Tarot Tales Presents –
Diamond Dust Blues
Author: Tidal Ashburn
Edited by: Cindy Dooley
I feel very blessed to have had this work cross my path. “Diamond Dust Blues” is an incredible story that I would place in the cozy mystery genre. It revolves around the character Ruby Perkins – a struggling actress who lives in the “mother-in-law” cottage on her Aunt Jenna’s property. It opens with Ruby baking her famous orange raisin scones for her Aunt Jenna’s birthday. (Probably good to mention ahead of time that Aunt Jenna is transgender.)
Ruby takes her scones over to her Aunt Jenna’s house, and has a wonderful breakfast of tea, scones, and animated conversation with her. Aunt Jenna has somehow manufactured a reason for an eligible bachelor (eligible in her eyes, that is) to come over that evening to fix a non-existent problem in the plumbing, and to have dinner and meet Ruby. Ruby is not too happy with all of this, but agrees to come over, have dinner, and meet him.
On her way out the door she gets a call from a business friend that has an urgent need for her to do two singing telegrams for him. She agrees – and the next thing she knows she is waking up in a hospital, in great pain, with no memory of what happened. More than that – she has no memory of anything, including who she is!
Things go steadily downhill – she was shot while delivering the second singing telegram, as were several other people. The man who shot her is wanted by the FBI, and there is a question of whether he died in the shootout or not. Then there is her male nurse, who may or may not be a nurse, Aunt Jenna staying in the next hospital room so that she can be protected too from the people that the shooter was working for, and a female doctor that has an agenda of her own.
Ruby is offered the witness protection program, but balks when Aunt Jenna is not to be included. Oh, and there is a pipe bomb that goes off in her hospital room. Ruby digs her heels in, and Aunt Jenna is included in the witness protection program. Her male nurse (who she finds out is a U.S. Marshall) and one other marshal are to be responsible for relocating Ruby and her aunt, which results in quite an interesting cross country journey!
I did not want to put this book down! (Okay – I am reading the digital version, in which case I did not want to walk away!) The story is fast paced, with well defined characters and a nice dose of humor. There is depth in a multitude of areas – baking, cooking, cloths (I loved the marabou feathered poofs on Aunt Jenna’s slippers!), the art world, the world of the hospital, the world of the U.S. Marshals, the witness protection program, the world of smuggling jewels, and so much more. Intertwined are the personal relationships between the characters, which contain many levels of reality.
I loved the small details – such as the “painted lady” Victorian houses in Tennessee. A great deal of research and caring went into the writing of this book – I hope to see many more by this author!
© February 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.