The wait is over for those of you looking for the third installment in the Sidra Smart mystery series by Sylvia Dickey Smith. The release date for “Dead Wreckoning”  is April 1, but Smith will be in the area this week, starting Thursday, through Tuesday, signing advanced copies of the book.

In book three of the Third Eye detective agency Sidra Smart, Sid for short, is starting to get the feel of the private investigation business. The fiftish, spunky “dare-devil,” if you will, knew nothing about being a detective when the “Third Eye” fell into her lap, after her brother, Warren was killed in a car crash. As a recent divorcee, the business became a life line to a woman who had known nothing other than being the preacher’s wife since the age of 17.

With a few cases under her belt, and a newly acquired detective’s license, Smart is starting to feel comfortable in her new life. Sid is now becoming like an old friend to the reader. The fact that it takes place in Orange County enhances that feel, as she eats at the same establishments we do, reads the same paper (The County Record, of course) and drives down the same streets.

Sid gets caught up in the pro-bono case, of a feisty old woman named Boo who is accused of murdering her cousin’s husband. The woman also claims she found a sunken schooner in the swamps of Southeast Texas. 

Trying to substantiate Boo’s claims, Sid comes face to face with ghosts of Privateer Jean Lafitte and a beautiful pirate queen. The tale of intrigue deals with centuries of smuggling, family feuds and help from the ‘other side.’

Trying to balance the life of a private eye with her love life, she often leaves a confused Ben shaking his head as she charges into situations, sometimes a bit carelessly, determined to be her own woman, yielding to no man.

Aunt Annie, keeps the home fires burning and the stove hot (She is the best cook in the county, after all.), waiting for her chance to get in on the action. 

Who knew Orange could be such an exciting place?

If your hungry after all that excitement, several of Annie’s recipes are at the end of the book. 

Smith has plans for ‘Siddie’ and Aunt Annie to print their own cookbook in the near future and is holding a contest for recipe submissions. She’s looking for great country or Cajun cuisine. Many of the recipes will be featured in the cookbook, and the winner of the contest will receive a free copy of book four when published.

Entries can be e-mailed to or mailed to Recipe Contest c/o The Record Newspapers, 320 Henrietta, Orange, TX 77630 or #3 Professional Drive, Bridge City, TX, 77611.

You can pick up your copy of “Dead Wreckoning” this week and have it signed by Smith at the following locations.

March 26, 4 – 7 p.m., Bayou Trading Company, 1170 Texas Ave., Bridge City.

March 27, 11 – 2 p.m., Jumping Bean, 7174 N. Hwy 87, Orange.

March 28 All Day, Art in the Park, Green Ave, next to the Stark House, Orange.

March 30-31 10 – 2 p.m. The Bread Box, 902 10th St., Orange.

Be sure to try Sidra Smart’s Sassy Pickles which will be served with lunch at the Bread Box, March 30-31.

To find out more about Sylvia Dickey Smith, check out her web site at

Read Sidra Smart’s blog at

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.