Dispatcher Zak Waller prefers working behind the scenes in the Sheriff’s Office of Lost Trail, Montana, but when a newcomer to the sparely populated town is brutally murdered—and the Sheriff is quick to pin the death on an unknown outsider—Zak starts his own private sleuthing.

On the surface Lost Trail is a picture-perfect western town, offering a simple way of life revolving around the local ranches and ski hill, but Zak knows the truth behind the facade. When his old school friend Tiff Masterson, whose family owns a local Christmas tree farm, moves back to town, the two of them join forces to get to the truth about the murder.

Titles in the Bitter Roots Mysteries include:  Bitter Roots –

Title:  Bitter Roots
Series:  Bitter Roots Mysteries #1
Author:  C J Carmichael
Genre:  Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Published:  April 25, 2017
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

If you’re in the mood for a relatively quick murder mystery read with a definite small town feel, then Bitter Roots is a perfect story to get you started on this three story series (at this time).  Zak may be a small town police dispatcher, but he has the heart and soul of a mystery sleuth hidden in that ‘can’t be bothered’ surface he cultivates.  There’s a mystery in town and his fellow officers seem to be overlooking the obvious.  He’s not above doing a bit of sniffing around since he’s certain the officials are on the completely wrong track.

Tiff knew of the most recent victim, they had worked for her family’s Christmas tree farm.  The official story doesn’t  make a lot of sense.  When she meets up with a childhood friend they find that their thoughts on the murder and the department’s are very different.  What makes them so sure it was an outsider?  Zak and Riff end up doing some investigating of their own – and the results will be some small town surprises.

I enjoyed Bitter Roots.  The small town feel is very realistic, and the suspects are numerous.  Small towns usually hold a few secrets, but murder isn’t usually at the top of that list.  Tiff and Zak were enjoyable to follow as they got to know the adult they’d each become, and figure out why the obvious is so hidden from the sheriff’s department.  If you enjoy putting puzzle pieces in just the right spots, then Bitter Roots is a story and a series that you’ll want to get started on.  Enjoyed this one and would recommend it to any Romantic Suspense or Murder Mystery reader.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle