Thursday, July 27, 2023

A Questionable Character by Lorna Barrett

 A Questionable Character
Book Summary

The murder of a local contractor may be the final nail in the coffin for Tricia Miles in the latest entry to Lorna Barrett's New York Times bestselling Booktown series.

It's a busy summer in Booktown. Contractor Jim Stark is in great demand: he’s overseeing a number of projects, including Angelica Miles's newly constructed building on Main Street, finishing up the new brew pub, and gutting a stone mansion off Main Street that Angelica bought to be the world headquarters for Nigela Ricita Asssociates. It’ll house office space where her marketing staff and the rest of the NR Associates clerical personnel will work.
Tricia Miles and Angelica arrive at the mansion before their workday to see how the construction is going. They find the place unlocked and Stark’s right-hand man, Sanjay Arya, dead—bludgeoned to death. The loss of the contractor’s top man threatens all the projects in the works, which would effectively ruin the expensive marketing plan that the Chamber of Commerce has been working. Is Jim a suspect? (He’d be stupid to kill the person he depends on to keep the projects going.) But Stark also thinks his wife, who was very chummy with Sanjay, might have been cheating on him with the second-in-command, making him a likely suspect.

Once again Tricia finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, but can she find the killer before he or she has the chance to bring the hammer down?

My Thoughts

A Questionable Character by Lorna Barrett transports readers to Stoneham, New Hampshire where Angelica and Tricia find their contractor’s right-hand man, Sanjay Arya, dead, dead inside the building being renovated for the new the headquarters of Nigela Ricita Associates.  Tricia Miles, with help from the new Chamber of Commerce intern, David, investigates the crime.  I look forward to visiting Stoneham each year.  This visit, though, was a letdown.  The story seemed to focus on the Tricia’s day-to-day activities, especially her daily lunch and dinner with her sister.  The new Chamber of Commerce intern, David Price, is a quirky new addition.  He is a library sciences graduate student with a unique style of dress (personally, I liked his choice of brooches).  David is curious about the murder and wants to help Tricia solve the case.  The attraction between the two is apparent from the beginning. People’s reactions to this pairing will be entertaining.  I was not a fan of how Angelica treated Tricia over this new development.  She acted like it was scandalous for her sister to be interested in a younger man.  

The mystery was unexciting.  It lacked action, suspense, and suspects.  It felt like the author did not take the time to plan it out.  It seemed like the guilty party was plucked out of thin air.  There is a secondary mystery that has Angelica up in arms.  The guilty party to that whodunit was easy to identify.  The reveal neatly wraps up both mysteries.  I was envious of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books that Pixie and David found at an estate sale (at such a good price too).  I wanted them for myself.  There is an incident in the book that will either make you laugh or cringe (or both).  You laugh because of the description and cringe for the same reason (it is something you never want to happen to you).  Tricia does have an enlightening conversation with Mr. Everett.  I wonder what Tricia will do with the information she learned.  While I like the characters and the setting, I was not a fan of the storyline.  A Questionable Character was not at the same level as earlier book in the series.  A Questionable Character is the seventeenth book in A Booktown Mysteries.  While it could be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the earlier books in the series as they are more engaging.  

A Questionable Character is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other A Booktown Mysteries here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return on August 1 with Letters of Comfort by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  It is the second book in the Friendship Letters series.   I hope that you have an enjoyable weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Hidden Amish Target by Dana R. Lynn

Hidden Amish Target JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Hidden Amish Target by Dana R. Lynn, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Hidden Amish Target

Title: Hidden Amish Target 
Amish Country Justice #16
Dana R. Lynn
Love Inspired Suspense
Release Date:
July 25, 2023
Christian Romantic Suspense

She’s an accidental witness. 

Now she’s running for her life… 

Witnessing a murder puts a target on Molly Schultz’s back, and now she’s on the run from a gunman dead set on silencing her. She turns to family friend Zeke Bender for help, but when Molly’s identity and location are exposed, they’re left with a criminal among her Amish community. Can Zeke safeguard Molly long enough to catch the culprit—or will they fall prey to their merciless hunter?  

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Bookshop | BookBub

More Books in the Series

Deadly Amish Reunion Amish Country Threats Amish Christmas Escape Amish Cradle Conspiracy

About the Author

Dana R. Lynn

Dana R. Lynn is an award winning author of romantic suspense and Amish romance who believes in the power of God to touch people through stories. Although she grew up in Illinois, she met her husband at a wedding in Pennsylvania and told her parents she had met her future husband. Nineteen months later, they were married. Today, they live in rural Pennsylvania and are entering the world of empty nesters. She is a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing by day and writes stories of romance and danger at night. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray with the Steve Laube Agency. Dana is an avid reader, loves cats and thinks chocolate should be a food group.

Connect with Dana by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.


There was a thud in the back of the haus, followed by loud footsteps tromping to the closed doorway of the den. Whoever had fired that shot might be heading her way. 


Finally pulling the door open, Molly threw herself out of the haus and raced down the doorway, ignoring the pain in her weak leg. The door had barely clicked shut when it burst open again. 

“You!” the angry voice thundered behind her. It was the man who’d been shouting at Terry. Had he shot Terry or Nancy? How close was he? She didn’t take the time to look over her shoulder. A gun barked and a bullet thunked into a tree a foot away from her. She’d been right to leave. She had to find someone who could help.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Murder in the Book Lover's Loft by Ellery Adams

 Murder in the Book Lover's Loft
Book Summary

The latest novel in the New York Times bestselling Book Retreat mystery series, featuring Virginia resort manager and sleuth Jane Steward.
Jane and her fiancé, Edwin, are headed to the North Carolina coast for a much-needed vacation. Their harborside loft has floor-to-ceiling bookcases and breathtaking views, but Jane’s hopes of exploring the town with her man are stymied when Edwin steps on a stingray. Things take an even less romantic turn when Jane stumbles across a dead body . . .
Instead of taking leisurely beach strolls, Jane is suddenly on a literary chase through time, unearthing a dark secret in her family tree that threatens all she holds dear back in Storyton. And it’ll take a whole village to help her make amends for the past—and stop a madman bent on exacting justice in the present.
My Thoughts

Murder in the Book Lover’s Loft by Ellery Adams is a delight to read.  We journey back to Storyton Hall in Virginia where Jane Steward is getting ready to go on a vacation with her betrothed, Edwin.  I would love to visit Storyton Hall.  It is a resort for bibliophiles and writers (for anyone who loves and appreciates books).  I thought Murder in the Book Lover’s Loft was well-written with a great cast of characters.  I have enjoyed getting to know Jane, Edwin, the twins, Aunt Octavia, Uncle Aloysius, the staff at Storyton Hall, and the Cover Girls.  I like that the author tied this story in with her A Books by the Bay Mysteries which features Olivia Limoges and her canine companion, Captain Haviland (a black standard poodle).  Jane and Edwin travel to Oyster Bay, North Carolina for a vacation and end up embroiled in a mystery.  It is a well-plotted mystery.  There are several suspects because the victim who is author Justin St. James was not a nice man.  I had a good time following Jane as she questioned people and searched for clues.  The costumed All Hallows’ Ball was a great place to catch a killer.  The Fins and the Cover Girls as well Sheriff Evans (loved his costume) and his deputies were there to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.  I loved the ball with everyone in costume.  It made for an entertaining and lively reveal.  I like how all the various elements tied together.  

The last chapter will delight fans of the series.  I finished Murder in the Book Lover’s Loft with a smile on my face.  I was sad that Jane felt the need to dispose of the treasures in the secret room (she has been doing this in the last couple of books).  I can understand being afraid of people breaking in to get their hands on the special items hidden at Storyton Hall, but I do not if I could have let go of such unique items.  I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout the story.  I like that the author included Olivia Limoges and gave us a conclusion to her story.  The woman certainly deserves to have a happy ending.  Murder in the Book Lover's Loft is the ninth A Book Retreat Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone.  However, I have enjoyed following Jane Steward on her journey since the beginning.  It has allowed me to get to know her as well as the other characters and the secret of Storyton Hall.  Murder in the Book Lover’s Loft has friendships, family, books, murder, furbabies, food, romance, and fun.  I sincerely hope that this is not the last book in A Book Retreat Mysteries because I will miss my yearly visits to Storyton Hall.  Murder in the Book Lover’s Loft is an entertaining tale with an odd death, a beach retreat, murdered author, playful puppies, fishy suspects, bookish costumes, and a startling reveal.  

Murder in the Book Lover's Loft is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other A Book Retreat Mysteries here.  You can find A Book by the Bay Mysteries starring Olivia Limoges here.  You can find Ellery Adams' other delightful cozy mysteries here.  


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant by Darci Hannah

 Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant

Book Summary

The latest installment in annah’s delicious Beacon Bakeshop Mystery series set in small-town Beacon Harbor, Michigan, featuring a baker heroine who lives in the local lighthouse with her beloved Newfoundland dog, Wellington.

Lindsey prefers to keep her bakeshop’s Halloween decor light and autumnal, rather than gruesome and ghoulish. But everyone knows her lighthouse home is haunted. Some intrepid teens have even tried to break in to witness the resident ghost themselves. Dreading Halloween night, Lindsey reluctantly allows her influencer and podcaster best friend, Kennedy, to host a live ghost hunting investigation in the lighthouse, conducted by a professional team. Protective of her ghost, Lyndsey is understandably nervous about what they might uncover . . .
The segment is uneventful—until things take a terrifying turn. The team freaks out. As Kennedy joins the mad dash outside, she bumps into what looks like the prankster teens’ creepy clown costume hanging from a tree. But when Lindsey’s dog, Wellington, begins to whine, they make a grim discovery: the clown is no dummy. It’s a corpse.

Now Lindsey and company will need to keep their cool if they want a ghost of a chance to solve the murder—and see another Halloween . . . 
My Thoughts

Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant by Darci Hannah is a cute Halloween themed cozy mystery.  We return to Beacon Harbor, Michigan where Lindsey works and lives with her Newfoundland, Wellington.  It is October and the town is decked out for Halloween (my favorite holiday).  Lindsey has been experiencing trouble with pranksters this year.  It seems they want to add a touch of spookiness to the lighthouse décor.  In addition, Lindsey has ghost hunters wanting to shoot an episode inside her haunted lighthouse thanks to her friend and podcaster, Kennedy.  I like the diverse cast of characters that the author has created for this series.  Beacon Harbor is a charming, welcoming town.  I would love to live there (I would want to own the lighthouse, but I would turn it into a bookstore).  The pastries sound delectable as well as the food Lindsey prepares. 

Wellington to the rescue!
The mystery was fun to solve.  Lindsey is upset when a teacher she recently met is murdered and left hanging in a tree outside the lighthouse.  Lindsey is not about to let the culprit get away with the crime.  She asks questions and searches for clues.  There are red herrings to misdirect readers from the true culprit.  The mystery can be solved if you pay attention to the clues.  Wellington turns out to be a big help.  I just love Wellington despite his drool.  He is a big, lovable dog.  Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant is the fourth A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  However, reading the series in order will allow you to get to know the characters.  I like the banter between Lindsey and her group of friends.  You can tell that they are close and know each other well.  I enjoyed the spooky atmosphere in this tale.  Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant is a book that will put you in the mood for Halloween (has me wanting to dig out my Halloween decorations).  Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant is a spooky story with perturbing pranks, a drooling dog, murdered educator, ghost hunters, tasty pastries, firm friends, and a wild ride.  

Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant will be out on July 25 and it can be preordered from Amazon*.  You can find the other three A Beacon Bakeshop Mysteries here.  The fifth A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery is Murder at the Blarney Bash which comes out January 23, 2024.  You can follow Darci Hannah on Amazon and you will receive an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Tuesday, July 25 with Murder in the Book Lover's Loft by Ellery Adams.  It is the ninth A Book Retreat Mystery.  I hope that you have an entertaining weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Take the Honey and Run by Jennie Marts

 Take the Honey and Run
Book Summary

The town is all abuzz when a murder occurs in Jennie Marts’ debut cozy mystery, perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Amanda Flower.

As a successful mystery author, Bailey Briggs writes about murder, but nothing prepares her for actually discovering the dead body of the founder of her hometown of Humble Hills, Colorado. Bailey grew up at Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch and was raised by her beekeeping grandmother, Blossom Briggs, aka Granny Bee, and her two eccentric sisters, Aster and Marigold—which is why she drops everything to come home and help Granny Bee after a bad fall.

A broken foot doesn’t stop her grandmother from ruling The Hive, her granny’s book club, or continuing to prepare and package her bee-inspired products. But when Bailey's grandmother’s infamous "Honey I'm Home" hot spiced honey turns out to “bee” the murder weapon and her granny is now the prime suspect, Bailey has no choice but to use her fictional detective skills to help solve the murder and "smoke out" the real culprit.
With the help of Bailey’s witty bestie, a pair of meddling aunts, the feisty members of The Hive, and her computer-savvy daughter, this amateur sleuth is determined to solve the case. A malicious attack and an ominous threat reveal that someone wants Bailey to butt out of the investigation, but there’s no way she’s backing down. She must use her skills to uncover the truth and catch the clever culprit before her grandmother ends up bee-hind bars.

My Thoughts

Take the Honey and Run by Jennie Marts is the debut of A Bee Keeping Mysteries.  We get to meet Bailey Briggs and her daughter, Daisy.  Bailey returns to her hometown of Humble Hills, Colorado.  She was raised by her Granny Bee (aka Blossom Briggs) on Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch.  The story has a cast of eccentric characters that includes Granny Bee and her two sisters, Aster and Marigold.  Bailey arrives to find Granny Bee yelling at the mayor, Werner Humble (he should not have made a pass at her) and making a threat that she will soon regret.  When the mayor is found dead with one of Granny Bee’s honey products nearby, Granny Bee becomes the prime suspect (of course).  I was baffled as to why Sheriff Sawyer Dunn would let Bailey schlep around the crime scene.  I know this is fiction, but it needs to be realistic.  Evidence can be thrown out of court because a civilian was roaming around a crime scene (I do not care if Sawyer and Bailey used to canoodle).    Bailey wastes no time in rallying the troops (aka her two aunts along with their book club—The Hive) and digging into the case.  There are several suspects in the crime.  The mayor was not a good guy.  The sheriff just happens to be Bailey's old high school boyfriend which leads to some awkward encounters.  

Bailey uses her knowledge of whodunits (she writes mysteries for a living) to prove Granny Bee’s innocence. Bailey points out details that the sheriff overlooks (is the man that bad at his job) and she manages to stay a step or two ahead of him throughout the case.  During the course of Bailey’s investigation, there are (of course) some shenanigans that provide levity.  Bailey and her bestie, Evie manage to get themselves into trouble often.  The pair provide several laugh out loud moments.  The mystery is one that can be solved before the solution is revealed. There is a secondary mystery regarding the identity of Daisy’s birth father.  We will have to wait for the next A Bee Keeping Mystery for more details.  I found Take the Honey and Run to be easy to read.   It is a lighthearted story with plenty of humor.  The food descriptions will have you salivating.  Take the Honey and Run has all the bees a buzzing with a murdered mayor, a gregarious granny, a helpful Hive, surprising secrets, a clueless sheriff, and a busy Bailey.

Take the Honey and Run is available from Amazon*.  You can find Jennie Marts other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant by Darci Hannah.  It is the fourth A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery.  I hope that you have a relaxing day. Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

z*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

A Hope for Healing by Jo Ann Brown

 A Hope for Healing

Book Summary
Sometimes the greatest act of courage is trusting your heart…

After loving and losing the perfect husband, widow Rosemary Mishler can’t imagine ever marrying again. Yet the small Amish community of Bliss Valley keeps playing matchmaker—and the arrival of newcomer Gideon Wingard only makes things worse. But when a little Englisch girl is abandoned in her kitchen and is discovered to be her late husband’s child, Rosemary realizes that her perfect husband clearly had some secrets of his own…

Gideon left his community to escape the matchmakers—only to stumble upon more. And he can’t quite steel himself against the pull of Rosemary’s somber gray eyes and his need to help her with the small kind who’s been left to her care. With his feelings for Rosemary and the little girl growing stronger every day, Gideon can see himself putting down roots in Bliss Valley. But is the hope of love enough for him to plan a future…and a family?

My Thoughts

A Hope for Healing by Jo Ann Brown is a poignant and engaging story.  I was immediately drawn into the book.  I thought the story was well-written with realistic, friendly characters.  I enjoyed getting to know Rosemary Mishler and Gideon Wingard.  Both Rosemary and Gideon are trying to avoid the local matchmakers.  Gideon knows his large, gregarious family means well.   Rosemary is still grieving the loss of her husband and is not ready to marry again (if ever).  When a little Englisch girl is left in Rosemary’s kitchen, Rosemary learns that her husband had secrets.  I enjoyed the surprises in the story.  It kept things interesting.  Some of them are good and will warm your heart while others will astonish you.  I like how Gideon and Rosemary kept getting thrown together.   A Hope for Healing is the fourth book in Secrets of Bliss Valley series.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout the story.  A Hope for Healing has romance, forgiveness, family, new beginnings, a touch of mystery, and faith.  We also get a glimpse of everyday Amish life.  A Hope for Healing is a touching Amish tale with well-meaning matchmakers, a quiet child, a startling revelation, a cryptic past, beautiful leatherwork, and a cheerful future.

A Hope for Healing is available from Amazon*.  The other Secrets of Bliss Valley novels are A Wish for Home, A Promise of Forgiveness, and A Search for Redemption.  Jo Ann Brown has Caring for Her Amish Neighbor coming out August 22.  It is the third book in the Amish of Prince Edward Island.   You can find Jo Ann Brown's other novels here.  Two other books that came out today are Take the Honey and Run by Jennie Marts and The Block Party by Jamie Day.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow with my thoughts on Take the Honey and Run by Jennie Marts.  It is the first book in A Bee Keeping Mysteries.  It is a scorcher out there (you sweat just getting the newspaper from the end of the driveway).  I hope that you keep cool today (a good day to visit the pool).  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

A Cryptic Clue by Victoria Gilbert

 A Cryptic Clue
Book Summary

A retired librarian gets back to the books—and into a devilish murder case—in acclaimed author Victoria Gilbert’s new series, the perfect literary adventure for fans of Kate Carlisle and Jenn McKinlay.

Sixty-year-old Jane Hunter, forced into early retirement from her job as a university librarian, is seeking a new challenge to keep her spirits up and supplement her meager pension. But as she’s about to discover, a retiree’s life can bring new thrills—and new dangers.

Cameron “Cam” Clewe, an eccentric 33-year-old collector, is also seeking something—an archivist to inventory his ever-expanding compendium of rare books and artifacts. Jane’s thrilled to be hired on by Cam and to uncover the secrets of his latest acquisition, a trove of items related to the classic mystery and detective authors. But Jane’s delight is upended when a body is discovered in Cam’s library. The victim, heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, was the last in line of Cam’s failed romances—and now he’s suspect number one.

Cam vows to use his intelligence and deductive skills to clear his name—but with a slight case of agoraphobia, rampant anxiety, and limited social skills, he’ll need some help. It comes down to Jane to exonerate her new boss—but is he truly innocent?

My Thoughts

A Cryptic Clue by Victoria Gilbert is the first A Hunter and Clewe Mystery.  We are introduced to Jane Hunter, a sixty-year-old librarian.  I like that she is an older protagonist.  She has been hired by Cameron “Cam” Clewe, a thirty-three-year-old eccentric millionaire (who has more than a few quirks), to catalogue his large collection of books and artifacts.   Cam’s ex-girlfriend is found dead in the library by Jane the day after a party.  Cam, of course, becomes a person of interest.  Jane and Cam team up to find the guilty party.  I found that the story moved along at a slow pace.  It needed an injection of action, intrigue, and suspense.  Cam is a unique character.  I like how Jane helped him.  I have a feeling Cam’s horizons will be broadening in the future. It is a shame that Cam’s father did not appreciate his talents.  Jane is a likeable character.  She is an experienced librarian and knowledgeable about classic mysteries written by women.  The mystery was good.  It was obvious who would die and who would end up at the top of the suspect list.  Cam and Jane are happy to conduct their own investigation.  Witnesses are more than willing to share what they know (very helpful).  There are townspeople who are happy to spill the local gossip.  The whodunit is straightforward.  The red herrings are not convincing.  While it seemed to take years to reach the reveal, the ending seemed rushed.  The story was sadly lacking in humor.  I wanted to enjoy The Cryptic Clue, but I only felt relief when I turned the final page.  

A Cryptic Clue is available from Amazon*.  Victoria Gilbert has Murder Checks Out coming out November 14.  It is the eighth A Blue Ridge Library Mystery.  I am looking forward to Amy's Christmas adventure.  You can find Victoria Gilbert's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on July 18 with A Hope for Healing by Jo Ann Brown.  It is the fourth novel in the Secrets of Bliss Valley.  I am off to put together a cabinet for my mother's bathroom.  She has enough towels for a family of four and needs a cabinet to store them in (along with all the magazines she keeps in the bathroom).  Hopefully, I will not harm myself putting it together.  I have been accident prone latterly.  I hope that you have an enjoyable weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

An Evil Heart by Linda Castillo

 An Evil Heart
Book Summary

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder investigates the brutal death of a young Amish man in An Evil Heart, the latest installment of the bestselling series by Linda Castillo.

On a crisp autumn day in Painters Mill, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder responds to a call only to discover an Amish man who has been violently killed with a crossbow, his body abandoned on a dirt road. Aden Karn was just twenty years old, well liked, and from an upstanding Amish family. Who would commit such a heinous crime against a young man whose life was just beginning?

The more Kate gets to know his devastated family and the people—both English and Amish—who loved him, the more determined she becomes to solve the case. Aden Karn was funny and hardworking and looking forward to marrying his sweet fiancé, Emily. All the while, Kate’s own wedding day to Tomasetti draws near...
But as she delves into Karn’s past, Kate begins to hear whispers about a dark side. What if Aden Karn wasn’t the wholesome young man everyone admired? Is it possible the rumors are a cruel campaign to blame the victim? Kate pursues every lead with a vengeance, sensing an unspeakable secret no one will broach.

The case spirals out of control when a young Amish woman comes forward with a horrific story that pits Kate against a dangerous and unexpected opponent. When the awful truth is finally uncovered, Kate comes face to face with the terrible consequences of a life lived in all the dark places.
My Thoughts

An Evil Heart by Linda Castillo takes us back to Painter’s Mill, Ohio days before the wedding of Kate Burkholder and her fiancé, John Tomasetti.  An Evil Heart is the fifteenth A Kate Burkholder Novel.  While it can be read as a standalone, I do recommend reading the series in order.  It allows readers to get to know Kate and see how her relationship with John came about.  Each book in the series builds upon the previous one. I thought An Evil Heart was well-written with realistic, developed characters.  Kate Burkholder is a strong, smart woman.  Her background (being raised Amish but she is now Englisch) helps her when it comes to cases she handles.  John Tomasetti works for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.  He is a good partner for Kate.  He understands her long hours and her devotion to her job.  The pair work well together when John joins Kate on a case.   

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder’s latest case is a gruesome one.  Amishman Aden Karn was killed on his way to meet his ride to work.  Kate delves into the case.  Kate questions Karn’s family, friends, girlfriend, roommate, and coworkers.  She wants to get to know the victim and discover what could have led to the victim’s demise.  Kate works to piece together the clues and then narrows in on the guilty party.  Kate is methodical in her investigation.  She is a hard worker.  Kate has a good team to assist her.  The mystery can be solved early in the story.  The why takes longer to uncover.  The reveal scene was action packed and full of suspense which had me quickly flipping the pages.  There are graphic details that could disturb some readers and trigger others.  The story also contains foul language.  Kate and John’s wedding day is special.  

The planning is emotional for Kate.  She grew up Amish and dreamed of an Amish wedding.  But now she is English.  Kate wants to find a way to merge the two cultures.  Kate is also working on her relationship with her family.  The wedding can, hopefully, bring the Burkholder clan closer.   The author beautifully blends the whodunit and Kate’s life into one engaging story.  I especially enjoyed the ending.  An Evil Heart is a suspenseful story with a macabre murder, wedding worries, dubious acquaintances, an unusual weapon, a curious clue, and a cruel killer.  

An Evil Heart is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other A Kate Burkholder Novels here.  If you follow Linda Castillo on Amazon, they will send you an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow with A Cryptic Clue by Victoria Gilbert.  It is the first A Hunter and Clewe Mystery.  On July 17, Pine Creek Matchmaker by Amity Hope comes out.  It is the third Pine Creek Amish series. I hope that you have an energizing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.