Published by Midnight Sands Publishing Goodreads
A cow suicide, a revolving door rescue, and the birth of a bright purple pig are starting to make Kate Saxee wonder if taking a job in her small hometown of Branson Falls, Utah, was such a great idea. As The Branson Tribune editor, Kate covers local news, which, more often than not, involves her accident-prone mom. Nothing truly newsworthy has ever happened in the quiet town until local teen Chelsea Bradford turns up dead in a Branson Falls lake.
The police rule Chelsea’s death an accident, but Kate suspects there’s more to the story—and she’s not the only one. Two of Branson’s most eligible bachelors are determined to help her solve the crime—among other things. But the small town social network is faster than Twitter, and gossip about Kate’s love-life is quickly branding her the Branson Falls hussy.
As Kate learns more about Chelsea, she discovers that plenty of people are trying to cover up the real story behind the girl’s death—including Chelsea’s parents. Now Kate has to juggle work, men, her mom’s most recent disaster involving a low-speed John Deere Combine chase on the freeway, and fend off the Mormons heaven-bent on saving her soul—all while solving Chelsea’s murder. Dealing with this is going to require a lot of coffee, chocolate frosted donuts, Neil Diamond's greatest hits, and a slew of words not on the town approved imitation swear list.
***Before I let April begin her review, I want to introduce her!! April has been a longtime friend of DeAnna and myself, and I’m so thankful she’s nice enough to share her reviews with us, while we’ve been slackers with our blogging lately!**
I’ve taken quite a break from reading and this was a perfect quick fun book to jump back in with! Most people online know me as simply a whining workout wannabe blogger, however part of the ‘blogger’ title means you have to read a lot of other people’s blogs. If anyone hasn’t noticed, a majority of cliché ‘mommy bloggers’ tend to be LDS or Mormon. I am not one of those bloggers, but I have a hidden love of the type, my best friends growing up were LDS and I got lured in for about six months. Needless to say the fun of this book intrigued me as an outsider!
Kate Saxee has returned to her childhood town. Not just any small town USA, but a smalltown Mormon-centric town where everyone knows everyone and everything. Kate left for college for a reason, but returned to regroup and get some journalism under her belt . Within months, a high school sweetheart is found dead at the local lake. Death is hard enough to deal with, but when secrets are actually kept in this town, Kate gets nosey.
Adding to the mystery of Branson Falls’ surprise death of a teenager, is the sudden appearance by a stranger, Hawke. He definitely is not part of the ‘church,’ and does not play by their rules. A man of mystery in town with no family or friends and an almost non-existent past causes quite the stir for “The Ladies” to gossip about. This stranger is not going to improve Kate’s diminishing reputation in town, but she’s going to need this mystery man.
Adding to the fun of Branson Falls, and more gossip for “The Ladies” is the sudden return of Drake. Branson Fall’s most eligible bachelor grew up to be a state politician and he has his eyes on Kate, much to her annoyance. He knows how to play the gossip mills to his advantage and to Kate’s frustration. Having his attention again doesn’t help her return to town and the gossip mill.
I adored how fun this book was. A perfect small town mystery with some fun and romance (but not smut) thrown in to keep us all wondering. I’d have given it 4 stars, but I predicted key parts within the first third of the book. The Mormon twist and nuances to the romance and sexual tensions in the story made me smile and enjoy the innocence. It has been quite some time for me to find an innocent-like mystery with the cliché love triangle.
I’ve already loaded up Kate’s next installment!