"Idyll Hands" By Stephanie Gayle: Review/Giveaway

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Details at the end of this post on how to enter win a copy of this book, and links to purchase it.

Idyll Hands is the third book in Stephanie Gayle’s series featuring Idyll police Chief Thomas Lynch, who came to this small town from the big city of New York. The books are set in the town of Idyll, Connecticut in the 1990s, which was an especially hard time to be gay, and especially in a small town as a police chief.

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It has taken awhile for Chief Lynch’s detectives, and many of the people in town, to get used to having a gay police chief. The first two books provided a realistic look at how hard it was for Thomas and the discrimination that he had to deal with. However, despite the difficulties he has faced, he still manages to have a sense of humor, and the books are sprinkled with just the right amount of sarcasm. The police station, and the town, are also filled with interesting characters.
mystery book cover
Image Source Seventh Street Books

In Idyll Hands, things are starting to get a little easier for Thomas. His men are becoming more comfortable with him, and he is starting to feel more at home in Idyll. He is also attempting to have a love life, which isn’t going very well. We also get to see more of Thomas’ relationship with his family, which has been a bit strained ever since he came out. The two crimes in this book both deal with missing persons cases—one being a very old, and very personal cold case-the disappearance of Detective Michael Finnegan’s sister Susan.

Many of the chapters this time are narrated by Michael, which at first I didn’t think I would like. But it was interesting learning more about him and his family, and I did end up enjoying these chapters as well. It was also nice to see Thomas’ relationship with Michael, and with Detective Lewis Wright, grow a great deal in this book. While I found the police work and mysteries very interesting, it was the characters and the relationships that I enjoyed the most. A fun side storyline was that of their annual baseball competition, which at first, they don’t seem to want Thomas to be involved in.

If you enjoy a good mystery and great characters, this series is definitely for you. While you can read this book without reading the other two first, I highly recommend starting at the beginning of the series so you can see the characters and relationships develop! The first book is called Idyll Threats and the second Idyll Fears.

To enter to win a copy of Idyll Hands, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "idyll hands,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 17, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast!

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie's mystery writing at Mysteryrat's Closet.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds like an interesting series. doward1952@yahoo.com

  2. This sounds really good--I'd love to read it. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com


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