Deb’s Dozen: Who-dun-it? Murder at the Courthouse, a Hidden Springs Mystery by Ann Gabhart.
Michael Keane has come home to Hidden Springs, Kentucky, after a stint as a police officer in Chicago. He left the big city action because he didn’t feel he made a difference in Chicago. In his hometown, where he knows everyone and everyone knows him, he has carved out a comfortable niche and routine.
Comfortable, that is, until the day “Miss Willadean Dearmon found the body on the courthouse steps at exactly 8:59 a.m.” Assuming the man was drunk, she marched into Michael’s office to complain. Miss Willadean sputtered and fumed the man was so drunk he didn’t even acknowledge her! What poor manners—and he was a stranger too— she certainly didn’t know him! To stem the flow of complaints, Michael went out to investigate.
He immediately knew the man was more than drunk; he was dead.
So starts the investigation of the death of printer salesman, Jay Rayburn, and a wonderful study of the characters who comprise small town America. You’ll come to know and love Reece Sheridan, the old attorney who loves fishing more than his job; Joe Jamison, the barber, and his cat, Two Bits; Betty Jean Atkins, who works in the sheriff’s office; Aunt Malinda, who looked after Michael when his parents were killed in an auto accident and he was not expected to live; Reece’s niece, Alex, who Michael had known and cared for since they were teens.
I felt right at home in Hidden Springs—the town reminded me of my hometown. I wondered how folks there would have reacted in similar circumstances. Gabhart has written a great who-dun-it peopled with winsome characters you will thoroughly enjoy reading about. She manages to provide many twists and turns and red herrings and more bodies throughout the book. Although the story bogged down occasionally, I still find Murder at the Courthouse: A Hidden Springs Mystery (The Hidden Springs Mysteries)
worthy of four stars!
A.H. Gabhart is Ann H. Gabhart, bestselling author of many novels. The popular Shaker novels The Outsider, The Believer, and The Innocent are hers as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Love Comes Home. Ann and her husband live on a farm near the small town in Kentucky where she grew up. She does say no one was every murdered on her town’s courthouse steps, however.
For fun, Ann says, “I love to play with my grandkids. I like meeting people. I like going for walks with my dog. I like to talk to people about my books and writing. I love to read and wish I had more reading time. I enjoy church and all the “eating meetings” our little church has. I like to write in my journal. I enjoy getting to know my reading friends on my Facebook page.” (Ann H Gabhart)