Beth Solheim was forced to cancel her appearance this week for Authors @ The Teague because of health reasons. Even so, it was fun to host the Minnesota contingent who showed up to support her. Who knew there were so many people from one small town in Minnesota here in this section of Arizona? And, they were as fun as Sadie Witt and her friends, the characters in Solheim's mystery, At Witt's End.
Sadie and her twin sister, Jane, are joint owners of Witt's End resort in northern Minnesota, but these twins have little in common. They don't look alike, dress alike, and don't really appreciate each other's actions. And, Sadie is the only one who is a death coach, responsible for guiding the dead on their final journey. It's too bad the five residents of Cabin 14 might be the last ones Sadie guides from there. The sisters do share in the lawsuit that threatens to take away Witt's End. And, the loss of their resort could also mean the end of a job for Nan, the woman who runs the local mortuary, since it's situated on resort property.
The resort has been in their family for over a decade, but Carl Swanson, a local deputy, has sued, saying his grandfather was influenced to give the land to Sadie and Jane's mother. And, with his political ambitions and the hatred of a local judge on his side, he might just win his case. It doesn't hurt that a wealthy insurance agent is helping him, wooing Nan, and hoping to end up with a little land of his own.
But, Sadie has a few allies. Nan's son, Aanders, is mourning the loss of his best friend, Tim. However, Tim hasn't crossed over yet, since he's convinced he and his parents were murdered. And, Tim, Aanders, and a few dead people, might just be willing to help Sadie.
Solheim's story and characters are very unusual. Sadie isn't always the nicest person in the world, but she is funny. And, it's hard to imagine a more unlikely pair of twins. However, it's Sadie's relationship with the dead, and her understanding of her job as a death coach, that are fascinating. Not all of the dead are good characters, and it's fun to read of their different personalities.
Beth Solheim's At Witt's End is a story of greed. It doesn't matter if it's money or power or land, but someone is out to take it from someone else in this enjoyable mystery. And, it's up to Sadie Witt and the temporary residents of Cabin 14 to stop any further trouble At Witt's End.
Beth Solheim's website is www.bsolheim.com
At Witt's End by Beth Solheim. Echelon Press, ©2010. ISBN 9781590806623 (paperback), 282p.
FTC Full Disclosure - Beth Solheim gave out free copies of her book to all attendees of the Authors @ The Teague program, since she had to cancel. This was one of those copies.