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For years, I have loved to read mysteries. I especially love mysteries set in England. This particular title fits that bill and was well received by me.
About The Hunter Hare
The hamlet of Pennant Melangell consists of a church and a few cottages and lies in a mountainous part of North Wales that is so remote that it is, even today, only barely accessible to cars. It is the ancient pilgrimage site for the medieval Saint Melangell and is still visited by those seeking healing.
The Davison family has come to Pennant Melangell seeking spiritual refuge as their family faces the reality of Jenny Davison’s terminal cancer. Jenny and Aidan have visited before, but this is the first time they have brought their daughter, seven-year-old Melangell, to the place which inspired her name.
New since their last visit is a lavish hotel–The House of the Hare–a grand project conceived and financed by local businessman Thaddeus Brown. The Davisons are impressed by the extensive facilities developed with the needs of the sick, weak, and disabled in mind. Jenny is particularly excited by the archery range with modifications that will enable her to shoot arrows even in her extremely weakened state.
But instead of a place of healing, this sacred location becomes a place of doom when Thaddeus Brown is found dead, an arrow in his eye. Suspicion falls on those who have used the archery range, including Jenny along with Brown’s vulnerable young niece Lorna. As Aidan works to clear his wife’s name, young Melangell goes missing. Is the murderer also a kidnapper? Or does The House of the Hare harbor more mysteries? And who might be the next victim?
The first of a series of new mysteries featuring Aidan Davison and set in what celebrated fantasy novelist Fay Sampson describes as the "thin" places of the Celtic world.
This particular title not only captured my interest with the murder mystery aspect, but also the inclusion of a setting and background of Saint Melangell. I love learning more about holy individuals from the middle ages and this is one I had not heard of before now. (For the curious, there really IS a Saint Melangell and shrine as described in this title.)
The characters had the flavor of reality and by the end of the novel I was feeling a connection with Jenny and her family. Having a main character for the first book in a series that is terminally ill seemed a little strange at first to me. However, having read the book I can see how this book has laid a wonderful foundation for the reader to latch onto Aidan and their daughter, Melangell.
The setting of the novel fit very well and I could picture how the terrain and buildings must look in that more remote area of Wales. Like other novels I’ve read set in England, attention to detail was paid to write authentic to that culture. For some readers, it might seem a little strange at first.
Finally, the mystery component was well managed with no clear ‘he’ or ‘she’ did it up until the end. Having a few twists and turns helps to make the story a bit more exciting and Ms. Sampson has managed to do just that.
Now I am longing to pay my own visit to that area of Wales, even if The House of the Hare is a fictional place in that setting.
Until November 11, 2012, you can purchase The Hunted Hare for $5 in Kindle format. The paperback copy retails for $14.99, although you can find it slightly less on Amazon (widget below.)
You can see other reviewers comments by visiting The Hunter Hare Tour Page at Kregel.