BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bea Reviews Come Helen High Water by Susan McBride

Series: River Road #4
Publisher: Witness Impulse
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 27th, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Helen Evans returns in Susan McBride’s fourth River Road Mystery!

Spring has sprung, the river is rising, and when Luann Dupree, the head of River Bend’s Historical Society, vanishes into the night, everyone in town is convinced she’s run off with her Internet Romeo. But her lifelong friend, Sarah Biddle, is convinced Luann is the victim of foul play. No one believes her—not even her husband, the local sheriff, so she turns to Helen Evans for help.

As River Bend’s resident puzzle-solver, Helen’s tackled many a local mystery before. So she agrees to help Sarah, even though she’s not so sure herself that Luann is really in trouble. But as the town’s flood waters slowly recede, dead fish and muck aren’t the only things Helen finds. She begins to uncover town secrets, false identities…and the very real chance that Luann might not be discovered alive…

“Packed with small town charm!”—Denise Swanson

My Thoughts:

"Come Helen High Water" was a mix of Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher and the Tori O'Shea books. Helen is a widow with grown children and also the town social butterfly and busy body. She's inquisitive, observant, generous, helpful, and a little snooty.

The town historian, Luann, a woman passionate about her work and desperate both for adventure and love runs off with a man she met online. But her friend, Sarah the sheriff's wife, doesn't believe it but instead believes that she is the victim of a kidnapping. Helen thinks Sarah is nuts and doesn't take her seriously. Even so, Sarah wheedles her into helping. It was easy to think Sarah was overreacting and I can see why Helen blew her off at times. Even so I got frustrated with her and the way she treated Sarah, a woman who supposedly was her friend. In the midst of all this, Helen was also dealing with heavy flooding from the nearby river and a friend's brother-in-law who has Alzheimer's.

The Alzheimer story was painfully realistic as anyone who's had a close relative with it can attest. Helen helps her friend and her friend's sister as best she can while dealing with the flood and the missing historian. The sheriff doesn't appreciate her assistance, calling it interference, but he does appreciate her attempts to keep his wife in check and out of trouble. Helen uses her sharp brain to poke around, ask questions, and listen. She's thorough and steady, peeling back layers to see what's underneath and making connections. The missing historian and the man with Alzheimer's are mostly separate stories but have some overlap.

"Come Helen High Water" is a steady-paced, engaging, character driven story, with little action, but lots of quiet contemplation and details of life in a small, aging town. It captured the charms and flaws of a small town. The people feel like ones I might find in my own small town. This was my first introduction to the series but I expect I'll read more.

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