Murder at the Courthouse, by A.H. Gabhart (Revell, 2015)
Michael Keane took the deputy sheriff position in small-town Hidden Springs to get away from the ugliness of big-city crime. He wants to help people, not get hardened like his former partner.
When a stranger is found dead on the courthouse steps, Michael will only solve the mystery if he can see the truth about his fellow citizens – and about himself.
Murder at the Courthouse is a gently-paced cozy mystery with quirky characters and a heaping helping of heart. I enjoyed the small-town feel, and it was easy to care about Michael, his aunt Lindy, and Anthony, the teenager who Michael’s trying to keep out of trouble.
Most of the story is told from Michael’s point of view, with a few snippets from his aunt. My favourite line:
…sometimes worry for his safety perched on her shoulder, digging its talons down all the way into her heart. [Aunt Lindy, about Michael’s police work, p. 43]
I did guess the killer’s identity, but that was only part of the mystery, and it didn’t affect my appreciation of the story. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the next Hidden Springs Mystery.