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Murder at Blue Falls
Date of Review: 
Christy Tillery French
Midwest Book Review


Jemma Chase works as a trail leader on her parents' ranch, the Blue Falls, where she is also an accomplished photographer, carpenter and fixer-upper. Jemma has returned home in an effort to find some stability in her life, but things become tumultuous when someone begins poisoning dogs in Watauga County. Jemma is called in for an interview with Detective Tucker and bristles at his subtly accusing manner. A forensics fan, Jemma sets out to try to solve the riddle herself and keep Detective Tucker at bay. But when she stumbles upon the dead body of a neighbor, Jemma finds herself involved in a much more serious investigation and at odds with Tucker once again.

An established must-read romance author, Maggie Bishop has crossed into the mystery genre with finesse. Her latest novel is packed with suspense around a tightly-woven plot which begins with the poisoning of dogs and escalates to the murder of a local man. Throughout, she deliciously teases the reader with the bristly attraction between the investigating detective and the woman who found the man's body and who just might be a suspect. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Boone, North Carolina, with engaging characters, red herrings at every turn, and a galvanizing story line, this is a must-have, must-read. Highly recommended.

Christy Tillery French


'm saddle sore just reading this book!, September 12, 2006
Danielle Bussone (Butler, Tennessee United States)

This the third book I've read by Maggie Bishop. While I've enjoyed them
all, I can see in this work the blossoming and maturing of this
splendid writer. The story is a page turner which pulls the reader
around an unexpected bend, seamlessly integrating new events by
building on the foundation she has laid before. She arouses reasonable
suspicion of a number of suspects before allowing the true killer to
reveal himself in the last pages of the book. I always am struck with
the accuracy of Bishop's depiction of the territory in which her
characters operate. I ride horses in the Appalachians myself, though on
the Tennessee side, and as I read this book I feel myself back in the
saddle negotiating the dangerous terrains of the mountains. The
characters are interesting, even the peripheral characters. The heroine
is strong and capable, yet quite feminine, and the hero is strong
enough to appreciate her strengths and sensitive enough to accept her
flaws. It is interesting how she has woven the lives of real people,
and real writers, into her fictional tale. It is always an education
reading books by Maggie Bishop. She gives little details about life in
Appalachia that one would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. My only
regret in reading Murder at Blue Falls is that it ended too soon.
Perhaps there's a sequel in this one?

I have to say, as well, that I like the consistency of your book jackets with the
shadow figure overlapping a more opaque image. It will serve you well
as you grow I would think. Great job!!

MURDER AT BLUE FALLS is a light, easy read with lots of local color. The daily workings of a dude ranch are portrayed in a manner both interesting and realistic, and so are the folk, good and not so good, who inhabit the area. Besides a mystery story with no lack of suspects, there is the beginning of a relationship. Jemma and Tucker are mature, likable characters who could very well become a team in future mysteries set in the high country. If that weren't enough to entertain readers, Maggie Bishop has used some actual people as minor characters and included pictures of some of them and many of the horses. All of this is explained in forewords and afterwords, and, as a result, this reader felt very much as though she'd visited Blue Falls and come away a friend. Two previous books by Ms. Bishop were set in that beautiful area, APPALACHIAN PARADISE and EMERALDS IN THE SNOW.

For a fresh, enjoyable read with a homespun flavor, try MURDER AT BLUE FALLS.
Jane Bowers

Romance Reviews Today

"The rural hilly setting in which Maggie Bishop sets her mystery becomes one of the characters. The central character (Jemma) is a sympathetic character, and her interest in the forensic science on television gives a plausible reason for her to investigate -- and it is difficult to give the amateur sleuth a legitimate reason for his/her connection. The touch of romance is a delightful touch. Please continue to send us review copies of books of this caliber!"

-- Margaret Baker, Director, Glencoe Wordsmithing