Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BOOK REVIEW/INTERVIEW: Lost Legacy by Annette Dashofy


On a sultry summer afternoon, Paramedic Zoe Chambers responds to a call and finds a farmer’s body hanging from the rafters of his hay barn. What first appears to be a suicide quickly becomes something sinister when Zoe links the victim to a pair of deaths forty-five years earlier. Her attempts to wheedle information from her mother and stepfather hit a brick wall of deception, one that brings into question everything Zoe knows about her late father, who died in a car crash when she was eight. Or did he? 

Police Chief Pete Adams fears Zoe’s inquiries are setting her up for deeper heartbreak and putting her in danger. As Zoe and Pete inch closer to the truth, they discover that a missing gun links the crimes which span more than four decades. But the killer isn’t done. Two more Vance Township residents fall victim to the same gun, and when tragedy strikes too close to home, Zoe realizes her family is in the crosshairs.



Lost Legacy starts with Zoe Chambers in her ambulance on the way to a 'farm accident with probable DOA'.  The address bothers her.  Turns out to be a farm that was once in her mother's family.  I felt the anxiety and adrenaline that goes with a job like that.  And, faster that an EMT can strap you to a gurney, you are caught up in the unfolding drama.

Because the barn with the definitely DOA man is the same barn in which two of Zoe's great-uncles died nearly 50 years before.  These two men changed their wills shortly before their deaths to make the 'freshly-dead' (so to speak) man their beneficiary instead of Zoe's maternal grandmother.

Add to this mixture the facts that the drunk driver responsible for Zoe's father's fatal accident is the same one who found the new body; Zoe's mother and step-father have come to visit; and Zoe's will-they-ever-admit-it-to-each-other love interest's (who happens to be the Chief of Police in the township) father with Alzheimer's is staying with him temporarily.

When I read Lost Legacy, I stayed up wa-a-ay to late to finish it.  Stopping for something like sleep would be like being taken to the hospital in an ambulance and jumping out half-way.  There are as many twists, turns and motives as there are curves in a country backroad.  But, thanks to Dashofy's fluid writing, I never lost track.

So strap on your seat belt and put it in to high gear, because this book is a fantastic ride!



Annette Dashofy has spent her entire life in rural Pennsylvania surrounded by cattle and horses. When she wasn’t roaming the family’s farm or playing in the barn, she could be found reading or writing. After high school, she spent five years as an EMT on the local ambulance service, dealing with everything from drunks passed out on the sidewalk to mangled bodies in car accidents. These days, she, her husband, and their two spoiled cats live on property that was once part of her grandfather’s dairy.

Circle of Influence, the first of the Zoe Chambers mystery series, was published in March of this year.

Her short fiction, including a 2007 Derringer nominee, has appeared in Spinetingler, Mysterical-e, and Fish Tales: the Guppy Anthology. Her latest short story, “Sweet Deadly Lies” appears in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales (December 2013).



1.  Pennsylvania, huh?  Ever heard of Monaca? (I was born there.)

I know exactly where Monaca is! Beaver Valley Mall was one of my hangouts when I was a teen. I live right down Route 18 from there!

2.  How did you become an EMT?

I took Emergency Medical Training in West Virginia (just over the state line from where I live) and then had to take Pennsylvania’s test to certify here as well. A better question is WHY. I was an avid fan of the TV show Emergency! and was in love with Johnny Gage!

3.  How has that helped or hindered in your writing?

My time working on the ambulance was vital in creating the character of Zoe Chambers. It’s been a very long time (we won’t discuss HOW long) since I lived that life, so a great deal of the medical stuff has changed. I have to contact my “tech team” all the time to keep details accurate. But the mindset, the off-beat and sometimes off-color sense of humor required to do that work, and the internal reactions to that life remain the same.

4.  "Circle of Influence" was published in March of this year?  And now "Lost Legacy" is coming out 6 months later?  What's your secret?

I have no secret! I had “Circle of Influence” completed and “Lost Legacy” about ¾ of the way done at the time I signed with Henery Press! That’s the only reason we were able to release them bam, bam, bam. The THIRD Zoe Chambers mystery (Bridges Burned, scheduled for release in April 2015) has taken an entire year to complete, so I’m no speed writer by any means.

5.  What are three things on your writing bucket list?

Getting published was one. I’ve checked that one off. A second one was seeing the west. Prior to last year, I hadn’t been farther west than eastern Indiana, but I spent almost two weeks last June driving around Colorado and New Mexico. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Except now I fully intend to go back! As for #3… I really would like to eventually see all 50 states.

6.  If you could invite any writer from history to your house for supper, whom would you ask and what would you serve?

Hmm. I think the writer “from history” I’d love to sit down and have dinner with—even though he isn’t a fiction author—would be the late Charles Kuralt. I dearly loved him and was devastated when he passed. I think he’s largely responsible for my love of the English language and the poetry of words. As for what I’d serve… That’s a tough one. I’m a vegetarian, but I think he would prefer a meal that reflects the region, so I might take him out to eat in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.

7.  What is your dream vacation?

Going back to my bucket list, I’d really like to spend an entire month simply driving around the west, especially Wyoming and Montana. Throw in some horseback riding out there, and I’d be a happy girl.

8.  Have you written outside the mystery genre?

Years ago, I wrote what is now called fan fiction about Star Trek (sci-fi) and Alias Smith and Jones (western), and I have one never-to-be-published manuscript that probably fits into the romantic suspense genre. Otherwise, everything has been some form of mystery.

9.  Do you have a writing 'schedule' (so many hours per day, certain place, etc.)?

Maybe I should put “having a writing schedule” on my bucket list! On a perfect day (which is about 5 days a year, I think) I draft all morning and work on “other stuff” such as promotion, revising, reading in the afternoon. After supper, I’m brain dead. I have an office in my home where I do most of my writing, but my husband and I have a camp near the Youghiogheny River where we spend a lot of weekends. He fishes. I write. I’m more productive there than anywhere else. If I get stuck, I take a walk or a bike ride to clear my head and then jump right back in.

10.  What is your writer's 'raison d'etre'?

The reason I write is because I can’t NOT write. I’ve tried. The voices in my head get too loud if I don’t put the stuff down on paper. Just kidding. Sort of. Seriously, I enjoy entertaining people. If my books can provide a momentary escape to my readers, I’ve done my job.


  1. Thanks so much for having me here today! Loved your interview questions.

  2. This one sounds pretty good! I'm adding it to my list. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ooo, I'll have to check this book out. I used to yearn to see the west too. Now I live here. Before moving to Oregon, I had never been west of the Mississippi. Now, I'll never leave. :)

  4. Hehe this author definitely wants to travel quite the bit! I like traveling as well. I clicked this review because this cover just looked so awesome and I loved it <3 Now I know it's a read that you can't put down as you read, I know I adding it to my TBRs!