Book Review and Giveaway: Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully
If you're looking for a superb historical murder mystery with a touch of romance, you'll find it in Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully.
Jake Turner is a lone drifter trying to escape a past that seems to catch up with him no matter where he goes. A veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill, he has earned a reputation that he can't shake.
It's 1904 in North Dakota, and Jake is a part-time Deputy Sheriff. When he stumbles upon the frozen, brutally murdered body of Hjelmer “Thor” Thorsgaard, he sure doesn't get a lot of help from the townsfolk to figure out who might have wanted Thor dead. Seems everyone in Badger had a reason. The guy was a liar and a cheat who abused his family. Even his wife isn't sorry he's gone.
Jake feels the yearning to move on, especially when he becomes attached to Andy, an eight-year-old orphan boy, and begins to fall in love with his friend Issac's sister, Alice. When Andy is kidnapped and almost murdered, Jake is certain that whoever is behind Thor's death wants him out of the way, and they don't care who they have to hurt to make sure that happens.
He returns to Cuba, hoping to keep those he cares for out of danger. Though he knows he'll return to trap Thor's killer, Jake has no idea what will happen when all the dust settles.
In case you've somehow missed it, I'm a big fan of mysteries and I love historical fiction. That Resurrection Garden was able to blend two of my favorite genres into a well-written, intriguing novel, is a bonus over how much I truly enjoyed this book.
Resurrection Garden is Scully's debut novel, and the first book in his Decade Mystery series. Having read this book, I can barely wait until the next one is released in June.
In this riveting murder mystery, Scully has pulled together the wildness of the West, rich descriptions, a well-developed plot, and a menagerie of complex characters to come up with a winner. I expect this kind of writing from seasoned authors, so it is always a delight when a debut novel captivates me in this fashion. Simply put, I couldn't lay the book down. I stole every waking moment, and even moments when I should have been sleeping, to read this one. Just when I thought I had this one figured out, I discovered I was only partially right. I don't mind being fooled when such a satisfying ending is involved.
Guys shouldn't let the hint of romance turn them off this one. It's subtle and is crucial to Jake's development. As expected in a book set during this time period, there are plenty of bullets flying, and the situations Jake manages to get himself in can be a bit humorous.
Lovers of westerns, historical fiction, and murder mysteries will want to grab this one.
If you don't believe me, read some of the other wonderful things that have been read about this book:
“I love mysteries and usually am not a fan of the western genre, but I enjoyed the Resurrection Garden. There was just the right combination of the Old West meets mystery with a wee bit of romance thrown in. Mr. Scully’s written word allows one to feel the dust as the characters are riding away, feel the hardness of the wood beds, see the tumbleweeds roll around us. I felt as if I was right in all of the action as I was reading Resurrection Garden, whether I was recouping with Jake, or investigating. Mr. Scully’s secondary characters are fun. He provides strong visuals as well as he stimulates other senses, for example: You can even smell Andy from the months without a bath.
Resurrection Garden is both a charming western and mystery. Thumbs up!”
–Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D.
"It's a great western adventure with great suspense, some fast paced action scenes, wonderful small town drama, and great romance. It's an all around entertaining book."
--Life in Review
"Author Scully has done a fantastic job in creating this very realistic mystery in a by-gone era. I loved this book and I highly recommend to all mystery lovers and those who enjoy a good Western."
--Marilyn Meredith, author of the award-winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series
"I found myself enthralled with this tale. The mystery was well developed and had a very satisfying resolution. It was very heartwarming to watch as Jake learned to shed his past and move forward into his future. The book moved along at a good clip and I found myself clicking the button to turn the pages on the Nook so I could read what happened next. Mr. Scully's writing style was spare and perfectly suited the tale and time in which it was set. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed getting to know them."
Now that you've read about how terrific this book is, I'm sure you want to own a copy. Well, lucky you, because MuseItUp Publishing and Frank Scully are giving away a e-Copy of Resurrection Garden to two lucky winners.
Here are the details!
1) You must be a follower of The Book Connection to win.
2) For your first entry, visit the publisher's bookstore at https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/ and leave a comment saying which book other than Resurrection Garden you would like to read. Please be sure to include a valid email address. You cannot win if I don't have your email address.
3) One additional entry if you friend me on Facebook. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're friending me.
4) One additional entry if you follow me on Twitter. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're now a follower.
5) One additional entry if you follow Frank on Twitter. Leave a comment with your profile link to indicate you requested to be a follower.
6) One additional entry if you friend Frank on Facebook. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're friending me.
7) You must be 18 or older to be eligible to win.
Deadline for entries is 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday, March 6, 2011. Winner will be selected out of all entrants who followed the rules governing this contest.
The author paid me to coordinate a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book! I received no monetary compensation for this review.