In fifth grade, we were given the choice of several books to read. My friend Paul and I both selected Incident at Hawk’s Hill. Not that I’m competitive or anything like that, but I do recall that each day we would check with each other to find out who was where in the book. Each day I was the same number of pages ahead of him and then he asked that question.
“You read the introduction, didn’t you?”
I hadn’t, and it ends up that it was exactly the number of pages I was ahead.
At Paul’s urging, I went back to read the introduction and was so glad I did! It added a completely new dimension to the story.
I know what you’re going to ask now. The answer is “I don’t recall who finished first.” We probably finished together, or so my analytical (and of course, noncompetitive!) mind assumes.
The important lesson I learned is to always read the introduction. Or at least read it until it proves to be useless or overly boring.
The Courtship of Harry's Wife
by Jeanette-Marie Mirich
Series: D.B. Burns Mysteries #1
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date September 1, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Mystery, Clean Romance, Suspense
Setting: Kentucky Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 35-60
Written for: Adults
I shouldn't have made the promise when Harry was dying but . . .
You know how it is. You want to please when the person you’ve always loved is hooked up to plastic tubing looking peaky.
Delilah Morgan, a woman of honor, is unable to ignore her promise to her husband, Harry, which leads to trouble, with a capital T. The beautiful, unassuming Delilah plans to mourn in private after Harry passed, but he had other ideas—specifically, leaving his wife in good hands and protected from the elite of their small Kentucky town. However, he neglects to include his wife in his plans.
Harry has selected local judge, Lyle Henderson, the heart-throb of most of the women in town, to court his widow. The judge acquiesces to Harry’s wishes until Henderson’s life spins into a maelstrom after the discovery of bodies in his long absent wife’s car. The police and FBI begin to suspect him of murdering his wife and her apparent lover.
Determined to clear the judge of murder, Delilah resolves to hunt down the true story. Their adventure nearly costs them their lives and leads them on what Delilah suspects is a wild-goose chase toward love. In reality, their wanderings reveal what sacrificial love can encompass.
I would like to thank Mountain Brook Ink for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Often, reading the introduction to a book can be enlightening. So I’ve made a habit to at least give the intro a fair chance. I also like to skim through the Acknowledgements as well.
As I read first the Dedication and then started into the Acknowledgements (which came at the beginning of this book), I knew I was in for a treat. The style of writing grabbed my attention and the words grabbed my heart. Once the story began, I was completely hooked. Only my commitment to my job kept me from reading all day until I was finished, and that only just barely!
Delilah’s deep love for Harry and her grief were poignant and yet the story does not have a somber tone. It is snarky and clever and transported me to a small college town in Kentucky.
The characters were quirky and lovable, except those who were appropriately odious. While the townsfolk were those typically found in any small town, they were no less interesting and enjoyable. Harry had alienated many of the women in town through his depictions of them in his poetry and Delilah was a pariah to them due to a jealous ex-girlfriend of Harry’s.
I was perfectly content reading of the judge’s (attempted) wooing of Delilah and his gallantry. Then, the author tossed in a fascinating mystery when the car of Judge’s long-missing ex-wife was found with two bodies in it from over a decade earlier. With evidence they had been shot before the car ended up in the lake. With the Judge a prime suspect!
Here are some favorite things about the story:
- The judge’s penchant for carrying handkerchiefs so Delilah could use them to dry her tears
- The sweet way Delilah was constantly remembering the feel of Harry’s hand in hers or the way he would do things
- Harry’s letters to Delilah and his friends
- The chicken references
- The secret room
- The scavenger hunt
- Molly and Cam
- How Delilah always referred to Lyle as “judge” and not by his name
Though almost every vice known to man appears in some form in this story, and bullets fly, the level of violence is minimal and the suspense is not overly heavy or alarming.
I am looking forward to reading more of this D.B.Burns Mysteries series.