S. L. Ellis Review of Dead of Autumn
S. L. Ellis, author of the Cassie Cruise mystery LANE CHANGES has done a review of DEAD of AUTUMN on her blog. Below is a reprint of her review. The original, as well as a Book Blitz feature of DEAD of AUTUMN (along with the entire first chapter) is available at http://www.cassiecruise.com
Dead of Autumn by Sherry Knowlton (an ITW Debut Author)
Knowlton's debut mystery novel covers both present day and history in rural Pennsylvania. Lawyer Alexa Williams recently returned home to her family's small-town firm from NYC, and she's appreciating the difference in lifestyles,when she and her mastiff, Scout, discover a body in the woods.
Alexa gasped and let the branch slip from her fingers.She reached out to grip Scout’s collar, and the dog immediately stopped his keening. An abrupt silence fell over the forest. The sudden quiet unnerved Alexa. The small slope blocked any sounds of traffic from the road. She could hear nothing except the muted burble of the creek and the dry rustle of autumn leaves.The murmur of the dying leaves seemed to whisper awarning. Alexa scanned the surrounding area, but she and Scout were alone. Alone with a dead body.
I like the immediate action of the first chapter, but also readers are soon introduced to the subplot which is a re-telling of the story of the Babes in the Woods. The 80-plus years old story is sad, chilling, intriguing and wonderfully blended into the main mystery. The characters are well-developed, and the descriptions of nature and rural life are spot on. There are times when the dialogue seemed less than natural to me, but Knowlton's skill in story and her love for the setting and it's beauty shines throughout the book and more than makes up for any nit-picking regarding what may be just a matter of personal preference. I recommend this book to all who enjoy a well told mystery.