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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Queen of Schnapps by Tina D.C. Hayes is part dark humor, part horror, and the story of Judith’s unbalanced and disturbed mind. Judith suffers delusions and paranoia, but finds solace in her obsessions – drinking, her collection of schnapps, shopping, and gambling. Aware that she needs to present a front of togetherness and normality to others, Judith succeeds alarmingly in hiding her true state. But anyone whom she imagines has crossed her or thwarted her plans will find themselves in grave danger. Who will find themselves her next victim?
What a delightful horror of a story! Once you get over the initial shock of what is going on, or could be going on with Judith, you’ll be hopelessly hooked right to the end. Tina D.C. Hayes knows just how to get into the mind of her main character and conveys Judith’s chaotic, unstable, and disturbed thoughts and behaviors very well. Husband Gregg concentrates on keeping his wife calm in her worst moments, but is very much in the dark himself. I like the way the plot unfolds at a good pace, but reveals Judith’s disturbing personality and secrets, bit by bit, as the different scenes and situations in the story occur and link. The ending is excellent too, leaving the reader to make up his/her own mind as to what may have happened to Judith.
While this is a story with both horror and humor, it also contains many truths about the hidden aspects of sufferers of a certain type of serious paranoid/psychopathic mental illness. The author begins each chapter with a quote about life, the mind, or mental states, making this a story that not only entertains but explores some of the deepest corners of the disturbed mind, and the worst of consequences when unbalanced mental states are let loose. For example: "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people" - Sir Isaac Newton. An easy, quick read with some strong language used in the dialogue. The quirky gruesomeness of this book will appeal to those who like the chaos that the dark side of a disturbed character can cause.