Growing up, I loved mysteries. And science fiction, too, but I was always watching the week’s episode of the detective shows my Dad loved. Not to boast, but there’s been very few times when I didn’t pretty well know who the culprit was very early on. NCIS: New Orleans is good at keeping me guessing at times. I’ve tried NCIS: Los Angeles and was a little bored, and though I love Mark Harmon, ain’t no way in hell I’m going to watch NCIS, even though I’m a huge fan of JAG. There’s a reason, believe me.
Murder Comes By Mail by A. H. Gabhart is a great little mystery, too, though I was pretty sure I knew who the murderer was early on – but was I right? Wait…
The publisher’s blurb:
A Cozy Mystery Complete with a Small Town Full of Charming, Quirky Characters
Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane doesn’t particularly enjoy being touted as the hero of Hidden Springs after pulling a suicidal man back from the edge of the Eagle River bridge in front of dozens of witnesses–a few of whom caught the breathtaking moments with their cameras. But the media hype doesn’t last long as a new story pushes its way into the public consciousness of Hidden Springs’ concerned citizens.
Photos of a dead girl arrive in the mail, and Michael becomes convinced she was murdered by the man he saved. With a killer one step ahead, things in Hidden Springs begin to unravel. Now Michael must protect the people he loves–because the killer could be targeting one of them next.
Readers will love racing along with Deputy Sheriff Keane as the clock ticks in this page-turning mystery.
What did I think of the book?
Did I figure out the murderer? Was I wrong? Was this what was going on instead?
Hidden Springs is a small town in Kentucky, and not the sort of place you’d expect a murderer to view as his playground. But when Deputy Michael Keane hauls a man back from the edge of a bridge and suicide, did he release this terror on his unsuspecting neighbors and friends? Photos of a murder victim arrive in the mail at the Sheriff’s office, a girl Michael has never seen. Two homicide detectives in the neighboring town take over the investigation, making Michael feel frustrated, especially since the killer seems to be focused on Michael himself.
For those of you who would like to read a murder mystery without extreme violence and gore described every few chapters, this is a good book for you. If you love mysteries set in small towns and rural settings, you’ll feel completely at home in Hidden Springs. The story is compelling, carrying the reader along easily and comfortably, and the characters are ones you’d like living down the street from you. Okay, maybe not the murderer… That’s the only thing I felt a bit turned off by in the end: the murderer, when finally revealed, seemed to react in an over-the-top cartoonish Moriarty manner. Then I began thinking about it, because the person does turn to Michael and warn him he’s not rid himself of the killer. Maybe this is setting up something for a future story in the Hidden Springs series? The “I’m so evil” act at the end would make total sense, then.
Bottom line: If you are looking for a great poolside or beach read, this is it. It’s the second in a series, but you won’t feel lost at all. You’ll probably want to go hunt down the first book in the Hidden Springs series after you finish this one – I know I’m wanting to!
**I was sent this copy from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**