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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A. H. Gabhart: Murder is No Accident

By Kelly Bridgewater

Young Maggie Greene may be trespassing in the old, empty Victorian mansion on a quiet street in Hidden Springs, but all she wants is some private time in the magnificent tower room to write her stories. Certain she'll be in trouble if caught, she hides when a realtor shows up. But someone else is in the house too, someone even more worried about getting caught. When Maggie finds the realtor's body at the bottom of a flight of stairs and the other person gone, Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane is called in. He assumes the realtor's death is a tragic accident--until a second person is found dead in the house. When Maggie is threatened, Michael must catch the murderer before anyone else dies.

Cozy mystery fans will love this third installment in The Hidden Springs Mysteries series from an author who knows how to make small-town America sweet, sentimental--and a little sinister.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Cozy mysteries are okay if you want to read a novel that focuses more on the personal lives and goings on of the town with a little bit of mystery thrown in. Maybe that is way I prefer romantic suspense or thrillers as my go-to form of mysteries. While A. H. Gabhart has dipped her toes in the cozy mystery genre, she does stick to the formula and allows fans of cozy mysteries to get exactly what they asked for.

Her writing is clear and concise. No head hopping. She allows me to understand where I am in the small town of Hidden Springs. Speaking of Hidden Springs, Gabhart does a great job at bringing small town to life for me. She is right on the target where I can see that everyone understands what is going on with everyone. There is the busy bodies who know everything about everyone and gossips a lot about it. I saw the downtown streets where the local people run their small town shop. Recently moving to the country not far from a small town, I LOVE the feel of the small town. Not too crowded and where the people still respect each other.

As for the character of Michael, the sheriff, he never really changed throughout the entire book or series for that matter. The character I met in the first book is the same character I met in the last book. No character development here. He solves the murder, but this time around, his mind spends a lot of time thinking about Alex and how he can make her stay.

With the pace of the story, it moved, for me, really slow. There really wasn't a lot of suspenseful moments that made me keep turning the pages. I could put the book down and really not feel like I'm missing something. I completely understand that this is the way cozy mysteries are written, but it proves that I like more action in  my stories.

With a predictable ending and an original story, Gabhart's stories will thrill fans of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayer, and Lorena McCourtney. Fans of any age can read this novel, not worrying about anything for mature audiences.

In conclusion, A. H. Gabhart gives fans of cozy mysteries exactly what they are looking for. A mystery with no violence or a pace that makes them fly through the pages. The characters are dependable and come back to finish their story. Fans of Agatha Christie should pick up this book and lose themselves for a couple of hours. 

I received a complimentary copy of A. H. Gabhart's Murder is No Accident from Revell Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

What makes you pick up a book that is formulaic and follows their genre convictions? Do you even like books that follow a formula or do you like a book that is more unique and breaks the rules? Why or Why not?

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