About this book: (from the publisher) Tess Spencer–Glock-wielding, knife-carrying, Appalachian housewife–knows how to survive whatever life throws at her. But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer…or the next victim might be Tess herself. Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.
About the author: (from her website) Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing stories about authentic, believable marriages. Sixteen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband have given her some perspective, as well as ten years spent homeschooling. Heather is a monthly contributor to Novel Rocket, a site dedicated to bringing helpful information to authors.
You can find Heather at her website, Heather Day Gilbert–Author, and at herFacebook Author Page, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube. Her novel, God’s Daughter, is an Amazon bestseller. You can find it here in three formats–Kindle, softcover, and audiobook.
Would I read this book, judged on its cover alone? Medium-yes. Though beautiful like its heroine, I’m typically more drawn to softer lines and hues, and I’m not sure these sophisticated colors (though they’re some of my favorites) suggest the rural/mountain flavor of the story.
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: G. Squeaky clean, in the best way possible. Thank you, Heather Day Gilbert, for walking that fine line of writing a book for adults while not stooping to adult language.
Reminds me of… Rene Gutteridge, Sandra Orchard
You’ll want to buy this book if … you enjoy a good, wholesome, psychological mystery
Why did I read this book? For the author, for review.
Would I read another by this author? I’m a fan!
My take: Though I don’t often read them these days, I do love a good mystery–even more when it features a beautiful, beguiling heroine surrounded by a cast of intriguing characters in a unique setting. Are you ahead of me? Miranda Warning has all of this, and more.
Right off the top, there’s so much to like about this novel: its sassy tone, the quick chapters, sparkling dialogue, twisty plot, and the characters–especially Tess. And upon this foundation, Gilbert skillfully, subtly layers an inspirational message of hope, faith and redemption.
I also enjoyed the way Tess grew into her new role as mama-to-be, and I liked the sweet yet realistic portrayal of her marriage, which–two years in the making–experiences its fair share of ups and downs. I liked the unusual BFF relationship between Tess and Miranda as well. And if the mystery itself seemed to take its time unfolding–well, that’s been my comment for the last four mysteries I’ve reviewed, so I’m quite willing to chalk that up to just me.
On the whole, I highly recommend Heather Day Gilbert as an author to watch. She is smart, professional, and a gifted storyteller–a winning combination sure to take her far.
[Tweet “Love a wholesome mystery featuring a beguiling, beautiful heroine? Don’t miss Heather Day Gilbert’s MIRANDA WARNING. Book review & giveaway. @HeatherDGilbert.”]
Thanks to Heather Day Gilbert for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
End notes: Bonus! This delightful author has offered her book as a giveaway to one lucky blog reader. So leave a comment for your chance to win.
On another note…it so hugely encourages me to see fine, quality novels like this one (as well as Gilbert’s first, God’s Daughter) emerging on the indie-publishing scene. The traditional publishing world has changed so much in recent years, and it continues to, in vast ways. As marketers have more and more say in acquisition decisions, niches are becoming narrower, and chances for debut novelists to be published by a traditional publisher slimmer. Fortunately, the indie option is becoming more and more appealing as quality books are finding their way into print. Gives me great hope for the future of indie (self) publishing.
I’d love to hear from you. Have you read an indie-published novel that you particularly enjoyed? (Lisa McKay’s Love at the Speed of Email springs to my mind.) I’m seeking recommendations!