Thursday, March 14, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Payne & Misery by Catherine Leggitt

A Christine Sterling Mystery #1
by Catherine Leggitt
Westbow Press, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4497-0419-3
Christian Mystery
Print copy received from author in return for an honest review.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.


All that sparks is not gold for Christine Sterling. The luster of her shiny "Golden Years" dream fades when Christine's newly retired husband, Jesse, succumbs to an exciting new hobby requiring long weekends away. Add to this dilemma Christine's dubious "gift" of observation, a super-sized helping of free time, and a double dose of imagination. Sprinkle with peculiar circumstances lurking in the neighborhood and what do you get? Not the glittering paradise of togetherness Jesse promised. You get trouble. Big trouble. Christine has already developed a bad reputation for conjuring wild tales to explain ordinary occurrences. Who is likely to take her seriously when she discovers a bruised and neglected neighbor named Lila Payne? Try as she might, she cannot interest anyone in Lila's dire need for immediate rescue. Something about crying wolf once too often.

But when Lila and Christine's beloved Border collie Molly both disappear the same night, Christine dives headfirst into a dark pool swirling with muddy secrets and misery. Her best friend throws her a lifesaver of prayer and she begins to sense God at work in the situation. But even with God's help, can they save Lila and Molly before it's too late?


Catherine Leggitt is the author of the cozy mystery novels, "Payne & Misery," The "Dunn Deal,"and "Parrish the Thought." She is also an inspirational speaker presently residing in northern California. During her first career--after raising children and before caring for her aging parents--Catherine worked as an elementary school teacher, where she developed her flair for playacting and storytelling. Struggling with retirement, Catherine needed a distraction. She found it at her keyboard.

In addition to writing and speaking, Catherine is the mother of three brilliant children who have collectively produced six incredible grandchildren. An avid Bible student, she sings in the church choir. Catherine is passionate about reading.

"Payne & Misery," a Christine Sterling Mystery, won second place at the Orange County Christian Writer's Conference in 2010. "Parrish the Thought" made the quarter finals in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest before Ellechor published the the trilogy starting in 2011. The remaining books, "The Dunn Deal" and "Parrish the Thought," were published in 2012.


I quite enjoyed this book. With likeable characters, an interesting, believable plot and a beautiful setting, Payne & Misery, provides an entertaining and compassionate read.  I think the thing I liked the most was the characters. Christine, with her penchant for snooping and observation, is a fun main character with plenty of strengths and weaknesses.  When she believes something is wrong, she wants to do something about it.  With her husband gone on a regular basis pursuing his own hobbies, she feels dissatisfied and lonely at home by herself, so when she notices strange things going on next door, she investigates and discovers the lonely and mysterious Lila. However, no one else really wants to get involved until Lila disappears the same night Christine's dog, Molly does.  Christine must face the challenge of fighting for what she believes in even when others tell her she is imagining things.  At the same time she faces relationship challenges with her husband and her own slowing awakening belief in God.  I recommend this book for those who appreciate a good mystery with a strong dose of ordinary life and loveable characters.


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