Gayle Roper is the accomplished novelist who a few years back encouraged me to write a novel of my own. So when Dee Stewart put out a call for two bloggers to review Gayle’s latest, Fatal Deduction, I jumped at the chance. Gayle is an a great mentor, and a kind lady. Besides, this way I got to read her novel early. What a pleasure.

In the story, single mother Libby Burton is compelled by the provisions of her aunt’s will to live in the same house with her twin sister, Tori, who she’s never gotten along with. Even though Tori and Libby look just alike, Tori still somehow manages to make Libby feel bland by comparison. Worse, Tori’s shady lifestyle casts a dark shadow on Libby, endangering her and her teenage daughter, Chloe, when a dead body turns up on their doorstep with a warning note – or rather a warning crossword puzzle – for Tori.

Of course, this is a romantic mystery, so Drew Canfield, the single father across the street, is on hand to help Libby sort through her feelings about her sister, as well as her painful past. But can this tender relationship survive the turmoil brought on by Libby’s family?

Fatal Deduction is a delightful, intricately plotted romantic mystery. I loved the characters, or else loved to – well – dislike them. I chewed off the fingernails on one hand while gripping the book with the other, worrying through the story, puzzling over the crosswords that (no kidding!) serve as clues throughout the book, smiling at the tense, fun, unexpected resolution.

Gayle Roper has written more than forty-five novels over a period of more than thirty years, and has won multiple awards for her excellent work. Fatal Deduction may be her best yet.

Be sure to read Dee Stewart’s post, and Brandon Satrom’s post on Fatal Deduction. (Those are links to their blogs. I’ll provide specific links to the posts as I have them.)

Also, Monday would be a great time to click on over to Twitter, because the three of us are going to discuss the book in a Twitter Chat. I’ll post the link here on Monday. I hope you’ll join us.

UPDATE:

I’m still new to Twitter, and I obviously have a lot to learn. Case in point, I didn’t know what a Twitter Chat was. So here’s the scoop, copied almost directly from Dee Stewart’s post, since she’s the expert:

Now here are the details on how you can participate in our live Twitter chat on Monday.

  1. Read the book. If you don’t have it, goto your public library or buy it a your local store. If you still can’t snag a copy between now and Monday, don’t worry. Download this excerpt, to warm you up. You can still chat. After we chirp this book, you will go and get it.
  2. Get a Twitter Account, if you don’t have one. Twitter is a miniblog platform that you can link to your blog and read via your cell phone. So you can participate via SMS technology, if you don’t have internet access.
  3. Follow me, Kathleen and Brandon. Here are our usernames:
    1. http://twitter.com/deegospel – Dee/ Me
    2. http://twitter.com/kathleenpopa – Kathleen
    3. http://www.twitter.com/thesatch – Brandon
  4. Participate in Christian Fiction Blog’s Weekend Chatterbox Question here and at Twitter. Come to the site for the chatterbox question, if you are an email subscriber or read the most current post.
  5. Join us Monday, 5/9/08 2PM EST, 1PM CST, 12PM MST, 11AM PST to read, chime in and participate in the book chat.
  6. If you decide to join us, leave me a comment, so I can follow you and add you to the discussion.