Dust by Ann McMan

I finished Dust about an hour ago and I’m still not sure who all dunnit. It’s not easy to get me all twisted around in a mystery but Ann McMan did.

Dust is a published Xena uber centered around Evan Reed and Julia Donne. Sort of. Evan was hired by the father of her child who works for a sort of sleazy guy who is very successful at getting people elected to public office. Evan is a “Dust Buster”; she digs up dirt on potential candidates so the sleazy guy can manage the leaking of the dirt and control the fallout. Evan’s been hired to investigate Julia’s husband, Senator Andrew Townsend. Initially he appears to be squeaky clean but Evan quickly figures out that there’s much more going on.

I was already a fan of McMan’s work after reading Jericho and getting a chance to chat with her on Cocktail Hour. Dust is different from Jericho in a few ways. For one, it’s shorter; I started it yesterday evening and finished it this afternoon. There also wasn’t any explicit sex. There was lots of sex going on between the characters, we just didn’t get to play Peeping Tom for any of it. The other major difference was the incredible speed at which Evan and Julia proclaimed their love. It was a little quick for me but I do understand the whole “love at first sight” thing. But the biggest difference is that the story isn’t driven by the romance. This book is about figuring out how the characters fit into the mystery. I’m not going to go into any more detail than that.

What shined about Dust, for me, was that I didn’t know what the hell was going on until the end. And even then I wasn’t sure about everything. McMan’s humor, and love of booze, came through clear and I love all of the pop culture references that, I’m quite sure, most people under 35 or so won’t get. I’ll definitely be buying the sequel once it comes out. Until then, I still have some of her online work that I haven’t read yet. Oh, and if you’re wondering where you can find the online version of Dust, you can get it right on the author’s website:¬†http://www.annmcman.com/books.htm

Thanks, Ann, for another great read! I raise my Cosmo to you.

Dust by Ann McMan


  1. I’ve only read the online version. It was good, but I didn’t like it as much as Jericho. (which is a fave).

    How different is the printed version to the online version?

  2. Hello Reetz.

    Thank you for reading Dust. I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy it as much as Jericho — but, in truth, they are very different kinds of books, and it would be unreasonable to expect that they each would resonate for every reader. Still…I hope you’ll give Evan Reed another shot when her next adventure rolls around. I can guarantee some interesting developments.

    In answer to your question, the published version of Dust is simply tidier. Very little changed. There were some modest edits — some extraneous (in my editor’s sage opinion!) bits of “author intrusion” ended up on the cutting room floor — but not much. The ebook/paperback versions are just cleaner. A few point-of-view changes here and there — and I think some scenes got combined in slightly different ways. But that’s about it. Still… I hope you’ll buy one!

    Did I say that out loud??

    Yes. I think I did.

    Again. Thanks for reading. And you’ll be glad to know (I think) that a full-blown sequel to Jericho is in the works right now — and, with luck, it should see the light of day by summer.

    All the best to you,

    Ann McMan

  3. Something I didn’t mention in my review but did bring up on the Mostly Lesfic group at Goodreads.com is the POV change. The first one really caught me off guard. I didn’t expect any changes in POV after being in Evan’s head for so long.

    • Really? The first “other” point of view comes pretty early in the book — when Evan goes to meet with Dan in his office and gives him the folder about Maya Jindal. That scene is from Dan’s POV. I’m surprised that you were caught off guard by that!

      • It was? Shit. I must have been drunk by then. I didn’t notice a change until Evan was getting ready to have her first meeting with Maya.

        I hate when I miss stuff…

  4. is there going to be a sequel to Jericho? I assure you it would be amazing if there is one at work, Jericho ended on sort of a cliff hanger for me and I still feel for Syd and Maddie that there is some more adventure left in the story, I hear you are making a sequel to that amazing love story but I’m sure we’d all rather hear it from you personally, by the way, pray tell i’m not your usual kind of fan or reader, I’m a 17 year old lad who adores the genre you’re so commited to writing about, I love all of your work, take care.

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