The old Chandler place should be empty. The magnificent Victorian mansion is for sale, even if its aged owner Miss Fonda doesn't realize it. But when real estate agent Geraldine Harper enters the house on a sunny October day, she's not alone. Minutes later, there is a body at the bottom of the steep steps leading to the tower room.
Deputy sheriff Michael Keane is called in. At first blush, it looks like the death was a tragic accident, but clues point to foul play. And when a second body is discovered, the race is on to find the culprit . . . before someone else dies.
If you like your small-town America sweet and quirky--with a dash of sinister--you'll love this latest whodunit from deft storyteller A. H. Gabhart.
Where to Purchase
Meet the Author:
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.
Maybe one of my favorite things about this series is the small town setting. As I am reading I can totally picture this happening in my town. Hidden Springs is a small town where everyone pretty much knows everyone. There are a few characters new-to-town in this book, business owners attempting to start a couple of small businesses on main. Although the town's people are friendly enough, they have their reservations about these new entrepreneurs. Are they going to help or hinder?
Ann always gets her books started off interesting. First chapter reveals a mystery and a murder, or was that an accident? Someone witnessed it, but who? As history repeats itself, will an old case be revisited and a case re-opened? Michael, a police officer, is the town's main man - as it seems the sheriff is often absent in these books. He left big city life, because he wanted a more quiet pace. But crime is everywhere even in small towns.
The lovable characters in this book include, Ms Fonda, owner of the old Chandler place, who suffers from dementia. Maggie is a young teen girl that comes from a struggling family. He father just lost his job and is dealing with some alcoholic problems. Anthony, was in a previous book and it was such a joy to see him in this book again showing lots of character growth! And of course Michael's aunt Lindy, her neighbor Reece and his beautiful, high-profile lawyer from D.C. Alex, whom Michael has had a crush on seeming like forever.
After a second murder, which certainly was no accident, the whole town is a bit on edge. Michael is doing his best to protect the young girl, who has been threatened and her family, while trying to figure out just how to tell Alex he loves her. Time is passing and neither of them are getting any younger, yet both seem so caught up in their careers a chance at love looks slim. Will they be able to scale the obstacles and give love another try?
I would re-read this series in a heartbeat. I enjoyed every book. Ann captured my attention throughout the whole story and kept it. At the end.... I wanted more! To me, that says - awesome author! I don't know if this would qualify as a cozy mystery, but that is what it feels like to me. I like the small town setting, the characters, their vulnerability, their openness, and the way it seems like it could really have happened. You feel like you know them, you want to be part of their lives, you root for them to find the killer, and recuperate from the tragedy. You want to see their lives end well and get back to normal, to see the Hidden Springs legacy go on.
Ann does an awesome job of presenting a variety of possibilities for the murder suspect, and keeps you guessing til the end. Even though you think you know, you just can't quite pin-point the culprit.
I received this book free from Revell to read. I was not obligated to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. Thanks Ann for another amazing adventure.