Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Book Review: Stuff Dreams Are Made of by Don Bruns (Stuff Series #2)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Skip and James and some parts of story
Cons: Uneven pacing overall 
The Bottom Line:
Serving at meeting
Are they working with killer?
Uneven story

“There May Have Been a Murder”

I had always intended to return to Don Bruns’s Stuff Series, which is why I reread the first book last year. After all it had been over a decade since I’d read the first one. I wanted to move on before I forgot the details again, so I picked up Stuff Dreams are Made of

The series focuses on best friends Skip Moore and James Lessor. They are poor, struggling twenty-somethings living in the outskirts of Miami, Florida. James is always looking for a way to make money, and in the first book, he bought a truck he figured would be their ticket out of their struggles. Naturally, it didn’t really work out and led them into danger. He’s got a new idea for how to use the truck, but it’s doing to be just as dangerous. 

This times, James he decided they should convert the truck into a food truck and serve the hungry hordes who will be attending the revival meeting that the Reverend Cashdollar is going to be holding. Skip makes the connection between this revival and one from when he was a teenager when he met a young woman who was murdered the night they met. 

Skip and James quickly realize that several other deaths are associated with Reverend Cashdollar’s “ministry.” Skip is curious about what has happened but James is seduced by all the dollar signs he sees. Will they figure out what is going on?

This isn’t one of the cozies I typically read. There’s lots of swearing and a bit more violence. Keep that in mind before you pick this book up. 

And let’s discuss this “reverend.” Yes, Cashdollar really is his name. Quite obviously, he is not preaching anything I would support; instead, he’s all about wealth. Fortunately, the book never supports it either. No matter how the mystery itself turns out, I felt like the “reverend” was sleazy from the start and not being treated as a real representation of all pastors or reverends. 

There is an interesting mystery here. Sadly, it could have been executed a little better. The story seems to move forward in fits and starts to me. There’s lots of discussing what we’ve learned and lots of things that happen without truly moving things forward. Having said that, there are some great moments that had me turning pages and some good twists. 

James and Skip aren’t typical heroes in the books I read, and that is part of why I like them. They are certainly sympathetic, although I’m not sure if we’d be friends in real life based on some of their behavior. There were some other characters that really drew me into the book. 

This story was released in 2008. As a result, a few elements are dated, especially technology. 

I don’t think I will ever consider this a favorite series. But I am glad I continued on with it by picking up Stuff Dreams are Made of

Enjoy the rest of the Stuff Series.


  1. I had not heard of this author before. Nice honest review, Mark

  2. Unfortunately there are too many pastors who focus on wealth. I have left one church because of it and would do it again in a heart beat.

  3. I'm not sure this one is for me but I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the uneven pacing.

  4. A name like Reverend Cashdollar really paints a portrait, doesn't it? Too bad the pacing was uneven.


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