I have enjoyed this cozy mystery series. Gabhart produces a good mix of mystery, character development, small town antics, and a hint of romance.
I like the small town setting of the series. There are many quirky characters that liven up the plot. The accidental death (perhaps murder) takes place in the old home of a dementia laden woman who frequently escapes her assisted care to return “home.” There is the deputy who loves to run his siren any chance he gets. There's a busy body newspaper man, and the town inhabitants who go out to the streets when they do hear a siren.
I like the tongue in cheek dialog Gabhart has crafted. One character is a would be mystery writer. In a discussion with the hero, deputy sheriff Michael, she says, “Writing murder mysteries takes skill, the same as catching murderers.” That's just one example of some good dialog.
The mystery itself is double edged. There is at least one current murder and a death from years ago that may have been a murder too. The plot develops around both situations. There are enough hints that one might well figure out the nefarious people involved before the end.
The mystery, I think, is secondary to the depiction of small town life and the people in it. The strength of the novel revolves around the characters and how they support each other. The novel is a fun look at a small town in the midst of crisis.
I recommend this book and the series to those who like small town settings and mysteries without gore and offensive language. Several characters are Christians but the Christian influence is subtle. Many of the individuals have been in the previous novels of the series. While this book reads well on its own, I would recommend the earlier books. You can read my review of them: Murder at the Courthouse and Murder Comes by Mail.
You can read the first chapter of Murder is no Accident here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels for adults and young readers. Her works have been nominated for inspirational novel by RT and as a Christian Book Award finalist for fiction. She lives on a farm in rural Kentucky. She and her husband have three adult children and nine grandchildren. You can connect with her on Facebook and check out her blog at www.annhgabhart.com.
Revell, 352 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.