Welcome the Little Children (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries: Book 3) by Lynda McDaniel

Welcome the Little Children: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 3) by [McDaniel, Lynda]

4 Stars

Publisher: Lynda McDaniel Books

Date of publication: November 15th, 2018

Genre: Mystery

Series: Appalachian Mountain Mysteries

A Life for A Life—Book 1 (review here)

The Roads to Damascus—Book 2 (review here)

Welcome the Little Children—Book 3

Where you can find Welcome the Little Children: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis:

Missing mother. Neglected children. Lost love. Abit and Della have their work cut out for them.

Meet Astrid, a sprite of a girl whose mother goes missing from her isolated log cabin. Abit Bradshaw and Della Kincaid get entangled in the investigation, searching for answers from the mountains of N.C. to the streets of D.C. Along the way, they come face-to-face with the lies and secrets plaguing their own families. Meanwhile, Abit struggles with a decision that could cost him everything he holds dear.

Welcome the Little Children is the third book in Lynda McDaniel’s internationally acclaimed Appalachian Mountain Mysteries series. Reviewers have compared her work to To Kill a Mockingbird and her storytelling style to that of Fannie Flagg. If you like page-turning dramas without over-the-top violence—but packed with suspense and character-driven stories—you’ll love this series.

My Review:

Welcome the Little Children is the last book in the Appalachian Mountain Mystery series. Abit has graduated from The Hicks and is doing well for himself. Della is wondering if she should pack up and move to Washington D.C. with Alex. That is when Astrid appears. An eight-year-old who seemed years older, she tugs at Della’s heartstrings. Then Della finds out that Astrid’s mother has disappeared. Using her investigative reporter skills, Della tries to find her. Along the way, Della is forced to face secrets that are haunting her own family. Will Della find Astrid’s mother? What are the secrets that Della will uncover?

Welcome the Little Children was a fantastic end to the Appalachian Mountain Mysteries. I was excited to read it. I couldn’t wait to see what Della and Abit would get themselves into. I wasn’t disappointed!!

The storyline that involved Della, Astrid, and her family was heartbreaking. I liked that Della was going to find out where Astrid’s mother was. And when she did, man did the fireworks start. I loved it. I also liked that the storyline was resolved in a way that made sense to me. It was realistic.

The storyline that involved Abit and Fiona was a heartbreaker. I cried more during that storyline than I did in the other books. I felt awful for Abit. The decision he had to make was a painful one. But he wasn’t going to be pressured into doing anything he didn’t want to do. What I liked about this storyline is that it came around full circle. I’m not going to say what but I will say that Abit and Fiona did get their happily ever after.

The characters in Welcome the Little Children were wonderfully written. From the main characters to the secondary, they all added depth to the storyline. Della’s crisis at the beginning of the book struck me. I have had similar situations before, and I have questioned myself too.

The end of Welcome the Little Children was good. The storylines were wrapped up in ways that I liked. I will say that I agreed with Della on Abit’s mother’s deathbed confession. I would have contemplated the same thing.

I would give Welcome the Little Children an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Welcome the Little Children. I would also recommend this book to family and friends

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Have you read Welcome the Little Children?

What are your thoughts on it?

Let me know!!

The Roads to Damascus (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries: Book 2) by Lynda McDaniel

The Roads to Damascus: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 2) by [McDaniel, Lynda]

4 Stars

Publisher: Lynda McDaniel Books

Date of publication: February 5th, 2018

Genre: Mystery

Series: Appalachian Mountain Mystery

A Life for a Life—book 1 (review here)

The Roads to Damascus—book 2

Welcome the Little Children—book 3

Where you can find The Roads to Damascus: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis:

Abit is back! Four years after that fateful summer in “A Life for a Life,” Abit Bradshaw faces the biggest challenge of his life in “The Roads to Damascus,” the much-anticipated second book in the Appalachian Mountain Mysteries trilogy. When a family of con artists fleeces his school and casts suspicion on him, Abit, with the support of his friends Della Kincaid and Alex Covington, sets out to find them and get payback. He takes a life-changing journey from Washington, D.C., through the mountains of Virginia, and finally home again to Laurel Falls, N.C. Along the way, he draws on every bit of courage and faith he can muster as he encounters a slew of characters—from sinners to saints—who help him come to terms with his rightful place in the world.

My review:

The Roads to Damascus takes place four years after A Life for A Life. Abit (or VJ) is home after being expelled from The Hicks. A family of con artists takes his school for a large amount of money. They also set Abit up to take the fall. Abit decides that he needs to find them and their other victims. His journey leads him through Virginia and back to North Carolina. During this journey, Abit learns that not all smarts come from the brain and that there was a place in the world for people like him. It is up to him to embrace who he is.

The plotline for The Roads to Damascus was straightforward. It follows Abit as he pursues the family of con people who took his school for a lot of money. It was well written with memorable characters. I didn’t like that the book was told only from Abit’s POV. The back and forth between Della and Abit in the first book was lacking here. But, I could see why the author decided to only write from Abit’s POV. It was his journey that needed to be told. And what a journey it was!!

I loved Abit in this book. I loved watching his character grow in this book. I knew that I was in for something special when he went to Washington D.C. to with Della and started on his journey. The bumbling, childish manchild morphed into a mature man who knew his worth. I loved it. Of course, he made mistakes along the way. He learned from them and moved on. His journey, which first started being about him, ended up being about other people.

I was a little afraid for Abit at points in the book. He didn’t exactly keep it on the down-low that he was after Mama, Clarice, and Clayne. Some of the situations that he got into scared me. There were points in the book where I kept saying to myself “Abit, GO home.” Of course, I knew that he couldn’t.

I wouldn’t call The Roads to Damascus a mystery. There was next to no mystery in the book. The only mystery was when Abit was going to catch up with Mama, Clarice, and Clayne. But there was plenty of adventure and plenty of action. I would say that it was a good fit in those genres instead.

There was romance in The Roads to Damascus!! I wasn’t expecting it, and I loved it. I thought that Fiona was a perfect match for Abit. After what Clarice put him through, I was worried that he wouldn’t be able to trust anyone again.

The end of The Roads to Damascus was pretty typical. I knew that what happened was going to happen. I liked seeing Abit show up everyone who had doubted him.

I would give The Roads to Damascus an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would suggest that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Roads to Damascus. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Have you read Pray for the Girl?

What are your thoughts on it?

Let me know!!

A Life for A Life by Lynda McDaniel

A Life for a Life: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 1) by [McDaniel, Lynda]

4 Stars

Publisher: Lynda McDaniel Books 

Date of publication: August 15th, 2016

Genre: Mystery

Where you can find A Life for a Life: Amazon | Barnes and Noble


When a young woman is found dead in a wilderness area of the North Carolina mountains, the county sheriff says suicide. Della Kincaid disagrees. As a former reporter in Washington, D.C., she knows how to hunt down the real story. But she’s living in Laurel Falls, N.C., trying to revive a struggling general store and create a new life for herself. Without her usual sources, she turns to an unlikely cast of characters—friends, customers, ex-husband, and forger. With their help, she uncovers how unbridled greed has spawned an interwoven series of crimes and sorrows. Along the way, Kincaid discovers how much the Appalachian landscape and its people mean to her.

Lynda McDaniel, award-winning author of 15 books, has woven together true events from her early years living “back to the land” in Appalachia with an intriguing mystery story.

“A Life for a Life,” an autobiographical mystery novel, shares funny, moving, and surprising stories from those years. You’ll meet a cantankerous laundromat owner who was just as weird as Lynda portrayed her, and a gentle giant of a beekeeper whose love for his family was as big as he was. And Cleva, who’s based on a lovely woman who taught Lynda how to can tomatoes and make the best blackberry jam you’ve ever tasted. Many of the other characters are fashioned after real people who opened their hearts to this deer-in-the-headlights city slicker. Lynda had moved to the mountains of North Carolina to see what rural life was all about. Over the years, she realized that everything that is important to her today—she learned in her Appalachian home.

My Review:

I very rarely read books that are straight mysteries. The mysteries that I read have thriller and/or psychological elements in them. To be honest, I was getting a tad bored reading them. So when I got the invite to review A Life for a Life and read the synopsis, I decided that I needed a change. I am glad that I decided to read this book. It was a well-written mystery that kept me guessing to the end.

The plotline for A Life for a Life was very simple. Della, a former reporter now running a country store, stumbles across the body of a young girl. Everything points to suicide but Della thinks that there is more to the story. So she starts doing what she does best, investigating. With her sidekicks, Abit and Jake, Della digs into the case. What she discovers will change the lives of many people in her small town.

I liked Della. I liked how she dug into Lucy’s case and refused to let it go. She had so much thrown at her during the course of the book. She had opposition from the sheriff. Her dog was kidnapped (well, dognapped). Her store was vandalized and then set on fire. If it was any other person, they would have dropped the case. But not Della, it made her even more determined to find out why Lucy was killed.

Abit was one of the sweetest characters that I have read to date. He had a way of looking at the bright side of things that made me smile. He also had thick skin. He had to. I mean, look at his nickname, Abit. His father gave it to him while describing him as “a bit slow“. Even though he was slow, he had an amazing insight into the people in his town.

I thought that the mystery angle of the book was well written. I usually figure out who the murderer is by the middle of the book. Or at least the motive. Both were kept under wraps and not revealed until the end of the book. The red herrings that the author threw out were wonderful too. I did think that the murderer was the person that was arrested.

What I liked the most about this book was the small town feel that I got from it. I know, getting a small town feel from a book. I’m nuts. But, I do. The other thing is that I live in Western North Carolina. I live in the Foothills. Everything that was written in this book could have been where I live.

The end of A Life for a Life was excellent. Like I mentioned above, the author did a fantastic job of keeping the murderer and the motive under wraps. She also did a fantastic job of wrapping up the smaller storylines and merging them with the main one. There were no loose ends.

I would give A Life for a Life an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread A Life for a Life. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review A Life for a Life.

All opinions stated in this review of A Life for a Life are mine.

Have you read A Life for a Life?

Do you like it when the author keeps a mystery 100% under wraps?

Why or why not?

Let me know!!

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