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REVIEW: One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon

Dear Ms. Solomon:

book review I have to share with you a problem. Every book that I’ve read of yours, I have liked, One Deadly Sin being no exception to that rule. For some reason, though, I never have the “must read” urge strike me when I come across a title of yours. In this case, I received two copies of this book in advanced form and one in finished form but never cracked the spine of any one of those copies. I went ahead and bought the ecopy because I knew I wanted to read you yet it languished on my reader.

I need to reinforce in my head what a good writer you because every time I’ve read a book of yours, I always close it with the thought, “this chick can write.” I haven’t quite figured out the “why” of my hesitation but I’m telling myself right now that the next time your book comes in I should read it. This is my personal string on the finger reminder.

One Deadly Sin is about Edie Swann whose father committed suicide because he was accused of embezzling funds from the town factory. Her mother never recovered and Edie’s childhood was destroyed. She’s drifted fairly aimlessly until she wrests the names of individuals who visited her father the week before his death. She decides to return to her small town, twenty years after her father’s death, and shake things up.

Her plan is to leave little black angels in the possession these individuals. Her goal? Less clear. The little black angels signify the gargoyle that her mother had placed over Edie’s father’s grave. Until his name was cleared, the gargolye would remain. Edie didn’t know what the truth was but wanted to find out.

The problem is that the individuals who start receiving Edie’s gifts also start to die, one by one. Holt Drennan, the local sheriff, falls for Edie almost right away. Their flirting is totally hot but then Holt is faced with evidence that suggests Edie might be the cause of local individuals’ deaths.

This book had so many elements of past romantic suspense books that it was in danger of being cliched but where I thought the story would go right, you went left. The small town was shown with great delicacy, portraying the danger of the mob mentality but the big heart of a few people that could change public opinion. When Edie’s secret comes out, Holt feels justifiably betrayed by her silence but soon comes to realize that he loves and she loves him and that he will fight for her.

Edie is a rabble rouser, but not one with edges so sharp that she purposely hurts herself along with others. She shows compassion and horror at what she’s starting; guilt at not divulging the truth to Holt; and also a natural instinct to run away when the pressure becomes too much.

The romance is deftly woven throughout the story although most of the conflict is external. I really appreciated that Holt didn’t view Edie as a “bad girl” but just someone to whom he was greatly attracted. Edie’s attraction to Holt was also uninhibited by an “I hate everything in uniform” position.  ¬†Neither character seemed stock to me, particularly because we were able to see many facets of the characters from being a friend, to a father, to a daughter, to a son, to a lover.  ¬†

The “whodunit” portion of the book lost a bit of steam at the end. I felt that at least one character would have divulged the secrets toward the end but was never pressed because that would have ruined the penultimate action scene. I also felt like there were motivations that were a bit contrived in order to create more suspense and then surprise at the ending.

For those who like a well balanced romantic suspense, this book certainly fulfills both aspects. I look forward to reading the next Annie Solomon as soon as it drops on my doorstep.

Best regards,


This book can be purchased in mass market from an independent bookstore or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. vein
    May 19, 2009 @ 16:04:38

    My problem is that the plot really did not make sense. What was her goal? What kind of small town wouldn’t know who she was instantly? How did she fall of a speeding motorcycle without a helmet on and not even get gravel rash? It was a big box of WTF for me. C-, at best.

  2. Chrissy
    May 19, 2009 @ 17:11:28

    I had the same reaction as vein.

    I live in a small town. I’m a townie. Everyone knows everything.

    And I know a lot of people who ride bikes. Um. No. Ask Gary Bussey about it… and good luck understanding his answer.

    Also thought it meandered around with a certain sense of self importance, but never really became cohesive.

  3. MF Makichen
    May 19, 2009 @ 22:26:57

    I read this book after Jane mentioned it on twitter. I really enjoyed it. I found the whodunit portion of the book rather abrupt and like the review stated the motivations were a bit contrived. Still, I found the characters quite charming and I came away liking just about everyone I “met” in Edie Swan’s small town. I thought this was a good read.

  4. PJ
    May 20, 2009 @ 11:21:31

    I really, really hated this book, especially all the characters in the little town. After a while, it became just another “Small Town Assholes Treat Heroine Like Complete Shit” book, and I didn’t see the “few good hearts changing minds” bit at all. It just seemed like the townspeople were a bunch of fairweather idiots going whichever way the wind blew. In the end I wanted the heroine to tell the lot of them to go fuck themselves (I particularly would have loved it if she’d hauled off and punched that deputy in the face), even knowing that it would never happen. In the kumbaya tradition of romance, she has to be the better person and forgive them all, consigning herself to a future living in the stupid little town with all those assholes, who I had no doubt would turn on her as soon as the wind started blowing the other way. Ugh.

  5. Annie Solomon
    May 21, 2009 @ 12:10:54

    Don’t know if this is correct protocol, Jane, for me to pop in like this, but I did want to thank you for reviewing the book. Interesting to see what other readers think!!

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