Sometimes a title is all it takes to pique interest, and this Susan McBride title in her River Road mystery series was just that sort of book. A small-town cozy with plenty of characters, action and intrigue. Please read on for my review of
Come Helen High Water
The first I’ve read in this series, I got to know several of the townspeople throughout the story: a small Illinois town on the Mississippi that is home to 200 people. Most elderly and all very active. Starting with Luann, the director of the town’s historical society, she’s now feeling a loss of ‘something’ and through an on-line site has met her Mr. Maybe. She’s soon disappeared, and is only texting her best friend Sarah and sheriff’s wife, that she’s overjoyed, and has given up her job, apartment and any interest in staying around. Totally out of character, but at first, Sarah is the only one who thinks it’s wholly wrong.
Then there is Bernie and his wife Betty and sister-in-law Clara. Here is where real life invades the story with great poignancy and heart: Bernie is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s, and while Betty is caring for him at home, the ramifications for her and her family are great. While Clara is spending more time with Betty than at her own home, the care and management of this poor chap are really down to his wife, who he has passed the point of recognizing.
In the middle of this all, and something of a Miss Marple in her own right is Helen, Clara’s best friend, widowed with a pushy and quite demanding cat, crossword puzzle addict and, it seems, in the middle of all the town’s goings-on. With Luann disappeared and a new director hired in her place who has managed to push all the volunteers out, no one listening seriously to Sarah’s concerns, and the spring flood causing evacuations near the harbor and everyone watching the water levels: there are more than a few elements in play. Add in some ‘mysterious big discovery’ made by Luann before her disappearance, Bernie wandering away twice, only to return reasonably unharmed once, a con-man setting his sights on the elderly man again after successful scams run previously and some mysterious clues popping up as Sarah digs deeper – there are multiple little mysteries woven into the larger questions about Luann’s disappearance.
A wonderful story that I read in one sitting, and now feel that I have reasons to return and revisit with Helen and the group at River Bend. I’m sure that those who knew and already found friends among the characters in town will find this story to be as engaging and intriguing as I did, with plenty of little questions answered as the plot rolled on to present the villain, the solution and the difficult choices that were made.
Title: Come Helen High Water
Author: Susan McBride
Series: River Road #4
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Small Town
Published by: Witness Impulse
Published on: 27 June, 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 52 minutes
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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…
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.