When Mikaela York opens an anonymous blue sympathy card with the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill" written inside, she doesn't know what to make of it. But soon after, Mikaela and her fiance are in a tragic car accident, resulting in her husband-to-be's death. Then when Mikaela's grandmother loses her life in a hiking accident one year later, an old man gives Mikaela another mysterious blue card at the funeral.
After the service, Mikaela's grandfather asks that she oversee the renovations on his bed & breakfast in New Zealand. When she arrives, Mikaela meets Tui Davies—the inn's manager—and Brentin Williams, the man Tui expects her daughter to marry. Tui helps Mikaela retrieve a doll from the cellar vault, but the doll turns out to be an evil omen that Mikaela is told she must get rid of before someone is murdered.
Meanwhile, the old man from the funeral is bent on revenge and is plotting against everyone who has ever wronged him, and Mikaela is next in line. But until she discovers the killer's contact in New Zealand, who can she trust? And while Brentin attempts to help Mikaela overcome her grief, she must decide—is she ready to love again?
ONE FELL DOWN was a lighter romantic suspense with an intriguing story and likable characters. New Zealand's epic scenery and one of its native cultures was woven here and there in the story. Would recommend to those who enjoy cozy mysteries or other books in the genre.
The story started right off with a tragic accident that immediately made me emphasize with the heroine. It then slowly developed through the main characters and tidbits here and there from the villain. I really liked Mikaela and Brentin. I also liked that I wasn't completely sure who the villain's inside man was until almost the very end. The whole Tolkien aspect was also interesting, especially as a fan.
I did have a few small issues here and there with the plausibility of some things. I also wanted a stronger motive for the villain, or maybe a more rational one. I would also have liked a little more of the culture and setting to have come across stronger in the story. The romance was sweet, but I wanted a little more development.
In the end, was it what I wished for? I would have liked a little more from this story, but overall, it was an enjoyable read.
Content: Some violence, but clean.
Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.
(4.5 Stars) First of all, I love the cover! I love it when a cover really portrays what the story is about and this one is perfect for a suspenseful murder mystery mostly set in New Zealand.
After Mikaela's fiancé and grandmother die, her grandfather sends her to New Zealand to manage the renovations on his Bed & Breakfast. While there, she discovers Maori superstitions, death, danger, and love.
I would be a mess in Mikaela's situation, and while she handles it fairly well, she's not emotionally whole, which leads to a bit of hesitancy in her relationships. I like a character who goes after what she knows she wants, but I thought the doubt felt real and brings her to a new dimension. The romance is a gentle and sweet side note to a well-crafted plot. My family loves Lord of the Rings and the references and activities pertaining to these books/movies is a great aspect and results in so much fun.
This suspense in this story mostly builds at a slower pace. Although the reader knows who the mastermind behind these deaths is, the motive is revealed along the way and the minions aren't discovered until almost the very end. Those are my favorite kinds of suspense books to read--the ones where I'm trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, along with the characters. Although I knew what was going on for the most part, there are still some fun surprises and clues.
This is a great read for those who enjoy suspense, but aren't a fan of the high-intense anxiety inducing books.
Content: very mild religious elements (a character prays in her mind for help several times); mild violence (murders--not graphic; moments of peril); mild romance.
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
A great location? Check. Interesting cultural mystery? Check. Sympathetic characters? Check. This book has all three of those things. The fact that a good chunk of the story takes place in a country I've long wanted to see certainly didn't hurt anything, neither did the cultural aspects of the story. Of course, ultimately the murderer(s) are responsible for the choices they make no matter their beliefs, but it added an interesting note to the story. Mikaela is a sympathetic character from the beginning since she loses her fiance and grandmother in the first three chapters. And naturally she's not eager to fall in love again. An interesting read for those who love romance with their suspense.
First of all, what do you think of the cover for this book? It's so bold and really stands out, doesn't it? It's so unlike any other covers I've seen. I like it.
This book has a younger feel to it. It's more like a YA book than an adult book but the cast is a good mixture of ages and personalities. I loved the New Zealand setting and the Lord of the Rings references. I really hope I'm able to visit that country some day. But, I surely don't want it to go like Mikaela's visit!
This book was a slower paced suspense novel. The story itself moves along at a good pace, but for a suspense novel, it was just a bit slower than many I have read. There were bits of creepy and mystery that maintained a gradual build until the explosive ending. Everyone was a suspect to me at one point or another and I liked that. Well, we know the person behind the evil pretty early on, but we don't know who is acting on his behalf. That's the bit of mystery! Mikaela didn't know who to trust and I didn't either! This one is less of a romance and more of some romantic interest here and there (mostly on Brentin's side) until the very end.
I enjoyed this book! It was a fun diversion. 3.5 stars rounding up
Content: some violence and deaths
- I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.
This was one of those books that I read in one day because I didn't want to put it down until I knew just who did it and why! I loved everything about it.
I loved Mikaela, she's a young woman who has had a really hard year. Her fiance was killed right before their wedding in a car accident and her grandma's just died. Her grandfather wants her to go to New Zealand to watch over some renovations being done on the bed and breakfast he owns there. Little does she know the craziness waiting for her there!
I loved the way you see things from Mikaela's point of view, but you also see what's happening through Brentin's eyes and the murderer's eyes. That makes things a bit more tense because you know when bad things are going to be happening. I really wanted to shout to Mikaela to watch out!
The plot of this one is fast moving and kept me on the edge of my seat until I read the very last page. I really enjoyed this one, make sure to grab your own copy!
Ronda Hinrichsen is my favorite mystery writer. My attention was captured in the first chapter. She hid the clues throughout the story until the unexpected ending. Her description of places made me feel I was right there. The cliff hangers at the end of each chapter made it impossible to quit. This book was well written and worth reading if you like a good mystery.
Ronda Hinrichsen has a gift for blending suspense with romance, intrigue, and exotic locations. 'One Fell Down' is a perfect example of this. The story starts right off with two seemingly unrelated accidental deaths that are the catalyst for Mikaela York to go to New Zealand to take care of some renovations at an inn her grandparents own. The suspense continues to build with a mysterious doll, a skeleton found on the property, and one of the guests suddenly passing away under suspicious circumstances. The story weaves between action and glimpses into the mind and motive of the man behind the deaths. Hinrichsen does a great job of bringing the Maori/New Zealand culture, with its superstitions and fun accent, into the narrative, as well as the beauty of that country. She also brings in references to 'Lord of the Rings' being filmed and celebrated in NZ which I thought was really fun. The book does start off on a sad note, but the reader gets to experience Mikaela's rise from tragedy and loss to hope in a new future with one of the guests staying at the inn. An great read, especially if you enjoy clean suspense.