Dam Witherston – Book 3 of the Witherston Mytstery Series
Betty Jean Craige
File Size: 3138 KB
Print Length: 298 pages
Publisher: Black Opal Books (January 12, 2017)
Publication Date: January 12, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
BOOK BLURB – The mayor of the north Georgia town of Witherston and a prominent attorney are being blackmailed by a mysterious Donna Dam, who threatens to expose their shameful activities of forty years ago if the two men do not take a paternity test and if Mayor Rather does not withdraw his proposal to build a dam.
This tale of blackmail and murder in the present involves interracial rape and pregnancy in the past, in 1977 and in 1828, when intercourse between Cherokees and whites was considered an abomination in the racist South. DNA ancestry tests disclose unlikely kinships.
BRIEF REVIEW – The mystery in this book is quite complex and compelling, but I had a hard time getting into the story because of the unusual formatting for a mystery. There was a lot of front matter, written as letters to the editor, that introduced some of the history of Witherston and some of the characters. While that was good for setting up the mystery of the “why” of the blackmail, I was anxious for the action to begin in the present time. I have to connect to a character, or one or two characters, to really get into the story, and I didn’t like the Mayor or his attorney, and I didn’t meet Detective Meg Arroyo and her teenage twin boys soon enough.
That may not have been a problem had I read the first two books in the Witherston series, where I would have met the cast of characters before. Once I met them, I did like Meg and her Aunt Lottie, who has the silly African Gray Parrot who talks too much, as well as the two boys who help their mother with solving the mystery.
This is a mix of a cozy mystery, a history lesson, a look at Indian culture, and a Young Adult mystery. I do recommend that readers start with the first book and get familiar with the setting and the people.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Dr. Betty Jean Craige has published books in the fields of Spanish poetry, modern literature, history of ideas, politics, ecology, and art. She is a scholar, a translator, a teacher, and a novelist. You can find out more about her on her website
Dam Witherston is Betty Jean Craige’s third Witherston murder mystery published by Black Opal Books. Downstream and Fairfield’s Auction appeared in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
Come back on Wednesday, when Betty will be my guest with an interesting post about how research for writing can also enrich our lives.