5 Star IHIBRP Book Review: “The White Russian Caper: A Damien Dickens Mystery (Damien Dickens Myster
The One Where Milly Becomes Wonder Woman!
You can already tell I’m super-excited about a book when—in my book review—I express my love of the story from my own point of view instead of being somewhat dignified and objective. Here we go, people … You’ve been warned!
Mystery, intrigue, romance, murder, and plenty of action generously pepper this seemingly orthodox, old-style, classic detective novel from Author Phyllis Entis, “The White Russian Caper: A Damien Dickens Mystery (Damien Dickens Mysteries Book 2)”. But Entis’ novel, as familiar to the 1940’s detective mystery genre as it may seem, is—quite surprisingly—anything but your standard find-a-clue-and-solve-the-case fare. Sure, the author sets up her private eye’s life in a utile, budget-friendly, 2-room (one for him and one for his secretary/receptionist) in the low-rent part of town. Sure, the novel takes place in the early 1970’s, when most adult Americans were being pulled kicking and screaming into the modern age, and the lifestyle of a 1940’s private-dick was idolized by most men reaching their mid-life crises. Sure, the plot line feels a bit hokey at first with Damien Dickens hired to solve the murder of Miss America—of all people. But not so long after we’re led down the standard PI bloodhound path, with lots of good old-fashioned legwork, interviews, and keen observations … After we are introduced to all the key players and the usual suspects (We think!) … Entis totally flips the story on its head, changing out our dearly beloved male detective for … (Here it comes!) … Milly—the aforementioned secretary/receptionist who, by the way, just happens to be Dicken’s newlywed wife! Aw!
At a time when “Girl-Power” was virtually non-existent and just coming to the forefront, Milly’s abilities to solve clue after clue in Damien’s untimely abduction and possible murder shine as bright as the sort of female heroics displayed in the latest Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot. Milly is stunning in her logic, savvy in her dealings with clients and suspects, and she takes the lead on the investigation into her husband’s kidnapping like a tiger kitten to its mother’s milk. Milly is a force to be reckoned with, and every male who thinks he can placate her with a few lines of flattery or push her aside in his investigation has got another thing coming from this 1970’s heroine. She’s the type of woman I would have looked up to, having grown up in the 70’s—the era of sexual revolution. She effectively blazes a trail for females to break through the glass ceiling and find their path to glory while wearing her femininity as a badge of honor. She is Wonder Woman and she is magnificent!
This novel has it all; rich forays into the history of Tzarist Russia—the fall of the Tsar and the expulsion of the Jews from Russia; incidental moments of nostalgia as Entis takes you down memory lane to relive life in 1970’s Atlantic City—with Miss America pageants, malt shops, pizza-by-the-slice vendors, root beer floats, and the dawn of Toyota as the nations’s quickly-rising most popular car; and predictions of the burgeoning Florida real-estate boom, the appearance of drug-runners, the snow-bird lifestyle, the plight of the elderly, and the rise of Native American casino culture. If you’re looking for your next favorite tale, be it for a summer vacation or a winter ski-weekend, consider this must-read. I only wish that I could give The White Russian Caper 10 stars for making me feel like I could do anything … just like Milly! Now, where’s Entis’ next chapter? I’m ready for more!
Find “The White Russian Caper” by Phyllis Entis on Amazon and Kindle now athttp://www.amazon.com/WHITE-RUSSIAN-CAPER-DICKENS-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B014Z8IJLY
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