Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he's not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he's worked for. He's determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands. The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn't want her to marry up with any of them. He's drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.
Average Customer Rating:
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26 out of 2893%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Although this historical romance novel took a while to get going, it was thoroughly captivating for the second half, with a murder mystery to solve as well as a romance to develop. Melanie Ross inherits half a mercantile in the rugged frontier of Arizona, from her cousin George. Caleb Nelson inherits the other half from his Uncle Alvin. Only trouble is, they don't get on! They are fun to watch as animosity, competition, jealousy and suspicion turn to love, among a cast of sometimes strange, sometimes comical members of the Cedar Ridge Community. I would have liked to have seen a little more faith development in the main characters, but I still enjoyed reading this book, which I will recommend to others.
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Review 2 for Trouble in Store
Date:December 10, 2013
I'm an avid reader and I haven't read a lot of books that I couldn't finish, but Trouble in Store, by Carol Cox, was one of those rare exceptions. This was my first book that I got from NetGalley so it was a little difficult to read as an e-book advance copy since every "ff" was missing. After I caught onto that, I would just add it in in my head as I was reading. For some reason, this book just didn't hold my attention. The book is about Melanie Ross, who is a recently fired governess. She discovers she is heir to a mercantile in Arizona, but runs into problems when Caleb Nelson is certain that he inherited the mercantile. Caleb tries to get Melanie married off, but realizes that he doesn't want anyone but himself to have her. The short synopsis on the back sounded like it would be a good story, but I found it was quite the opposite. I tried reading it as an e-book and as a print book, but I still couldn't get through it. The plot was dry and too predictable and I just couldn't connect with the characters. In comparison to Carol Cox's other books, I found that this was much less interesting, although I didn't find her other books super intriguing either. I was given this e-book for free from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Trouble in Store by Carol Cox is a captivating blend of humor, suspense, and romance, that had me turning pages well into the night. The author's focus on the differing viewpoints of Caleb and Melanie added humor into some very tense situations. I also enjoyed being privy to the characters innermost thoughts, which added dimension to the story, and connecting me even more to the characters.
As the plot developed, the suspense grew keeping me on the edge of my seat and keeping me guessing until the end "who dun it". It also added more conflict to the story and element to the budding romance between Caleb and Melanie.
Amidst it all are wonderful Biblical truths that add scope to the characters as well as the story.
**Trouble in Store by Carol Cox was provided for me free by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
Carol Cox brings us another wonderful story. Trouble in Store takes us back to the 1880's when women had few choices. So what did feisty women like Melanie Ross do? They winged it, and sometimes managed to land in an excellent situation that also allowed for love.
From page one, I enjoyed this novel. The story line kept me riveted to my seat and the banter between Caleb and Melanie made me smile on more than one occasion.
***I received this book from the publisher/author for purposes of review. The above is my honest opinion.***
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Review 5 for Trouble in Store
Great and entertaining
Date:August 30, 2013
Trouble in Store by Carol Cox follows Melanie as she makes her way out west to claim what she thinks is her inheritance of half of a mercantile from her deceased uncle. Imagine her surprise when she arrives to find her uncle's business partner is also deceased and his nephew, Caleb, claims full ownership of the store. Throughout the book we see Melanie and Caleb butt heads on how they think a store should be run. When disaster strikes, Caleb and Melanie must learn to put aside their differences and trust in God together to get them through. In the process, they discover a love for each other they didn't even fathom existed.
I highly enjoyed this book. I had never read anything by Carol Cox before but really liked her style of writing. I didn't feel like I knew what was going to happen or that she just threw prayers in to be able to call the book Christian fiction. There was a good flow to the book that made everything work just right. This book was an easy read. However, it wasn't just a fluff book as there was some suspense as well. Just the perfect mix. I am looking forward to reading books by Carol Cox in the future.
(I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House/Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. --Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB
Marietta, Ohio April 1885
Melanie clamped her lips together, knowing full well that her opinion wasn't really being solicited. She made a mental head count, trying to keep her consternation from showing on her face. The Templetons had two children, and the Martins three, meaning she would be riding herd on seven youngsters instead of only two. --Trouble in Store, 9
What would you do if you were to watch seven rambunctious children out on the lawn during an outdoor party for hopes of candidacy votes? Not in their play clothes, mind you, but their best finery? Before we begin it is obvious who is going to get blamed for the turmoil that is sure to follow ~ in and out of the dining tables? Well, actually stopped short of the tables... thrown from the pony.
Clarence's lips trembled as he met his father's stony glare, and he spoke in a piteous tone. "Miss Ross told me I could." --Ibid., 17
Melanie Ross sees the end from the beginning. Packing her trunk she comes across letters.
"I've kept everything he left behind . . . . I'll keep it safe, should you choose to come out and claim it." --Ibid., 25
Signed by her deceased cousin's partner in the Ross-Nelson Mercantile in Arizona, Melanie has a way of escape.
Levi flinched."I was just lining up my soldiers." Caleb ran his finger around the edge of his collar. "But why on . . . ? Why there?" Levi pointed at Melanie. "She told me to." --Ibid., 182
Not again. Poor Miss Ross!
Liebestraum Music Box Soon music is in her heart.
"Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. "With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation." --Psalm 91:14-16 NASB
So important in Melanie's life. I really enjoyed this book and it had turns and twists I didn't expect. It had me holding my breath too for her actual escape. There was a sub-character I was suspicious of and despite clues, I didn't select the right culprit. Our protagonists sided with me. A very visual story. I was glad I wasn't along for part of it! Excellent writing.
***Thank you to author Carol Cox for sending me a copy of Trouble in Store. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received. Her Pinkerton story you will enjoy is Love in Disguise.***
Melanie Ross is the spunky heroine who seems to go from one disaster to another. This leads to some humourous situations and prickly predicaments. Caleb is an upstanding citizen, just trying to make a living for himself and his young son. He's taken over the mercantile after his Uncle's death and IF he was looking for a partner, Melanie would not fit the bill.
I enjoyed this story. It's more of a historical romance set in the Arizona West than a suspenseful mystery but it has its own charm. The characters are likeable, if not always completely believable (the Mayor and his wife are fully stereotypical), the plot has some unique twists that make it pretty hard to solve the mystery, and the verbal sparring between the two protagonists is witty and lighthearted.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Author Carol Cox has written a delightful story that I highly recommend. The perfect blend of history, suspense, and romance kept me interested and turning pages in this book. Carol's style of writing makes for enjoyable reading, and her characters are easy to imagine as real people. The plot wasn't predictable, as I was surprised by the culprit toward the end! I look forward to more books by this very talented author. Five stars!!
Carol Cox writes an amusing tale of history and mystery in her latest novel, "Trouble in Store." As both proprietors of an Arizona mercantile have recently passed away, Caleb Nelson inherits the shop, not realizing that his uncle's partner left an heir as well - his cousin, a pretty, young governess who is out of options. When Melanie arrives, she discovers that although the store has the best selection of goods in town, some things are not necessary - an excessive number of chamber pots, for example, and the dead body on the back stoop. As Melanie improves the stock and drives Caleb crazy (altering perfection, as it were), they have to deal with the mystery surrounding the dead man and some former deaths that may not have been as innocent as they seemed, especially when each one has a connection to the mercantile.
In the first half of the book the mystery is introduced, but it is secondary to Melanie settling in and Caleb trying to get rid of her, prompting some fun sparring and minor disasters. However, the suspense crescendos from there when they are both suspected of being involved in the murder and the town threatens to organize a vigilante committee. The novel highlighted just how easy it is to jump to conclusions based on gossip and coincidence - even the main characters had to admit that it made them suspect even friends of wrongdoing.
I was amused and understanding over Melanie's wariness regarding little Levi - after her last disastrous charge who was constantly in mischief and blithely lying his way out, it is no wonder she should be reticent to deal with another active little boy. Thankfully she is reasonable enough not to let her past experiences blind her to Levi's true personality - an active boy who simply needs more attention, not a malicious, undisciplined liar. While their relationship is not delved into deeply, it still is sweet to watch them come to an understanding.
Cox paints a lovely picture of that part of Arizona, highlighting the local fauna and mysterious Pueblo villages high up the cliff walls. Her appreciation for the scenery is clear, and it comes through effortlessly in her writing, inviting us to share it with her.
Over all, it was a sweet story with a mystery good enough that I did not guess the culprit. Though there were no major epiphanies or lessons to be learned, the main characters were God-honoring people and enjoyable to get to know.
Melanie Rose has little options before her after being fired from her position as a governess. With only the promise that a deceased cousin left an inheritance for her, she travels to Arizona not knowing what she'll find.
Caleb Nelson takes offense when Melanie shows up in town and claims that half of the mercantile he owns belongs to her. He tries whatever he can to persuade her to leave, but she isn't convinced and keeps coming up with ways to improve business.
But as time passes, they both are threatened by someone who doesn't want the store to succeed. Will Melanie stay and fight or will she run for safety in Caleb's arms?
This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers.
A wonderful blend of humour, suspense and romance makes Trouble in Store a winning read. Cox does a really good job of highlighting the different gender viewpoints with hilarious results. I loved the verbal tussles while being party to both Melanie and Caleb's inner thoughts. Such a fun way to connect a reader with both the hero and the heroine.
The suspense starts out slowly, but develops into something more sinister as the plot develops and the author kept me guessing (and suspecting) right to the very end. It adds an edgy dimension to their romance and pumped up my heart rate!
And amidst it all there is a wonderful inspirational thread that adds depth and hope to an already exceptional read.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
After reading Love in Disguise last year, I couldn’t wait to get into Carol Cox’s latest release, Trouble in Store! Even though this is another Arizona mystery, I found that it’s not related in to Love in Disguise, which is a definite plus for non-series readers. By the end of the first chapter, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to Melanie. When Caleb entered the picture, I quickly found myself just as interested in his life and how he and Melanie would (or wouldn’t!) get along. Both characters could exasperate me at times, but they were endearing and realistic, and I truly found myself caring more for them at every turn. The mystery takes a few chapters to begin unfolding, but I didn’t feel bored for a minute over the course of the story. I loved trying to sleuth alongside the shopkeepers, and the author was good at making me second-guess my suspicions. I wouldn’t say this is specifically a “suspense” novel, since the mystery is equally balanced by romance and history, but it was an intriguing read nonetheless. The ending tied up all the story’s threads nicely, and I think the action was spaced just right to keep the reader on edge but not totally breathless. (Keep in mind, this is still a murder mystery; I’ve just been reading extremely intense ones lately so my reading adrenaline has been pretty high!) I would recommend Trouble in Store especially to fans of historical fiction, romance and slightly milder mysteries. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to whatever trouble remains in store for Carol Cox’s next novel. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my review.
Trouble in Store by Carol Cox is a very well written Christian historical romance that takes place during the mid nineteenth century in Arizona Territory. Melanie Ross was the governess to three children and the untruthful words of the young boy led to her dismissal from the job. Being homeless and with very little money, Melanie decides to travel to the Arizona Territory to run the mercantile that her cousin left to her. When she arrives in Cedar Ridge she learns that her cousin’s partner has left his half of the store to his nephew Caleb and Caleb has no intention of sharing the mercantile with Melanie. She sets about changing displays in the store and Caleb has to admit that some of them are worthwhile. To hopefully get her out of the store and his life, Caleb convinces several of the men in town to ask for her hand in marriage. Many men propose but Melanie refuses them all and Caleb has to admit that he is glad for he is starting to have feelings for her. It appears that someone in the town does not want the mercantile to succeed and has been leaving threatening notes and soon the threats become destructive and dangerous actions.
Carol Cox did an excellent job in the development of the characters in this story. From the very first page, Melanie was like a good friend and I was almost glad that she was dismissed from the governess job for that gave her a chance to spread her wings and find happiness and love and to get away from three children that were a trial even for their mother. Even though Caleb was not very nice in his treatment of Melanie at the beginning, I was hoping that he would open his eyes and see what a great lady Melanie really was and fortunately the author gave him a change of heart early in the book. Not only did Melanie and Caleb become so real that I felt they were close friends of mine, most of the people in the town were also like old friends. There were several twists and turns in the plot line and suspense was woven throughout most of the book. The author did a great job of keeping me guessing as to which person in town was threatening Melanie and Caleb. I was somewhat surprised when the culprit was revealed for I was totally wrong. I especially like the way that the author had both Melanie and Caleb putting their trust in God and praying for help to be able to forgive others. The story has a great ending and I hope there will be a sequel.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a well written Christian historical romance set in the west in the mid nineteenth century.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 14 for Trouble in Store
Date:July 13, 2013
I love Carol Cox’s new book “Trouble in Store”. It has the perfect blend of mystery, intrigue, humor, romance, and a wonderful spiritual thread that runs through the story. Set in 1885, the story opens in Marietta, OH where Melanie Ross is employed as a governess. Circumstances beyond her control turn her life upside down and force her to seek new employment, as well as a home, in a new place, and she decides to follow up on a lead provided by her late cousin.
Destination: Cedar Ridge, Arizona Territory.
Melanie arrives in Cedar Ridge, hoping that the best friend of her cousin will be kind enough to give her a position at his mercantile, only to find that the man’s handsome nephew is now the new proprietor and he doesn’t seem to want her help. But Melanie doesn’t let that stop her, butting heads with the stubborn man right from the start. Yet at times, a quiet kindness surfaces, causing her to take a second look.
Caleb Nelson has been running the mercantile just fine by himself and he doesn’t need the help of an obnoxious female, intent on making a bunch of changes to his store. He tries several times to discourage her from staying, but the stubborn woman doesn’t discourage easily. Despite the fact that she gets on his nerves, Caleb sees her kindness towards others and how she seems to care about those around her, and he finds himself being drawn to her.
All the while, there are curious things going on. Mysterious happenings, threatening notes, and…a murder, each of them forcing Caleb and Melanie to work together to try and figure out who is behind them. But the real question is, will they be able to fight the growing attraction between them? Or does God have another plan?
“Trouble in Store” is a fun read and will keep you in suspense, making you keep turning the pages to see what happens next. I give it 5 stars!
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Review 15 for Trouble in Store
Sweet but Lacking
Date:July 11, 2013
Trouble in Store, is the story of Melanie Ross, a young lady in 1880's America, who is left without family or friends. Her last resort is an Arizona mercantile that she has inherited from her uncle. However, upon arriving, she discovers that she has a business partner, Caleb Nelson, who is not at all excited to see her. She also discovers, that someone even more sinister, is determined to have her gone.
The Pros: This is a clean romance/adventure set in the "Wild West", complete with a damsel in distress, a dashing hero, and a cute little hero-in-training. The mystery portion was quite interesting, I thought. The author, even managed to throw me off the scent of the villain, several times, which definitely kept me turning pages.
The Cons: First of all, the heroine started getting on my nerves quite early in the story. Her spunk was admirable in some situations, but more often than not, her attitude came across as know-it-all. This also caused problems with dialogue, as half the book was she and Caleb arguing over something or other. Secondly, is seemed that the author was trying to make parallels between God leading Joseph in the Bible, and Him leading Melanie. However, this fell kind of flat for me, as she seemed to more often blaze on ahead by herself, instead of waiting on direction from God. Also, the romance portion, though clean and sweet, was pretty cookie-cutter.
In Conclusion: I give Trouble in Store, three out of five stars, for being a light, summer read, with an interesting mystery. However, I can think of several other stories that are equally as nice, without sacrificing a strong plot, or message.
*I received this book free, from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.
Carol Cox in her new book “Trouble in Store” published by Bethany House Publishers takes us into the life of Melanie Ross.
From the back cover: Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he’s not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he’s worked for. He’s determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands.
The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry up with any of them. He’s drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.
But someone doesn’t want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps–and the man obviously didn’t die from natural causes–things really get dangerous. Will Melanie and Caleb’s business–and budding romance–survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?
The Mercantile was half owned by her cousin who died and left his half to Melanie. Since she has been fired and blacklisted in Ohio she decides to go to Arizona to run her half of the store. The other half ownership of the store has shifted to Caleb, as his Uncle also died. Now Melanie and Caleb clash over how the Mercantile should be run even though Melanie has great ideas that Caleb agrees with. So Caleb tries to marry off Melanie to find that he really doesn’t want her to go. Then they find a body and set out to find who else wants to ruin the Mercantile. Ms. Cox has crafted a fine mystery in that both Melanie and Caleb have to work together to figure out who wants to ruin the Mercantile. There is history in the running of the Mercantile and how these two characters relate to each other throughout the story is what really keeps us interested and flipping pages. The small town of Cedar Ridge, Arizona and the people who live there become real and are brought to life by a gifted storyteller. On top of everything Ms. Cox has also given us a romance. I really liked ”Trouble In Store” and I look forward to more stories from the very talented Ms. Cox.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. 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.”
Carol Cox has created another winner with "Trouble in Store"! I thoroughly enjoyed the cast of characters who grace the pages of the book, from the spirited Melanie Ross who arrives in town and garners a continued stream of proposals, to Caleb Nelson who is struggling to provide for his son and raise him as a single father. There were many moments that left me laughing, and I enjoyed the swift dialogue between Melanie and Caleb in particular. The romance that sparks in Melanie's life is well-handled and was enjoyable to watch unfold. Likewise, the mysterious notes and the suspicious deaths make for a page-turning read that kept me glued to the pages. In the midst of all of these entertaining elements, the author also touches on elements of faith that lend a deeper flavour to the story, particularly as characters struggle with death and pain, and with God's plan in the midst of the good and bad of life.
Readers looking for a well-written historical read with a romantic flair and mystery should grab a copy of "Trouble in Store"! I highly recommend this enjoyable book, and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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Review 18 for Trouble in Store
Easy and Enjoyable Read
Date:July 3, 2013
Melanie Ross is unexpectedly fired from her governess job leaving her questioning her future. As she is packing up to leave she comes across an old letter from her deceased cousin, George, reminding her of the Mercantile he has in Arizona. George and his partner, Alvin, own the store and now that George has passed away his half belongs to Melanie. With determination she heads out to Arizona with new purpose, but is met with a slight hiccup...
Alvin is no longer living and his nephew, Caleb, is now running the Mercantile and he has no idea who Melanie Ross is or about her share in the store. Caleb is quite baffled by the headstrong and very opinionated woman and is left scrambling around in the store trying to keep things the way he is used to while she is determined to bring a "new look" to the customers. At first they don't see eye-to-eye and arguments tend to constantly be on the tips of their tongues.
But someone does not want to see Caleb, Melanie, and their Mercantile succeed. Threats begin to take place leaving Caleb and Melanie in great danger. When a gentleman mysteriously dies, the townspeople are left questioning the presence of the Mercantile owners while Caleb and Melanie are left questioning their safety. As things begin to spiral out of control Caleb and Melanie start putting their heads together trying to figure out who is behind the hateful threats.
The characters will win your heart and make you want to turn the next page as you become engrossed in the unfolding story of Caleb and Melanie. If you want an easy, but enjoyable read than Trouble In Store is the book for you.
I was given a free copy of Trouble In Store from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
When she loses her job as a governess, Melanie Ross heads to Cedar Ridge in the Arizona Territory to claim half of her cousin’s store, as promised by his partner, Alvin Nelson. But when she arrives, Alvin is dead and his nephew, Caleb, has no desire for a business partner, especially not one of the female variety. When Melanie discovers a dead body on the back step, and they begin to suspect there might be more trouble in store… (sorry, but I couldn’t resist the pun). The murder then forms the foundation of the plot, as it becomes apparent that there is a mystery that must be solved.
As well as the murder there have been some mysterious notes, suggesting someone doesn’t want Caleb in town. Trouble in Store is a good mix of mystery, humour and romance. The characters were likeable, and while the story focused more on Melanie and Caleb’s disagreements about the store and the mystery, there was still a nice romantic sub-plot. The story is clearly Christian, but not preachy.
I really enjoy historicals like Trouble in Store. There’s nothing especially deep or challenging, but they are fun, easy to read, perfect for a snuggling down with in winter, or reading in the sun in summer. Lighthearted with good morals, and something I’m happy to pass on to my daughter. Recommended.
Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
When Melanie Ross is fired as a governess she doesn't know what she'll do. She has no family, no money and no friends she can ask to help her. As she is packing her things she finds herself reading some letters she's saved from her now deceased family she comes across one from her cousin George in Colorado telling her that she's always welcome to come out there and work in the mercantile with him and his business partner but George has since died. Then she finds a letter from Alvin Nelson, George's business partner, letting her know that he is keeping all of her cousin's things for her and the invitation still stands for her to come to Colorado. Now she has a place to go but no money, that's when Mr Deaver enters and gives her a large sum for her severance pay, so now she finds herself leaving Ohio and moving to Colorado.
Upon her arrival in Colorado she goes straight to the Ross-Nelson Mercantile to introduce herself to Alvin. The proprietor is very busy as she enters and after waiting a few minutes she tries to pitch in and help. The problem is that it isn't Alvin, and the new owner doesn't know anything about Melanie. The new owner is none other than Alvin's nephew Caleb and he doesn't believe she owns half the mercantile but when she threatens to get the sheriff to see how he see's it, Caleb backs down because he's afraid she may just be right. Now we have two people that don't see eye to eye trying to run one store, not only that, someone wants them out of town. Alvin has been finding threatening notes since he moved to Colorado to help his Uncle Alvin, these notes are continuing, a man is found murdered on the back door stoop, someone is breaking in and wreaking havoc and putting Melanie's life in danger. Not only all of that, Caleb sic's all of the bachelors onto Melanie to try to get her to leave.
I so enjoyed this book, I found myself chuckling throughout even with the touch of mystery and murders. There is even an "S" shaped lady in the story, a very important lady in town no less. I would recommend this book as a good, fun, read and one you might not be able to put down until you are finished with it. This is the first book I've read by Carol and I now have another author that I 'have' to follow.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. 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