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The Davison family has come to Pennant Melangell seeking spiritual refuge as their family faces the reality of Jenny Davison's terminal cancer. Jenny and Aidan have visited ...
The Davison family has come to Pennant Melangell seeking spiritual refuge as their family faces the reality of Jenny Davison's terminal cancer. Jenny and Aidan have visited before, but this is the first time they have brought their daughter, seven-year-old Melangell, to the place which inspired her name.
Posted December 16, 2012
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers Favorite
In "The Hunted Hare", Fay Sampson has given us the first book in her new series. Jenny Davison is in end stage cancer and she desperately wants to revisit the place which drew her and her husband Aidan together. The Davisons take their precocious daughter Melangell to experience the sense of wonder they felt when young and in love. The magical place called Pennant Melangell lies in a mountain valley in North Wales and it has a history of both folklore and Christian symbolism. The family stays in the House of the Hare and when its director Thaddeus Brown soon becomes the center of attention with his unseemly demise, the mystery commences. There are suspects galore, not the least of which are Jenny herself and Brown's niece Lorna.
The reader will be looking for clues in this one. Any number of people have motives to rid themselves of the imposing director and opportunity for dirty deeds seems unending. The characters are beautifully developed in this book. The reader can get into the story with ease, unafraid that one of the lead players will do something out of character. The author's description of "thin places of the Celtic world" aptly recaptures the movement through a world of yesterday not fully understood in today's societies. Celtic history abounds in this novel and it is refreshing and intriguing for the reader. This is one book you'll want to keep in your library and re-read in a few years. Well done, Ms. Sampson!
Posted November 8, 2012
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Who doesn't enjoy a cozy mystery? I certainly do especially when I read them in the fall. For me that's the perfect time for me to break out the cozy mystery novels and enjoy many, many cups of Rooibos Tea (if you haven't tried that tea before I suggest trying it.)
So when I got the tour invitation for this novel I was really extremely excited to read this book because of the Celtic lore of the book and the fact that it was actually set in Wales. I haven't read many books set in that particular place before but I'm really glad I chose to review this one.
I loved the mystery aspect to this novel. Even though it is what I would call a cozy mystery and I usually figure the mysteries out pretty quickly this one had me surprised when everything was finally unraveled and I loved that! Nothing beats a mysterious story that is well thought out with enough twists and turns to keep me interested enough in the story that I stay up late to finish the book.
I also really enjoyed the characters. I thought Aidan was the perfect Sleuth and I liked the way the author wrote in the rest of the characters I especially connect to Aidan's poor wife Jenny who is dying as well as their seven year old who goes missing. The character development in the book was great and there was great dialogue put to use in the novel as well.
Over all I loved this book. I don't always say that I love a first novel in a series especially when it comes to mysteries. This one was great though. Lately I've been on a role picking really good books to read and review lately and I hope that when the author writes the second book in this series that I can get a review copy of it as well. I can't wait to try some of her other works and I hope they're just as good as The Hunted Hare I would recommend this to everyone who wants likes cozy mysteries set over the pond with a Celtic element.
*I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my FREE and HONEST review.
Posted November 8, 2012
Fay Sampson in her new book, “The Hunted Hare” Book One in The Aidan Mysteries series published by Monarch Books brings us into the lives of Aidan and Jenny Davison and their seven-year-old daughter Melangell.
From the back cover: Pennant Melangell lies at the head of a mountain valley in North Wales. It consists of a church, with the medieval shrine and pilgrimage site of St Melangell, a few cottages – and a newly constructed hotel, The House of the Hare, built by its imposing director Thaddeus Brown.
To the House of the Hare come Aidan and Jenny Davison, with their seven-year-old daughter Melangell. Jenny has advanced cancer: will the sacred location become a place of healing? Or will the hotel’s new facilities – for instance, its impressive archery range – become a place of death? In this secluded setting, who might be the next victim?
The first of a series of new mysteries featuring Aidan and Melangell and set in what Fay Sampson describes as the ‘thin’ places of the Celtic world.
I am sorry to admit that up until this book I have never read anything by Fay Sampson before. I am happy to report that I will rectify that situation. I think Fay Sampson is an extremely talented writer who really knows how to tell a story that will grab you and keep you flipping pages until you find out who did it. I have not physically been to Wales but, after reading “The Hunted Hare” I feel I know the place and now want to go and visit for real. I had no idea of this St. Melangell nor any of the town’s history but Ms. Sampson filled us in brilliantly without sounding like a tour guide. The murder mystery is top-notch and will keep you guessing and flipping pages as fast as you can read them. “The Hunted Hare” is a very exciting book that will keep you engrossed, not only in the mystery, but in the lives of these characters as well. This is a wonderful series and I am glad I discovered Fay Sampson and this delightful family. I recommend this book highly.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Monarch Books. 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.”
Posted November 7, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. The beginning takes you on a religious outing, that most will never get to experience... I do not think that I will ever experience Celtic lands.... Just when you feel safe in the characters and surroundings you are put on a roller coaster of suspects. You never know who is safe especially when Melangell is missing. There is also a historical story line about the mysterious hare and how sacred the hare really was. It may have even belonged to the Saint Melangell himself.
I found myself wanting the Davison family to get healed while they visited, especially Jenny, the mom, who is dying of cancer.
I thought that I knew who was the killer, then I didn't, then I did again. It was definitely a fun book to read, and it will keep you guessing!
I was a little upset that the first chapter of The sequel to The Hunted Hare was included in the back of the book, not because I don't like to read about upcoming sequel info, but because they ruined one of the plot lines for me. I do not want to give it away, so lets just say do not read the intro to the sequel unless you are definitely going to be reading the sequel soon, and especially do not read the intro sequel before you read The Hunted Hare
Posted November 5, 2012
The Hunted Hare by Fay Simpson, the first in her Aidan mysteries series, is a haunting blend of genres. The main characters, Aidan and Jenny, take their daughter Melangell to her namesake community, Pennant Melangell in Wales. But the trip has an additional significant--Jenny is dying of cancer and hopes to visit the healing services there.
Although this book is classified as a mystery, I came away from the reading with an overwhelming sense of place. Pennant Melangell is based on a real place, with a few fictional settings added. This technique adds details and emotional background rarely seen.
Without giving away the plot, I will say that the mystery was well-managed, rejecting easy solutions to the crime and maintaining suspense all the way through. The balance between exterior conflict and Jenny's internal struggle kept the plot from becoming sentimental or too action-focused.
I recieved this book through Kregel Blog Tour but was not required to write a positive review.
Posted November 6, 2012
No text was provided for this review.