screw

(Dusty Deals Mystery #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  2,809 ratings  ·  265 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, 325 pages
Published March 20th 2011 by Lead Dog Books
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,809 ratings  ·  265 reviews

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Eileen Patterson
Feb 06, 2012 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
Nov 22, 2014 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
Jan 20, 2013 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,
4,5 stars - review could contain spoilers- Free E-book by Amazon.

Lucy and her dog find romance and murder in the mountains of Montana. Lucy a crime reporter returned antiques deals, avoids confrontation like a nome persm. She even let a cat shove her around.
When Lucy trips over the body of a buskin - dead relics trader her ex-boss asks her to cover the story. Fun romance cozy mystery this book contains it all. Lucy Mathews 29 years old and highly marriageable tips over all kind of problems but
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun Read

This is a fun read, perfect for anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries. While the actual mystery wasn't anything groundbreaking, the characters were quirky and enjoyable to read about. Likewise, the narrator's humourous and oftentimes sarcastic tone really lends itself to the book. Can't wait for book two!
Erin L
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Good first in series, but the romance develops oddly. Very oddly. And at the end, it's still a little confusing, but at least it isn't a triangle. And I'm sure there will be further answers in later books in the series. ...more
Marsha Holz
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good book

This is a good book. If you like small western type towns & mysteries you will like this book. The characters are good & I loved the dog lol
Trying way too hard. Just didn't grab me. ...more
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Omg can't wait to read the next book. It was so dang good I'm so going to recommend the book to anyone who likes .
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
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
Jul 29, 2012 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
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Kai Hunter
Oct 05, 2013 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. ...more
Janice B. Dobbs
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was very glad this was a free book. I would not have liked to pay money for this. Did not enjoy the book - could not like any of the characters especially the "heroine". Story line was very choppy and the characters were not really filled out so that you could get to know them. Don't plan to read another book by this author. ...more
D. Starr
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Middle school to adult
Nice, light, cozy mystery.
1st in series.

Rating: PG (elementary students wouldn't be interested.)
No sex
No graphic violence or stomach-turning descriptions
No strong language that I can remember. (It's been a couple weeks since I finished.)
When I started reading, I thought the story was going to be deadly slow. Additionally, within the first 2 chapters the main character had to "wrap her head around," or similar wording, the fact that there'd been a murder near her. The phrase NEVER happened again.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lucy is a former crime reporter and now owns an antique shop in Helena, Montana. She has attended a local auction where items from the Deere family are being featured. While she manages to pick up a few pieces for her shop, there are some outsiders in attendance. The bidding gets outrageously high for a Medicine Man set.

The winning bidder of the Medicine Man set stops in to see Lucy the following Monday and is asking about books regarding the Deere family. Lucy has a few books for him, and refe
Nancy Silk
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Interesting And Entertaining"

This is the first book I've read by this author (also known as Lori Devoti). Here, Lucy Mathews, once a crime reporter, is now an antiques dealer in Helena, Montana. In public, she avoids confrontations, but at home her dog knows how to shove her around. One evening as she was closing the shop, the body of a buckskin-clad relics trader is found in the back alley. Her previous editor wants her to investigate the case. She not only steps into the path of the killer, b
Marty Langenberg
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A nicely convoluted tale where the hints are carefully disguised until you need them to identify the killer. Our heroine Lucy gets involved because she stumbles over the body while sidestepping the horse droppings in an alley behind her shop. By then I’d forgotten about the very short prologue to the story where the first clue was hidden. Lucy’s malamute is no police hound but he provides a wonderful, lovable support character because he sheds so much hair! Add a stuffed weasel which is part of ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, series, ebook
Lucy Matthews runs an antique store in a small Colorado town. Her store carries some antiques, some collectibles, some vintage items, etc. Her dog is often resting in the office. At an estate auction, a newcomer buys a medicine man outfit. Right away, things go amiss and there's a dead body in the alley behind her store. Her old boss at the newspaper asks her to cover the story and she does, a little reluctantly. She's smart enough to talk to the police, both to get information and to give infor ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
It's an ok read

This was just an ok book to me. It wasn't horrible but the main character's personality could use some work in my opinion.

The main problem I have with her is how she sees herself. Always referring to herself as a "wuss" and allowing others to walk all over her becomes annoying and distracting at some point.

The plot was interesting which is why I continued to read it until the end. I'm still not sure if I'll read the next book in the series.

Basically if you don't mind reading a bo
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some people let greed take over

Loved it. Okay it wasn't hard to spot the killer but it was an entertaining read. She has run her antique shop by going to all the estate sales she could find. What she didn't expect to find was the buyer, from the last estate sale she went too, dead in the alley behind her shop. Where were the rest of the items he purchased? With her name in the frame she starts sleuthing. Will she be able to beat the detective to find the killer or will they get off scott free? G
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Dusty Deals is the name of an antique shop in Helena, Montana, and the owner Lucy, along with her dog, is the gal solving the mystery in this very enjoyable story. After attending an auction ,looking for objects to sell at her store, Lucy discovers the big winner of the auction stabbed to death in the alley behind Dusty Deals. We are presented with a group of possible killers. We are introduced to various members of town, and friends of Lucy who I'm sure will show up in future novels. And we lea ...more
Mary Rowe
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Self-absorbed, Twenty-Something Mess....

Because I am old enough (nearly) to be the protagonist’s grandmother, several times during the reading I wanted to smack her. (Lucy needs a greater degree of comfort with herself before I could stomach any more of her adventures.). I would have abandoned the book, except the really wanted to know who done it and why, which were resolved in a fine fashion.

The book and mystery will appeal to younger female readers, which is the appropriate target audience fo
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lucy Mathews owner of Dusty Deals shop selling collectibles in Helena, Montana and has a dog named Kiska. She goes to auctions to find old items to sell. On June 8th she was at an auction that was selling Native American items from the Deere Estate. Lucy gets what she wants and leaves. she went outside of her shop and discovered a dead body near the dumpster that bought the Native American items. She then gets involved with finding the killer. Things happen after she got an item to sell from the ...more
Dawn Myers
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
In my opinion Rae Davies did a good job with the mystery part of the story. She did a good job of hiding who did what. There were two mysteries in one. I kind of figure some of it out, other parts I could not figure out. The problem I had was with the self-deprecating that Lucy resorts too. I understand insecurity, but it got to the point that I wanted to yell at Lucy snap out of it. I'm going to read Cut Loose and hope Lucy grow some. I'm hoping Lucy's friends Rhonda and Betty helps her to grow ...more
Ellen White
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
LOOSE SCREW. Once a reporter always a reporter so her ex boss thinks. Wants her to cover story, after all she found the body. Her first thought was to report it to the newspaper, then the 911 call. She now runs an antique shop was there a connection with some of the items she bought the day before. A light hearted mystery easy to read, with enough clues in the plot, to try and figure out the why.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Murder mystery with a western flair

Great writing. Entertaining the whole way through. Doesn't have as many twists and turns as other mysteries, this book doesn't need them though! You'll call in love with Kiska and his love of peanut butter dog cookies. The human characters are just as great as well. Where else can you find horses, vintage cars, speakeasies, a jazz festival, and a Native American weasel totem all in the same mystery?!
Shirley Clipson
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Nailbiting it's not

Ideal bedtime reading for people with insomnia, you will be asleep in no time. With a bland storyline and wooden characters, I won't be beating down any doors to read the next adventure, the dog had more to life in him and he slept through most of the book. Cost mystery? Comoatosed more like. Before anyone starts yelling U have read a lot of cozy mysteries and they have smiling and wanting more, this did not.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this little gem. I typically read darker books but really enjoyed this light-hearted mystey.Yep, there is a murder but it's not a big gore-fest. This book combines a murder-mystery with small town charm , a quirky heroine and a touch of romance (nothing over-the-top). I especially love these types of books when there are animals involved. The main character has a malamute and I was entertained by their interactions. Quick read too.
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Anyone else pick books because of the covers? 4 15 Apr 04, 2014 01:11PM  

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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

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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