Sunday, November 14, 2010

Title: Merryll Manning: The Health Farm Murders
author: John Howard Reid
publisher: Lulu Press, Inc.
isbn: 978-0-557-01006-6
genre: Fiction, Mystery
Source: Author

Going on vacation to the world down under is a dream for most of us, but Merryll Manning not only gets to travel to Australia but to a health farm to learn about healthy living. A dream come true?
Miami is the home of police sergeant, Merryll Manning who finds himself in his mother's homeland of Australia on a week long vacation to a health farm. He is first seen on a train with various other colorful characters also attending the farm. Each person brings his own fears and idiosyncrasies to the Blue Mountains. However, Merryll Manning soon finds himself in the middle of several murders and in the cross hair of the local Sergeant, George Lambert. The colorful characters all seem to be hiding something and it looks like it is up to Sergeant Manning to solve the crime. A local, who had an affair with Sergeant Lambert's wife seems to be the most likely suspect, but is he just the scapegoat for the affair? Can Sergeant Manning solve this crime before he loses his own life?
This book was first published in Australia and England and had a great following and finally a decade later it is being released in the United States. The story travels through roads that I have yet to tread and this author makes me want to visit with his vivid descriptions of the land. He even makes the desolate areas sound intriguing. I was a bit confused at the start of the story because of all of the people involved in the story so I really appreciated the cast of characters at the beginning of the book to keep them straight. This is a book you have to follow through to the final word. You never know when one character will reach out and just surprise you with something they did or had done to them. After I started to figure out who was who, the story flew and kept me interested until the very last page. I did find my vocabulary was greatly enhanced by the time I finished the book. It was an enjoyable read and I'd recommend this for anyone who is up for a challenge of who done it.
I hope Mr. Reid gets to share some other adventures of Merryll Manning with the folks here in the U.S.

5 family thumbs up out of 7

This book was provided to me through the author for reveiw. The opinions expressed are solely mine and I received no other compensation for this review.

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