Title: Gone on Sunday by Tower Lowe
Genre: Currently #10598 in Best Seller’s Rank in Books, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Historical, Mysteries
Publisher: Create Space IPP
Publication Date: January 2017
Gone on Sunday – A Cotton Lee Penn Historical Mystery – Cover conveys mood
Gone on Sunday by Tower Lowe attempts to give us two distinct murder stories within the same book separated as has been previously noted by 40 years.
While I found the characters in 1932 more interesting than the characters in 1972, I had a problem discerning a real protagonist here. Cotton Lee, given the job by Attorney Max Mayfair of looking into the murder of her friend Little Mary in 1972 seems to be relegated to back burner status by the end of the book. She has, however, gotten as far as the discovery of Bead Baker’s (Little Mary’s grandmother) cookbook with coded entries much like a private diary that alludes to the guilty party.
The murders take place in Homeville, Virginia where the Deep South still held a strangle hold on persons of color and includes the vernacular peculiar to the south. Cotton Lee suffered polio as a child and while still managing with a gimp leg seems to plow full-steam ahead on her assignment, alternately bullying her way around or soliciting sympathy, making it difficult for me as a reader to gain any empathy for her.
No problem figuring out the antagonist(s)–(more than one)–though the story concentrates on the one (really hateful) person from 1932–who may prove not to be the killer. There’s a number of people in this town who are a little off; everyone holds secrets, and suspicions fly freely.
The story flips back and forth between the two murders, that of Bead Baker in 1932, murdered in much the same fashion as her granddaughter in1972, and presenting the over-riding question of whether or not it could have been the same killer and for much of the same reason.
It’s a slow growing story because of the necessity of introducing all characters from both eras and it continues to do a slow build to the point where the murder is solved–but…(no spoiler here), not what or whom you’d suspect and kinda leaves you with, “whatttt?”
Interesting plot, dialogue, and characters well fleshed out. Definitely includes a twist, albeit a disappointing one (in my view), and paints a rather depressing view of the life and times of small town southern USA.
This book was given in exchange for a review and it can be recommended to murder mystery or historical fiction fans.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
The Author: Tower Lowe is the pen name of Donna Tower Pecherer, who is published in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She is the author of many mystery novellas and full-length novels, which feature characters Cinnamon and Burro. Gone on Sunday is the first in the Cotton Lee Penn and Max Mayfair series. ©2017 Virginia Williams