A Hidden Springs Mystery series / by A. H. Gabhart. 2.1.2017

Murder at the Courthouse / by A. H. Gabhart. (A Hidden Springs Mystery, 1)

Revell ISBN 9780800726768

Murder Comes by Mail / by A. H. Gabhart. (A Hidden Springs Mystery, 2)

Revell ISBN 9780800727055

Adult Rating: 4

Nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky! Or say they so until the body of a stranger turns up at the courthouse and following that, another dead body, this one a local that everyone knows. Deputy Michael Keane is the protagonist in these mysteries, a likable and very low-key main character who thought his new job would be stress-free and relaxing. With two murders on his hand in Murder at the Courthouse, he finds that every citizen seems to have a theory of “whodunit.” But following these leads is his job, no matter how crazy they might sound, and surely one of them will lead him to the killer.

In the second in the series, Murder Comes by Mail, Deputy Keane saves a man from suicide and is touted by the whole town as a hero. When Michael becomes convinced that the man he saved has gone on to become a murderer, he feels like anything but a hero and must protect those he loves in Hidden Springs from being the next victims.

A. H. Gabhart fills her books with odd but lovable characters (although at times her use of their idiosyncrasies is rather repetitive). The books are clean but not necessarily gentle reads as evidenced in the second title where there are some rather violent murders. There is just a hint of romance, also, which may be developed in ensuing books. This series is not overtly Christian yet Christianity is woven to some extent into the plots.

Ceil Carey, CLJ