The Watch on the Fencepost

The Watch on the Fencepost

by Kay DiBianca

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Overview

A Watch that Tells More than the Time . . .

In a deserted park on a cold winter day, 27-year-old Kathryn Frasier is training for a marathon when she discovers a gold watch on a fencepost.
Sensing that it was deliberately left for her to find, she sets out to solve the mystery behind the watch, but her orderly life is turned upside-down when it leads her to a dark family secret and a suspicion that her parents' recent deaths may not have been an accident.

Thrown into the hunt for a possible killer, Kathryn peels back layer after layer of cryptic clues, and encounters an extraordinary cast of characters, including an actress with a talent for disguises, a politician with a secret of his own, and a handsome businessman who shows a sudden romantic interest in Kathryn.

But is the search for the truth worth risking her own life?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633571549
Publisher: Crosslink Publishing
Publication date: 02/22/2019
Pages: 267
Sales rank: 666,022
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Kay DiBianca is a former software developer and IT manager. She is retired and lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband, Frank. The Watch on the Fencepost is Kay’s first novel.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Monday

"C'mon Barkley. Keep up. We're training for a marathon, not a stroll in the garden." Halfway through her five-mile run at Campbell Park, Kathryn Lee Frasier glanced back at her little sable-colored border collie who had stopped to investigate a twig by the side of the trail. Hearing her call, Barkley bounded back to his owner's side, gleefully yipping in the late afternoon chill.

Winter had been slow to loosen its grip on the western foothills of the Rockies this year, and Kate could taste the arctic-forged air as it drove deep into her lungs. Her breath puffed out frosty little clouds each time she exhaled, keeping time with her strides. "Let's pick up the pace," she said as she dodged a patch of snow.

Campbell Park, or "Runners' Heaven" as the locals called it, was like an old friend to Kate. She had trained on its trails when she ran cross-country in high school, and she knew every rise and fall, every switchback, and every level path in the place. But for the past month, this park had taken on new meaning.

"Let's go, Barkley. Up the hill." She tucked a strand of dark hair back under her fleece headband, and the two galloped together past the three-mile marker and up a slight incline to the highest point in the park, where the trail overlooked the town of Bellevue.

Bellevue was one of those adolescent towns that had sprouted out of the hip of a larger, more mature city to its east. Spurred on by some kind of urban hormones, it continued to develop enthusiastically without the burdens of old infrastructure, old industries, or old ideas. But, like most teenagers, it probably thought a little more of itself than it should have and gave less attention to the wisdom of its elders than it could have.

As a matter of fact, if an airplane flew over the town and dropped one hundred leaflets out, half of them would land in the yards of large homes with a swimming pool or a children's cedar activity center in the backyard and a BMW in the driveway. But most of the remaining half would land on smaller properties owned by the "old-timers," those folks who made their livings in Bellevue when it was just a country village and who now provided many of the support services for their new neighbors.

As they passed the four-mile marker, Kate began to pay a price for setting a strong pace early. "Almost there, Barkley," she said. Then to herself: Never give up.

Never give up. Her mantra for the past month since Reverend Whitefield suggested the marathon. The Whitefields had always been her spiritual guides. Now they were shepherding her through the darkness.

"Mourning for your parents is very important, Kathryn, but you can't let it take over your life," the reverend had said. "It's been three months since the accident, and this would be an appropriate time for you to find something to focus your attention on as you continue to deal with the sorrow. You're a runner. Have you ever considered training for a marathon?"

"No. I've never had the time or the courage to take on a full marathon."

But the good reverend and his wife knew her too well. She could never refuse a challenge.

"It won't be easy," Jan Whitefield had said. "I've run several marathons myself, and I can tell you that the training will test your mental and physical capabilities to the limit."

It would be demanding, but that's what she wanted. Something physical. And hard. Her manager at Vectra Software Corporation had given her a long-term leave of absence. So why not?

And so she ran. And as the miles built up, the sorrow began to fade. And her old sense of well-being was rekindled.

Kate and Barkley turned into the wind as they rounded the last bend in their route. The raw air slapped her in the face and made her eyes leak tears. Her body demanded that she slow down, but she pushed back against the desire to relieve the pain in her legs and concentrated on the soft thump, thump of her Sauconys on the paved path.

With a quarter mile to go, her thighs were on fire and her breaths had become short, savage gasps. She clenched her fists for the final sprint. "Race you to the finish, Barkley," she wheezed out as she drove to the end.

Finally, it was over, and they were back at the beginning of the trail, next to a park bench. Lungs burning, she bent over, hands on her knees, to catch her breath. With her chest still heaving from the effort, she leaned down and ruffled Barkley's pert little ears. "We made it. Good boy."

As the sun sank into the hills, a park ranger rode by on a bicycle. "We're closing in a few minutes — time to wrap it up," he said as he headed down the trail to find other stragglers.

She waved to him. "No problem. I just have to stretch out." Kate put her hands on the park bench and extended each leg alternately behind her until the muscles slowly relaxed their tension.

When she stood upright and pulled a deep breath of cold air into her lungs, something caught her eye. Behind the park bench, on top of an old fencepost, a tiny gold object glittered with light from the setting sun. A watch on the fencepost.

CHAPTER 2

Phil Warren laid the monthly reports aside and checked his watch. Five-thirty. Just about time for Ben's daily debrief.

"Evenin', sport." Ben Mullins strolled into Phil's office, put his coffee cup on the desk, and settled into a chair opposite his boss.

"Good evening, Ben." Phil took a sip from his water bottle and scrutinized the face of his good friend, wondering what today's topic would be. For the past ten years, the two men had met regularly after a hard day's work to unwind and discuss everything from the state of the business to the latest football scores.

"So, what's happening?" Phil asked.

Ben ran a hand through his dark, buzz-cut hair. He looked older than his thirty-eight years. And yet, despite his deeply lined and weathered face, he had an intelligent air about him, which he tried to hide behind a folksy, approachable facade. Few people would have guessed that he held a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University or that he was extremely well read, especially in nineteenth-century English literature. Trim and athletic, he was the one employee who was allowed to interact with the boss on an even playing field.

"Not much to report." Ben leaned back in his chair with his legs stretched out in front of him, his cowboy boots crossed at the ankles. "Mrs. Widner brought her Cadillac in again today for an oil change. I keep tellin' her she doesn't need to change the oil every month, but she keeps bringing it back in. She says she wants her car to be as clean on the inside as it is on the outside." Ben grimaced. "Now why do you suppose a smart woman like Mrs. Widner would say something as silly as that?"

"No idea."

"Well, I have a theory." Ben almost always had a theory. "See, she and her husband are new in town. I hear he travels a lot, and their kids are all grown up and living in other parts of the country. I've told her we can have someone drive her home, but she always chooses to sit in the waiting room and talk to the other customers. I think she's lonely." He shook his head. "Awful expensive way to make new friends."

And an awful long dissertation on Mrs. Widner and her Cadillac, Phil thought. I wonder what's really on his mind.

There was a protracted silence as Ben brushed at a piece of lint on his blue jeans; then he picked up a car magazine and flipped through the pages. Clearly, he was waiting to be asked.

Okay, I'll bite. "Anything else you want to talk about?"

Ben dropped the magazine back on the table next to his chair and showed that little lopsided smile of his that meant he was getting to the crux of the matter. "Oh, nothin' much. But I was just checkin' the schedule for the rest of the week, and I noticed Kathryn Frasier is bringing her car in on Thursday for some maintenance work."

Ah, so that's it. "So?"

"Yep. Ten o'clock Thursday morning. Knowin' her, she'll be right on time too. Did you ever notice how nicely organized and punctual she is?"

"No, I never noticed that." Phil watched the lines around Ben's blue eyes deepen as his grin widened.

"Well, I just want to be sure you're aware of what's goin' on around here. Maybe you could spiff up a little bit before she comes. You know, try to make a good impression. After all, she's the only female who comes in this place who doesn't throw herself at you."

Phil leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head. "Thanks for the advice, pal. Coming from the oldest bachelor in Bellevue, I'll take it for what it's worth. In the meantime, maybe you should spend a little less time worrying about my personal life and a little more time thinking about how we can boost our throughput."

Ben retrieved his cup from Phil's desk. "I'd say both things need some improvement," he chuckled, then took a last swallow of coffee and tossed the paper cup into the wastebasket. "Speaking of improvement, have you ever read anything by Jane Austen?"

"No. I'm more of a Jack London kind of guy."

"It's educational to read a book written by a woman. Did you know that women think differently than men?"

"Yeah. Everybody knows that." I wonder where this is going.

"Well, it's real interestin' to get inside the head of a woman. Austen makes a good case about how men and women don't communicate effectively with each other. You could learn something from her. Try reading Pride and Prejudice. Might just give you a little useful insight."

Phil went back to analyzing his paperwork.

"See, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett got off to a real bad start, and they spent so much time making assumptions about each other, they almost missed the most important thing of all."

Phil looked up. "And what's the most important thing of all?"

"Read the book and you'll find out." Self-satisfaction etched itself into the lines on Ben's face.

Phil responded, "Hmph."

Ben stood and stretched. "Well, I guess I'll head on out. You coming to the gym tonight? Bet I can still whip your rear end at racquetball."

"Yeah, I'll be there. You better go start warming up right now, old man, so you can get that decrepit body of yours in shape for a game."

Ben exited the office, whistling.

Should I tell him? thought Phil. No. Not yet.

CHAPTER 3

Kate reached over the park bench and gently lifted the watch from the fencepost. The dainty timepiece had several tiny diamonds speckled around its rectangular face. The thin, flexible band had a small chain to protect it from accidentally unlatching and falling off. Somebody must have deliberately removed it and put it on the fencepost.

Kate glanced around. Surely the owner must be close by. But there was no one in sight, and hers was the only car in the parking area next to the trail. This near closing time, especially late on a winter day, the park was virtually deserted.

"Look at this, Barkley. I'm holding time in my hands." What was it Professor Adkins used to say? "With time all things are revealed." She held the watch up at eye level to get a closer look in the fading light. "So, little watch, what story do you have to tell?"

All the watch said was the time: three o'clock. Kate compared it with her wrist- mounted GPS, which read five-thirty. An expensive watch that doesn't even keep correct time.

She turned the watch over and found an inscription on the back: "To Cece - 1998." My goodness. That was twelve years ago. This Cece should take better care of her things.

Barkley woofed, reminding her it was time to go. After looking around once more and finding no one in sight, she drove to the visitor's center. She parked her car and glanced at the watch again. It still read three o'clock. Battery must be dead, but that's no reason to take a watch off and leave it in the park.

As she got out of her car, the frigid air chilled the sweat on the back of her neck, and she realized how cold she was. She grabbed a heavy jacket from the back seat. "Stay, Barkley. I'll be right back."

She walked into the center and up to the information desk. "Do you have a lost and found department?" she asked the middle-aged lady who was sitting there.

"Yes, we do," said the woman. "People are leaving things in the park all the time. We have jackets, gloves, hats. Last week someone even came across a wedding ring lying on the ground in the parking lot!"

Kate held up the watch. "I just found this on a fencepost over by the Sunset Trail."

The lady took the watch and checked it out. "What a lovely watch. And it looks expensive. I'll put it in the safe. If the owner comes in to reclaim it, she'll have to describe it before we'll hand it over. I see there's an inscription on the back. She'll have to identify that too." She took out a small plastic bag and dropped the watch in it. "Thank you for bringing it in. I'm sure the owner will be very happy to get it back."

As Kate drove home, the thought of the little timepiece tickled her imagination. Why would someone take off an expensive watch and reach over the bench to put it on top of an old fencepost? Even a tall person would have a hard time reaching the post from there.

A puzzle, she thought.

When she was a child, her father often gave her little problem-solving challenges, saying, "Puzzles are our friends. Solve a puzzle and you're one step closer to ultimate truth. Solve a puzzle and you're one step closer to God."

She smiled broadly, the first time she'd felt this sense of curiosity in months. "Well, Barkley, I doubt I'll solve this puzzle." But, on the other hand ...

CHAPTER 4

It's way too quiet in here.

Mike Strickland walked into campaign headquarters and looked around at the dozen or so workers in the outer office. This place should be buzzing with activity, but these people look about as dull as dishwater.

His candidate, US Representative Robert Hodges, had announced months ago that he would run for governor, and the organization was now in place, but where was the enthusiasm? Can we make this happen?

Mike spoke what he hoped were inspiring words to a few of the workers on his way to the office where the meeting was scheduled.

"Afternoon, folks," he said as he took his seat on one side of the small conference table. The other two members of the senior staff were already there, settled in their places.

Elizabeth Howley sat opposite him. The Dragon Lady. Of the three members of the senior staff, she was the oldest and most experienced. And ruthless. But Hodges relied on her unconditionally. Rumor had it she'd already picked out her office in the governor's mansion and hired a decorator to design the furnishings.

Liz looked up from her laptop and smoothed her hair back with a perfectly manicured hand. "Hello, Mike. How's the fund-raising coming along?"

"Good. We got a few pledges today."

The campaign manager sat next to Elizabeth. If Liz Howley was intense and dominant, Jeremy Dodd was downright crafty. Mike had argued against hiring him since he had never run a campaign before, but Hodges had overruled him. It wasn't just the experience thing that bothered Mike. Jeremy didn't seem to have any commitment to the issues. A successful campaign would be a major stepping stone for him, and he would bend his values in any direction as long as it gave him the win. A chameleon with a bad haircut.

Jeremy looked up under heavy black eyebrows and acknowledged Mike's presence with a nod. Then he continued scribbling notes on the papers in front of him.

Mike got up to get a bottle of water from the small refrigerator at the end of the room and returned to his seat. "Where's Bob?" he asked.

"He stepped out to take a phone call. He should be back in a minute," Liz responded and went back to tapping on her laptop.

Representative Hodges strode energetically into the room. "Mike, I'm glad you're here in time for our meeting." The two men shook hands, and Hodges took his place at the head of the table. "Guys, I just talked to former governor Sparks, and I'm happy to tell you he's going to endorse me at the rally in Bellevue on Saturday."

After a round of congratulations, Hodges rubbed his hands briskly together. "Okay, let's get down to business. Jeremy, how's the campaign going?"

"We're making progress," Jeremy said.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Watch on the Fencepost"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Kay DiBianca.
Excerpted by permission of CrossLink Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Watch on the Fencepost 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
TheBeccaFiles 6 months ago
The Watch on the Fencepost was an enjoyable story with plenty of action woven in-between the puzzle pieces. There’s not much I could share about the story without giving away spoilers, but it easily held my attention and kept me turning the pages until the very end. With short chapters, the “just one more” syndrome was real. My favorite character in the story is Cece, but I don’t want to spoil anything about her. I especially liked her ability to “go undercover” in public and be completely believable as who she’s dressed up as. She’s an actual actress but she’s able to bring her talents into her real life for her own advantage. She has an interesting personality and is easily likable. I struggled with the romance in this story because it evolved too quickly from where it started in my opinion, but I liked the characters themselves. The author did a great job of introducing everyone in the beginning chapters and then letting the story flow until their connections were made. There were enough directions that the story was taken in that you really weren’t sure how it would conclude until the very end. This story contained plenty of action, suspense, and turning points to keep the reader fully engaged. It’s the debut novel for Kay DiBianca so my first time reading from her, but I’m curious to see what she comes up with in the future. I’d recommend this to mystery and suspense fans. *I received a copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit Tours. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Virginiaw 6 months ago
This is a very enjoyable contemporary mystery/romance. A bit of intrigue and only a little romance. I enjoyed all the characters. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Librarycataloger 6 months ago
Kathryn Frasier finds a gold watch on a fencepost in the park where she often runs and her life changes forever when she discovers that the owner of the watch is actually a half-sister that she never knew existed. Soon, she and CeCe Goldman are involved in solving the clues left by Kathryn's late father that will hopefully reveal the true events leading up to the car accident that killed him and his wife. A political campaign involving a politician with a secret and a threat on Kathryn's own life are also a part of this intriguing story and there is even the promise of a romance between Kathryn and a young man that her father had known and respected. This is Kay DiBianca's first book and she succeeded in keeping my attention until the very end. I thought that I knew the guilty person but the motive was a complete surprise! Kathryn's father loved to solve puzzles so the clues that were scattered throughout the story were the perfect touch and I loved how DiBianca even alluded to them in reference to Kathyn's discovery of her half-sister. She and CeCe felt an immediate bond as sisters and Kathryn also experienced complete acceptance from Cece's adoptive parents. Kathryn realized that "She felt a surprising sense of completion, as if someone had given her a final piece to a puzzle--a piece she didn't even know was missing. (p.44) The Watch on the Fencepost is a lovely story and and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries full of intrigue but free of excessive violence and gore. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit and I voluntarily chose to share my opinions in this review.
RealWorldBibleStudy 6 months ago
I probably wouldn't have gravitated to this book naturally.  It's a cozy mystery with some suspense thrown in, and I usually lean towards less cozy and more suspense in my mysteries.  But I'm really glad I read it.  I thought it was a great first novel - gives me the courage to go back to my own books - and I really loved the puzzles and clues, the little seeds of doubt.  The characters...CeCe is a riot and reminds me a little of Darcy from Dee Henderson's True Honor (one of my favorites!). I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a cozy mystery. But my favorite thing about The Watch on the Fencepost was a character who wasn't even there.  Kathryn's dad passed away months before the story began, but he is so present in this story!  Not as a ghost - I'm not into that sort of thing (except maybe Obi-Wan's force ghost), and not in flashbacks, but in the clues he left Kathryn.  They were puzzling, dad-jokey, cheesy, and fun to try to guess.  His love for his (not-so-little-anymore) girl before he died was so evident, and I think Kathryn gets to know her dad even more after he is gone.  That's definitely true of her mom, but her dad stands out more in the story.  Makes me want to play scavenger hunt with my parents :).  And yes, I did invite myself over to Mom and Dad's for board games tonight. Do you think maybe our heavenly father is like that, too?  Some things he says to us directly, just so.  But for other things, he leaves clues, because the joy is in the journey of discovery, and we get to know him more through the puzzle and mystery.  That's such a fun idea. I received a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Ourpugs 6 months ago
The watch on the fencepost I thought this was a really amazing book. This is the first book by the author and I definitely hope she is writing more. I love the mystery and the way Kathryn’s dad had her trying to solve the mystery. The book was written so that could really feel the characters and see the scenes. Like I was watching a movie. Actually I could see this on the Hallmark mystery channel. Also enjoyed that Kathryn had a dog. I received a advanced copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
Deana0326 6 months ago
Kathryn has suffered a great loss when her parents die in a car accident. She decides to train for a marathon as a way to ease her stress. Along the way she notices a fence post with a gold watch draped there. Being the kind of person she is, she turns it in. What happens next starts an adventure of intrigue and danger. It's not everyday that you find out you have a half sister but Kathryn is in for a big surprise. Her parents had kept a big secret from her in the name of Cece. Meeting Cece seemed to help Kathryn not feel so alone in the world. They hit if off and I loved reading how they bonded as sisters. Kathryn's dad has always liked puzzles and he has left clues that maybe will solve the mystery of Kathryn's parents accident. I loved reading about the clues and how Kathryn and Cece worked together to figure out the puzzle. The story includes Jewish traditions which I loved reading about. The author does a great job of giving us background in what a Shabbat dinner is. Cece's adoptive parents are such a nice addition to the story and want to help Kathryn anyway they can. There is also a very important person in the story who is intertwined in Cece's past. In the midst of everything else going on in the story we find a political race going on . An all important governor race is all the talk. What secret is the man running for governor hiding? Do Kathryn and Cece pose a threat to him? The secrets run deep in this story and I tried really hard to solve them. The author has a great job of giving readers little hints, but I was quite surprised at the outcome. It's a fast pace story with characters that keep readers entertained. I enjoyed getting to know more about Kathryn and why she has always been afraid to fail. That is a heavy burden to carry around and it does make it hard to take a chance on relationships. The ending is a heart pounding race to save Kathryn and I was on the edge of my seat. I loved the story and hope there is another book to follow. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
ARS8 6 months ago
Well this book took me totally by surprise. For some reason I thought it would be about time travel. It was not. It was a simple love story with a mystery and lots of revelations for a young woman after her parents have died. Kathryn has lived an awful few months following the tragic car accident of her parents and she is trying to get a strong foothold into her life again. She has been running to help her take her mind off of life and one day in the park she comes across a watch that is sitting on the fencepost. Kathryn cannot understand why someone would have left such a valuable piece of jewelry and obviously sentimental as it had an inscription on it. Well, Kathryn has a steel trap mind and senses something peculiar about the whole situation. When she goes back to the fencepost the next day her world and what she thought she knew unravels in both good and bad ways. I really liked the cast of characters. Some were quirky and others downright romantic and the author did a good job putting all the puzzle pieces together and making the story work. There was a lot of moving parts and I liked that neither the romance nor the mystery took up the whole story. Family was shown to be very important, the love of a father for his daughter was endearing and by the end after a few surprises, I was glad Kathryn was no longer alone. I wonder if the author will give us more of these characters stories, I hope so as this was an enjoyable read. I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
MaureenST 6 months ago
I enjoyed this book, a quick read that kept my attention, and had a lot of action, along with clues and puzzles. I will admit that I figured out whom the culprit was early on, but had to keep going to find out if I was right. There are a lot of surprises offered here from beginning to end, you will be shaking your head as they unfold. A sad loss of family, and a find of family, a surprise romance, and bullets flying, all offered and you need to pick this one up for answers. I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.
5643437 6 months ago
The Watch on the Fencepost is Kay DiBianca’s first novel, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. The story begins with a prologue about a car wreck that is so vividly described, I felt like I was there. Chapter One begins our introduction to Phil Warren, an owner of a car repair shop. Initially, I did not know what I thought about Phil, especially given his reaction to Kathryn Frasier, the female lead in the story. Kathryn Frasier, we learn lost her parents in a tragic car accident she believes was an accident. But as the story unfolds, the reader will discover it was no accident. Kathryn learns she has an older half-sister she never knew about, and who was adopted by incredible people. CeCe, the half-sister, is an actress who is a master of disguise which allows her to play an important role at the end of the book. Kathryn is reserved and shy around men, but CeCe helps to push her out of her shell in order to discover the possibility of love. As part of her impending birthday, her father (prior to his death) set up a series of clues as part of an overall puzzle for Kathryn to solve. This puzzle/treasure hunt has no apparent ending in sight, but through careful thought, Philip and CeCe along with CeCe’s parents, Kathryn’s lawyer and other individuals help Kathryn eventually solve the mystery. The book kept me interested and wanting to read more until I finished the story. The imagery described in the book is incredible, as is the attention to detail. I loved the description of the watch Kathryn finds on the fencepost and how the watch keeps showing up in the story. The person I thought was going to be the guilty party turned out to be innocent, but another person I eventually thought might be involved turned out to be guilty. The twists and turns this book took fascinated me. I only hope Kay DiBianca follows this book up with a sequel because I can tell there is so much more for this cast of characters. So if you love a good mystery, check The Watch on the Fencepost out for yourself.
Erin_Slocum 6 months ago
My Review: Here's what I think of The Watch on the Fencepost. At first it took me a bit to actually get into the book. I'm not sure if it's because I had just finished a super fast paced thriller or because of my lack of sleep. But the beginning pops from our main character Kathryn running with her dog(eventually finding THE watch) and a pair of men having an after work chat that involves Kathryn in a small way. Or maybe it's not such a small way. So once I actually got a couple chapters in the book held me. I literally did not want to stop reading. Lucky for my kids they were asleep at the time so I didn't have to choose between mom life and reading. After that it read so fast and I had to keep all the information in separate compartments in my brain to keep up. If you look at the cover of the book it's a puzzle. That's because the book is just one huge puzzle to solve. There are clues left by Kate's father(who we find out was actually murdered along with her mother). We also get a huge shocker in that Kate has a half sister she never knew about. This is great news for her as she had no family after her parents death. An orphan no more! The parents of her half sister are now her surrogate aunt and uncle. The inclusion of Cece's (Kate's half sister) parents is something that I really enjoyed. You see, they're Jewish and celebrate the Shabbat. It's through their help and knowledge of the Bible that Kate finds the answers to a few of the clues. I personally enjoy their inclusion as we celebrate several Jewish holidays and recently have been discussing having a Shabbat dinner in our own home. Seeing the Shabbat prayer in the book was nice as well. One of the first clues Kate finds is a note in her father's suitcase which reminds her to take her car to the mechanic for it's check up. Her father has never reminded her before so that's strange. But in keeping that appointment she finds her next clue. And maybe a bit of hope and love as well? I mean it sounds like the mechanic is pretty cute and she's a bit smitten. Throw in a politician and his team who will stop at nothing to protect him from scandal, and woohoo does he have some scandal going on in his past. And surprisingly unknown to her she is a part of the scandal. It just gets more and more complicated until something is going to blow. But can Kate remain unscathed? Can she escape with her life and her heart intact? This book is amazing and I'm in love. The author hints at more adventures coming for Kate and Cece and that sounds like a plan to me. It almost makes me wish I was still running. Time for that soon after my little ones get bigger. I agree with her that listening to music or audiobooks just makes the running so much easier, but it can also lead to an unawareness in your surroundings. Hopefully Kate never has to deal with being too distracted to watch where she's running! I received an ebook copy of this book to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced in anyway. I will never give a false review of a book. Trust me when I say I love to read but I refuse to finish a book just because I started it. This book is definitely a can't put down masterpiece.