"In a Midnight Wood" By Ellen Hart: Review/Giveaway

Review by Sandra Murphy

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

Jane Lawless, restauranteur, private investigator, and now podcaster, is in Castle Lake to visit her friend, Emma. She can relax, recover from the death of a friend, and stay out of trouble. Maybe not—Cordelia Thorn is along. They are helping at the art fair, Cordelia with talks on the importance of local theater and Jane with a donation of a chef-cooked meal (she, being the chef) to be auctioned off. 

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Emma’s married but wants to be divorced. She’s using this time away from home to have a discreet affair with an unknown man. It’s her class reunion so a lot of her time is taken up with planning or attending events. The reunion brings up sad memories, though. Emma’s old boyfriend disappeared that year, thought to have run away from home. No trace was ever found, and it doesn’t seem like the police or his family tried too hard to find him. Now a body is being exhumed and repositioned—the husband says his wife always slept on the other side of the bed so now that he’s in hospice, this has to be corrected. When moving the casket, Sam’s backpack is found—along with human bones. Sam didn’t run away, he never left town.   

Such a case would be perfect for Jane’s podcast so she begins to investigate. Because of the reunion, all the suspects are once again in the old hometown. Can Jane figure out what happened before they all head home?  

When a gruesome death occurs, Jane’s sure she’s on the right track to solve the cold case as well as the current murder.  

This is book twenty-seven. Jane’s former lover has passed away, but there is the promise of romance, one that is not toxic. Cordelia is as over the top as ever and likely will never change. After all, why mess with perfection? It was a nice change of pace to set this story out of town, offering Jane the challenge of being out of her element and without personal contacts for help. 

 I like the characters, and the mystery is always a good one with twists and turns that keep readers guessing until the end. I always look forward to the next book in this series.   

To enter to win a copy of In a Midnight Wood, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "wood,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 21, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. 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 which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

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

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Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

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. This sounds really good. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  2. This sounds really good! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  3. A great new addition to a long-running series. I'd love to have a copy Thanks!! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  4. New author for me, sounds good! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  5. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance.

  6. Love that she's branching out into podcasting!
    kimheniadis at gmail dot com


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