THE REDGRAVE MURDERS
out of 5
Would recommend this product.
Loss is inevitable, as Evie Hampton knows all too
well. But despite losing her mother to cancer and
her older brother to a war, she knows she’s one of the
lucky ones. After all, she still has her father, a
distinguished professor of medieval history. And she
has Gary Redhawk, the man she loves despite the
emotional scars he carries from the Second World
War—and despite her father’s opposition to their
When Evie’s car suddenly careens off the road, she
chalks it up to poor maintenance or sheer bad luck
making another appearance in her life. Little does
she know a host of hardships is just beginning—the
car was her father’s, and the brake lines were
deliberately cut. Someone wants them dead—but
why? All fingers point to Gary, a man with a troubled
past and no solid alibi, but Evie is unwilling to
believe he’s involved. Determined to uncover the
truth, she begins to piece together a startling picture
of deception and vice. But as she closes in on the
truth, it is clear that someone is determined to
silence her—and the next attempt on her life may
be a deadly success.
Customer Ratings & Reviews
out of 5
Would recommend this product.
out of 5
Would recommend this product.
12 Total Reviews
A great historical mystery
Date: August 7, 2019
I first read a book by A. L. Sowards a couple of years ago and I'm never disappointed in her books. This one is a little different than her historical war novels, as this one is what I would consider a suspense (the author calls it a historical mystery) which takes place in a small town after WWII. Evie has already lost her mother to an illness and her brother died in WWII before the book starts, so it's just Evie and her dad, who's a professor at Redgrave University where she works in the bursar's office. She's dating Gary, a Native American and veteran of the war who suffers from what we know of as PTSD. Evie's life is good until the brakes on her dad's new car fail and she barely escapes having an accident. This is just the beginning--a few days later her dad is found dead in their home and the police's main suspect is Gary. Like all of this author's books I've read, this story pulled me in right from the start. I learned how life was for those returning from the war. Times were still tough for a lot of people without enough jobs and those who fought trying to recover from the horrors of war. There were no treatments or support groups for those who suffered from shell shock (the term used back them) or PTSD. Evie's relationship with a Native American was also looked down upon at this time (1948), even though he was a hard worker and was attending school using the GI Bill. I liked Evie. She knew even though Gary had issues because of the war he wouldn't kill anyone. So when he was arrested she immediately acted to at least get him released on bail, then did her own sleuthing to find someone who had a motive. I found that unexpected for a woman in 1948. I didn't figure out who was behind the murders until right before Evie put it all together. I really liked this book--the cover, the story, the characters in the story. It all made for a great whodunnit. Thanks to Covenant Communications via NetGalley for my copy to read. All thoughts expressed in my review are my own.
If you enjoy an excellent blend of romance, action and mystery
Date: July 24, 2019
The Redgrave Murders is listed as a romance and suspense story which peaked my interest. I read almost all historical fiction, but haven't read a lot from this time period. Knowing the summary of the book, the first chapter did not immediately draw me in, but I became interested soon after. I am not used to stories being written in the first person, and I think it threw me off a little at first. While the story is about the solving of murders, the characters all seem realistic and raw. My favorite character was Gary Redhawk. Gary makes you immediately feel protective of him. Being in the Indian reform school, and then being a POW must have really been traumatic for him. Of course, this would not make him innocent of the issues that arise against him, but there is something that seems innocent and vulnerable about him from the very beginning. You slowly get to learn more about his history, and I felt even more of a connection to him. Gary felt that he was broken after the war. He still had nightmares every night, and he worried about hurting others. My favorite scenes were when Evie was trying to break down Gary's walls and show him he could still be loved. Everyone is broken. We are just broken in different ways. Since the book is written in first person, I felt that I didn't learn as much about Evie Hampton's past. The letters from her brother at the beginning of each chapter helped some. Evie's father is a history professor, and I loved hearing about the decor of their house. My favorite was the suit of arms that they named. I would love to know what happened to it. There are a lot of intense issues in this book. PTSD is a major theme. There is also a minor character who is a pedophile and continues to be non-repentant. The PTSD was especially interesting to me. During this time, many men returning from war were written off as having psychological issues if they displayed any symptoms at all. Yet there was no real help for them. The main characters are in an interracial relationship which causes a lot of conflict with others. Gary has been through so much, and I loved the lighthearted comment he made after someone made a derogatory comment about him. I liked the pace of the book. There were a lot of things happening, but it didn't feel rushed. I also liked that things didn't feel predictable. It felt like I was trying to solve the case right alongside Evie. If you enjoy an excellent blend of romance, action and mystery, be sure to checkout The Redgrave Murders. While I received a complimentary copy of this book, I was not required to write a positive review.
Excellent Suspense Novel
Date: July 13, 2019
Isn't the cover of this book eye catching? I love it. I feel like it captures the era the story is set in, and while it's beautiful it has a sinister feel, which captures the tone of the book extremely well. So, nice job to the cover artists on this one. My kids kept asking me questions about the cover and I had to keep responding that I didn't know! I hadn't read the book yet! Well now that I have I can say that this cover is perfect for the novel. This was set in such an interesting time period. I haven't read many novels post WWII that discusses PTSD. How devastating to classify these men as psychoneurotic, and to just write them off because they were "crazy". Gary had an even more difficult time because he was Indian and was discriminated because of that as well, and had the crappiest childhood ever. Evie was wonderful to see a person as a person and judge them based on that. You really feel for Evie and everything that happens to her during the course of the novel. She has to be really strong to combat everything and still remain standing, so to speak. The author creates feelings of doubt, and love, and suspense, and whew...I went through a myriad of emotions while reading this book. The "who done it" is artfully done, and she keeps you guessing throughout the novel. The only negative thing I have about this book is that Evie suffers loss after loss, and it seems that she doesn't ever really mourn. She just accepts and moves on...which is plausible since someone is trying to kill her, but it seemed like she was emotionless during these deaths. I will definitely keep reading more from this author, and I will pass on this book to all my book reading friends (and if you like to listen to the audio version, the narrator does an excellent job with it). *I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Kept Me Guessing!
Date: July 13, 2019
I've really enjoyed every book I've read by A.L. Sowards. She is a very talented author and not only are her war-time novels entertaining, but readers get a good feel for what happened during those horrible times in history. Sowards' latest novel, The Redgrave Murders, is a bit different from her other novels in that it takes place after the war is over. It was quite eye opening to read about the PTSD that some of the characters went through. It's more common now to hear about these issues, but it seems like it was pretty unusual to hear about it after WWI and WWII. I don't recall ever hearing my grandfathers talk about it. In addition to PTSD, Sowards addressed interracial relationships and the prejudices in the late forties that people had against Native Americans. It was very interesting and heartbreaking to read about how Gary suffered as a child, as a POW, and as he tried to get a college education. I really liked that I was kept guessing about the bad guy throughout the story. I thought Evie would have been more distressed by certain events than she was, but she plowed through and proved to be quite the detective. I can see myself reading this again, and highly recommend it.
The Redgrave Murdders
Location: Mesa Arizona
Date: July 12, 2019
This is an awesome book. A historical suspense set in 1944 and 1948. An era when dating an Indian was frowned upon. Evie and Gary have trouble not only with small town folks but also with family who are not happy with their relationship. Then Gary is accused of murder and Evie begins her own investigation to prove his innocence. Told in the first person POV this will keep you guessing until the very end. If you are a fan of suspense and/or WWII history you will not want to miss this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley. This is my honest review.
An emotional story full of suspense and romance.
Date: July 11, 2019
THE REDGRAVE MURDERS is one of those stories that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's set in an historic small town, among prejudice and misunderstanding shortly after WWII, and focuses on an interracial couple and the danger that stalks them. The characters are complex, likable, with plenty of chemistry between them. Highly recommended to romantic suspense fans! This story was emotional, suspenseful, and at the same time, very sweet. I'm assuming it was a difficult story to write, because it was a difficult story to read. I was so angry at how prejudiced some people could be and the terrible things Gary faced as a child as well as in this story. It just made me mad. The way things were handled was definitely not right, but he carried on. Then there was Evie, who had a much easier life, but found a connection with Gary and fell hard for him against criticism from her family and the community who looked down on interracial relationships. I loved their romance. It was real and sweet and messy. There were things the characters had to work out and their relationship was definitely tested. As far as suspense goes, this story definitely was intense in parts and grew more so until the climatic ending. The villain was well done. I had an inkling of who it might be early on, but wasn't completely sure until the end. It's always a good thing when a story like this keeps you guessing. The story does get somewhat violent, but without be overly descriptive. I appreciated that the plot logically worked for me as well. In the end, was it what I wished for? This author did a fabulous job in pulling me into this story. I did not want to put it down and, in fact, read it in one sitting. It was a great mix of heavy subject matter that made me think, a constant underlying feeling of danger, fabulous characters, and a sweet romance with plenty of sparks. I'm looking forward to more from this author! Content: Some innuendo and violence. Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Covenant Communications, which did not require a positive review nor affect my review in any way.
A fantastic historical romance suspense.
Date: July 11, 2019
A.L. Sowards knows how to write a suspense novel full of historical detail. In this one, Evie Hampton's life takes an awful turn when someone murders her father and frames her boyfriend for it. Her efforts to clear her boyfriend, Gary Redhawk, lead her in directions she could never have imagined. Unfortunately for her, the murderer doesn't seem to be finished and she's clearly his next target. I enjoyed reading this both for the mystery aspects, but also for the historical setting. In addition to the murders, her relationship with Gary is uncertain as he struggles with serious PTSD and trauma from his childhood. As a Seneca Indian, he was forced to attend an Indian Boarding School as a child, where abuse was rampant. But Evie loves him and wants to help, she just doesn't know how. So unlike many of Sowards previous books, this one doesn't take place in the middle of war, but it deals with the aftereffects of war and the emotional damage it causes. The inclusion of Gary's Indian school experiences adds additional historical context. Although reading about it and Gary's PTSD was difficult, it certainly made him an empathetic character. One of the things I especially enjoy about Sowards books is the depth of her characters. They feel like real people dealing with real problems in a flawed but determined way. A great book for readers who enjoy romantic suspense, but also those who enjoy a book with a solid historical setting.
Date: July 9, 2019
This book is SO INTRIGUING! Multiple story lines intertwine with each other to bring a rich reading experience. You will read about cut brake lines, falling bookcases, letters from the front line of war, post traumatic stress disorder, and interracial relationships, just to name a few; all while trying to solve a murder mystery. SO. GOOD!
Loved this suspense novel!
Date: July 8, 2019
I LOVE a good suspense book! And this is a good one. It’s a bit different from the way A.L. Sowards usually writes, but that’s a good thing! I loved Evie in this book. Evie is a young woman living in the time period just after World War II. She’s lost her mom and older brother before the story starts. She lives with her dad. And her boyfriend is Gary. There is a lot of things with this time period that the author did a good job including in this novel. The way Gary would have been looked at because he was a Native American was one thing I noticed. It’s not right, but he would have been looked down on, and his and Evie’s relationship especially would have been taboo. It’s no surprise that when bad things start happening, Gary is the first suspect. And there’s no other suspects that the police are willing to consider. While Gary’s in jail, Evie shows what she’s made of and works on the investigation all on her own. I love that she does this, and doesn’t get scared off, even when it would have been easy to. This book kept me guessing from the beginning to the very end. I would have never guessed just who the bad guy was or why! It’s my favorite thing when that happens. If you’re a fan of good suspense books, make sure to pick this one up! I was sent a copy of The Redgrave Murders as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
A Must Read
Location: Magna, UT
Date: July 6, 2019
The Redgrave Murders by A. L. Sowards is a historical novel post WWII that has three different elements to the story. History, Murder Mystery, and my favorite…Romance. Though I love the other elements as well, but romance has a special place in my heart. History…I’ve always been a lover of WWII history ever since I read Dean Hughes’ Children of the Promise series. So reading this book as helped me glean more about the war era, specifically post war and the PTSD veterans faced. Murder Mystery…Who doesn’t like a good murder mystery? This book is full of mystery and speculation of who dunnit, which the author kept me rethinking of who the actual culprit was until the very end. I did not see that coming, though after reflecting back on the story I saw hints of it. Romance…After reading this story, I wanted Gary Redhawk for myself. He’s protective, strong, and he has come a long way in overcoming his past that most women would run away from. But he also as a bit of a bad boy image as well that I think all women deep down enjoys a bit in a guy, but not too much. So in a way, Gary is the perfect guy…at least until I read a new book that makes me fall in love with another character. Overall, this book was simply amazing and I highly recommend it to all history and mystery lovers. This is simply a must read. I had a hard time putting this book down to do basic adult stuff like, work, clean, and sleep. But when I did have a chance to spend time reading the book I got through it quickly thanks to short chapters.
The Redgrave Murders
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Date: July 6, 2019
I loved this book! I read alot of mysteries and pride myself on being able to solve them in the first few chapters...but not this one. It took me till almost the very end of the book to figure it out. I've read all of A. L. Sowards books really liked them all.
Historical fiction filled with mystery and romance!
The Book Matron
Date: July 5, 2019
Evie Hampton is a strong and independent woman for her time, but then she has to be. Losing her mother to cancer and her brother Clive in the Pacific has left an indelible mark on her life. It makes her ever more thankful for her father, a distinguished professor of medieval history at Redgrave University, and her boyfriend Gary Redhawk, a veteran and handsome Seneca Indian who carries emotional scars from a troubled childhood and a war he can’t forget. Although Evie’s father disapproves of her relationship with Gary, he tolerates her decision to live her own life. However, things become extremely complicated when Evie’s father, Professor Hampton is found murdered in his home and all fingers point to Gary. Losing another family member is devastating to Evie, but she is determined to prove Gary’s innocence. But as Evie gets closer to the truth someone is determined to stop her in her tracks. When Her beloved aunt is murdered, it becomes gravely apparent that Evie and Gary are the next intended targets. It becomes a game of cat and mouse leaving Evie and Gary trying to stay one step ahead of the killer. Just when they are getting closer to the truth a startling revelation will change everything leaving both Evie and Gary fighting for their lives. A.L. Sowards - The Redgrave Murders is historical fiction at it’s finest and will be sure to leave you guessing to the very last page. A.L. Sowards writes beautiful historical fiction with strong characters that you will come to love. In The Redgrave Murders this is especially true with Evie and Gary. Evie Hampton is strong, independent and fiercely loyal. She fights for what is right and never allows other people doubts and prejudices to affect her judgement. Gary Redhawk is strong, handsome and protective. Despite a troubled past he is still able to come back fighting no matter how many times life knocks him down. He is devoted to Evie and has a true lion’s heart. The additional characters in The Redgrave Murders help bring the story together beautifully and will keep the reader guessing who the villain is until the very last page. (In addition, the beautiful excerpts from Evie’s brothers letters from overseas at the beginning of each chapter is genius and helps the novel all come together at the very end.) So if you are a fan of historical fiction and mysteries with well developed characters this is the perfect book for you. Filled with romance, suspense and strong actors, The Redgrave Murders by A.L. Sowards is the perfect summer book to add to your collection.