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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Beyond the Carousel

Wyattsville #5


Publisher: Bent Pine

Publication Date: 1/10/2017

Format: e-book

My Rating: 3 Stars A FAMILY TRAGEDY, A 25 YEAR OLD MURDER, AND A DETECTIVE DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT... Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left.

In the months following the stock market crash, Franklin Wilkes is killed; gunned down in senseless act of vengeance. The police know who did it, but the man has disappeared. It’s the height of the depression and there are hoards of nameless, faceless men living in freight train yards and back alleys. The murderer is never caught, but Laura and Emory, her father, never give up hope of finding him.

Now, twenty-five years later, Laura’s daughter has fallen in love with Jack Mahoney a policeman working crowd control with the strikers at the Telephone Company.

Right now Mahoney is a rookie, he has little or no power, but Emory is hopeful he is the one person who can ultimately find Franklin’s killer and deliver the justice the family has long awaited.

Readers of the other Wyattsville books will welcome the chance to get to know the kind-hearted Spare Change detective as a young man about to fall in love.

My Review

A special thank you to Bent Pine and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Southern storyteller Bette Lee Crosby returns following The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd (Wyattsville, #4) with BEYOND THE CAROUSEL (Wyattsville #5), when life is like a carousel – “If you offer the world good and fair measure, it will in time come back to you. What goes around comes around." "Life is made up of good times and bad; sometimes in equal measures, sometimes unjustly weighted on one side of the scale or other. " A tale of generations during the depression. In 1918 Lester Hawthorne died a wealthy man. After leaving his family back in Virginia and took off for New York, and married rich. Then he did not need to work. When his new wife died, Lester wrote to his ex-wife and asked for forgiveness. The letter did not make it, so he decided to visit the local law office and drew up a new will. Before the year was out, Lester was dead and Archibald Parker at the law office began his search for the missing son. Emory Hawthorne and his wife could not believe their luck. They had been accustomed to living poor and now they had money. Rose Hawthorne did not feel right spending money and was scared it would go away. She was opposed to extravagances of any sort. For so long she was protecting things, skimping on today so there would be a safe tomorrow. She soon realized Laura would be married and out of the house and there would be no need for a new house or a new sofa, so she gave in. Emory wanted to spare everyone he loved and protect them. Her husband wondered why the change of heart; when she realized today is the tomorrow she worried about yesterday. Emory had a good job and they worked hard. Being well off and comfortable, meant more about having money in the bank. It was also about knowing that come what may, the person you love will be there for you. As long. as they had one another to love. They built a good life with their daughter Laura and was glad for their new fortune with new furniture and a new house. Soon Laura took a job at the bank and met Henry. Henry was a stockbroker with an investment firm and invested their money wisely as well as offering tips to Laura’s dad. A marriage, a baby, and a good life. However, later down the line with the stock market crash and an angry man, George Feldman,- revenge, a murder. Their safe life was cut short. Franklin Wilkes is killed; gunned down. They know the identity of the killer; however, he has disappeared. The murderer is never caught, but Laura and Emory, her father, never give up hope of finding him. "The reality of death wears a thousand different disguises. Even when the ugliness of it is staring you in the face, you believe it is to be something else; bad luck, misfortune, a serious accident, but not death." There was an investigation however, it was at the height of the Depression and like thousands of other, George Feldman simply disappeared into the crowds of unemployed men living in the cardboard houses alongside railroad tracks in one town or another. They could not find him and bring him to justice. His daughter was only 23 when she lost Franklin and she never fell in love again. Now, twenty-five years later, Laura’s daughter has fallen in love with Jack Mahoney cop. Determined to solve the mystery of the 25 year- old murder case, to finally receive justice for this family. If you have read Bette’s previous books, you know there is always heartbreak, loss, pain, and joy. A balance of good and bad and always a lesson to be learned. From the depression, the war, poverty, and riches. The love of family. Survival. Even though charming, I did not enjoy this one as much #4 The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd and some of her previous books in this series. Not as strong; a little too predictable, and realized early on what would happen. The suspense and intensity seemed to be lacking this go around compared to some of the others. Overall a thought-provoking multi-generational journey and nice to catch up with familiar characters from previous books. Recommend reading the previous books in the series; however, they can be read as a standalone. Review Links:


About the Author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby’s books are “Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances.” – Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby’s writing is, “A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures.”

Samantha from Reader’s Favorite raves, “Crosby writes the type of book you can’t stop thinking about long after you put it down.”

“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FAPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Crosby’s published works to date are: Memory House (2015), Passing through Perfect (2015), Wishing for Wonderful (2014), Blueberry Hill (2014), Previously Loved Treasures (2014), Jubilee’s Journey (2013), What Matters Most (2013), The Twelfth Child (2012), Life in the Land of IS (2012), Cracks in the Sidewalk (2011), Spare Change (2011). Read More






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