Live Free or Die

Live Free or Die

by Jessie Crockett


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he way she sees it, volunteer fire chief Gwen Fifield's life is about as good as can be. Sure, she's gained twenty pounds and her property taxes increased just in time for Christmas. But, her basement didn't flood with the fall rains for the first time in years and the general store has started delivering pizza.

Yup, by Winslow Falls, NH standards it's pretty darn good. That is, until an arsonist lets loose in the village and Gwen finds a body sizzled like a sausage in the smoldering remains of the local museum.

With no experience solving arsons Gwen is eager to turn over the case to State Fire Marshal's Investigator Hugh Larsen. But things are never that easy; Hugh needs her take on the townspeople and their relationships just as much as she needs him.

Fortunately for the townspeople, a recently arrived immigrant family provides ideal suspects. When an artifact from the burnt museum shows up in the possession of one of the foreigners, the town readily blames the "people from away". A second death, also connected to the museum, convinces Gwen that the town she's always taken at face value is harboring a home-grown murderer.

Jessie Crockett lives with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children in a village so small most other New Hampshire residents have never heard of it. Hearing from readers makes the winters seem shorter so please drop by for a visit at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939739360
Publisher: River Run Select
Publication date: 08/01/2014
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

A nearly life-long resident of the Granite State, Jessie naturally adores black flies, 98% humidity, killing frosts in August and snow banks taller than the average grandmother. When not working on her next murderous adventure she enthusiastically putters in her greenhouse, designs bento lunches and throws parties. She delights in mentoring young writers at the local elementary school. Jessie lives with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children in a village so small most other New Hampshire residents have never heard of it. Hearing from readers makes the winters seem shorter so please drop by for a visit at

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Live Free Or Die 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jessie Crockett has done, she has revived the essence of a great cozy mystery. I love the book; the small town essence as greatly portrayed and Gwen is a work of art. This book would be great for a mini-series. I am looking forward to the next book on this series.
Sandy Callahan More than 1 year ago
occasionally got a little lost as to who was speaking but overall very enjoyable. interesting whodunit with a good mix of humor. wish i could find more of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very easy to read. Believable characters living in a small town. Lighthearted and funny even though a murder. Keeps you guessing till the end.
WolfCH More than 1 year ago
This mystery novel 'Live Free or Die' is an excellent example of a who done it novel which keeps you guessing throughout with an ending which grips you to the core. A real heroine comes out in the end which thoroughly satisfying. A must ready for all mystery buffs.
boomer47 More than 1 year ago
I found the book to be an interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'll admit it. I bought this because it was a bargain, and so I was willing to try an unknown writer. Now I wish their were more books by her! This is a more-plausible-than-usual cozy mystery. No cats, caterers, or housewives solve mysteries the cops cannot. The small town setting and characters were highly believable to this very urban reviewer. The demographic most likely to enjoy this are females of or near the boomer generation.
DiserningReader More than 1 year ago
It is always a pleasure to find a new (or new to me) author who writes well, has interesting, likeable characters and a good story line. I will be looking forward to new books in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this is a short book it is very good and will have you cheering the heroine on at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very rarely do I rate a book five plus stars and this is one of them. Good mystery and the characters are nicely developed. I hope there are many more books in this series. My new favorite author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Danger & humour in an easy read. The only quibble I have is that the police don' t do much besides accuse foreigners of committing crimes & the fire fighters do all the sleuthing. However, I liked that small town racism & bigotry were included, since that was believable, and that the main character does her best to counter those attitudes in practical ways. She sticks up for the foreigners & befriends them without worrying what others think of her, while keeping an open mind as to the identity/ies of the arsonist & murderer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is for someone who wants a casual, relaxing book. It isn't intense, but it was an interesting look at small-town life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good! Saved to read again later.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's so incredible I don't got no words to descibe it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leaves you wanting more
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Themes: crime, romance, immigrants, prejudiceSetting: small town New HampshireFun cozy set in a town so small, there's not even a fast food restaurant. Gwen is the assistant fire chief and the local string of arsons has her worried. This time, the fire claimed a victim. The town know-it-alls are happy to blame to the new immigrant family, figuring anyone who doesn't speak English must be guilty of something. Gwen's not buying it. And the hot (sorry!) state fire investigator thinks she's right. This one was fun. It was a dollar or something for the Kindle, and I did enjoy it. Unfortunately, it looks like the only one this author has out right now. Worth a try!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Arson and Murder at Christmas When I found the Wicked Cozy Authors blog a few years back, I dove into all of their current series, and I’ve done a good job of keeping up with their new books as they come out. However, there were a couple of standalone books I haven’t gone back and read. That’s partially changed now that I’ve read Live Free or Die, the debut novel from Jessie Crockett The small village of Winslow Falls, New Hampshire has been plagued by a string of fires in recent weeks. But now, in mid-December, things have taken a deadly turn when the body of Beulah Price in found in the latest fire. The building to burn is the village’s local museum, and it had been Beulah’s pet project. The sight is so shocking that is sends the volunteer fire chief to the hospital with a heart attack and Gwen Fifield has to step in to take over the job. That includes interacting with Hugh Larsen, the state’s arson investigator assigned to the case. The locals are quick to point their finger at the local immigrant family, especially the sons, but Gwen is certain they are innocent. As she begins poking around, she starts to uncover secrets in the town she grew up in. Will one of them lead her to the truth? While this was Jessie’s first novel, it wasn’t the first of her books I’ve read. I knew to expect a good mystery, and that’s exactly what I got. The pace was steady, with enough events to keep me interested until we reached the climax. I really did not see where things were going until Gwen figured it out. While the book did wrap things up, it wasn’t in the neat bow I was expecting. It’s probably a more realistic ending, and it was satisfying. And there is one scene that sets up a complication in a sub-plot but we never see the resolution to that. My bigger problem was with the characters. While we got to know Gwen, Hugh, and some of the others pretty well, many of the villagers blended together. This was true of the suspects as well. Because I liked Gwen, I was hooked on the book, and this weakness didn’t bother me too much, but it was an issue. I was also annoyed by the anti-immigrant stereotype of most of the villagers. I find it hard to believe that only Gwen and Hugh would be welcoming to a family of immigrants. Now if these weaknesses make is sound like I didn’t enjoy the book, let me reassure you. I did. It’s a case of the weaknesses being easy to spot but never truly distracting me from what is a good debut mystery. I certainly loved the setting. I’m not a cold weather person, and I could feel the cold winter air and the snow creeping around me as I read. Gwen’s day job is being a post mistress in town, so we get to see Christmas from the point of view of someone dealing with all the mail that means, too. Reading this book after having read Jessie’s other books was interesting, and I can definitely see how she has grown as an author. If you’ve enjoyed this book, I certainly encourage you to read her later books. And if you are already a fan, consider reading Live Free or Die and seeing how her career started. Despite the weaknesses I mentioned, this is a fun read her fans will enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I could not put it down, and read it in one sitting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the storeyline, the characters, and the surprise as to who done it! Good job.
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