Friday, March 17, 2017

Murder is No Accident: The Hidden Springs Mysteries

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Don't forget to wear green today.  The only green in my wardrobe is mint green.  I do have a pretty sterling silver shamrock pendant to wear though!  I will be spending the day running errands with my mother (wish me luck).

Murder is No Accident by A.H. Gabhart is the third book in The Hidden Springs Mysteries.  Maggie Greene is up in the tower room writing of the Chandler house when she hears noises below.  Maggie stays as still as possible so she will not be discovered.  Then Geraldine Harper, the local realtor, enters the house.  Maggie hears Geraldine find the intruder and an argument ensues.  Geraldine goes to call the sheriff, but it is her last act.  Only after she is sure the trespasser has departed, does Maggie venture down from the tower.  She finds Geraldine dead at the bottom of the back steps (many big Victorian homes had a fancy front staircase and a serviceable back staircase that was very narrow).  Maggie is afraid she will be accused of trespassing even though she has permission from Fonda Chandler, the owner of the house.  Maggie uses Geraldine’s phone to call 911 anonymously and then she quietly leaves.  While Maggie did not see anyone nearby, someone saw her.  Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane receives a call that Miss Fonda (as she is called) has once again escaped from the Gentle Care Home where she is looked after by Mrs. Gibson.  Miss Fonda has dementia and forgets that she no longer lives at Chandler house.  Michael arrives at Chandler house as he is notified of the 911 call.  He notices that her car is out front and enters the open house.  He finds Miss Fonda holding Geraldine.  She believes it is her deceased sister, Audrey who died in a very similar manner.  Geraldine’s death is ruled accidental.  But soon another person is found dead inside the Chandler home.  Maggie is afraid to come forward after she receives a threatening call from the killer.  Has someone decided to search for the rumored treasure of Chandler house?  Michael will need to work quickly to find the guilty party before the killer takes further action.

While Murder is No Accident is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  I was never able to get into and enjoy this book.  It is hard to describe the writing style.  Murder is No Accident is jam packed with activity.  There is just one incident after another.  Besides the main mystery there is Miss Fonda escaping from the care home (frequently which does not speak well for their care or vigilance), fishing, the fifty-year-old mystery of how Audrey, fishing, Miss Fonda’s sister died, Sonny trying to sell Miss Fonda’s home, fishing, the romance between Michael and Alex Sheridan (which was very prevalent), Betty Jean Atkins dating life, Lana Waverly’s tea shop and investigation, and more fishing. In the small town of Hidden Springs, everyone gets involved in your life (even if you wish they would not).  One of the problems with Murder is No Accident is the number of characters.  I stopped keeping track after twelve.  I did not like how fifteen-year-old Maggie was portrayed as simple minded when she actually is creative and smart (she likes to write).  The Christian element is very subtle (mostly prayer).  Murder is No Accident is more cozy than mystery. I give Murder is No Accident 3 out of 5 stars.  The mystery may seem complicated, but the solution was not (at least part of it). I enjoy Christian mysteries (I get new ones every month), but this one was not for me.  I think the right elements are present, they just needed to be put together differently.  The first two books in The Hidden Springs Mysteries are Murder at the Courthouse and Murder Comes by Mail.

I hope all of you have a fun St. Patrick's Day.  If you enjoy Christian Mysteries, I highly recommend Guideposts Patchwork Mysteries, Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries, Secrets of the Blue Hill Library, and Tearoom Mysteries.  I read each of these series and love them. I am currently reading If Not for You by Debbie Macomber.  She is one of the few romance authors I still read.  I will see you tomorrow when I return to share another novel with you.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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