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Paperback A Single Eye : A Darcy Lott Mystery Book

ISBN: 1582434190

ISBN13: 9781582434193

A Single Eye : A Darcy Lott Mystery

(Book #1 in the Darcy Lott Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Stuntwoman Darcy Lott can stare down any risky physical feat -- until a mistake during a stunt injures Darcy's proteg . Significantly shaken and facing a crisis of confidence, Darcy calls upon her Buddhist beliefs and retreats to a monastery in the California redwoods. What she finds is anything but soul-centering: the monastery's enigmatic leader is poisoned, and an attempt is made on Darcy's own life. When harsh weather prevents Darcy from escaping...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Her best book!

I am a voracious reader of mysteries. I feel it is unprofessional for a writer to disparage another writer, so mostly I keep my opinions to myself. But every so often a book comes along that jumps instantly into my Best of All Times list. this is one of those! Susan has been out of the mystery field for a long time, but she is back with a masterpiece. I have 15 years in a meditative spiritual practice, and I was a bit leery of a mystery set in a 2 week Zen retreat in the California redwoods. I have sat those retreats, and I feared that true spiritual work was going to be misrepresented, trivialized or inaccurately portrayed. Actually, Susan has created a book that is part spiritual teaching and still is an intense provocative mystery. I didn't guess the killer, and the puzzle aspect was done perfectly. The characters were well cast, and completely believable. The plot was compelling, with the spunky protagonist, Darcy Lott, as a stunt actor who has to face her inner catastrophic fears and still deal powerfully with real outer challenges, including stopping a killer from striking again. This is the first book of her next series, and I am thinking of breaking into Susan's house so I can get my hands on the manuscript of the next book in the series. If you love traditional mysteries with a great message, an intellectually challenging plot, and characters you will miss when you finally end the book: then buy this book!

A new world from a talented writer

I was thrilled to see Susan Dunlap's return to the mystery bookshelf. I still miss meter reader Veejay Haskell, and Jill Smith and the characters that inhabited her Berkeley. But this book gave me a glimpse of another world with which I was not familiar, just as Dunlap's earlier books did so invitingly. Darcy's stunt career offers lots of possibilities for the future, but this introduction (rather darker than her earlier mystery series) had a richness that will appeal to readers who like depth and confident experience.

Welcome back, Susan Dunlap

I was a great fan of Susan Dunlap's early work, especially the Jill Smith police officer series. Dunlap lovingly recreated every corner of Berkeley, California, which I knew well at the time. Later her series featured a meter reader and, I believe, an art dealer. Jill remained my favorite. Darcy Lott shows promise as another series heroine with an off-beat fascinating occupation: a stunt woman in Hollywood. Here we meet her not on a movie set, but in the closed confines of a rigorous Zen retreat. With her gift for evoking place, Dunlap helps us feel as though we're right there with Darcy: living in simple quarters, eating gruel, enduring hours of meditation, feeling cold and damp in the woods, and (worst of all) living at close quarters with some pretty difficult people. Darcy doesn't get much time to experience peace and healing. Early on she's appointed assistant to the roshi. She ends up helping out in unexpected ways and, of course, figuring out what happened to the resident who went missing so long ago. Writers take a risk when they begin a new series by taking the heroine out of her element. Sarah Stewart Taylor introduced her heroine Sweeney St Charles at a rather dreary houseparty. I almost gave up on the series with the first volume, which would have been a mistake. Sweeney comes across as much more interesting when she's back home. And I suspect the same will be true of Darcy Lott. Here in the monastery she's a bit of a busybody as well as an outsider. I'd like to see more of her interactions with her delightful dog, her family and her life on the Hollywood sets. Jill Smith was phobic about heights (revealed in one novel); Darcy turns out to be phobic about walking in the woods. Both phobias have merit. Anyone can get harmed by falling from a great height. And aren't we all advised to avoid hiking alone? Fans of the Jill Smith series may be disappointed. Jill Smith was an enjoyable, flawed three-dimensional character, someone we'd imagine meeting for coffee or a drink. Her colorful supporting cast came with identifiable quirks that added a light touch. Who could forget Herman Ott and his yellow shirts? I also miss Dunlap's intricate plots with satisfying solutions (A Dinner to Die For was one of my favorites). This time we're asked to care about finding who killed a strange man who died several years ago. Here I didn't find the supporting characters especially likeable. Experienced mystery readers will figure out the heroine's first mini-puzzle, when she's offered a ride to the monastery, almost immediately. We can guess the villain pretty easily too, although I was beginning to like that character. In making her heroine a practicing Buddhist, Dunlap also faces a less obvious challenge: the reader's context. Many readers will know practicing Buddhists. Many of us also have read Natalie Goldberg's book, The Great Failure: A Bartender, A Monk, and My Unlikely Path to Truth. I found myself remembering Goldberg's roshi each ti
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