By Shelbi LeMeilleur
Looking for a winter binge read? Check out The Darla King Mystery Novels by local author Rosalee Richland.
Darla King, a former lawyer and Florida investigator turned square dance caller, makes her debut in Right and Left Grand, the first of three books written by Rhonda Brinkmann and Cyndi Riccio under the pen name Rosalee Richland. As a square dance caller, Darla thinks she has left behind her old, chaotic life as an investigator, until Clearton, the quiet town she calls dances for, soon becomes a little less quiet. After one of the square dancers finds a man beaten and passed out on his ranch, Darla lets her curiosity get the best of her until she can solve the mystery. Aside from the mystery, readers can get an insight to the world of square dancing, which is depicted so clearly throughout the story.
The Clearton Gang decides to take a vacation when Darla gets the opportunity to be a square dance caller on a cruise the week of New Year’s. Little did they know, trouble would continue to follow Darla In the second novel by Rosalee Richland. Darla and her friends will Load the Boat as they try to understand the connections between several mysteries: a man with a satchel and a curious agenda, smuggled pornographic DVDs, and a dead crew member. Pack your bags, because there are choppy waters ahead.
Rosalee Richland really hits her stride with the last novel in the series. The reader barely has time to catch up with the familiar characters in the novel, when Darla’s new neighbor is found killed in her driveway – an apparent hit and run. However, the more she finds out about the family who moved in next door, the more trouble she finds herself in. Darla’s life is put in danger as she tries to discover who her neighbor was, why he was killed, and why she is being targeted. If the mystery alone wasn’t enough, she faces relationship struggles and surprising family news. Follow Your Neighbor is the most intriguing novel in the series and a great way to part ways with a character who is so easy to love.