I have already heard from Sylvia Dickey Smith that she and her husband plan to return to Dallas this June for the HHCC http://www.mwasw.org/conf.html conference. I’m looking forward to seeing both of them again at the conference where guest speaker Tony Hillerman will also attend. Beyond the fact that both Sylvia and Bill are good people, Sylvia writes a very good book once again. But, if you are worried that I am biased don’t take my word for it. Read the other reviews she has garnered for the book and better yet, read the book yourself.


Deadly Sins-Deadly Secrets

Sylvia Dickey Smith


L & L Dreamspell



ISBN # 978-1-60318-018-4


267 Pages


The latest installment in the series recently released takes readers back to the small south Texas town of Orange and the surrounding area. Moving on from events depicted in “Dance On His Grave” Sidra Smart, having rescued herself from a bad marriage and a life that virtually destroyed her very core, has rescued a dog she quickly named Slider. While he does like plain yogurt on his dog food, his needs and quirks are very simple compared to the rest of her life.


Having inherited “The Third Eye” investigative agency and having survived her first case, she finds herself in a bit of a money bind when asked to take another case. Dempsey Durwood would like to know for sure whether or not his deceased son, Ned actually committed the horrible crimes he is suspected of doing by local law enforcement. There is no question that he was at the murder scene where a man and woman were found brutally murdered. There is no question he ran from that scene and was killed in a freak accident at the nearby railroad tracks. Dead, Ned can’t defend himself from the grave and Dempsey knows that he wasn’t like other kids growing up.


He could have done it but Dempsey doesn’t believe he did it. He also knows that local law enforcement isn’t going to open the case back up when they have a clear suspect with his fingerprints on the murder weapon. Why open the case and investigate further when they have a dead suspect?


Driven by financial need, Sidra Smart sets aside her own belief based on news coverage that Ned was probably guilty and begins asking questions here and there across the local area. Before long, her poking around has stirred up more than she knows from paranormal events, missing suspects, racism, homophobia, and a killer who is determined to stop her meddling once and fore all. And then, if that wasn’t enough, there is her own personal life that seems to be moving like the hurricane which forever damaged the lighthouse at Sabine Pass long ago.


This second novel in the series is a fast twisting read full of entertaining characters, her theme of through two novels of religious hypocrisy, and plenty of mystery of the past and present. Unlike her first book which occasionally stopped cold to tell readers again and again the nightmarish tale of abuse suffered by some of the characters, this novel relies on the reader to pay attention and think throughout the entire book. It moves forward relentless on several interconnected storylines from start to finish.


From a distinctive eye catching cover, through a story that spans more than 260 pages, the area and fictional people of Orange, Texas is brought alive for the reader in this latest treat from Sylvia Dickey Smith.  With another book in the series scheduled for publication later this year, this would be an excellent time to catch up on these two Texas mystery novels.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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