Death & the Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross

death-and-the-redheaded-woman-by-Loretta-RossDeath & the Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross
Narrated by Amanda Ronconi
Series: An Auction Block Mystery #1
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Setting: Missouri
Published by Midnight Ink, 2015
Audiobook, purchased
264 pages
7 hours, 15 minutes
Grade: B+
Narrator grade: B+
Synopsis: A strange death calls on Wren to be a jewel-seeking sleuth

As someone who appraises and prepares houses for auction, Wren Morgan has seen her share of fixer-uppers. But when she arrives at her newest project, Wren is unprepared to find something she can’t easily fix–a naked, dead man.

Soon after her disturbing discovery, Wren meets Death Bogart, a private investigator and surety recovery agent who’s looking for the famous missing jewels of the Campbell family. When it becomes clear that there are actually two sets of lost family jewels, Wren and Death team up to solve not only the mystery of the jewels, but also the naked man’s murder. With their case growing more and more complex, though, will they be able to catch the killer and bring home the loot?

Initial impression

  • Immediately drew me in from the very first sentence!


  • Wren works for an auction house and as the book opens she is at a house she is preparing for auction. She discovers a body in the house and when she goes to the police station to fill out a statement she sees Death (pronounced Deeth) Bogart for the first time. (A great name for a private detective!)
  • The narrator–Amanda Ronconi–is great in this book. Wren sometimes is the auctioneer during an auction and I love listening to that narration. She did a good job with the other voices, too.
  • I like that Wren has such an interesting job and that she’s surrounded by people who know her and like her.
  • Death Bogart is an interesting character. He’s a former soldier, was wounded and carries seen and unseen scars. As a disabled veteran whose family have all died he’s trying to make his way in the world, but having a tough time. At the beginning of the book he’s living in his car, trying to get an appointment with the Veterans Administration (sadly realistic) and working as a private detective and surety recovery agent.
  • Death is searching for jewels for an insurance company. They may be hidden in the house where Wren found the dead guy. He may have links to the jewels so Death and Wren team up to search the house. Coincidentally, there are a second set of jewels which disappeared during the Civil War. So quite a treasure hunt!
  • However, they realize someone doesn’t want either Death or Wren to find the jewels after they’re shot at.
  • The details make this sound like it could be a bleak story, but it’s lots of fun. I think that’s because of Wren and Death. I really enjoyed reading about them.
  • I really like this type of cover for a mystery.


  • I don’t think the epilogue was necessary.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is Ms. Ross’ debut book. She’s an author to watch. I’m looking forward to the next book–Death and the Brewmaster’s Widow–which comes out February 8, 2016.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Loretta Ross is a writer and historian who lives and works in rural Missouri. She is an alumna of Cottey College and holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has loved mysteries since she first learned to read. Death and the Redheaded Woman is  her first published novel.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge–hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

6 thoughts on “Death & the Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross”

  1. I have a hard time believing that someone would be named Death. I need to read the book just for that. Plus Wren’s job sounds really interesting.


  2. Ah, I thought this was one of those cozies where the main character interacted with a ghost to solve a mystery. I’m so glad to see that Death is a a name and not a condition, lol. Thanks for a good review, and now I’m adding it to my wishlist.


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