Life Coach Magazine

The Women on Retford Drive (Dancing Hills Mystery, #1) by Alretha Thomas

By Debi Lantzer @debiL1611

The Women on Retford Drive (Dancing Hills Mystery, #1) by Alretha ThomasThe Women on Retford Drive by Alretha Thomas
Series: ,
Published by Diverse Arts Collective on August 7, 2018
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 352
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon


Julia Pritchard, an aging sitcom star making a comeback, and her stepdaughter, Blythe Pritchard, an aspiring attorney, form a pact to start fresh and pursue their dreams. But their plans go awry when Keith Pritchard, Julia’s soon-to-be ex-husband and Blythe’s father, goes missing and is presumed dead, the day they plan to move out of his mansion.

The women are filled with bittersweet emotions when they consider the idea that Keith, a tycoon and functional alcoholic, could be out of their lives for good. Moreover, they fear the police will name them as persons of interest because of the abuse they suffered at Keith’s hands. Julia believes Keith hasn’t met with foul play but orchestrated his own disappearance, hoping the women will be blamed. However, Blythe believes her father is dead. When the police reveal a damning piece of evidence, which could result in one of them being charged with Keith’s possible murder, they join forces to find out what happened to him. Did one of the women go off script and kill Keith, or is another agenda at play, unbeknownst to the women and the police, that’s far more sinister?

I saw this book, The Women on Retford Drive by Alretha Thomas available on NetGalley one evening.  It’s the first book in the Dancing Hills Mystery series, although I’ll admit I’ve never heard of this author or the series. The synopsis of the book is what got me. I requested the opportunity to review the book and I was approved.

The storyline in The Women on Retford Drive is told from several first person points of view allowing readers to see and feel through the eyes of the characters.  The author very nicely names each chapter according to whose perspective the story is coming from too.

The main characters, Julia Pritchard and her stepdaughter, Blythe, were very likable and well-written characters. Some of the other characters that were more secondary to the story were also very likable.

The Women on Retford Drive does contain some domestic abuse situations which are a bit disturbing, so if that’s something that is difficult topic for anyone to read, I’d probably tell them to pass on this book.  Other than that issue, the story itself was an excellent mystery! I was actually surprised at the end of the story and I really didn’t see it coming.

It’s super hard to write about the story of a mystery because I don’t want to go into too much detail.  I don’t want to slip and give a spoiler and possibly ruin the read for any of you. I will say it is an easy read, well written and a great mystery full of twists and turns.  I had fun trying to figure out if “he” (I’m not telling you who) is missing or dead.

The Women on Retford Drive (Dancing Hills Mystery, #1) by Alretha Thomas

An award winning author and playwright, Alretha Thomas is making her name through her pen. She started at the age of ten, when her 5th grade teacher picked and read her short story assignment in front of the class—that simple, loving act empowered a new writer. Continuing in high school, her numerous original oratorical conquests on the Speech Team led her to a journalism concentration at USC.

Alretha’s first novel Daughter Denied was launched in 2008 and has received glowing reviews from readers and book clubs across the country. Representing her book, Alretha has been the guest on many radio shows and television shows including San Francisco Public Affairs show Bay Sunday with Barbara Rodgers on CBS affiliate, KPIX Channel 5. In 2011, Alretha launched her second novel Dancing Her Dreams Away, and it was also well received. Her third novel, Married in the Nick of Nine, spawned a four book series that was acquired by Soul Mate Publishing in January 2014. In August 2014, Alretha was awarded the Jessie Redmon Fauset Literary Award for her indie novel, Four Ladies Only. In 2016, Alretha created the Detective Rachel Storme Mystery Series.  

There are three books in the series, Justice for Jessica, Losing Lauren and A Penny For Her Heart, which launched in July of 2017. Additionally, in 2016 Alretha returned to acting and is now writing and acting full time. Her theatrical agent is Shawn Brogan of The Brogan Agency.

Connect with Ms. Thomas on social media ~~


I  was provided a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

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