Lynne Hinton, author of Friendship Cake, the Hope Springs Trilogy, and the Pie Town series, also has written mysteries under the name Jackie Lynn. On Tuesday, I soaked up the warmth of our wood stove for a few hours while I delved into her mystery Jacob's Ladder. I can either find mysteries solid entertainment or a painful excursion into trite formula writing. I was pleasantly entertained by Lynn's story.
A New Mexico Native American travels alone to a small campground in West Arkansas. Arriving in the middle of the night, he pulls his trailer into a remote site. Within movements of his arrival, another vehicle follows into the isolated area.
When Rose, a private duty nurse and part-time campground worker, sees that someone had signed in to the campground after hours the previous night and now a dog is wandering loose, she travels to the
far area by the river and discovers not only the old trailer, but the elderly Native American, apparently strangled. Readers quickly learn that this is not the first mystery at Shady Grove campground and not the first murder investigation that Rose been involved in. It is also clear that local sheriff does not want Rose's help (interference).
I liked this mystery which reminded me of Sue Henry's Maxi and Stretch series about an older woman from Alaska who travels in her RV and always ends in the midst of a crime. Lynn tells this mystery with a tad of Native American history and a tad more humor. For example, that dog that belonged to the murder victim has only three legs and elderly campground resident Lou Ellen believes he is the incarnation of one of her four (or is it five) husbands. And of course, Rose will continue to complicate the investigation from keeping a turquoise bracelet she finds outside the trailer to being kidnapped without the kidnappers knowing she is there.