Poisoned Ground: A Rachel Goddard Mystery (Rachel Goddard Mysteries)

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This gripping mystery starts with a bang. Rachel Goddard, a veterinarian in Mason County, Virginia, drives to Joanna McKendrick’s farm to check on her animals and finds Joanna pointing a shotgun at bank president Robert McClure. McClure has been badgering Joanna to sell to Packard Development, an outfit that wants to turn the area into a resort. Then shots ring out from the neighboring Kelly farm. The Kellys are found dead.

There are so many convincing suspects in this satisfying puzzle mystery: The Kellys opposed selling. Jake Hollinger is in favor of selling. Did he do it? He had an affair with Marie Kelly years ago; is that connected? The Kellys’ son is desperate for cash. How desperate? Hollinger’s son doesn’t like Lincoln Kelly or Hollinger’s girlfriend, Octavia, who also wants to sell. She winds up dead. The smarmy representative of Packard threatens Rachel more than once. The aging Jones sisters know more than they are telling. In this small community of intertwined lives, are these murders about land or the past?

Multi-layered characters and richly-textured setting details make the imagined community of Mason Country, Virginia, with its small Main Street and outlying farmlands entirely believable. Parshall keeps a reader guessing who the killer is, artfully weaving together old resentments, new dreams, and money lust, as more people die. The revelation, when it comes, achieves that most coveted of mystery endings: Surprise, followed by “Of course!” because the clues were there all along.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 250 pages
Publisher Poisoned Pen Press
Publish Date 2014-Mar-04
ISBN 9781464202247
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2014
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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