Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fun, Wholesome (if a mystery can be wholesome) Mystery

In our house, the reader of mystery novels is my husband.  But, every once in a while, I do pick one up.  That was the case last week when I sat down to read Ann Gabhart's new novel, Murder at the Courthouse.  Ms. Gabhart's fiction novels are all written under the name Ann Gabhart.  In a new turn, she takes the name of A.H. Gabhart for this series of mysteries she has written.  I think it's a little funny, but I do understand.  I can imagine that it can be difficult at times for authors to break out of the genre mold when they have written one "type" of book for years.  "A.H. Gabhart" sounds a lot more like a mystery author's name (ie. PD James, GK Chesterton, PG Wodehouse).

As I opened up this book, I knew from the first page why I have enjoyed Ms. Gabhart's books over the years.  She is one of the better Christian writers whose books I have reviewed.

The plot of Murder at the Courthouse centers around a deputy sheriff, Michael Keane, and his
search for the murderer who's victim was found at the courthouse steps in the first sequence of the book.  Michael is an interesting character to see develop over the course of the book.  He was a big city cop who returned to his small hometown to keep the peace.  His Aunt Lindy is a teacher at the local high school, who is known by most, feared by some, but respected by all.  There is a bit of romantic interest in Michael's life, but hardly much to speak of, which is quite a departure from Ms. Gabhart's other books.  Anthony is a rough and tumble high schooler who figures prominently into the plot of the story.

All of the characters in the story were easy to get to know and likeable, save the murderer of course.  The plot moves along at a healthy pace, though about half way through I will admit that I figured out who the murderer was (no spoilers here).  The language is less flowery than Gabhart's other books--appropriately so since it is a mystery.  What I appreciated most about this mystery is that it isn't gory or extremely dark like many modern stories are.  Instead, the reader is left with a story that finds an end, but isn't entirely wrapped in a neat little bow.  I'll not say more than that, but let you encounter the story's end for yourself.

If you're looking for an enjoyable book that doesn't have questionable content, I'd highly recommend this book!  It doesn't get too romantic, has a great plot and interesting characters, and it's just fun to read!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Revell books.

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