Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Hasty Grave

Amateur Sleuth

Finding a large hole on one’s property is one thing; finding a body in it the following day is quite another.

Rona and her ex-husband, Johnny, also discover a sheet of paper at the gravesite, symbols looking like code or treasure hunting glyphs.  What’s it mean?  Does it have any bearing on the man’s death?

Add to this mix the old Finley-Tennet feud and an elderly Finley’s nebulous recollection of James/Younger outlaw days. Does she have the clue to the cache’s location?

When a second death pushes Rona and Johnny into a deadly game of hide-and-seek with the killer, she learns—nearly too late--just how deeply Johnny still loves her.

MY REVIEW
A really enjoyable mystery. This could almost be called a cozy but it has all of the twists and turns of a somewhat more complex plot. This time Rona and her ex seem a bit closer and McAlan keeps you hoping all the way through that they’ll get back together. However, that’s something you’ll have to find out by reading the book; at least as far as this reviewer is concerned. There are once again a few historical hints in this book as there were in the first one. I’d call it historical flavor more than anything else. I loved all of its hidden messages and the puzzles that Johnny and Rona try to solve. Don’t get me wrong, this was not a deep subject, or a hard to read, heavy book. It is a fun read that will keep you wondering who is the bad guy or girl, along with of course, a few dead bodies. You know…all the things a mystery is supposed to have.
Jessie McAlan seems to be as good at describing her characters and keeping them alive as she was in the first book.  The small town of Klim and its inhabitants are still working and playing and of course spreading gossip faster than a speeding bullet. And then there’s Linn House. It sounds as beautiful as ever with its beautiful Mississippi river accompaniment flowing by and McAlan does it justice by her beautiful descriptive writing.   
This is the 2nd book in her series called “The Linn House Mysteries” and it is as good as Book 1 titled “The House on Devil’s Bar”.  Wonder when Book 3 is due?

***This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

EXCERPT
She’d set her laptop on the coffee table and was getting out dessert plates and mugs when the bell to the side door rang. She cracked open the window, saw it was Johnny, then ushered him inside.

“First time in quite a while I’ve been given the eye.” He gave her a light kiss on the cheek. “Wouldn’t a peep hole in the door work better?”

“I just wanted to be certain it was you. Can you install a peep hole?”

“Nothing to it, especially for a man who’s put in those picture windows in his shop.” He flung his cap onto the kitchen table and shrugged out of his jacket. “Why the precautions all of a sudden?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I’m not busy the rest of my life. Except for October 28th. I’ll be occupied with the gallery’s opening that day. But the other ten thousand nine hundred fifty days are yours.”

“How long is that?
“Thirty years, give or take a leap day or two. I want to make sure I’m not skimping on our time together.”

“You plan on living to one hundred seven?”

“I don’t see why not. I have to make up for our year of separation and divorce.” He dished two servings of the pudding cake into the bowls, set them and the mugs on the tray, and took them into the den. “So, what’s this long story that requires precautions? I love stories. I was brought up on stories.”

“This isn’t Little Red Riding Hood. Sorry to disappoint you.”

“So it’s something else with a big bad wolf.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:  Jessie McAlan will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

A family trip to the Big Spring area in the Missouri Ozarks introduced Jessie to the wonders
of nature.  Her summer stints as a camp counselor and canoeing instructor cemented her enthusiasm.  This love of the natural world and the river flows through her Linn House mysteries.

In 2001 Jessie graduated from Webster University with a BA degree and departmental honors in English.

She lives in the St Louis, MO area, and spends as much time as she can writing mysteries and watching the barges on the river.