"Dead Red Gamble" A Dead Red Mystery By RP Dahlke: Review/Giveaway/Interview

by Diana Hockley

This week we have a review of the latest Dead Red book by RP (Rebecca) Dahlke and a fun interview with RP. Details on how to win an ebook copy of this book at the end of the review and a link to purchase it.

Dead Red Gamble: A Dead Red Mystery by RP Dahlke

RP Dahlke’s “Dead Red” books are always good value and this latest, the sixth in the series, is no exception.

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Lalla Bains, now happily and finally married to Caleb, the Wishbone, Arizona, Chief of Police, has joined forces with her cousin, Pearlie, to buy out their former mentor, Ron Barbour’s detective agency. During their glee at attaining new premises, they are astonished and dismayed when they discover that the elderly lawyer, whose premises is below, has a penchant for banging a broomstick on his ceiling whenever he thinks the tenants above are making too much noise. Nothing daunted, Lalla and Pearlie work around this by dodging the office on his days there and working in Pearlie’s apartment.

However, this becomes difficult when gorgeous Judge Borrega who has something he wants to confide in Lalla, is murdered in the few minutes while she has turned her back to check out a commotion in the lobby of the Cochise County Courthouse. Horrified, Lalla is determined to find out what happened, regardless of Caleb’s stricture not to interfere with the investigation.

Lalla and Pearlie are hired by the Judge’s mother to find out who committed the crime. Beset by problems – a crooked Senator, a stalker, and the care of two small boys - Lalla relies on her friends and contacts in this glorious romp. The truth, when it is revealed, is a surprise not only to Lalla and Pearlie but to the reader!

The characters in this book are delightful. Lalla, Pearlie, Caleb, Rocky and Jimmy, her father’s foster children, and Hoover the dog are drawn with great skill. They are people for whom I felt concern and would enjoy being friends with. Ms. Dahlke’s writing style flows naturally, making this an easy book to read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging read and highly recommend "Dead Red Gamble." I also sincerely hope that the author is working her fingers to the bone writing the seventh in the series!

Diana Hockley is an Australian mystery author who lives in a southeast Queensland country town. She is the devoted slave of five ratties & usually finds an excuse to mention them in her writing, including her recent novel, The Naked Room. Since retiring from running a traveling mouse circus for 10 years, she is now the mouse judge for the Queensland Rat & Mouse Club shows. To learn more, check out her website.

Interview with Rebecca Dalkhe:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

Rebecca: 40 years…at first, really bad poetry, then short stories. I still have my first check for a short story. $10.00.

KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called, and would you tell us a little about it?
Rebecca: Write what you know? Sure, no problem. I ran my dad’s crop-dusting business for 2 years, so I figured an interesting woman pilot working in a dangerous industry (flying is dangerous) would work. First title was Flying Through Forty and no self-respecting publisher would touch it, so I self-published on Amazon and re-titled the series to The Dead Red Mysteries. Six books published on Amazon/kindle and I’m writing #7. Which will be my last book in this series. I swear!

KRL: Your “dead” series is full of humor as well as mystery. Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not, what else have you written?
Rebecca: I can’t resist a mystery or killing off a bad guy/girl. I love to hide and reveal clues…so I guess I’m stuck on writing mysteries. I do have two romantic sailing books, A Dangerous Harbor and Hurricane Hole based on my experiences sailing in Mexico. These books are mysteries with romance…and yes, there is still reason for humor. I will write Dead Rise sometime this year.

RP Dahlke
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Please tell us a little about the setting and main character for your most recent book.
Rebecca: My late husband and I sailed from Northern California to Mexico for several years, then bought a home in Southern Arizona in 2003 and I loved the area so much I was tempted to start a new series. But when I looked at the reviews for my Dead Red series, I realized that my readers could care less what my protagonist did for a living. They were more interested in what Lalla and Pearlie were up to next! So, I moved the entire family to the fictitious town of Wishbone, Arizona. Yes, it’s really Bisbee, Arizona, but since I was all set to kill off some prominent residents, I decided I didn’t want to be the object of scorn in Bisbee. Lalla and Pearlie Bains now P.I.s and just a couple of hardworking women who manage to get themselves into predicaments beyond their best intentions.

KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Rebecca: I love getting reviews that say the book was entertaining, but if readers look carefully, they will note that I’m passing on a message, in particular, that killers always feel justified for their actions. I don’t write about serial killers, I don’t do graphic violence in my books, or kill off a woman, unless she truly deserves it. And yes, I’ve got a couple of books with women killers.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Rebecca: I write every afternoon…or when I can get to it. I write for fifteen minutes or five hours….the fifteen minutes is the hook I need to keep me on the computer instead of doing housework or laundry or going out to lunch with friends.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?
Rebecca: No outline. Been there done that. At the beginning of each chapter, I add notes on what happened. At the end of each chapter, I write notes on what should happen next.

KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?
Rebecca: Same as I’m doing now. Afternoons.

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Rebecca: OMG…yes! I got read by several really good publishing companies and bounced back with a no-thanks. Of course, most of them are out of business now and I’m making very good money on Amazon. Karma rules!

KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?
Rebecca: Yes. “No one wants to read about a woman Aero Ag pilot.”

KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?
Rebecca: I’m a member of Sisters in Crime, Tucson, AZ. We have a huge booth at Tucson Festival of Books every year and I always get at least one person who says, “I have a terrific idea for a mystery!” And that’s when I hand them a flyer to attend a monthly meeting.

KRL: Future writing goals?
Rebecca: Publish 20 books

KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Rebecca: Whatever is in my next books. I’ve been a P.I. conference in Phoenix. I get lots of info from experts who speak at the monthly meetings at Tucson Sisters in Crime

KRL: What do you read?
Rebecca: I LOVE Historical mystery. I started with Ann Perry. New to me in the last couple of years: P.B. Ryan, (the Nell Sweeney series is fabulous) Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacey series, and two favorites who really deserve top billing: M. Louisa Locke’s San Francisco series and Ann Parker’s Silver City series.

KRL: Favorite TV or movies?
Rebecca: IMO any British Crime on PBS is better than anything on American TV.

KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Rebecca: Put your fingers on the keyboard and write. Write every day. Take notes on interesting ideas, throw them into a box or a file until you need inspiration. Write drivel and dreck that you will delete but write anyway. You will get better at it, but you have to start, then keep writing.

KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Rebecca: I LOVE my beta readers. My readers can and will find typos and mistakes that are missed by my pro editors. Their eagle eyes have found things that have been missed and I always thank them in the credits of my books. Hint: Hello, readers! I’m always looking for more beta readers.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Rebecca: I squirm at the idea of promoting myself. I’ve had to work hard to come up with a sales pitch that is quick, witty and sells books…and I’m still working on it.

KRL: Website? Facebook? Twitter?
Rebecca: Website and a monthly blog with free books and giveaways: rpdahlke.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/rpdahlke
Twitter: @rpdahlke
And oh boy…please follow me on BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/r-p-dahlke

To enter to win an ebook copy of Dead Red Gamble, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "gamble,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 22, 2019. US residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting. Count me in!

  2. Thanks so much for the great review and nice interview. Gee, you make me sound so witty!

  3. This sounds like a good series. Thanks for the contest. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. A good interview. Sounds like a fun series. Count me in!

  5. New author to me. Sounds like a great read.

  6. Sounds really interesting. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com


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