When a beloved nun is murdered in a sleepy Catskill Mountain town, a grieving young widow finds herself at the center of the turmoil. Bianca St. Denis is searching for a job and seeking acceptance in her new home of Batavia-on-Hudson. Agatha Miller, the nun’s closest friend and the ailing local historian everyone loves to hate, shares her painful personal history and long-buried village secrets with Bianca. Armed with this knowledge, Bianca unravels the mysteries surrounding the death while dealing with the suspicions of her eccentric neighbors.
However, Bianca’s meddling complicates the sheriff’s investigation as well as his marriage. Can Sheriff Mike Riley escape his painful past in a town where murder and infighting over a new casino vie for his attention?
Danger stalks Bianca as she gets closer to the truth. Can the sheriff solve the mystery before the killer strikes again? Can the town heal its wounds once the truth has been uncovered?
You know how those villages are? The ones that feel someone not born there is always an outsider. The kind where everyone knows everyone’s business and then some. Well this story is about Bianca and her now deceased husband moving there to get a quiet break from the city. What??? No quiet breaks in this small town.
This is a story of people in small towns, some who fit in and some who don’t. Some who feel uncomfortable, some lonely, some who just feel awkward. But this is also a small town with some murders. It’s up to a big town cop; now a small-town sheriff, to figure it out and being an outsider...he’s not having the easiest time of it.
This was an easy to read, enjoyable book. Sometimes when we are engrossed in a story we just don’t “get” some things. Upon reflection I realized that the author made her characters familiar to us. That she had given people distinct personalities. It happened with subtleties and dialog. Without my knowing, she made me feel what they were like; maybe even identify with some of them.
This all sounds rather deep and it isn’t a deep book. It’s a well-written mystery with an amateur sleuth, a small town, and nosy friends. But... it has its twists and turns and is hard to put down.
This is Book 1 in a series titled “A Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery”. I hope we see more of Tina deBellegarde and more books in this series.
Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Number of Pages: 282
Series: Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery, #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads | Oblong Books and Music
Read an excerpt:
Tina deBellegarde lives in Catskill, New York with her husband Denis and their cat Shelby. Winter Witness is the first book in the Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery Series. Tina also writes short stories and flash fiction. When she isn’t writing, she is helping Denis tend their beehives, harvest shiitake mushrooms, and cultivate their vegetable garden. She travels to Japan regularly to visit her son, Alessandro. Tina did her graduate studies in history. She is a former exporter, paralegal, teacher, and library clerk.
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Enter To Win!:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tina deBellegarde. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card; two (2) winners will each win one (1) physical copy of Winter Witness by Tina deBellegarde (U.S. addresses only); and two (2) winners will each win one (1) eBook copy of Winter Witness by Tina deBellegarde The giveaway begins on November 1, 2020 and runs through December 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.