Monday, December 4, 2023

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Calico, by Lee Goldberg {ends 12/11}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Friday, February 8, 2019

Beth met Selma Neary, head of the San Bernardino County historical society, in her office at the county museum in Redlands. The tiny office was filled with books, overflowing from sagging shelves and in stacks that had collapsed into a giant pile. There was barely room for a desk, two chairs, and the two women.

‘You’re a homicide detective?’ Neary asked.

‘That’s right,’ Beth said. ‘We found a dead body in a hundred-year-old grave on land in Newberry Springs that was once home to the Cartwright family.’

Neary smiled, her pearl necklace disappearing in the folds of her neck. ‘It’s a little late to bring the felon to justice.’

‘This man was killed a week ago and buried in an old casket,’ Beth said. ‘I’m wondering if there might be some connection between the victim and the Cartwright family or at least that bit of land.’

‘Unfortunately, Calico burned to the ground twice, destroying most of the legal records, and almost every issue of the Calico Print newspaper, so much of the town’s history, outside of the mining activity, is lost. What little we know about the daily lives of any individuals comes from letters, a few diaries, and a dozen surviving issues of the Calico Print.’

‘Anything you can tell me will be helpful,’ Beth said.

Beth is determined to make conclusions based on the facts of her investigation, but this time the facts are a little hard to believe.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Calico, by Lee Goldberg {ends 12/11}
There's a saying in Barstow, California, a decaying city in the scorching Mojave desert . . .

The Interstate here only goes in one direction: Away.

But it's the only place where ex-LAPD detective Beth McDade, after a staggering fall from grace, could get another badge . . . and a shot at redemption.

Over a century ago, and just a few miles further into the bleak landscape, a desperate stranger ended up in Calico, a struggling mining town, also hoping for a second chance.

His fate, all those years ago, and hers today are linked when Beth investigates an old skeleton dug up in a shallow, sandy grave . . . and also tries to identity a vagrant run-over by a distracted motorhome driver during a lightning storm.

Every disturbing clue she finds, every shocking discovery she makes, force Beth to confront her own troubled past . . . and a past that's not her own . . . until it all smashes together in a revelation that could change the world.

This was definitely different from the author’s previous works, but in this reader’s opinion, they nailed it! Beth was a reasonably successful LAPD detective, but bad choices led to her disgraceful exit from the department. In Barstow, the biggest risk to her career may be dying from boredom, but she still tries to do her best to uphold the law, especially for the victims—they deserve the truth, and justice.

A missing person case from the LAPD seems to leave a trail right through Beth’s Barstow jurisdiction, so she’s determined to find out what really happened, no matter how unlikely that story seems to be. She knows her career (and maybe her sanity) are at stake, so she needs to not just uncover the truth, but have solid proof.

This unique cross between a sci-fi sort of story with a built in police procedural was an excellent read. It earned 5 out of 5 stars and should be shared immediately with those who enjoy a realistically-told science fiction story. Could it be true? It’s up to each reader to decide whether they think it could be possible.

{click here to purchase on Amazon - affiliate link}

Becki Bayley is a Gemini who enjoys theater, reading, and a mid-afternoon nap in the sun. Check out what else she’s reading and her family’s adventures on her blog,


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Calico!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, December 11th, at 11:59pm ET, and the winner will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Calico, by Lee Goldberg


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