About six months ago, I read Murder at the Courthouse, which introduced us to Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane and the rest of the characters in Gabhart’s small town of Hidden Springs. The first novel in the series was so interesting that I requested the second installment, Murder Comes by Mail, from the publisher. This second novel was as well-written as the previous one, but an undertone of evil was more prevalent throughout Murder Comes by Mail.
From the first chapter, Michael Keane has a sense of foreboding that terrible things are to come. Who knew that saving someone’s life could cause so many problems? What sinister game is the killer playing? The mystery and suspense for Michael continue through the final chapter.
The life-long friendship between Michael and Alexandra continues to hover between friends and something more, but they are both afraid of venturing into the unknown. There is just enough romance to keep the romantic happy, but not enough to turn away those who have no interest in romance.
My only complaint (if I can even call it that) is that I figured out who the killer was before the main character did. I just researched the phrase “whodunnit” and learned that this is a genre of books and movies.
I’m accustomed to authors who conceal the identity of the perpetrator until the climax, so I was surprised to be able to deduce who the killer was in both of Gabhart’s novels. Now I understand, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the Hidden Springs Mysteries series.
I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first installment in Gabhart’s Hidden Springs Mysteries series, which is set in a small town in Kentucky. Michael Keane is a competent sheriff’s deputy who must investigate a murder committed on the courthouse steps. His investigation leads to many surprises and prompts more questions.
The author certainly captured the small-town nuances in this novel and introduced many unique, but familiar, characters. The plot twisted and thickened repeatedly throughout the book, which made for good reading. The setting was perfect for introducing this series.
I have been reading mainly Christian fiction lately, but this book is not classified as Christian. It is a clean story without foul language or sex scenes, and there are characters who are Christians, but they are not spiritual advisors to other characters. They just play their part as another small-town character.
This book is full of humor and suspense. It even contains a little romance. I stayed up late the last few nights reading this because it was hard to put down. After I finished the book last night, it took me awhile to process it before I could go to sleep. There are many layers to the story.
I received this book free from Revell Books in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
Buttermilk Sky by Jan Watson is a delightful story set in the early twentieth century in Kentucky. Small-town girl Mazy Pelfrey struggles through secretarial school in the big city while also struggling to fit in with a group of fellow students and roommates.
Mazy left home to learn a skill that she doesn’t really care to learn, but she is trying to meet her sister’s expectations. While there, she meets a young man that will make her question her feelings and herself. Mazy is a naive, innocent, hopeful young lady who trusts God and learns to rely on Him more as the story progresses.
Chanis Clay is a man on a mission. He knows who he loves and wants to make a home fit for her to live in. As sheriff of a small county, he seems to get himself in a pickle frequently, which can be quite humorous for the reader. Chanis is steadfast and loyal but begins to question his future after an upsetting run-in with some Feds.
Chanis’ story unfolds mostly separately from Mazy’s until their stories collide amidst fireworks. Chanis accepts God’s will for his life even though it wasn’t what he had so carefully planned. Mazy finally realizes what she wants in life and pursues it.
Buttermilk Sky is not a mystery or suspense novel, but it contains a little of both. This historical romance has a few surprises and plays out beautifully. I enjoyed meeting all the characters and look forward to reading future books in this series. Apparently, I missed Jan Watson’s previous books about Mazy’s family, Skip Rock Shallows and Tattler’s Branch. I plan to read those after I get caught up on the stack of books on my nightstand.
I received this book for free from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.