Books, Gardens, Dogs
The Tender Mercy of Roses - Anna Michaels Pony Jones, a rodeo star, lays dead in the Alabama woods, but her spirit lingers in order to find her killer. Her father Titus, bent on revenge, teams up with a disgraced ex-police detective, Jo Beth, who feels a connection with the body and becomes determined to find the perpetrator. The scent of Cherokee roses and Native American magic permeates the story as they try to find the murderer. Jo Beth seems somewhat mysterious at first until her background is made clear and her friend Maggie cheers the group onward. Jo Beth is at the crux of this story in more ways than one. The families of Pony and Jo Beth are deeply intertwined. There is also an under lying conflict between the the detective, Sam Donovan, who is Jo Beth's former partner.I really thought this book was a great mix of mystery, thriller and paranormal much like a bit of Sarah Addison Allen and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold with a dash of The Late Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow . The writing really sparkles and you are quickly drawn into the magical world of Pony which is quite believable. There are dark dramas played out by each character and you wonder if they will each be able to keep their lives together while unravelling this mystery and not destroy each other. I just wish I didn't know who the killer was right at the start and that would have been explained a bit later in the book.

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