Fallen From Graceby J. R. Lindermuth
Upon seeing the victim, Tilghman recalls witnessing a
As the 19th century winds to a close, Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman of the small Pennsylvania town of Arahpot ponders his biggest problems: finding a new deputy and convincing his true love, Lydia, to marry him. But an early autumn day finds Arahpot's usual tranquility shaken when a stranger is fatally stabbed.
Upon seeing the victim, Tilghman recalls witnessing a strained encounter between him and Valentine Deibert, an obese man with a wife half his age who had recently moved to Arahpot. The sheriff questions Deibert who denies knowing the victim.
Tilgman is unconvinced, but lacks a connection until the widow arrives in Arahpot. Suddenly Sylvester is plunged into investigating two murders. As he works through an abundance of motivated suspects, Tilghman finds himself in danger. And worse -- Lydia is pushing her obnoxious cousin as a candidate for deputy.
About the author: A retired newspaper editor, J. R. Lindermuth lives and writes in central Pennsylvania. Since his retirement he has served as librarian of his county historical society where he assists patrons with research and genealogy. Visit his website at www.jrlindermuth.com
- Oak Tree Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)
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"Welcome to DuskClan(sorry I can't read headlines) . I hope you serve greatly as Deputy. Your first assinment is to find new recruits. (My nook will not let me post in all of the warrior books)." Breezestep says, touching the new cats nose with her own.
Review by Douglas Quinn, Author of The Webb Sawyer Mysteries, I was weaned on the great fin de siécle 19th century mysteries of Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle. Then Caleb Carr gave me the moody and exciting The Alienist and its sequel Angel of Darkness. All of these (even accounting for Sherlock Holmes forays into the moors and English countryside) were urban based. In contrast to the frenetic time-is-of-the-essence rush by these author's protagonists to solve the crime, in Fallen From Grace, Lindermuth offers up a delicious, slow-paced murder mystery set in a small, rural Pennsylvania town called Arahpot. In order to solve the murders that have befallen his town, Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman does his best to expand the deficiency of clues to the stabbing of a stranger on his way into town. When a second suspicious death occurs, Tilghman sifts through the evidence to determine what happened. But in 1897, the small town's day-to-day lives of its long-time citizens don't come to a halt because of the unfortunate events that befall strangers and newcomers. When the sheriff declares that the telegraph is the greatest invention ever for a sheriff, this gives you an idea of the pacing of the story. But this is a good thing, because it allows Lindermuth to spend time developing all of the interesting characters in this interesting and intriguing tale. What I enjoy about Lindermuth's writing style is that he feels no need to spend time with detailed physical descriptions. Instead, as the characters are introduced and progress through the story, I had a perfect image in my mind of their physical appearance, who they were and what they were all about. This is the mark of an expert writer and I applaud Lindermuth for this skill. Sylvester Tilghman, Syl to his friends, is a bachelor who doesn't do so well in the cooking-for-himself department and is always on the lookout for an invitation to a meal, be it breakfast lunch or dinner. His favorite targets are his girlfriend, Lydia, and her parents, and his neighbors, Dr. Mariner and his family. That brings me to the other thing I like about Lindermuth's writing, that being all the little side stories and character interactions he weaves throughout the tale, the most interesting being the relationship between Sylvester and Lydia. Lydia, who Sylvester wants to marry, clearly cares for him. However, she has been putting off his request for some time. The reader is left to speculate her reasons and, at the end of the book, while other town romances resolve themselves, he isn't able to solve his dilemma with Lydia. During it all, Lydia is foisting her annoying cousin, Cyrus, upon Sylvester to fill a deputy sheriff's position. There are other distractions, some related to the crimes, some not, that occupy Sylvester's attention. These diversions add richness to the setting, the characters and the story. Does the sheriff solve the crimes? After a well disguised ending, of course he does. But the enjoyment for the reader is how he sifts out the wheat from the chaff in his plodding but effective manner. I hope we see Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman again, not only to enjoy his investigative techniques but to find out if he can close the deal with Lydia. Fallen From Grace is J. R. Lindermuth's best book yet and