Fallen from Grace by J. R. Lindermuth

Fallen from Grace by J. R. Lindermuth Purchase:

    Fallen From Grace is a leisurely-paced mystery novel, rich in characterizations, local color, and a strong sense of time and place.

    Fallen From Grace is the first of the Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman novels. (Sooner Than Gold, the sequel, is scheduled for publication this month.)

    As the 19th century winds to a close, Sheriff Tilghman of the small Pennsylvania town of Arahpot ponders his biggest problems: finding a new deputy and convincing his true love, Lydia, to marry him. Then Arahpot’s usual tranquility is shaken when two new arrivals in town are murdered. As he works through an abundance of motivated suspects, Tilghman finds himself in danger. And worse—Lydia is pushing her obnoxious cousin as a candidate for deputy.

    About the Author:

    A retired newspaper editor, J. R. Lindermuth lives and writes in central Pennsylvania. Since his retirement he has served as librarian of his county historical society, assisting patrons with genealogy and research. He is the author of 12 novels and his short stories and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines.

    Review by Wayne D. Dundee:

    Fallen From Grace is a leisurely-paced mystery novel, rich in characterizations, local color, and a strong sense of time and place. Set in the late 1800s in the fictional Pennsylvania town of Arahpot, the story revolves around Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman and his investigation into the stabbing death of a man only recently arrived on the scene.
Tilghman has been sheriff for a long time and is both comfortable and competent in the role.

    Above all, he knows his county and its residents inside and out. His investigation takes him on a winding route that brings him in contact with several of these residents and it is here–meeting these memorable characters–that the novel achieves a texture and richness that sets it apart.

    Not that there aren’t some clever plot twists, deft detecting, and doses of suspense and humor also in the brew before the crimes/mysteries at the core of everything are satisfactorily concluded.
The only matter left unresolved is the question of whether or not the lovely, elusive Lydia will ever say yes to Sylvester’s recurring marriage proposals.

    Review by Douglas Quinn:

    In order to solve the murders that have befallen his town, Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman does his best to expand the deficiency of clues to the stabbing of a stranger on his way into town. When a second suspicious death occurs, Tilghman sifts through the evidence to determine what happened.

    But in 1897, the small town’s day-to-day lives of its long-time citizens don’t come to a halt because of the unfortunate events that befall strangers and newcomers.

When the sheriff declares that the telegraph is the greatest invention ever for a sheriff, this gives you an idea of the pacing of the story.

    But this is a good thing, because it allows Lindermuth to spend time developing all of the interesting characters in this interesting and intriguing tale. What I enjoy about Lindermuth’s writing style is that he feels no need to spend time with detailed physical descriptions.

    Instead, as the characters are introduced and progress through the story, I had a perfect image in my mind of their physical appearance, who they were and what they were all about. This is the mark of an expert writer and I applaud Lindermuth for this skill.