Monday, June 11, 2012

Review of News From Dead Mule Swamp

Anastasia Joy Raven, who goes by Ana, recently bought a house in Dead Mule Swamp, after her husband traded her in for a new partner named Brian. She takes pride in her new home and is eager to do much of the work by herself. One day, she comes across an old newspaper in the wall. She is intrigued by this piece, as is her neighbor Cliff Sorenson. He takes off with the newspaper hidden in his shirt and soon after disappears. Ana can't understand why he would be so interested in this yellow, decaying piece of paper. When he is found dead, she takes it upon herself to try to solve the mystery.

This short story by Joan H. Young is considered to be a "cozy mystery." I admit I had to look up the definition of that term. It means a mystery that often takes place in a small town and is investigated by an amateur, usually female sleuth. One site said to think of Jessica on Murder, She Wrote. It is also lacking in a lot of the sex and violence, which is a refreshing change at times.

At a mere 52 pages, it is easy to read the story in one afternoon, curled up in a chair with a blanket and a beverage. At first, I wasn't sure what the big deal was with the newspaper and almost didn't care. As I kept going through the chapters, though, I found myself more and more intrigued. Ana's search for the story in the newspaper that obviously means a lot to someone in the town digs up some old secrets that some of the locals wanted to keep buried. I loved the idea of digging through old archives of papers and preserving a town's history.

Dead Mule Swamp boasts the usual cast of cantankerous characters and nosy neighbors that you would expect to find in a small town. In these places, curiosity often kills the cat, or at least gets you into a lot of trouble. Ana is a likeable character whose curiosity has gotten the best of her, but ends up being somewhat of a hero in the end. Her newspaper story is the first in a series of misadventures in which she finds herself. I look forward to reading more of the series.

Learn more about the Dead Mule Swamp series of mysteries featuring Anastasia Raven and about author Joan H. Young here.

Purchase your own Kindle copy of News From Dead Mule Swamp. You can read it on your Kindle, PC or favorite mobile device!

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