Thursday, September 3, 2009

Signs in the Blood

Title: Signs in the Blood
Author: Vicki Lane
Series: Appalachian Mysteries
Genre: Cozy/Traditional Mystery
Year Published: 2005
Source: My Kindle
Rating (1-10): 10

Publishers Weekly Review:
Fundamentalist Christian snake handlers and liberal back-to-the-landers; a secretive white supremacist militia and undercover police agents; simple rural mountain dwellers and sophisticated urban artists—throw in a counterculture commune of allegedly extraterrestrial origin and that still wouldn't cover all the disparate types who populate the Appalachian community of Ridley Branch, N.C., the setting for this well-crafted, dramatic tale of murder, miracles and midlife romance.

Widow Elizabeth Goodweather, the 52-year-old proprietor of an herb and flower farm, becomes dangerously involved in a homegrown investigation when a housebound elderly neighbor refuses to accept the official verdict that her retarded yet woods-savvy son's death was accidental. Evocative detail brings the supporting characters vividly to life, as the plot moves between the mountain man's killing and an unsolved historical mystery that appears to eerily mirror the murderous modern scenario. Also admirable is the sensitivity with which Lane utilizes exotic religions to intensify the book's dark-toned suspense, while resisting oversimplification and insult.

My Comments: This is one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time, and I have my dear friend Kathryn to thank for recommending it to me. The Appalachian setting and local dialect really drew me in, as I could relate to a similar area and way of speaking from visiting my grandparents as a child. The characters are well developed and the plot won't let you go. Highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment