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Review: The Hunted Hare, The First Volume in the Aidan Mysteries by Fay Sampson

hunted hare cover
In northern Wales near the purple ridge Berwyn mountains is a town named Pennant Melangell. Aidan and Jenny Davison and their 7 year old daughter Melangell, have come to stay in Pennant Melangell, and to a hotel named the House of the Hare. Aidan is a photographer, Jenny a historical writer, Melangell is a precocious "elfin faced" child. Jenny has advanced cancer, there is nothing more the doctors can do. The family has come to Pennant Melangell because the area holds good memories for the couple. It is the place where their daughter Melangell was conceived. They are hoping to have quality family time in this ancient place that seems to be "where heaven and earth come close together". Soon after arriving Jenny perceives anxiety, anger, and a heavy spirit, among the people who work at the House of the Hare. Thaddeus Brown is the owner of the House of the Hare. He is the guardian of his niece Lorna Brown. Mr. Brown tells Jenny she's come to the right place, "where people like you could come and stay. Pennant Melangell was always a healing place." His statement is a foreshadowing of future events. Nearby is an ancient holy site older than Christianity, and where a church was built named St. Melangell. Yew trees grow nearby, at least one of them is 2000 years old. A Mr. Caradoc Lewis bought land nearby in order to study this ancient holy area. Murder brings the Davison's holiday to a tumultuous end. The police investigate and question everyone, including fragile Jenny.

I loved this book!
It's wonderful mystery story with the beautiful and magical setting of Wales. 
The Davison family is going through a sad period in their lives, by coming to Pennant Melangell their hope to bring some happiness to this dark period is interrupted. A murder is committed and Aidan and Jenny both are drawn in to the solving of this crime. These 2 added elements brings something different to a story. Jenny who is trying to make peace with the fact she has little time left on this earth, compared to another person who died as a result of a crime and their life ended brutally and quickly.
Melangell is a 7 year old lovely spit-fire of a girl. She is quick to understand people and circumstances, her observations are sometimes keener than an adult. As a child she seems to be on a firmer foundation than some of the adults that are around her.
One of my favorite points in this book is the author does not tell us every description about the characters---at 1 time or in 1 paragraph. She progressively through the story gives us clues about the characters. Sometimes these clues are given not in words but in their behavior or deeds.
This is a Christian fiction book, but would fare-well in the secular book market, because its expression of Christianity is not overtly so, but subtle.

Book Two in the Aidan Mysteries is Death on Lindisfarne. A first chapter is given at the end of The Hunted Hare of book two.

Thank you to Kregel and Monarch Books for my free book in exchange for an honest review.

Kregel Book Tour for The Hunted Hare November 5 Through 9, 2012.

Published by Monarch Books November 1, 2012
288 pages

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Paperback $11.18
Kindle $9.99
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