Review: Deed to Death by D. B. Henson

17 Aug

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad mystery, but I found the writing a bit rough. It wasn’t terrible, but it could have been better.

Summary via

AT TWENTY-NINE, TONI MATTHEWS IS ON THE CUSP OF HAVING IT ALL—a successful career as one of the top real estate agents in Nashville, great friends, and the partner and family she’d always longed for in her fiancé, architect Scott Chadwick.

But just days before their planned nuptials, Scott plummets to his death at one of his construction sites and Toni is forced to bury her fiancé on their wedding day. Now living all alone in their new, custom-made dream house, dealing with her loss becomes even harder when the police rule his death a suicide. Yet Toni refuses to believe that it could be anything other than a tragic accident.

When she learns that Scott’s estranged brother, Brian, is contesting the will, threatening to take away her home, Toni starts to suspect that it may not have been a mere accident but something more sinister. Without the cooperation of the police, and in spite of her friends’ growing concern that she’s in denial and not dealing with her grief, Toni begins investigating on her own. As she crisscrosses Nashville on a mission to prove to herself and the world that Scott wouldn’t try to escape this life, Toni can’t shake the sinking feeling that something is off, that she’s being followed—and that her search for truth may have deadly consequences.

The plot itself was well done– lots and lots of twists and turns, so that neither the reader nor Toni were ever quite sure where things stood. This was by far the strength of the book, and if that’s why you read mysteries, check this one out.

My biggest problem with Deed to Death was related to all of the twists and turns of the plot. I never felt I got to know any of the secondary characters, because there was always something coming between Toni and even her best friends. The situation kept changing, and Toni was once again on her own.

With all of that happening, I should have felt I knew Toni well, but I didn’t. Her character felt flat, and without the excuse of the twists and turns interfering with my perceptions of her.  The outline of her character was interesting, but never felt fully filled in.

And this takes me to the writing. I don’t read for the writing, but the writing has to deliver the story and the characters. While this isn’t the kind of writing that interfered with the story, it also never really delivered the kind of flow that would sweep me into the world of the book.

In the end, I liked the book, but not as much as I’d hoped.

I received Deed To Death from Simon & Schuster for review.  Thank you for this opportunity.

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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in books, reviews


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