I have had my eye on Jess Montgomery’s debut novel, The Widow’s, for some time so when this one came up for review, I couldn’t pass on it even if it was the second in a series.
A number of readers said this book could be read as a standalone even if it is part of a series so I was eager to jump in and see if that was truly the case. I loved the ‘ghost story’ angle in the summary and couldn’t wait to start reading it!
Admittedly the midwest area and the 1920s aren’t really my go to location or eras for a historical mystery novel but I heard such great things about her debut that I was sure to love this one as well!
Ohio, 1926: For many years, the underground railroad track in Moonvale Tunnel has been used as a short cut through the Appalachian hills. When an elderly woman is killed walking along the tracks, the brakeman tells tales of seeing a ghostly female figure dressed all in white.
Newly elected Sheriff Lily Ross is called on to the case to dispel the myths, but Lily does not believe that an old woman would wander out of the hills onto the tracks. In a county where everyone knows everyone, how can someone have disappeared, when nobody knew they were missing? As ghost stories and rumors settle into the consciousness of Moonvale Hollow, Lily tries to search for any real clues to the woman’s identity.
With the help of her friend Marvena Whitcomb, Lily follows the woman’s trail to The Hollows—an asylum is northern Antioch County—and they begin to expose secrets long-hidden by time and the mountains.
First of all I have to say, I love Lily as the sheriff! She has a great presence in this book and I love how her mind works to solve things. I also loved that the author based her character and mystery series in real life happenings in that area and a real life female sheriff. I thought it added a lot of historical interest to the narrative and characters so I applaud the author for this!
This book was well written and I thought the author showed her skills at story telling nicely throughout this mystery. The mystery itself was solid with some twists and turns to keep me guessing. I was constantly entertained and eager to see what happened next and how the crime would be solved.
I am also a huge fan of the gothic and I loved how this story incorporated little elements of the gothic to it’s mystery. In addition to the fun little elements of ghosts in this book, the historical research is top notch. As I said earlier, I loved reading about all the historical politics of the time as well as the setting of this area. While I am not a huge fan of small town post war, mid west America, as far as history is concerned, I am a fan of well written and researched history brought to life in a mystery such as this!
This was a book that I had no trouble breezing through in a few days and trying to decipher the mystery and motives was so fun and I thought the author did an amazing job keeping her audience engaged and excited about what was to come in the next chapter as well as the series overall. I would also like to go back and read her debut novel so that I can get a more detailed understanding of Lily as a main character. I loved her so much and enjoyed how witty and intelligent she was so I would like to go back and ‘meet her’ for the first time in The Widows!
Overall a solid historical mystery, this is an author to watch!
Book Info and Rating
Connect with Jess
Jess Montgomery’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Monday, January 13th: Amy’s Book-et List
Tuesday, January 14th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, January, 15th: @bibliolau
Monday, January 20th: @thebookclubmom
Monday, January 20th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, January 21st: @giuliland
Tuesday, January 21st: Booked on a Feeling
Wednesday, January 22nd: Buried Under Books
Thursday, January 23rd: The Lit Bitch
Friday, January 24th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, January 27th: Into the Hall of Books
Tuesday, January 28th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Thursday, January 30th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, January 30th: @jessicamap
Friday, January 31st: Reading Reality
Wednesday, February 5th: Books and Bindings
Friday, February 7th: Bookish Bliss and Beauty