Editor's note: From escaped convicts to dead bears to Civil War era disguises, four authors with local ties have recently penned mysteries that are clean, too.
Salt Lake City author Kathi Oram Peterson weaves a clean, uplifting book with a page-turning murder mystery in her latest novel, “Wanted.”
Jo Powers enters her pickup truck to find herself held at gunpoint by an injured escaped convict. It is not until she starts tending to his injuries that she realizes the man is her ex-husband, Branson Faulkner, serving a life sentence for the murder of his stepbrother.
After convincing her of his innocence, Jo hides Branson from the suspicious Sheriff Padriac. Sure of Branson’s innocence, Jo investigates several family deaths and comes to the conclusion that the true murderer is not Branson, but someone else she is close to.
Many individuals, who were previously people Jo trusted, are now suspects. Lance, her fiance with a quick and explosive temper, has a history of covering his cruelty with charm. Lenny, Jo’s brother, is a devoted friend to Lance with secrets of his own. Padriac, when questioned regarding the thoroughness of past investigations, becomes defensive. Jo begins to wonder if this law enforcer has his own agenda for keeping all three homicides quiet. Edward, Jo’s future father-in-law, comes across as a kind man, but admits to several damning facts regarding the deaths of his wife and Jo’s father.
Besides reliving the past deaths of those close to her, Jo experiences inner turmoil as she realizes the love for her ex-husband has reignited. She struggles with the decision of letting him back into the lives of herself and their son all while trying to keep those she loves safe and solve a mystery that will hopefully absolve Branson from all guilt.
This novel deals with the serious subjects of murder and violence but it does so in a mild manner. There isn't any swearing and relationships don't go beyond kissing. The story is easy to get involved in and captivating entertainment for an evening.
Book trailer: Wanted by Kathi Oram Peterson
In "Wanted" by Kathi Oram Peterson, rodeo veterinarian Jo Powers is accustomed to operating under pressure but nothing could have prepared her for the shocking discovery of the armed and bleeding escaped convict hiding in her truck. Even more disconcerting is the fact that Jo knows the man in the prison jumpsuit her ex-husband.
Elizabeth Reid has bachelor's degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. She blogs at www.gelatoandchocolate.blogspot.com.