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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Friday, January 25, 2019

Absorbing Appalachian Mystery An Intriguing Start to New Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Kinship, Ohio, is a hardscrabble Appalachian town where coal is king.  Despite a recent collapse that killed a number of people, the Bronwyn mine is still functioning under the same unsafe conditions.  Talk of unionizing simmers below Kinship's surface, despite the mine owner's efforts to quash it with Pinkerton muscle.  Trying to keep the peace is Daniel Ross, the town's much-respected sheriff.  When Daniel dies while transporting a prisoner, dissolving his careful control of Kindred, it's like putting a match to a tinderbox.  It's only a matter of time before the place erupts in violence with Pinkertons and unionizers battling for supremacy. 

Until a replacement sheriff can be hired, Daniel's widow—26-year-old Lily Ross—is made his official stand-in.  Her appointment may be a joke to everyone else, but Lily refuses to be anyone's puppet.  Her first act as sheriff is to open an investigation into her husband's death, the details of which have never added up to her.  Another case lands in her lap when Marvena Whitcomb, a moonshiner and secret union organizer, comes to Lily, pleading for help to find her missing teen daughter.  From what Marvena says, it's obvious she and Daniel knew each other well, even cared for one another.  Why has Lily never heard of the woman?  The more the two widows interact, the more clear it becomes—Daniel kept secrets from both of them.  What was he hiding?  Did he know something that got him killed?  Lily won't stop until she finds out the truth, no matter how unsavory it might be.

Inspired by Maude Collins, Ohio's first female sheriff, The Widows is an intriguing, atmospheric tale by Jess Montgomery.  Under the author's assured hand, Kinship comes alive as a place brimming with a unique landscape, history, culture, and people.  Its two heroines—each from a very different walk of life—are formidable women, but also compassionate and brave.  Plotwise, The Widows remains compelling and engrossing throughout.  I thoroughly enjoyed this absorbing novel, the first in a planned series.  I'm already waiting anxiously for the next installment.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of novels by Julia Keller and Jennifer Haigh)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, sexual innuendo, and references to prostitution

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Widows from the generous folks at St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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