A NIGHT TO REMEMBER by Danny & Wanda Pelfrey
SERIES: An Adairsville Heritage Mystery #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: CrossLink Publishing
RELEASE DATE: September 14, 2022
Riley Gordan is back in Adairsville, Georgia, anticipating a leisurely vacation from the rigors of law school with her college friend, Trish. Then, as part of a political plot, one of her Sunday School girls is kidnapped. Stumbling upon the abduction, Riley and her friends are drawn headfirst into a search for the girl.
Their probe leads them into a fast paced and dangerous string of encounters that include a Neanderthal named Houston, searches in some of the most hazardous places in North Georgia, a green Kia Soul, an old man with a big gun, and ultimately murder.
It is an adventure that provides some unusual twists and turns and is highlighted by a beautiful relationship between an old baseball player entering politics and a spunky adolescent who are jointly known around town as “Nate and The Kid.”
Other Books In This Series
One of the first things I love about A Night to Remember is that it’s set in an actual small Georgia town very close to my own – I always enjoy reading books set in familiar-to-me stomping grounds such as east Tennessee, northern Illinois, central Kentucky, and now northwest Georgia! And it’s not every day I can say I’ve stood in the same place as a book’s villain, but I can now, thanks to the appearance of quaint Marietta Square in this cozy mystery.
Riley is a plucky heroine, with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden vibes in both personality and persistence. Her friendships in the small town of Adairsville, as well as her visiting best friend from college, have Christ in the center without being preachy or feeling forced. It’s just a natural part of their lives, much as their unquestioning support of each other is too. If one of them needs help – even if they can’t give details – the others show up, willing to do whatever is asked of them. I really liked these characters and their friendships, even though I did want to shake Riley a bit for still holding swoony-and-smitten Mike at bay. (It’s the kissingbooks fan that lives inside me – i can’t help it lol) The cherry on top for me was the unlikely friendship between a grumpy old former ball player and the talkative tween who has him wrapped around her little finger – this added a lot of heart (and some chuckles) to the narrative and also made the stakes higher when it comes to the plot.
Speaking of that, along with a mystery to solve, there’s a little bit of suspense thrown in, too, and I’m not complaining about it. It gave the book some extra energy and kept the tensions simmering from beginning to end. Riley’s brother Kirby’s law enforcement role legitimizes some of the investigating, though of course Riley does her own unsanctioned snooping long before Kirby gets involved. Her college friend Trish along with Kirby’s girlfriend Connie are a great “Bess and George” to Riley’s “Nancy Drew” side, and the trio made a formidable team. I hope we see Trish again in more Adairsville mysteries.
Bottom Line: A Night to Remember by Danny & Wanda Pelfrey is charming and warm, with lovable characters and a couple of unexpected twists. I enjoyed seeing a light faith thread tucked organically into the story, and I liked tagging along with Riley and her gaggle of friends-slash-amateur-sleuths. The setting of Adairsville is almost its own character and lends itself well to these characters and the plot. I’m looking forward to more books from these authors and this quaint North Georgia community.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
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Danny and Wanda Pelfrey are graduates of Atlanta Christian College (now Point University). Danny earned a masters from Kentucky Christian University. He spent 45 years in the pastorate. Wanda served as a primary Montessori teacher for twenty-four years. They have two daughters and are blessed with five amazing grandchildren.
Wanda’s career as a writer took off shortly after college, when she started writing curriculum and educational aids for a variety of publishers. Her book, MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR CHILD’S TEACHABLE MOMENTS, published by Moody Press went through several printings and brought her a lot of attention and respect as a writer. However, she put her writing career on hold shortly thereafter to become a teacher.
Danny’s interest in writing was fostered by his wife’s love of the craft. He wrote articles for various publications, a newspaper column, and eventually three non-fiction books. Traditional publisher CrossLink released three of the four Davis Morgan Mysteries co-authored by the couple, as well as the first two books in the Adairsville Heritage Mystery series. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is #2 in the Adairsville Heritage series.
The Pelfreys live in their little Cape Cod cottage in their small north Georgia hometown of Adairsville, Georgia which serves as the setting for their mysteries with a message. They enjoy a life that is often centered around their five grandchildren and their love for putting words on paper.
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What about you? What makes you want to read A Night to Remember by Danny & Wanda Pelfrey?