SHOW ME BETRAYAL by Ellen E. Withers
SERIES: Show Me Mysteries #1
GENRE: Inspirational Dual Timeline Mystery
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press, LLC
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2023
Two deaths occur decades apart. Is it possible these deaths are related? What motivates a killer, who got away with murder sixty years ago, to kill again? Was it uncontrollable rage or the hope of silencing someone who fit all the puzzle pieces together and deduced who committed the crime?
Set in the picturesque town of Mexico, Missouri, Show Me Betrayal takes flight in words and emotions of rich characters woven together into a story you won’t want to put down.
I am always delighted when I find a new author to enjoy, so I’m pleased to report that Show Me Betrayal – my introduction to Ellen W. Withers’ writing – has whet my appetite for more! I was immediately roped into the mysteries, in both the past and the present, and I stayed invested in figuring out how, or even IF, they were connected.
Liesl is instantly likable and relatable, and we feel as though we are running up those stairs into that grand Victorian house right along with her, desperate to find out how Aunt Suzanne is even though we haven’t met her yet. I enjoyed Liesl’s personality and appreciated how the author helps us get to know her backstory and her various layers. Liesl’s dialogue sometimes felt too formal/old-fashioned, and I would have liked to delve more into her work as a romance author – but perhaps we will in future stories. Only so much you can fit into one book, after all! I really liked Liesl as a protagonist and would love to spend more time with her character in the future.
In the storyline that takes place in the 1960s, we do meet Aunt Suzanne right away and you will easily love her as well. She is a strong young woman with sharp instincts who cares deeply about her friends. A senseless tragedy has her growing up quickly and then investigating the murder of her best friend – something she has continued into the present timeline, too, and Liesl soon picks up the investigation. The murder of Winnie (Aunt Suzanne’s best friend) is well-layered with creative twists that carry across both timelines and kept me guessing until nearly the end. I put the pieces together just a tad before Liesl does, but not much before, and the other mysteries (that may or may not be connected – you’ll have to read it to find out!) were also cleverly constructed to bring out my inner Nancy Drew.
A variety of supporting characters fill these pages with some romantic potential, some solid & long-standing friendships, and – of course – suspects then and now. I am most interested in Liesl’s ex-boyfriend Kurt and his adorable little boy. It’s clear Kurt has never quit loving Liesl, even if he doesn’t directly say so, and I hope he gets his act together in future books so he doesn’t lose her to someone else. There’s a lot between them that needs to be worked out, not all of it pretty, but the author’s choice to make him a local detective aided in keeping him and Liesl on the same page (literally and figuratively lol) in this story. I’m excited to see where this romance potential leads, but I know how I want it to turn out!
Bottom Line: Show Me Betrayal by Ellen E. Withers engages readers with a great old house, a cozy small town, two likable strong women, two timelines, an overarching mystery to solve – and a few others that pop up in the meantime, a hint of romance, and a gentle dose of faith. I look forward to reading future books in the series and seeing where the author takes her characters developmentally. The ending was a little abrupt for my liking but it definitely has me wanting the next book right away! Is it 2024 yet?? Show Me Betrayal is a great choice for fans of Ramona Richards and Amanda Wen, as well as Liz Johnson’s Georgia Coast Romance series!
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. I also received a complimentary print copy. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
Ellen E. Withers draws upon her experiences growing up in Mexico, Missouri, and incorporates the fantastic architecture and deep historical roots of the town into her mystery series. A love of investigation encompasses every page of these mysteries because of her former career as an insurance fraud investigator. She enjoys spending time with her family, singing with Top of the Rock Chorus, and traveling. Connect with Ellen on her website.
What about you? What makes you want to read Show Me Betrayal by Ellen E. Withers?