- Mystery & Thrillers, Romantic Su
ReviewA death, a murder, the occult, a paramilitary organization, a potentially corrupt sheriff's office, a nosy reporter, a diva, a missing dog, bikers, Goths, a surprise ending, and a woman trying to piece together her own investigation among lies, rumor and innuendo all to clear a deputy's name. This is The Dunn Deal, the second in the Christine Sterling trilogy.You don't need to read the first book in the series to be swept up and carried along in this book. The beginning is strong and sets up the story nicely. Suspicion builds gradually over time, just enough to pique our interest and tickle our brain. Catherine Leggitt creates characters we believe in and want to root for, and we happily go along for the ride. Her word pictures are painted so vividly, we see, hear, smell and feel everything that's happening. We are transported to locations and situations seamlessly without much thought. Thankfully, this isn't true for the limited mention of the occult. This is handled well without being graphic.Suspense builds slowly. Clues and information are provided at just the right times so we don t feel spoon-fed or hand-held through the story. We can piece together our own ideas through Christine's eyes. We are hooked and kept guessing, as many answers aren't provided until the surprise ending.Christine is wonderfully sculpted and drawn, from her interest in Zora Jane's fashion sense to her questioning why God created weeds. Her humor and honesty make her someone you'd love to have coffee with. Her humanness shines through and we see ourselves in her. She is just like us. Ordinary. But trusts in her instincts, which sometimes gets her into trouble, and follows her heart. We follow her as she links one bit of evidence after another, assumptions that sometimes become fact. We root for her as we follow her on her journey to unveil the truth behind the lies and rumors. And we know, despite all her shortcomings, the Lord will use her to solve this mystery.The way her faith is, at times, weak is refreshing. We identify with her frailties and doubts because we are all like that, at some point or another. Having Zora Jane there to build Christine (and us) up with her unwavering faith in her Lord and His ability to handle anything is a wonderful reminder that we, too, need to trust and obey. The recurring theme of waiting on the Lord for He is good and has promised to never leave us, is a comfort. And the thought-provoking discussion questions at the end of the book are perfect for any book club or Bible study.Anticipation builds throughout the story with several heart-stopping episodes. I didn't want to put the book down, and couldn't wait to pick it up. That to me is the sign of a good book. As an editor, I read for a living, and find it hard to find a book that keeps my interest. The fact The Dunn Deal had me reading late into the night, and enjoying the journey, proves this book is well worth the read.--Janet Dimond, January 2012 About the AuthorCatherine Leggitt is an author, editor, and inspirational speaker. Writing is Catherine s number one distraction. PAYNE & MISERY is scheduled for release in November, 2011. The next two books in the series will be published in 2012.
All that sparks is not gold for Christine Sterling. The luster of her shiny "Golden Years" dream fades when Christine's newly retired husband, Jesse, succumbs to an exciting new hobby requiring long weekends away. Add to this dilemma Christine's dubious "gift" of observation, a super-sized helping of free time, and a double dose of imagination. Sprinkle with peculiar circumstances lurking in the neighborhood and what do you get? Not the glittering paradise of togetherness Jesse promised. You get trouble. Big trouble. Christine has already developed a bad reputation for conjuring wild tales to explain ordinary occurrences. Who is likely to take her seriously when she discovers a bruised and neglected neighbor named Lila Payne? Try as she might, she cannot interest anyone in Lila's dire need for immediate rescue. Something about crying wolf once too often. But when Lila and Christine's beloved Border collie Molly both disappear the same night, Christine dives headfirst into a dark pool swirling with muddy secrets and misery. Her best friend throws her a lifesaver of prayer and she begins to sense God at work in the situation. But even with God's help, can they save Lila and Molly before it's too late?ReviewIn a tale of mystery and crime, reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock mystery Rear Window, Catherine Leggitt brings readers into the small town of Grass Valley, California. This is a town where watching neighbors through basement windows can lead to some serious drama. With a setting drawn from the author's surroundings and emotional turmoil from personal experience, the characters and situation take on the qualities of a believable tale of Payne & Misery. The main character, Christine Sterling, feels lost in retired life, unappreciated by her husband, and lonely but for the Bible-thumping Christian down the street. As we come to know Christine further we discover that she is in a situation typical of many retirees, however Christine is no stereotypical woman. Her adventures range from breaking and entering to spying, and though sometimes done without finesse it's always effective in getting to the truth. Payne & Misery depicts the tribulation and torment of humanity, and the difference between those who live in it and those who choose live despite it. An important aspect of the novel is Christine's discovery of God's plan for her. Since Christine has a murder mystery on her hands and she can't make the clues appear, she is forced to wait for God to reveal them. It is a lesson on how patience for God trumps acting on human impulse.The plot is sound and the story, as well as the characters, are endearing. Christine Sterling has just been introduced to us and her next adventure, The Dunn Deal, in April 2012 is sure to be just as inspiring! --Cassondra Plucknett, Publishing Manager for Ellechor Publishing About the AuthorCatherine Leggitt is an author, editor, and inspirational speaker. A native Californian born in the Bay Area, she raised two daughters, taught school, and cared for her aging parents in southern California before retiring to northern California. Writing is Catherine's number one distraction.