Monday, 3 October 2016

Book review of Boxes for Beds

About the book:

In 1961 the mob still ruled Hot Springs, Arkansas and had Sheriff Bates under their thumb. When babies are being kidnapped in nearby Pine Hollow, Bates has to put this case to bed before the bosses come down from Chicago. They don't need the heat of a major investigation that could involve the feds.

Who is taking the babies? Is the current case connected to the disappearance of babies 25 years ago?

In a desperate move to solve the case before the FBI has to be called in, Bates decides to arrest Leslie Richards, the new woman in town, even though there is only thin circumstantial evidence against her. Better for it to be a stranger taking those babies and not one of their own. 

Leslie has left New York with her ten-year-old daughter, Mandy, hoping to escape from the secrets of her past and the ruins of a relationship, only to discover that there is little peace for her in Pine Hollow, Arkansas.

My thoughts:

Awesome book in the suspense/psychological genre!  The story has all the elements of suspense, mystery and crime perfectly blended in together.

Leslie Richards the protagonist of the story decides to leave the humdrum of the busy New York City and start a new life in a little town of Pine Hollow to spend more time on her next story. With a city of less than two thousand population it is easier to find a new comer in the city.

The author has done an extensive research on the timeline where the events in the story take place. She has put the ideology of the people of that time in the story and how their thoughts affected the society. It is evident from an incident from the story where the author emphasizes on a fact in those times that “a widow with a ten year old is more acceptable than a divorcee with a young child.”

The story is set in Arkansas in 1961 when the Civil Rights movements were gaining momentum and how a little city like Pine Hollow is also affected.

Leslie Richards the protagonist isn’t welcomed heartily to this little town and is mostly a stranger than finding a lone friend Matt, a kid about the age of her daughter Mandy. Little time had they spent in the town when they find out a baby is kidnapped in the city which panics everyone in the town. With our protagonist of the story being new to the city and a being a stranger the Sheriff eyes her as the prime suspect in the crime.

This is too much to take for her and her daughter. With no one to talk to Leslie finds herself lonely amidst the growing tension. Life can change in a flicker of eyelids. Leslie finds a way out of her recluse when Ronald knocks her door, after a long time having walked away from Leslie a long time ago. Ronald comes in search of his love with a promise of never leaving her ever again.

Now with two babies stolen and the Sheriff Bates holding Leslie responsible for the crime, Deputy Gus Schumaker finds no evidence against the young lady. He has to make a tough a decision of whether to follow the orders of his superior or to do what is right.

The stage is set with a perfect crime scene with mystery building around. You have to buy the book to find out what happens next. Will Leslie be able to prove her innocence and will the kidnapper be caught?

It is 5 stars from me. All for the perfect setting of the story and the humour the author has put in the form of Mandy at places that makes the story even more appealing.

I just loved this conversation.

Mandy says to her mom “Ronald said to ask if we could go to the park.”
“Why didn’t Ronald come and ask me himself?”
Mandy laugher. “He said you wouldn’t say no to me.”
Leslie joined the laughter, then went to change out her court dress.

About the author:

Maryann Miller is most happy when she is at her keyboard working on another mystery. No, wait, she is also happy playing on stage. Happy, too, when playing farmer on her acreage in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas. And immensely happy when spending time with her family. Professionally, she has published numerous books, won a few awards, and garnered some nice reviews from Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, and a number of satisfied readers. Those are the ones that mean the most to her.

Read more about the here: http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelves/book.php?id=84553