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Monday, July 15, 2019

MURDER at GETTYSBURG (Miranda Lewis #2) by Leslie Wheeler

Published in 2007 by Worldwide Library (Worldwide Mystery).
Originally Published in 2005.

Historian Miranda Lewis has been invited to a Gettysburg re-enactment on the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3) by her old college roommate, Ginny. She accepts for two reasons - she wants to see her old friend and she has a serious crush on her friend's father, a retired judge and amateur historian who will also be there. She has been nursing this crush since she was 19 years old and he took her on a tour of the battlefield and taught her all about the battle.

Things get complicated, though, when Ginny's estranged husband Wiley shows up. He is a hardcore Civil War Confederate reenactor, the sort of man who starves himself to the point of being ill just to look more authentic. The sort of man who decorates his personal vehicle (called the "Battlemobile") with little plastic Civil War army men. Wiley has been gone on the reenactor circuit for a while, traveling from place to place and never checking back in with his family.

Even worse, Ginny's old college boyfriend comes to the reenactment looking for her. And, Wiley's friend Dred Davis is lingering around, with his menacing attitude.

But, when Wiley gets shot during the reenactment of Pickett's Charge and then dies of a heart attack things are just starting to get complicated...

Worldwide Mystery  is a big publishing house you have probably never heard of. They are in imprint of Harlequin (yes, the folks that sell the romance novels). When I used to work at a used book store we used to get a lot of these books in because they come in the mail - 2 per month. I have read more than my share of these books - some were really horrible, some were pretty good. But, they sure crank them out.

So, this mystery was not very good. It wasn't horrible, but it suffered from an amazing amount of characters. Every 20 pages or so, a new character was introduced with another subplot. So many subplots and so many characters that it was hard to keep track of them all. You have the historian with the daddy issue crush on a patronizing man at least 20 years older than her that she has maintained for all of these years without ever seeing the man in between, (*****Spoiler alerts for the rest of this paragraph*****) a gun-running operation, a guilt-ridden woman, 2 plots to recover lost love, a plot to foil lost love, multiple weird reenactors, nice guy that fixes cars (and his wife and his sun-bathing niece), a creepy guy that the protagonist sort of likes who likes to flash his EMT patch like he is a cop, a creepy cop and a cop that somehow doesn't arrest the confessed murderer because he wants to comfort the widow of the man he killed (yes, that is right) and somehow lets him take enough pills to kill himself instead. Explain that one back at the station.

I rate this book 2 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: MURDER at GETTYSBURG (Miranda Lewis #2) by Leslie Wheeler.

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