Monday, November 5, 2012

Kregel Blog Tour: The Hunted Hare

Imprint: Monarch Books
Retail Price: $14.99
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288

View the book trailer.

From the publisher:

The hamlet of Pennant Melangell consists of a church and a few cottages and lies in a mountainous part of North Wales that is so remote that it is, even today, only barely accessible to cars. It is the ancient pilgrimage site for the medieval Saint Melangell and is still visited by those seeking healing.

The Davison family has come to Pennant Melangell seeking spiritual refuge as their family faces the reality of Jenny Davison's terminal cancer. Jenny and Aidan have visited before, but this is the first time they have brought their daughter, seven-year-old Melangell, to the place which inspired her name.

New since their last visit is a lavish hotel--The House of the Hare--a grand project conceived and financed by local businessman Thaddeus Brown. The Davisons are impressed by the extensive facilities developed with the needs of the sick, weak, and disabled in mind. Jenny is particularly excited by the archery range with modifications that will enable her to shoot arrows even in her extremely weakened state.

But instead of a place of healing, this sacred location becomes a place of doom when Thaddeus Brown is found dead, an arrow in his eye. Suspicion falls on those who have used the archery range, including Jenny along with Brown's vulnerable young niece Lorna. As Aidan works to clear his wife's name, young Melangell goes missing. Is the murderer also a kidnapper? Or does The House of the Hare harbor more mysteries? And who might be the next victim?

The first of a series of new mysteries featuring Aidan Davison and set in what celebrated fantasy novelist Fay Sampson describes as the "thin" places of the Celtic world.

Personal Thoughts:

Mixed in with the mystery and suspense were the very real ups and downs with living with a serious illness. Jenny doesn't know how much time she has left but she wants to make every moment count. Visiting Pennant Melangell serves to introduce their daughter to the place that inspired her name as well as a hope that the place of reported miracles might also yield healing for Jenny. What they didn't anticipate was being thrust into the middle of a murder investigation. As suspicions mount, the characters face even graver issues than Jenny's illness.

I enjoyed the various characters and how they were depicted. Readers will feel like they know Aiden and Jenny through their personal struggles. I'm hoping future books in the series will offer the reader greater glimpses into their daughter Melangell.  There were some twists and turns in the plot and I have to say that I had no hint of who the killer was.  The author did a marvelous job of bringing all the players to life: the locals as well as those visiting the House of the Hare.  Beware...not all of your first impressions will prove true in the end!

The question of Jenny's future is not settled in the first book but readers are given a hint in the beginning chapter of the next book--cleverly included at the end of The Hunted Hare. Readers will want to continue the series to stay abreast of the new mysteries in Aiden's path.

One of the most striking things about this book had nothing to do with the story. It was printed on luxuriously thick and bright white paper--a rare find among the current market of books with pages that more closely resemble newsprint.  And the cover design with a scored edge along the binding keeps the pages intact and avoids stress on the spine as you read.  Excellent features that readers will notice and appreciate!


I would have loved to have had a map of the grounds and surrounding area where Aiden and Jenny stayed. Geography played a significant role in the story line (paths people travelled and their proximity to the crime scene).  A map of the locations mentioned would have really enhanced the story.

Also, for the US audience, I would recommend including a pronunciation guide for the places mentioned perhaps on the author's blog. Better yet, I'd love to have the author pronounce them herself on a short video on her site.

Meet the Author

Visit the author's website for a glimpse into Fay Sampson's hobbies, how she got started writing, and her advice to other writers.

And don't miss out on reading an excerpt of The Hunted Hare. Once you do, you'll want to buy copies for yourself  as well as friends and family members this Christmas!  The book can be purchased at the following retailers:
HURRY!  Take advantage of this limited offer: 

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. The opinions expressed are my own.  No other compensation was received.

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