Thursday, May 15, 2014

To Helen Back by Susan McBride

(River Road #1)

This is the sixth book of Susan McBride I have read, and it is the sixth time I loved every minute of doing so! A River Road Mystery.

Book blurb: "In this fun and sassy new mystery, USA Today bestselling author Susan McBride introduces us to Helen Evans, a modern-day Miss Marple who must expose a murderer in a town full of suspects!"

Milton Grone was not the easiest man in town, and not a person anyone dashed off to become friends with. He is down-right scrooged, mean-spirited and sleek. Between Shotsie, his trophy bride, and Delilah, the incubator for his two sons, which he did not care about, a lot of love and admiration for him got lost as well. Then there were his parents, who did not feature him as the highest priority in their will, which embittered him even further. 

But oh dearie me, Miltie had it coming when he sold a piece of land to a developer, with many citizens up in arms. Added to this animosity, was Felicity's, his next-door neighbor's, ilk about him stealing six inches of her land and harassing her daily over the fence.

So when the first bulldozers droned in to clear out the pristine natural haven for birds and plants, someone snapped in tiny River Bend, Illinois. Yes, Miltie has gone too far... or has he?

As Floyd Red Crow Westerman said: "The Clan Mothers ran everything and had the last word. I think that's the answer." 

Sheriff Biddle could have uttered the same Indian wisdom, since he had a partner in solving the mystery: Helen Evans, a modern-day Miss Marple, a puzzle-lover and busybody grandmother, who knew how to handle the hornets nest where her hen-parties played cards and networked about everything from their cats' meal schedules, to the town's latest intrigue and secrets. 

Satirical, fast-tracked, uncomplicated, relaxing, smart. That was my experience of To Helen Back by Susan McBride. This author is fast becoming my favorite author in this genre. It is, after all, not a genre I indulged in often. But she knows how to enchant readers like me with her murder mysteries. I just love the ambiance and style of her stories.


In this fun and sassy new mystery, USA Today bestselling author Susan McBride introduces us to Helen Evans, a modern-day Miss Marple who must expose a murderer in a town full of suspects!

When Milton Grone turns up dead in tiny River Bend, Illinois, nearly all the would-be suspects have the perfect alibi: attending Thursday night's town meeting. And as Milton was hardly beloved, plenty of folks had a reason to do him in ...

Grone's next-door neighbor was furious about a fence that encroached on her property, among other wicked deeds. A pair of zealous tree huggers wanted Grone's hide for selling a parcel of pristine land to a water park. Grone's current and ex-wife both wanted a cut of the profits, which Grone seemed unwilling to share. Even the town preacher knew Grone's soul was beyond saving.

Though most of River Bend would rather reward the killer than hang him, Sheriff Biddle's not about to let this one go … and neither is Helen Evans. With a penchant for puzzles and an ear for innuendo, Helen quickly fingers the culprit before Biddle puts the wrong suspect in jail.

Susan McBride is the author of Very Bad Things, a young adult thriller out from Delacorte in October of 2014. She also writes women's fiction, including The Truth About Love & Lightning (William Morrow, 02/13), Little Black Dress (09/11), and The Cougar Club (02/10). She has a short memoir called In the Pink: How I Met the Perfect (Younger) Man, Survived Breast Cancer, and Found True Happiness After 40 (06/12), about becoming an "accidental Cougar" at 41, marrying a younger man, being diagnosed with breast cancer at 42, and having her first child at 47. Susan was named "Survivor of the Year" by the St. Louis chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2012 and was dubbed one of St. Louis's "Most Dynamic" in 2012 by the Ladue News.

Susan previously wrote the award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries (Avon Paperbacks), including Blue Blood, The Good Girl's Guide To Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night Of The Living Deb, and Too Pretty To Die. She has authored several YA series books for Random House about debutantes in Houston, the debut in 2008 appropriately titled The Debs and followed by Love, Lies, And Texas Dips in 2009. Gloves Off, the third book, has not yet been released.

Visit Susan's web site at for more info.

Genres: Murder, Mystery, Suspense, Satire,  Illinois, Drama
Formats: eBook
Number of pages: 200 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse - digital imprint of HarperCollins
Publishing date: May 27, 2014
Edition Language: English
Purchase links:  iTunes | Barnes & Noble |  | Google Play

Awards: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award winner, Best Amateur Sleuth Mystery

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