Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review of A Hasty Grave by Jessie McAlan with Giveaway

Welcome to the review tour for A Hasty Grave by Jessie McAlan. It's a cozy murder mystery with secret codes and cyphers and some twists and turns along the way. Please enjoy an excerpt following the blurb before downloading your own copy. I also have my own review for you. Leave questions or comments for the author and then follow the tour for more reviews and chances to win the giveaway at the end!

Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help me support my websites, at no additional cost to you. I also received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

A Hasty Grave

Finding a large hole on one’s property is one thing; finding a body in it the following day is quite another.

Rona and her ex-husband, Johnny, also discover a sheet of paper at the gravesite, symbols looking like code or treasure hunting glyphs. What’s it mean? Does it have any bearing on the man’s death?

Add to this mix the old Finley-Tennet feud and an elderly Finley’s nebulous recollection of James/Younger outlaw days. Does she have the clue to the cache’s location?

When a second death pushes Rona and Johnny into a deadly game of hide-and-seek with the killer, she learns—nearly too late--just how deeply Johnny still loves her.

Read an excerpt:
She told Johnny later she didn’t know what woke her or how long she’d been asleep. Perhaps Drew’s growl pulled her from her dream; perhaps it was a sixth sense. She eased out of bed, barely breathing, and grabbed her flashlight. Drew was at the bedroom door, alternately looking at her and then back to the hallway.

Clutching the flashlight like a club, she stepped into the hall. Drew followed beside her, his presence and growls reassuring.

“Who’s there?” Her voice sounded thin in the stillness.

No voice or noise answered. No scuffle of footsteps, no crash of a falling lamp or thud against furniture signaled the invader’s presence. She swallowed and called again, forcing more volume into her words. “Whoever’s here, I’m going to let my dog loose. You’ll get bitten.”

As if to underscore her statement, Drew barked.

She stooped, patted him, and whispered, “Let’s see who’s here.”

He barked again and padded down the hall. When he got to the den, he stopped and looked back at her. 
The room was dark but she didn’t want to turn on the lamp for fear of pinpointing her location to the intruder. Enough moonlight sifted through the tree branches outside and into the room for her to make out the dark forms of the furniture. Besides, she knew the layout and could most likely navigate it in total darkness. Still, she sensed someone in the room, someone who reveled in the dark.

**My thoughts**
Caches, and ciphers, and codes, oh my! The promise of all of these being intertwined in this mystery is what prompted me to grab this title for reviewing. I've been fascinated by secret codes and ciphers since I was a kid. I've known about geocaching for quite some time now, and only recently had my first experience participating in one. But I have thankfully never come across a dead body while trying to solve any of these. I can't imagine.

Clearly there is some history with Rona and finding dead bodies on her property. They keep referring to a dead woman from a few weeks before. With a little bit of research, I figured out that there is a book previous to this one. I didn't feel like I needed a ton of preknowledge from that story to understand this one, as far as murders and mystery is concerned. What I did want to better understand was the relationship between Rona and her ex-husband Johnny. I felt like I was missing a large part of that history and wanted to know more.

I admire Rona for taking the initiative to find answers to her questions on her own. I am a naturally inquisitive person, and I am fascinated by history. But if someone was threatening me, I don't know that I could do it. Her inquiries uncover a lot of interesting history, some of which may seem a little familiar to the reader. It also contributes to lots of twists and turns, so that you're not quite sure what is happening next.

About Jessie McAlan

A family trip to the Big Spring area in the Missouri Ozarks introduced Jessie to the wonders of nature. Her summer stints as a camp counselor and canoeing instructor cemented her enthusiasm. This love of the natural world and the river flows through her Linn House mysteries.

In 2001 Jessie graduated from Webster University with a BA degree and departmental honors in English.

She lives in the St Louis, MO area, and spends as much time as she can writing mysteries and watching the barges on the river.

Jessie McAlan will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Hi, Mary. Yep, it's odd, isn't it? Just as long as it's fictitious!

  2. I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Hi, Lisa -- Glad you signed on. And good luck with the raffledrawing!

  3. I enjoy these tours and have found some awesome books for my sisters and daughters so thank you so very much. Thanks also for the great giveaway and the opportunity to win.

    1. Hi, Robert. I think these review tours are a good way to find new books and authors. Good luck with the raffle!

  4. I enjoyed reading the excerpt! Thank you!

    1. Carole, I'm so glad you liked the excerpt. I think it's difficult to choose something from the book -- can't be too long, but it has to be interesting (hopefully). Thanks for taking time to comment and good luck!

  5. Replies
    1. Rita, thanks for the comment. Glad you stopped by...and good luck on the drawing!

  6. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for hosting. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  7. I'll say good night. Thanks again, Andi, for the review and thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. I appreciate it!

  8. I just loved your excerpt and cover.

  9. Bridgett, thanks so much! If you read the book, I hope you'll like it, too. Thanks for commenting.

  10. Happy Friday, thanks for sharing the your review!

    1. I thank Andi too for the review. Glad you dropped by, Victoria.

  11. What is the best book that you have read in the last year? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  12. What are some of your favorite books? Congrats on the tour. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  13. Thanks for hosting. This looks like a fun book. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com


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