Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters; fast moving plot
Cons: None in this bargain
The Bottom Line:
A found manuscript
Sets off murder, treasure hunt
In page turning book
Hunt for Hemingway Treasure
No one is better at finding more than she bargained for than Sarah Winston. She continues to find murder, mystery, and mayhem as she tries to run her garage sale business. The Gun Also Rises is her sixth adventure, and it is once again wonderful.
Sarah has been asked to run a book sale for Mrs. Belle Winthrop Granville, III, with the proceeds benefiting the local library. No, she's not handling the many rare books in Belle’s collection but her many mystery novels that range from kid's mysteries to popular modern authors. Sarah is delighted to jump in, although she's having a hard time focusing on the work with so many wonderful books around her to distract her.
She's going through the books in the attic when she discovers a travel bag containing something that stops her cold. Inside, she finds what she thinks are the Ernest Hemingway manuscripts that were stolen from a train in Paris in the 1920's. She takes them down to show Belle, who is just as surprised and mystified their presence in her home. A couple of hours later, Belle has been attacked and the manuscripts stolen. Then Sarah finds a dead body. What has she landed in the middle of now?
As a mystery reader, I loved the set up for this book. Over the course of the story, we get references to Trixie Belden, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Ann Cleeves, Joanne Fluke, Agatha Christie, and so many others. Any time one of these names popped up, I had to smile.
Of course, that alone would not have been enough to make me love this book. Being a mystery, I expect this book to have a good mystery of its own. It does. This book is more of a treasure hunt than a traditional cozy mystery, but I loved every minute of it. Yes, we do solve the murder that happens along the way, but the hunt for the manuscripts drives more of the action than sifting through suspects in the murder. Again, I am not complaining about that in the slightest since there was always a twist happening. I never wanted to put the book down.
The characters are fantastic as well. Sarah herself is a reluctant heroine, and I like her caution as she tries to unravel the latest puzzle she's found herself in. Because of the nature of this book, we don't see as much of some of the supporting characters, but what we do is wonderful. Other supporting characters are still front and center, and I loved seeing how those relationships progressed. The new characters are complex and helped pull us into the book.
Sarah is a former air force wife, and the series is set near a fictional air force base. Author Sherry Harris, herself an air force wife, uses this to highlight some of the issues that our veterans and their families deal with. I appreciate this look at the sacrifices everyone makes. These sub-plots definitely stay in the background behind the hunt for the manuscript, but they provide a little added depth.
This series gets better with every book, and The Gun Also Rises continues the trend. If you haven't started this series yet, do yourself a favor and buy the first one today.
Missing any of these mystery books? Here are the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries in order.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.