:Magnolia Moonlight (Secrets of the South Mysteries #3)


Title:  Magnolia Moonlight (Secrets of the South Mysteries #3)

Author:Mary Ellis



Publisher: Harvest House Publishers

My rating is4 stars.

Book three in the series takes place approximately two years after books two in the series, What Happened on Beale Street.  Isabelle and Nate are now married, but have been saving for a house so they haven’t taken a honeymoon yet.  Coworkers, friends and family pool their resources and send them on a honeymoon.  Nate leaves Price Investigations in the hands of his employee, Beth Kirby and new trainee Michael Preston.  While there, Isabelle thinks she sees her ex-husband walking out of a casino.  He had a gambling addiction in the past, which led to the downfall of their marriage.  He has remarried and joined Gamblers’ Anonymous, so why is he walking out of a casino?  Has he succumbed to his addiction again?  This leads Isabelle and Nate on a mystery as her ex is adamant that his new wife, whom he has left at home, Isabelle and Nate are in danger.

Beth Kirby is an ex-policewoman who left the force due to a romantic crush on her boss.  Some of the other uniforms in the precinct thought she got her promotion to detective due to this relationship.  She resigned and became a private investigator.  She now works for Nate Price.  She is given the task of training Michael, who is a whiz at computer stuff, but has no hands-on training at working an investigation.  A local pastor is found dead and the investigating police office, Beth’s former partner at the precinct, views the death as a suicide.  The victim’s wife refuses to believe that and comes to Beth, asking her to take on the investigation to prove the victim was murdered.  Beth does find some incongruities, but isn’t wild about having Michael tag along during her interviews.  The two soon develop a tentative rapport while they continue to follow some missing money that everyone thinks the victim stole and that he killed himself because he couldn’t live with what he had done.  Beth and Michael hope to find evidence and recover the money before it disappears forever.

I really liked that this book had two mysteries going on at the same time.  I also the interplay between Beth and Michael; I hope that a romance between those two is on the horizon.  I also like reading about the cuisine and geography of the southern U.S.  The message of faith is also evident in this story as well, which I greatly appreciate!  There is a fourth book planned for this series titled, Sunset in Old Savannah.  There is no release date yet, but I’ll be reading it once it is released.  I have enjoyed this series so far and have enjoyed getting to know the characters better with each installment.