Lies and Logs to Die For
The rugged Adirondacks of 1874 are the setting for the second adventure of town herbalist Gracie Wickham. There are two murders to both solve and link on this outing. Grace meets the first victim on the train, young Jenny Crane, searching for a brother with news of their new inheritance. When the heiress is strangled, suspects begin to mount like the logs in a spring jam heading for Glens Falls.
Was her husband in a rage of jealousy after seeing his wife speaking with young Sam Somerville? What about his snake-oil selling partner? Or was the killing a random act of violence after the beautiful Jenny refused the attentions of the tannery workers she had questioned about her brother? Grace studies her clues carefully, and, with the able support of hotel owner and friend Ambrose Baldoon, unlocks the secrets of her case.
The setting, time, and appealing heroine are the strengths of a mystery that could have used a more careful edit for language and repetition and that too often pulls out of its narrative drive for mini-lectures on the time and its practices.