Bittersweet by C. J. Carmichael

Murder in a small town is always personal.

Local longtime librarian, Sybil Tombe, is missing, abducted from her home on the outskirts of the isolated ranching town of Lost Trail, Montana. An elderly neighbor reports seeing a gray-haired, bearded man driving up to Sybil’s house the night she disappeared. Newly-minted Sheriff Zak Waller can’t think of a less likely target for a crime.

When an older man is reported lurking around a young girl at the local grade school, Zak wonders if this man could also be Sybil’s abductor? The descriptions of the men are similar—but what could be the possible link between a young girl and 60-year-old Sybil?

Peeling back the layers of Sybil’s life, Zak discovers Sybil is a master at keeping secrets, especially her own, and these secrets may now be threatening her life as well as the life of an innocent child.

As Zak and his team work to uncover the truth, he also has to deal with issues in his romantic relationship with deputy Nadine Black, and mete justice to a respected town citizen who has been sheltering his criminal past for too long.

Titles in the Bitter Root Mysteries series include – Bitter Roots – Bitter Truth – Bitter End – Bittersweet

Title:  Bittersweet
Series:  Bitter Root Mysteries #4
Author:  C. J. Carmichael
Genre:  Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Published:  November 12, 2019
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4 stars

BITTERSWEET is the type of Mystery that I enjoy the most, set in a small town where everyone knows your name, your business, and probably your secrets as well – except for the one person who managed, somehow, to keep her own secrets buried deep… until now.  There is an underlying urgency to this fourth story in the Bitter Root Mysteries series, unlike the earlier titles.  I felt the need to keep reading, even when I should have stopped for the night because that important clue just had to be on the next page.  It’s not easy to make me feel that intensity, that I needed to know now not later from every author, and this is where C. J. Carmichael shines, in my opinion.  The importance of finding Sybil quickly, and the almost desperate questions surrounding a young girl who should have no connections to Sybil’s secrets at all hung over me and I read quickly to get answers.  But this is a mystery – you won’t and shouldn’t find those answers here in a review.

Although BITTERSWEET is the fourth story in the series it “could” be read on its own, you’d miss several really good stories, and perhaps details that might matter but it could be done – yet for me, this is a series that draws the reader in across all the stories, but if you cannot go back for the earlier titles then you’ll find a really good mystery in this story that can stand on its own.

If you’re in the mood for a really good mystery, a bit of romance, some small-town shenanigans and characters who will leap off the page at you – then you’ll enjoy BITTERSWEET.  I’d definitely recommend this one for any Mystery or Romantic Suspense reader.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Tule Publishing. 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

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