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deceived by randy wayne whiteReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Deceived is the second book in the new Hannah Smith series which is a spin off from Randy Wayne White’s Dr. Ford series. Dr. Ford really does have a small role in this book and there were hints that it is taking place between a couple of his books. However, I haven’t read them all so I’m not sure yet where Deceived fits into the larger picture.

Hannah owns two businesses. She has a boat she charters for fishing and she inherited her uncle’s private investigation firm. She keeps her PI license current even though she doesn’t do a lot of work, nor does she really consider herself a PI.

Hannah’s mother who was always difficult to deal with has recently had a stroke which makes her even more unpredictable. Her mother’s neighbor who recently moved in and destroyed a native American site to build a monstrosity of a cement home, has been causing all sorts of trouble. Her latest fiasco was to get Hannah’s mother in trouble for having a vegetable garden.

Hannah has also recently found some family heirlooms missing from the attic…and so have many of the other elderly that live in the neighborhood. When one of Hannah’s mother’s friends is discovered dead and Hannah has an almost fatal run-in with a couple of pitbulls, things start to get interesting and dangerous.

When the cops show up to check on Hannah’s report, they are a little credulous about the story Hannah tells. They lighten up quite a bit once the county DA arrives, who just happens to have recently hired Hannah as a fishing guide. The shared tribulations on that trip and the fact that the DA was attracted to her helped ease the tension. The deceased lady was found with a pile of museum pamphlets strewn about. The DA soon asks Hannah to work for him as a PI to investigate and see if there was a scam going on in relation to the museum.

Overall, I thought the story was pretty good; it was not quite as exciting as Dr. Ford but it didn’t need to be. Hannah didn’t really do anything that screamed “that was really stupid” and the situations she got herself in were fairly believable. The funniest parts revolved around Hannah protecting Dr. Ford and trying to save him from getting into trouble. She believes him to be just a biologist and thinks he would be out of his league dealing with ‘these people’. Those readers familiar with the Doc will know that Hannah has another thing coming!

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Putnam Adult. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.