A Deadly Draught is an exhilarating, cozy New England mystery by Lesley A. Diehl. Diehl skillfully juggles her main character, Hera Knightsbridge, and multiple secondary characters effortlessly while weaving an intricate story of mystery and suspense. From the moment Hera utters the words, “Oh, God. This must be what death smells like” the pace never lets up.
Hera Knightsbridge is a microbrewer living in Butternut Valley, a small town in upstate New York where microbrewers are plentiful but water is not! With a murderer running loose, cash flow problems enough to consider bankruptcy, and a scorned ex-boyfriend turned vigilante cop, every aspect of Hera’s life seems to be spinning out of control. She’s had a crush on Michael Ramford for as long as she can remember but her feelings have not been reciprocated. From the five year old suicide of her father to the recent death of her next-door-neighbor and fellow microbrewer, Hera can’t help but wonder if somehow both deaths are connected? Luckily for Hera, Jake Ryan has reentered her life, or is it? She seems to be the prime suspect among an endless number of suspicious characters in town. Hera and Jake have decided to team up to get to the bottom of things before Hera becomes the latest victim!
Diehl’s complex, multifaceted characters take center stage in this thoroughly riveting mystery. It is obvious that Diehl’s background in psychology enables her to create believable characters to which we can quickly react, and equally captivating subplots that seem to catapult us into the book. Instantly we are faced with Michael’s strange behavior towards Hera, his late father, and later, his brother Ronald; Hera’s struggle with her feelings for Michael and her equally confusing feelings toward Jake; Sally’s unwillingness to completely let go of her feelings for Michael, and Hera’s guilt towards her father’s untimely death; and what of Hera’s dad’s relationship with Claudia Ramford? Diehl’s first mystery is an exciting read from start to finish!
A Deadly Draught is published by Mainly Murder Press and was released in mid-April 2010. It can be purchased on Mainly Murder Press, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and at local bookstores everywhere. The second in the Hera Knightsbridge series, Poisoned Pairings, will take Hera to the local community college, include a murdered student, and delve more into her relationship with Jake. As of this review, the release date is unknown. Lesley’s next book, Dumpster Dying, features her newest protagonist Emily Rhodes, is set at the Big Lake Country Club in rural Florida, and is scheduled to be released in late October, early November 2010.
Lesley Diehl lives in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York and spends her afternoons writing by her trout stream while sipping tea or sampling the local microbrews. Diehl retired from a longtime career as a professor of psychology and now concentrates her efforts on her writing career. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and is the first place winner of the SleuthFest 2009 Short Story Contest.
Visit Lesley’s website at www.lesleydiehl.com and her blog at http://anotherdraught.blogspot.com.