Poisoned GroundPoisoned Ground by Sandra Parshall is the sixth book in the “Rachel Goddard” mystery series. Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, March 2014

When a powerful development company sets its sights on Mason Country, Virginia, as the location for a sprawling resort for the rich, the locals begin taking sides. Many residents see the resort as economic salvation for the small Blue Ridge Mountains community, while others fear the county will become financially dependent on a predatory company.

Few oppose the development more vocally than veterinarian Rachel Goddard. She sides with locals reluctant to sell their land and, in the process, complicates the life of her new husband, Sheriff Tom Bridger.

When a beloved couple is gunned down on the very farm they refused to sell, it seems supporters will stop at nothing to ensure the success of the resort. Now disagreement in the community has exploded into civil war with both sides lashing out. As the violence escalates, Rachel discovers the attacks are more sinister than they appear.

Can she bring the truth to light before her community tears itself apart?

I love this series, which gets better and better with each subsequent novel. In the latest happenings, resort development invades Mason County and pit neighbors against neighbors and when a beloved couple is murdered, the situation intensifies which puts Tom and indirectly Rachel in the cross-hair of this small town war.

All I can say is wow. What a great read that had me quickly turning the pages, as I had to know how this story was going to end, and boy was I surprised with the revelation of the killer’s identity. The author did a great job in keeping me in suspense, with plenty of suspects that all had a likely motive, as each action in this fast-paced drama took us closer to solving this puzzling mystery. Rachel and Tom are back as well as Joanna with the introduction of a trio of eccentric sisters whose characters play heavily in this well-written narrative. Boasting a well-developed plot, strong characterizations, and engaging conversations, this is the best book yet in this brilliantly terrific series.

FTC Disclosure – The author sent me this book, in the hopes I would review it.

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