This short novel was perfect for a summer night escape. It included so many things that I love in a story, such as mysterious small-town murder, morally gray characters, and good representations of mental illness (in this case, post-traumatic stress disorder).

On their own, Page and Sommers were both characters that I loved getting to know. They met by chance, and while there was instant attraction, both men took their time acknowledging their emotions (and not in a “men are emotionally stunted” sort of way, which is just annoying). Instead, the obstacles were the usual issues of the time period (immediately post World War 2), Page’s profession/identity, and Sommers’ mental triggers. However, they were forced to work together throughout the plot, and while the mystery might have been solved a bit earlier had they not kept getting distracted, it wasn’t enough for me to want to smack either man upside the head.

The mystery itself was compelling, with the usual cast of small-town characters that were unique without becoming caricatures. There were enough plot twists to keep me engaged and invested in BOTH elements of this books without wanting to sacrifice one to move the other forward.

Highly recommended to cozy mystery fans, historical fiction fans, romance fans…really, there’s something for everyone here.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: