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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Drawing Blood: A Sketch In Crime Mystery By Deirdre Verne

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Although Earth Day may be one of devoted Freegan CeCe Prentice's favorite days of the year, it also marks the first year since the death of her beloved brother, Teddy. A distraction comes in the form of Cold Spring Harbor Detective Frank DeRosa, who needs to consult with a garbage expert, who just happens to be his girlfriend. CeCe's Freegan lifestyle demands that she and her friends subsist solely on what they scavenge, recycle, or grow, making them the undeniable specialists when reports of illegal electronic waste are reported at a local warehouse. The recycle center and town dump owner Big Bob's belief in "garbage as purpose" alone would make him dear to CeCe's heart. His talent as an outsider artist skilled with dioramas, though, further cements his place in portrait artist CeCe's affections. The discovery of his body, crushed in garbage, devastates her.

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CeCe's finesse at creating accurate sketch drawings and reading faces previously has proved instrumental to the police, and naturally she is unable to resist inserting herself in the investigation of her friend's death. So it's baffling when CeCe is completely blocked and unable to recollect the face of a woman she spotted fleeing the scene. It's not surprising that CeCe may be unfocused, considering the traumatic truths she recently discovered about her family, her father's crimes, and a child who may or may not even exist.

Image source: Midnight Ink

Although the exploration of Freeganism makes this a standout on its own, CeCe's obsession with her family's past crimes and future will have readers seeking out the debut of this series, Drawing Conclusions. Freeganism is such a fascinating way of life, as the definition of what is garbage can be a simple extemporaneous expiration date. Many readers may share Frank's disgust at the thought of eating food retrieved from a dumpster, but perhaps they will think twice before buying those individually packaged-in-plastic food items.

CeCe proves to be an impulsive and occasionally self-righteous advocate for her way of living, but her sincerity and need to mend her family redeem her. CeCe's best friend's impending baby due date and her own mother's recovery from a breakdown, add surprising elements of humor. This is a complex and unique mystery that explores a way of life that could save our planet if only we could change the way we think. Socialized medicine, DNA manipulations, and the ethics of both only enhance this continually evolving and compelling mystery series.

To enter to win a copy of Drawing Blood, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “paint,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 13, 2016. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Use this link to purchase the book:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. I enjoyed this review learning something new about "Freeganism." The theme is interesting, and story line intriguing. I am checking it out!

  2. Great review. Sounds like a series I have to try. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. I've read this series but and sorry to say I don't own any of the books... Hopefully that will change if I'm the lucky winner of today's giveaway.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com