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At Death's Door

Juniper Grove Cozy Mystery, Book 3
Narrated by: Becky Doughty
Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins

Regular price: £13.79

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The third book in the Juniper Grove Mystery series!

Thanksgiving in Juniper Grove is a time for family, good friends, and good food. But at Nora Barberton’s home, Thanksgiving ends in tragedy when one of her dinner guests is murdered and a precious artifact disappears from her house - seemingly vanishing into thin air.

When Nora pleads for help, Rachel agrees to tackle the case. Soon she uncovers a web of deception woven by those Nora trusts most. In a race against time, and as her relationship with James Gilroy, the town’s police chief, takes a surprising turn, Rachel must solve the mystery before the killer strikes again.

This light, cozy mystery offers a clean read with a female amateur sleuth in a small-town setting. No foul language, sex, gore, or graphic scenes of any kind.

©2017 Karin Kaufman (P)2018 Karin Kaufman

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  • Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • 28-06-18

Another excellent, clean mystery!

In <strong>At Death's Door</strong> by Karin Kaufman, Rachel Stowe goes with her next door neighbor, Julia, to the house of Nora Barberton, Julia's senior friend in Juniper Grove, Colorado. While there, Nora excitedly tells her guests about a highly valuable miniature picture from Colorado history they just discovered and takes everyone to the "Documents Room" to show it off. Then, Rachel sees the picture disappear into the pocket of Anne Reitler, a lonely elderly lady Nora has made a point of inviting to her home for dinners every month. Pointing this action out to Julia, Rachel learns that Anne has recently had a fixation that someone from their regular dinner parties has been stealing from Nora. So Anne takes things to "protect" them and returns them at the end of the evening, though everyone knows what is going on.

Rachel leaves the room for a little while, only to hear a scream. She follows the scream to find Anne lying dead at the bottom of the cellar stairs. It seems unlikely that she would have tried to go down the stairs by herself, so Rachel suspects she has been pushed. Her concerns gain further merit when the miniature picture is found nowhere on Anne's body. Rachel, feeling genuine concern for Nora, whom she soon comes to love and respect, determines to find the truth to help her new friend.

<strong>At Death's Door</strong> has a great plot that kept me fascinated throughout the whole book. I enjoyed the creative plot and the dual plot lines of the search for the murderer and the search for the thief, who took the miniature picture and other items missing from Nora's house. The suspect pool may be limited, but the story still kept me eager to find out the solution.

One of the particular strengths of the books in this series is the depths of its characters. I have come to love Rachel, Julia, and Holly, the last of whom runs Holly's Sweets, the best bakery in Colorado. This trio forms their own mystery team to help each other solve the cases they run across. I appreciate the fact that Rachel gets involved in the mysteries, not because she is a nosy person, but rather because she has a big heart and cares about others who need help. In this case, Rachel's sympathy gets directed to Nora, whose friend is killed and possessions stolen.

One thing I appreciate about this series is how clean it is. The official description states, "This light, cozy mystery offers a clean read with a female amateur sleuth in a small-town setting. No foul language, sex, gore, or graphic scenes of any kind." I really appreciate the effort that Kaufman makes to keep her books safe to listen to when children are around. This doesn't mean there is no romance, just that the couple have been taking things slowly with no sex.

Becky Doughty performs the audio edition of this book. I like her gentle voice, which suits the introverted yet curious Rachel well. She seems to bring Rachel to life as we feel strongly how Rachel cares about her friends, with her detecting being done for altruistic reasons and not just to be nosy. Doughty also makes the senior citizens in this book, including the 87- year- old Anne and the other people at the senior home where Anne lives, sound old, with creaky voices but still an enjoyment of life. Doughty has been an excellent choice to perform this series.

<strong>At Death's Door</strong> is a truly delightful book that I had a great time listening to. As soon as I learned that this book was out on audio, I made a point to purchase the book and listen to it as soon as I could. The book lived up to all my expectations and deserves its five stars!