Saturday, April 7, 2012

News From Dead Mule Swamp, by Joan H. Young - Five Stars.

I grew up in a town so small that when my family moved, in we increased the population by 10%. In News From Dead Mule Swamp, author Joan H. Young captures the essence of small-town living and creates inhabitants so life-like, you'll swear if you only had a map, you could drive right up and have coffee with these people.

Young writes with a confident and conversational style, and leads the reader effortlessly through a maze of clues.

Newly divorced Anastasia Raven buys an old fixer-upper in Dead Mule Swamp, and while ripping out walls, discovers an old newspaper. Before she gets a chance to look it over, it's stolen by neighbor Cliff Sorenson. And before Anastasia (“Just call me Ana,” I added. “It rhymes with on-a, like ‘on a roll,’ which I think I am.") can figure out why Cliff took it, he turns up dead.

Unlike some mysteries which make the mistake of introducing the most pertinent evidence too late in the story (which is to say, only when the sleuth is disclosing whodunnit, how and why) Young carefully plants the clues along the way.

Wonderfully well done. I give it five stars.

Available for $.99 at

To see all books by Joan H. Young, go to

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