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Murder at the Courthouse

Murder at the Courthouse

4.5 26
by A. H. Gabhart

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After a few years as a police officer in Columbus, Michael Keane has no trouble relaxing into the far less stressful job of deputy sheriff in his small hometown. After all, nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. Everyone in town is a little uneasy. Still, no one is terribly


After a few years as a police officer in Columbus, Michael Keane has no trouble relaxing into the far less stressful job of deputy sheriff in his small hometown. After all, nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. Everyone in town is a little uneasy. Still, no one is terribly worried—after all the man was a stranger—until one of their own is murdered right on Main Street.

As Michael works to solve the case it seems that every nosy resident in town has a theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check out one of these harebrained theories, his surprising discovery sends him on a bewildering search for a mysterious killer that has him questioning everything he has ever believed about life in Hidden Springs.

Bringing with her a knack for creating settings you want to visit and an uncanny ability to bring characters to life, A. H. Gabhart pens a whodunit that will keep readers guessing.

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Hidden Springs Mysteries Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

A. H. Gabhart is Ann H. Gabhart, bestselling author of many novels, including Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Love Comes Home, several popular Shaker novels such as The Outsider, The Believer, and The Innocent, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. Ann grew up in a small rural town in Kentucky much like Hidden Springs, but she is happy to report nobody was ever murdered on her hometown's courthouse steps. Ann and her husband still live on a farm near that same little town in Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

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Murder at the Courthouse 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
DaleDL 1 days ago
This takes place in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Well written and a good read.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
An incredibly well developed cozy mystery! Hidden Springs, Kentucky is a delightful small town where everyone knows everyone else. It is filled with a lot of very quirky characters. Michael Keane is a solid man with very clear thinking and a desire to sort out the mystery that has been dumped in his lap. He wants to keep all the residents of Hidden Springs safe. There is a nice balance of humor and concern for safety. The humor comes from the different personalities and all their little habits. The concern is based mainly in not believing that anyone in their little town could commit murder. There were a lot of twists to the story that really kept me guessing throughout the book. Each character was presented in such a way that I felt that I knew them and I couldn’t believe any of them capable of committing murder either. I actually felt shocked at the outcome and heartbroken at the feeling of betrayal by the lies that had been perpetrated.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Hidden Springs is a quiet little town that is about to have a shake up. When Miss Willadean, the town busy body comes across a passed out drunk stranger on the courthouse steps, she lets the Sherriff's office hear about it. When Michael, the deputy heads out to check it out, he finds out that it is not a drunk, but a dead man. The mystery begins. The characters in this new series are introduced in this story and they are extremely likeable. Michael's story of his parents being killed in a terrible accident when he was only 15 was heart breaking, especially that he was in the car and almost died himself. His spunky Aunt Malinda (Lindy) stayed by his side, praying and talking to him and nursed him back to health. She raised him with the help of the judge next door who became a sort of surrogate father. Michael takes an interest in troubled teenagers and has tried to keep Anthony out of trouble. Anthony's story of being abandoned by his mother at the age of 5 and raised by his aunt hits home with Michael. The rest of the Sherriff's office staff all have quirks of their own and Lester is a hoot. The newspaper man, Hank, is always in the way but gets his story. There are a couple of love interests for Michael, but that is not the main part of the story, just an interesting aside, which will probably develop more in future books. As more bodies show up, Michael is in a race to find the killer and protect Anthony, who he thinks knows more about the murders than he is telling. A good read. I did figure out the killer about 2/3 of the way in, but it was still a great mystery. I am looking forward to the next in this series. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
GrandaddyA More than 1 year ago
Hidden Springs, Kentucky, was an unlikely place to find someone murdered on the courthouse steps in broad daylight with no witnesses. Hardly anything ever happened there, but suddenly it seems there is no end to the excitement. If you need a break from reading about the murder and mayhem in the big cities where no one knows anyone else, try a change of pace and read about the happenings in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. The story will hold your interest from beginning to end as it alternates between serious and heartrending to hilarious. Several times I had to get control of my laughter before I could continue. The actions of a few of the characters and their interactions with others were too funny. In case you are wondering, this is a mystery drama and not a comedy, so most of it is serious. But the author uses levity with great effectiveness to ease the tension. Often an author drops some clues early in the story about the identity of the perpetrator, but this author skillfully limits that information so the reader is at least partially surprised to find out who did the deed. When I press the rewind button in my mind, maybe there were some clues early in the story but my attention was deflected elsewhere. I recommend this book and look forward to the next book in The Hidden Springs Mysteries series.
RMMcDowell More than 1 year ago
Murder at the Courthouse is intended to be a small-town, cozy mystery. On this, Gabhart both succeeds and falls short. Small-town fiction tends to be heavy on character development—quirks, gossips, kind-hearted souls, and the like. Gabhart gets that nearly perfect. Her characters really become people to whom you feel connected, even after “knowing” them for such a short time. This is especially important in a series which hopes to build on those characters and our affinity for them. Courthouse is the first in “A Hidden Springs Mystery” series. It is published by Revell so is a Christian book, but it isn’t overt or preachy, which I appreciate. Where Gabhart fell short was on the mystery end. It is a cozy, and I love cozies. However, from the moment the body is found, Gabhart failed to bury any of her clues enough to keep me guessing. The only reason I wasn’t positive who had committed the murders was because I kept telling myself it couldn’t be as obvious as it was. Instead, every page left me more convinced as clues were left in the open. I solved the crime faster than the hero, Deputy Michael Keane and wasn’t left guessing about anything, including the motive. Overall, though the lack of mystery and even lightly hidden clues was disappointing, this early introduction to the characters (both living and dead) may bring me back for more of Hidden Springs. But it won’t be at the top of my mystery list. Disclosure: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads Blog Tour program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
KathleenFriesen More than 1 year ago
Murder at the Courthouse fits Wikipedia’s definition of a cozy mystery to a T: sweet and warm, in spite of the body propped against the courthouse pillar. Michael Keane left the big, fast-paced city of Columbus to avoid this kind of scenario. After all, everyone knows everyone in his hometown, so other than a few minor incidents, what could go wrong? With quirky characters and an attractive small town, this story is easy to read, and its mystery kept me guessing. A.H. Gabhart brings Hidden Springs and its inhabitants to life with. Except for the murdered stranger, of course. The story’s pace felt more like a stroll than a race, but it seemed fitting. I enjoyed Murder at the Courthouse and award it four stars. The publisher offered me a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion, which I have given.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Ann Gabhart's first foray into the cozy mystery category is fabulous! I've always enjoyed her writing so it was no surprise that this new genre was a great fit for her as well. She took all of the elements that I love in a cozy mystery and combined them to come up with an engaging and entertaining read. The small town of Hidden Springs is a sleepy little place where nothing much happens. But things take a turn when eccentric Miss Willadean Dearmon comes upon a dead body on the courthouse steps. Believe it or not this part was kind of funny. Miss Willadean thought the man was just being rude to her by not acknowledging her greeting. When she mentioned the snub to Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane she speculates that he is possibly a drunken bum. Deputy Keane says he'll take care of it but soon discovers that the drunken bum is in fact a dead man and the investigation begins. Murder at the Courthouse strikes a good balance with its humor and serious situations. I was delighted to slowly watch the mystery unfold and I was even more thrilled to not figure out the total scenario surrounding the murder until very late in the story. If you are looking for a great read on a cold winter night get this one! There's a bit of everything thrown in with the mystery, humor, and romance so it should appeal to a wide audience. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
I love Ann Gabhart's books. In Murder at the Courthouse, A Hidden Springs Mystery, her main character is named Michael and he has a mystery to solve. He moved to his hometown Hidden Springs, Kentucky from Columbus to escape the stress. Then a dead body shows up at the Courthouse. This fun, creative book made me excited to read her next book. I was given this book by Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
I was hooked on this one from the get-go. Small town? That's where I live. Seriously, it was almost like reading a story from my own town. The characters were friendly, familiar, full of life, love, and hidden secrets. You know the sweat tea on the porch swing, chatting with friends, summer evening walks, type stuff. Michael moved away from Hidden Springs to become a big city cop. But, it wasn't the life for him. After seeing too much big city crime, he returned to Hidden Springs. All he wanted was simple life, safe and easy. But the unexpected never fails to happen. Someone ends up dead on the courthouse steps. And for the life of him, Michael is having a hard time finding out who is responsible. It could be any number of people, but surely not someone he knows. Murder just doesn't happen in Hidden Springs. People are not always what they seem. And that is quite a scary thought. Ann kept me wondering just about the entire book. In the end, it was the person I suspected, but it certainly was not easy to figure out. She kept me hopping from one person to the next, second guessing myself. Actually, to be honest, I even shed a few tears at the end. Because even though this was just a novel, It felt real. Maybe it's just because I am a small town girl. Every one knows everyone. We have people just like the characters in the book. You know the busybody who knows everyone, and everyone's business. The barber across the street, who listens to everyone's stories. The troubled teen, who needs to be loved. The lawyer, who handles those small town cases... none of them serious by the way. By the end of the book, you will feel like you know the Hidden Springs people and belong there. I know I did. I can't wait to read the next Hidden Springs Book. In the mean time, don't miss out on this one! I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
Murder at the Courthouse A.H. Gabhart Book Summary: Michael Keane's stressful days as a Columbus police officer are done. He's ready to relax into his new position as deputy sheriff in his sleepy hometown. Nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky--and that's just fine with Michael. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. As Michael works to solve the case, it seems that every nosy resident in town has a theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check out one of these harebrained theories, his surprising discovery sends him on a bewildering search for a mysterious killer that has him questioning everything he has ever believed about life in Hidden Springs. Bringing with her a knack for creating settings you want to visit and an uncanny ability to bring characters to life, A. H. Gabhart pens a whodunit that will keep you guessing. Review: I was very conflicted by this book. I really liked the characters and guessed who did it from the beginning. The pieces were easy to put together. The beginning was slow, for me very slow. I like the fast pace or suspense of a mystery too. The second incident was more startling. That is when the storyline began to come together and the entire story improved tremendously. I liked the story being told with Michael as the main character. The history of the storyline was tragic and intriguing. I can honestly say if the pace was as fast as the middle to end were I would be hooked for a second installment. I may consider reading another story now that the town and townspeople are known it may make for a more cozy mystery. I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Murder has never been so down-homey Murder At The Courthouse is a neat little cozy mystery that nostalgically reminds a person of Mayberry. It was a bit of a slow moving story until the exciting climax, but then, it is all part of the story's charm. I was able to figure out a few things before they happened but there were some surprises thrown into the mix that left me guessing. A.H. Gabhart has a real knack for creating quirky characters in a small Southern town setting. She is a talented author crossing genres with ease, whether it's historical, mystery, or Shaker. If you love Christian cozy-type mysteries Murder At The Courthouse would be a great choice. It's a welcome break from non-stop action into a more laid back world but still has a definite mystery flavor. (I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
Hidden Springs, Kentucky is the ionic sleepy, little town where everybody knows everybody and everything about each other. The citizens are lulled by a daily routine that has lasted not days or months but years. Life is so predictable that the people take it for granted. Unexpectedly everything changes. A stranger is found dead on the courthouse steps. Unheard of! Suddenly the town is alive with excitement, curiosity, and a lot of opinions about what happened! Michael, a young policeman attempts to find the murderer with basically no clues to start with. He has his work cut out for him, as his investigation also means dealing with the gossip, a newspaper reporter with a flair for inaccurate embellishments, and town characters just being themselves. As he works to find the murderer, secrets about town residents are brought to light. The tragedy brings emotions of loss and pain from many of the character’s pasts, including Michael. Events will seemingly be plodding along when the reader is caught off guard by when a startling development in the case. This book is for sure a page turner! You will be surprised at who the guilty party is! As strange as it sounds this is a nice murder mystery. There is not a lot of blood, gore, and violence, just a good whodunit. I look forward to reading more of the Ms. Gabhart’s books! I received a copy of this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
grapes63 More than 1 year ago
In Murder at the Courthouse by A.H. Gabhart, the town is named Hidden Springs. It's in Kentucky. No one wants to believe that liars and murderers could live in this lovely place. Michael, a policeman and other officials like the judge in the town search for the person or persons who left a dead man on the courthouse steps.Mrs. Willadean discovers the body and reports it. However, she gets lost in the middle story. I wanted her to stay in the story. She seemed like the typical talkative, good neighbor who would live in a small town and not do any person harm. I liked her. The murdered man's name is Jay. He is shot in the back of the head. The plot caught my attention because I just couldn't imagine a murder happening on the steps of a courthouse. I wondered what type of person would have the boldness to shoot someone in a place where justice is served everyday? While working out the solution to the crime, there is the fun of finding out the secrets of individuals in the town. There are also people who have gone through terrible situations in their lives. For example, Michael, the policeman, lost both his parents on the same day in a car wreck. Then, there is Anthony, a young man, who feels he is blamed for every stinking thing that happens in the town. However, Anthony must deal with the mysterious disappearance of his mother. Throughout his childhood, he hoped each day for his mother to come back home to him. It must feel terrible to wait for the return of someone you love not knowing why they left and where they have gone. What an awful feeling! I began to understand Anthony's attitude problems. He had good reason for acting out. Throughout the novel, more than one skeleton is pulled from the closet. I suppose it's important to never take our safety for granted. Also, the hardest thing to do is to see wrong in the most helpful person in a community. I never would have guessed who did this and did that all in the name of keeping their reputation safe. There was one incident that scared the daylights out of me. Really, it wasn't that creepy. I just had gotten all caught up in the plot. Anyway, I quickly went back to Hidden Springs. I had to know the rest of the story. It's a mystery that kept me guessing. I will have to ponder the outcome in the days ahead. I am super glad to see more novels listed at the back of the book by A.H. Gabhart.bakerpublishinggroup.com/revell
jebsweetpea More than 1 year ago
Nutshell: Start with a quiet town, add a nosey busy body, throw in a stranger, a wandering, angry teen and a dash of murder and end up with a cozy mystery that needs to be solved. The citizens of Hidden Springs, KY are thrown for a loop when the town busy body finds a stranger dead on their courthouse steps. Not only are the citizens thrown for a loop, so is the law enforcement where the most excitement they encounter is a traffic ticket. Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane is assigned to the case and is in charge of finding out who this stranger is and who killed him. The case leads him on some unexpected turns and down roads that he doesn't understand. Pro's: If you can call a book a refreshing mystery, this is it. It wasn't a bloody gory murder suspense, but a snuggle up and feel good murder mystery. Gabhart does a spectacular job of keeping the reader engaged throughout this light hearted story line. I enjoyed this book very much! The flow, the style of writing, the plot, the lightness. Con's: It took a few chapters to wrap my brain around the characters (more so the law enforcement characters between deputy chief, chief, deputy, sheriff, deputy sheriff etc). Recommendation: Need a book to snuggle up on a rainy fall day or a bitter snowy cold evening? Choose this one! A great read! I look forward to the second book in this series! Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Michael had had enough of being a beat cop in a large city. The coldness and lack of caring had gotten to him. So he returned to his hometown of Hidden Springs where nothing happened. This was completely okay with Michael. But when a local finds a dead body on the court house steps it opens an investigation into something that will rock the entire town. This was a cozy, small town mystery that really captured the essence of the locals and the slow paced feel of the town. I enjoyed the story and really enjoyed all of the quirky and diverse characters. I don't typically read cozy mysteries, so this was a nice change. I enjoyed the flow of the story and the way the plot was laid out. I will definitely be checking out the next on in the series when it comes out. I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed reading Ann Gabhart's books as well as cozy mysteries so when I was offered the chance to read a mystery written by Ann I thought this has got to be a good book. I was not wrong. This book grabbed me from the first page. The town of Hidden Springs was your typical quiet town until a body was found. Now the new sheriff is trying to find out who was the cause of the murder. The author had me trying to figure out who did it right up until the end. She also has a way of making you feel a part of the story and as if you knew the people all along. There were some twists and turns that kept the story moving right along and kept me guessing. I have to say I felt bad for Michael as times as it seemed that at times everyone had an opinion on who the murderer was. This is the first book in this new series and I can't wait to read the next one to see what happens next in this nice little town. I highly recommend this book to fans of mystery stories.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Murder at the Courthouse by A.H. Gabhart is the first book in the Hidden Springs Mysteries. Miss Willadean Dearmon goes to the courthouse every morning. This morning she walks up the steps and sees a man slumped against a pillar. Miss Willadean immediately goes to the sheriff’s office to report a drunk man on the steps. Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane investigates and discovers the man has been shot (and he is dead). Michael will have his work cut out for him to find the culprit. He will have to deal with nosy townspeople, a blowhard detective (who is thankfully sick in the hospital), and the editor of the Hidden Springs Gazette. Who is the dead man and why was he is Hidden Springs? Will Michael be able to find the culprit before anyone else gets hurt? Michael is also working to keep Anthony Blake on the straight and narrow. Anthony is on probation and must attend school every single day. Michael notices that Anthony was not in school on the day the man was discovered on the courthouse steps. Michael is determined to help this young man. Anthony lives with his aunt since the disappearance of his mother ten years ago. No one has seen or heard from Anthony’s mother in all that time. Does Anthony know anything about the murder (is that why he was seen near the courthouse)? Murder at the Courthouse is a Christian mystery series. It is a slow paced novel that gets more interesting toward the end of the novel. There are a lot of characters in the novel and it can be hard to keep them all straight (there are so many townspeople and all of them are nosy). I give Murder at the Courthouse 3.25 out of 5 stars (it did get more interesting). I also liked the mystery in the book. It was very easy to solve, but I liked all the different parts. I will be curious to read the next book in the Hidden Springs Mysteries. I received a complimentary copy of Murder at the Courthouse from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
When the book opens with a chuckle, sad but rather funny, the town busy body tries getting a recently murdered man to acknowledge her, and is all bent out of shape when he ignores her. Off to a great start, and who is this man that no one seems to recognize? Hidden Springs is one of those sleepy little towns where everyone knows everyone, and you don’t need a phone to know what is happening. Now something strange is going on, and maybe has been for quite awhile, this crime has deeper roots than you can possibly imagine. Come along for a really well written story and how it unfolds will keep you page-turning and wanting to get to the end of the book, and really not wanting it to end. This book is going to linger with you a long time after you have turned the final page, and you will be shaking your head, so many lives touched and hurt by selfishness. I received this book through Net Galley and Revell Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a fun first mystery for Ann Gabhart. I really look forward to reading many more books in this series. The town of Hidden Springs is like many other small towns. Everybody knows everything about everyone. Then murdrer occurs. Know admits to knowing the dead guy. Michael must solve this murder before any one else gets hurt. Can he do it? This is a wonderful story. I received a copy of this book from Revell reads and the author for a fair and honest opinion.
poodlelover More than 1 year ago
Murder at the Courthouse is the first of the Hidden Springs Mysteries, and I look forward to the next two! Hidden Ann Gabhart’s attention to detail and story-telling ability make this break-out mystery a winner! Springs, Kentucky is a small area without a lot of crime; however, Deputy Sheriff, Michael Keane finds himself investigating a murder on the courthouse steps and the mystery and adventure begin. From Michael's Aunt Lindy to Anthony, you will enjoy getting to know most of the characters, except for the one 'who done it'! My favorite is the barber's cat named Two-Bits. This is a definite must-read!
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Murder at the Courthouse is an entertaining whodunit! Ann Gabhart has a gift for capturing the essence of small town life, and she has certainly done so in this tantalizing tale. I was delighted by the colorful characters and the twists and turns of the story line. Although I had my suspicions about the culprit, Gabhart kept me guessing and didn’t confirm my thoughts until the very end. I’m excited about this talented author’s foray into the cozy mystery genre and look forward to continuing the Hidden Springs Mystery series! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
wileysmSM More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy reading Ann Gabhart's books! She mixes humor into all her books, even a murder mystery, and a very good mystery this book is. The author describes small town life so wonderfully. I found myself feeling frustrated at the townsfolk as they slowly unraveled the cause of the murder on the courthouse steps. They all know each others' business and to think a murderer could be living among them and not know anything about it! Rumors fly around the telephone lines, barber shop and all over town, and the news is out before the weekly newspaper publishes it. I enjoyed the town of Hidden Springs, KY and wanted to live there as the author describes the town and its people so eloquently. It's a special place enticing me. Michael, the main character and #1 policeman in Hidden Springs, is my favorite character because he has a mysterious history, loves his job, loves the townsfolk, loves to help troubled kids, and has a love interest. Anthony, the troubled teen Michael focuses on to help and protect, has a mysterious past and goes from one trouble to the next. Ann is a wonderful storyteller and develops her characters so well. I felt the slow pace of little towns but was relieved to find the mystery finally solved.
Teresa More than 1 year ago
I loved Murder at the Courthouse! It is the first book in a series and I cannot wait to read the next one. It is a fun whodunit in a small town that I enjoyed visiting. The characters are people I want to spend some more time with!
StacyA64 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Murder at the Courthouse, a Hidden Springs Mystery by A.H. Gabhart. Officer Michael Keane’s come back home to Hidden Springs because he didn’t like the high pressure situations he found himself in as a member of a big city police force. Writing traffic citations and riding herd on Hidden Springs’ teenage population sounds just about right to Michael. The only problem is that dead bodies are turning up all over town. Set in a small southern town with quirky characters that made me think Murder, She Wrote meets The Andy Griffith Show. I liked all the characters and enjoyed the relationships and how the mystery unraveled, but much like with Barnie Fife, I had to wonder how the residents of Hidden Springs weren’t shooting themselves in the foot on a daily basis. And like the understated, but wise Sheriff Taylor, Officer Michael Keane manages to get the bad guy and be Mr. Nice Guy to the whole town at the same time. The story is fairly simple, but there were a couple of twists that kept me interested and not quite sure how things were going to turn out. The violence is mild and there’s no swearing or x-rated stuff…and just a bit of Christian thinking, so it’s not preachy if that turns you off. On the whole, it was an easy read and a good cozy mystery for a fall weekend.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Small town charm put on hold for murder... Murder at the Courthouse A Hidden Springs Mystery # 1 By A.H. Gabhart Michael Keane returned to Hidden Springs, leaving behind the stresses of life as a big city officer. But when a murdered stranger is discovered in front of the courthouse Hidden Springs may never be the same. Hidden Springs is the perfect small town, one that fans of Mayberry would love to move into. But Hidden Springs isn't quite what it appears on the surface. And the search for a killer is about to expose answers to long forgotten questions. But what do these discoveries have to do with the current investigation? Or is this discovery merely a coincidence? Michael is convinced someone knows something - but the questions are who and what? Meanwhile Michael reaches out to a troubled teen who is on the road to trouble. Anthony's life has been troubled and turbulent since his mother disappeared years ago. Michael's own loss makes him reach out to Anthony, but how do you help someone who doesn't want your help? Small town life has a unique charm and Hidden Springs is no different. How they react to the shattered illusion of their perceived safety and tranquility is about to redefine them. This is a town where everyone knows everything about everyone and what they don't know they make up and embellish. I like how Hidden Springs has a weekly local paper where the news is old news by the time it comes out. Living in a small town myself I know how true this is - the big news events always happen the day after the paper comes out. I really enjoyed my visit to Hidden Springs and am looking forward to a future visit - which is hinted at in the back of the book. Though it has a contemporary setting Murder at the Courthouse doesn't read like a contemporary fiction. The mystery element is strong throughout and should please clean mystery fans (though there is a bit of blood sullying things up a bit). I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Revell through their blogger program.