"A real treat, highly recommended for its fine attention to both detail and the psyches of investigators who confront themselves as much as the threat at hand." ~Midwest Book Review
"My life was saved by a murder. At the time, of course, I didn't understand that. I just knew I was having the best year of my life. Given all the things that happened, I should be ashamed to say it, but that year was a blessing for me." -Abit Bradshaw
So begins this story of suspense and self-discovery set in the small mountain town of Laurel Falls, N.C. in 1985. After decades as a crime reporter in Washington, D.C., Della Kincaid thinks she's moved away from all the violence. But a walk in the woods changes everything.
The sheriff calls for what amounts to a coverup. Not so fast, Della argues. She's spent her life searching for the truth, and she's not about to stop now. Without her usual sources, she teams up with new friends, including her neighbor-Abit Bradshaw, a teenager struggling to find his rightful place in the world. Along the way, they encounter all kinds of interesting characters, including the best one of all-the lush natural setting of the N.C. mountains.
Will they find the truth before they become the next victims?
Can they make peace with their own lives?
You'll love this suspenseful story because who doesn't dream of second chances?
Find out why critics and readers are praising Lynda McDaniel's unique voice in mystery writing.
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A Life for a Life is the first novel in the Appalachian Mountain Mysteries series by award-winning author Lynda McDaniel. If you like atmospheric settings, fascinating characters, and suspenseful investigations, you'll love this series.
Interview with the Author
Q: What makes the Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Series so special?
A: In addition to the suspense of a good mystery, each book includes people and stories from the years I spent on my "back to the land" farm in Appalachia. You'll meet a cantankerous laundromat owner who was just as weird as she's portrayed, a gentle giant of a beekeeper with an abiding love for his family, and Cleva Hall, who's based on a woman who taught me how to put food by. But especially Abit Bradshaw, one of the amateur sleuths along with Della Kincaid, a former journalist. Abit started in a supporting role, but I listened to my readers and gave him a starring role in the rest of the series. This book and the next--The Roads to Damascus--are coming-of-age stories for Abit.
Q: Why should readers give these books a try?
A: Readers who prefer suspense without over-the-top violence will enjoy this series. I write in the British style, where the dastardly deed is done off stage; (similar in that way to cozy mysteries). I don't like mounting body bags, but I do enjoy the chase for justice. In addition to the crimes, readers will find vivid mountain settings, colorful characters, sharp wit, good food, and a touch of romance.
Q: In what order were the books written?
A: A Life for a Life,The Roads to Damascus, Welcome the Little Children, Murder Ballad Blues
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About the Author
After all, we're all busy these days, and I want to deliver value--whether that's a gripping mystery filled with memorable characters or books on writing that give you the tools to write your own fiction and nonfiction. Both make me happy.
I got my start as a writer in the most unlikely place--a town of 200 people in the mountains of North Carolina. But living there changed my life in so many positive ways. Decades later, I realized that everything I value today, I was introduced to there. My Appalachian Mountain Mysteries--"A Life for a Life," "The Roads to Damascus," "Welcome the Little Children," and "Murder Ballad Blues"--pay homage to the people of Appalachia who taught me so much.
Over the years, I've written more than 1,200 articles for major magazines, hundreds of newsletters and blogs. I'm proudest of the 18 books I've written. My nonfiction books include "Words at Work," "How Not to Sound Stupid When You Write," and "How to Write Stories that Sell"--all part of my Write Faster Series. Since I moved to California 10 years ago, I've also enjoyed coaching clients who want to write their own books.