Review by Ann McDonald
Welcome to the timeless charms of small-town Watervalley, Tennessee—where young Dr. Luke Bradford is beginning to feel at home…
‘Each Shining Hour’ is the 2nd Book in the Watervalley Books series by author Jeff High. We are introduced to Dr. Luke Bradford, who runs the local medical clinic in the farming community of Watervalley, a facility he has agreed to run for three years in exchange for all the medical costs incurred by him, paid in full. Setting the story in a clinic gives the author an ideal platform to introduce his readers to a mix of locals and their foibles. But the core of this novel is a murder mystery from the 1940s. Luke spends the majority of the story trying to sort out who killed who as the murder has impacted families in the past as well as the present.
He builds a nice little cameo around his housekeeper Connie and his sister Estelle. It turns out that an old bakery would be an ideal place for Estelle to open her shop but of course, it’s in the hands of the local bank whose chief in charge does not want her to have it and the plot thickens! Throw in a couple of girls to play the love interest to Luke’s friend John Harris, wealthy, good-looking and cantankerous to the extreme, Ann would be ideal for him. And Christine, the local beauty who should live in the enchanted castle waiting for her Prince Charming. It so happens that Luke is smitten with her but not to the extent that he can show his feelings.
On Valentine’s night, alone at last, no nurses or telephone calls to interrupt them, the two get together and spend their time looking at old autopsy reports and yes, the call comes and he has to leave. He doesn’t call to tell her what the emergency was and then wonders why she doesn’t return his calls. She never comes to life for me, in any way, shape or form but of course, things get sorted out and the future is left, no doubt, to the third novel, to wrap up and find their happy ever afters. With all that being said, go ahead and relish the story, Jeff High paints a great picture of a small farming community, warts and all and it will make a great stocking stuffer for your favorite aunt, enjoy.
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