“The women of Buckneck need a fighting chance, and to be forewarned is to be forearmed – if there is any way to prepare for a mad bowhunter,” Tess considers in Heather Day Gilbert’s novel, Trial by Twelve.
The second book of the A Murder in the Mountains series, this two hundred and eighty-four-page paperback targets those who enjoy a Christian fictional mystery. With no profanity or extremely graphic violence, topics of abuse and murder may not be appropriate for immature readers. With no plan of eternal salvation given, Christianity is lightly mentioned along with a few Buddhism quotes. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. The beginning contains reviews and other books written by the author while the ending has a dessert recipe, author’s biography, contact information, and advertisements.
In this continuing story written in first person that is set in the small mountainous town of Buckneck, West Virginia, Tess Spencer loves being a wife, mother of a one year old daughter, and part-time receptionist at the Crystal Mountain Spa.
Being the sleuth that she is, Tess is called into action by Detective Zeke Tucker when eight female bodies are unearthed behind the spa during its expansion. Having her mother-in-law watch her child and her husband becoming a prosecuting attorney, she has plenty of time to help find the serial killer.
Packing a concealed weapon and learning how her girlfriends, family, and she can protect themselves, the protagonist gets deeply involved in the murder case when more bodies are found.
With written notes by the killer at the beginning of some chapters, the reader is drawn into deciphering who in the sleepy town is an expert marksman with the determination to eliminate women. Adding how the town got its name and descriptions of delicious Southern food, the tale shows how Tess’s evidence-gathering intuitions catch the murderer. Her always working husband, ever positive mother-in-law, grieving friend, and more characters from the first book play a part in solving the mystery with plenty of options for a future read.
Having published three other books, author Gilbert is a graduate of Bob Jones University who was born and raised in West Virginia. Married for eighteen years, she and her husband have three children.
Thanks to the Book Club Network for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.