DiscoverWomen's Fiction

Dusting Down Alcudia

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Worth reading 😎

A romantic suspense that falls a bit flat in both romance and suspense.

Dusting Down Alcudia is a romantic suspense told in an omniscient point-of-view. The story might have been stronger in Nina’s close third-person POV. The prologue was unnecessary, and its information could have been sprinkled through the novel at appropriate times. At 225 pages, the novel was short and could have been longer. More characterization and depth of emotion would have helped readers identify with the protagonist.


According to the book’s blurb, the protagonist, archeologist Nina Esposito, is employed by the British Museum. When the museum won’t grant her funds to search for an ancient necklace on Mallorca, she goes there alone, carrying the diary of her hero, the now-decreased archeologist Joseph Harper. On the island, she runs into not one, but two prior boyfriends (Roberto Hernandez and Jay Reynolds). There is a good sense of place on Mallorca, less so in London or Amsterdam.


The thriller aspect is a tad light. Nina and Jay have no trouble tracking down the missing necklace with little action or danger involved. Archeologically speaking, she faces few problems in her search for the necklace—she’s able to solve in a few days a problem that has evaded searchers for centuries.


The romance aspect is also unbelievable. Nina spends most of her time trying to talk herself out of getting involved with a man who has already dumped her once and another who deceitfully gained the upper hand in the purchase of an archeological find. One wonders why a well-educated woman, supposedly a top person in her field, feels she has to cave to the Neanderthals chasing her. Despite being described in the blurb as “a top archaeologist,” Nina feels inferior to Jay, her rival and the man who cheated her out of a prior find: “He was the darling of archaeology world; well-known and respected across the globe. And she was an insignificant woman from Scotland (Italics mine).” When Nina’s cousin Carmel displays her engagement ring, Nina "wondered sadly if it would ever be her turn." She mouths independence, but in reality is TSTL (too stupid to live) as she doesn’t think through situations before she acts or utilize appropriate safety precautions, thus putting herself in need of rescuing and those with her in harms way. 


I had some trouble overcoming problems with some unusual paragraphing, mild formatting problems, missing commas and other grammatical errors, but eventually I turned off my internal editor and read through without stopping.


Reviewed by

Suanne completed the Stanford University Creative Writing Certificate program. Her debut women’s fiction novel, A Different Kind of Fire, explores the life of a nineteenth century bisexual artist living in West Texas. Her next book involves an American physician caught up in the Rwandan genocide.

About the author

Hi. I'm an award winning writer from Scotland. I live near Loch Lomond with my two kids and three dogs. In 2008, I won a Royal Mail Award for Scottish Children's Books for my traditionally published children's novel, DarkIsle. I have three other kids books and another book for adults out. view profile

Published on October 26, 2018

Published by

60000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Women's Fiction

Reviewed by