In her The Games We Play series, Linda Pirtle has given the book world a fascinating mystery mixed with a touch of East Texas history.
In Book One of The Games We Play Series: The Mah Jongg Murders, Lillian Prestridge, an amateur sleuth, depends on her pragmatic logic and woman’s intuition to solve four murders at Leisure Lake, a small gated community deep in the heart of East Texas where Lillian lives with her husband Bill. The murder of Lillian’s Mah Jongg partner, prompts Lillian to seek refuge in a new environment. Leisure Lake is no longer the retirement community she wanted.
Bill knows his wife likes to travel. He also knows she won’t leave her white Standard Poodle named Eli behind, so for their fiftieth anniversary, he surprises Lillian with a brown and tan Forester RV. In late August, they drive away from Leisure Lake in their new RV and plan to visit Caddo Lake and nearby historic Jefferson, Texas. Lillian looks forward to a peaceful vacation, one not involving any kind of death. Fate, though, does honor her desire.
The setting for Deadly Dominoes is Caddo Lake. Situated in the Cypress basin of northeast Texas, Caddo Lake, with its cypress and ancient oaks dripping with Spanish moss, provides the perfect backdrop for mystery, murder, and militia mayhem. Lillian’s curiosity is peeked right from the start. She meets Brandon, a young man who sacks groceries at a convenience store and service station. He gives her a warning.
“You’d better be careful. Crazy things have been happening out at that RV Park at Caddo.”
Of course, Lillian questions him and learns that people have been disappearing.
Always the mother figure, Lillian adopts Brandon and invites him to dinner.
The Caddo camp director invites Lillian and Bill to the Friday night domino games held at the camp’s Pavilion. Lillian sees the camp’s maintenance man. He reminds her of someone. But who?
During a break in the domino games, a loud explosion is heard. Thus, begins a string of murders, mysterious curses with an attached domino, and attempts on the lives of other campers. Lillian is determined to answer the following questions:
Who is the person or persons leaving dominoes and notes on the bodies of one victim after the next? Everyone is a suspect.
Does the explosion have any connection to the game of dominoes or with the murders or attempted murders? Lillian must connect the dots.
And puts them together, she does.
Review by Patricia J. La Vigne:
In her The Games We Play series, Linda Pirtle has given the book world a fascinating mystery mixed with a touch of East Texas history. Set in the Caddo Lake area of East Texas, Lillian and Bill Prestridge desire to spend some time camping in their RV, supposedly for rest and relaxation.
But Lillian, with the curiosity of a cat, becomes involved in trying to learn who commits the murder of a camper along the jogging trail. The Prestridge’s adopted son, acting as temporary deputy to the local sheriff, also becomes involved in solving the mystery. But before that happens, more murders occur at the campsite.
The camp host and his wife, the local sheriff, the park ranger, several campers all come under suspicion as Lillian continues to raise questions as to motives for the deaths, including the near-death experience inflicted on her husband. In spite of herself being threatened, Lillian follows a woman whom she suspects is involved to a farm several miles away.
While spying on the woman, she comes upon a scene that totally surprises her, yet confirms some of what she has suspected all along–the murders are not just chance happenings. Linda Pirtle has put more twists and turns in this story than are found in a switchback road in the West Virginia mountains.
The reader can’t help but be surprised at the final outcome.