Blurb: All that glitters is not gold for Christine Sterling.
The luster of her shiny Golden Years dream fades when Christine’s newly retired husband, Jesse, becomes obsessed with a hobby requiring extra time away from her. Mired in boredom, Christine develops a bad reputation for conjuring wild tales to explain ordinary occurrences. Then she meets someone who has true reason to complain, if anyone does.
Lila Payne’s life is the mirror opposite of ideal. The plight of this seemingly abused woman gnaws at Christine, but the authorities turn a deaf ear to Christine’s pleas for help on Lila’s behalf.
Spurred into action when her beloved dog Molly and Lila both disappear on the same night, Christine dives into a scary pool swirling with muddy secrets and misery. Sensing God at work in the situation Christine continues to search and pray, but even with God’s help, can they save Lila and Molly before it’s too late?
My Review: Payne and Misery by Catherine Leggitt is an enjoyable Christian cozy that gets it's message across without being overly preachy. Christine Sterling is a character that I think many middle-aged women will be able to relate to; the excitement of retirement is past, her husband has found hobbies that don't include her, and she's starting to wonder what the rest of her life holds in store. To fill her time she starts developing an overactive imagination that drives her husband crazy. After crying wolf so many times her concerns about an apparently abused neighbor are initially ignored, but things take an ominous turn when Lila disappears the same night that Christine's beloved border collie Molly goes missing. Christine resolves to do everything in her power, learning to trust God along the way, to bring her four-legged friend back home and solve the mystery of what happened to her poor, unfortunate neighbor.
I really liked the Rear Window-esque angle to this book. Who doesn't enjoy people watching, wondering what goes on behind closed doors? And on a side note, as a lover of all things western I loved Jesse's horse hobby, and completely fell in love with their black and white cats Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers! This suspenseful tale has definitely made me add the other books in this series to my TBR pile.
About The Author
Catherine wrote a trilogy called the Christine Sterling Mysteries, which include Payne & Misery, The Dunn Deal, and Parrish The Thought. The first book, Payne & Misery won 2nd place at the Orange County Christian Writers Conference in May, 2010. It was published by Ellechor Publishing in 2011. The Dunn Deal and Parrish The Thought were published in 2012 by Ellechor Publishing. Parrish The Thought made the quarterfinals in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.
In addition, Catherine has completed a fourth novel with different characters called Dying To Be Noticed and coauthored a memoir for Sam Contino called Street Smarts.
When called upon to share her story, Catherine’s main themes come from Christine’s struggles in her books, which also happen to be some of the things Catherine struggles with. Thus, since Payne & Misery addresses complaining, the first message, titled Always Choose Joy, centers on how to be thankful and choose joy instead of misery. The spiritual theme of The Dunn Deal exposes with the nature of truth. Merely having faith is not enough. What we believe matters. Catherine named the second talk, Always Choose Truth. In Parrish The Thought, Christine learns to love unlovable people, so Catherine calls the third message, Always Choose Love.
Payne & Misery by Catherine Leggitt ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Pump Up Your Book!
BUY THE BOOK: Payne & Misery
BUY THE TRILOGY: A Catherine Sterling Mystery
Book 1: Payne & Misery
Book 2: The Dunn Deal
Book 3: Parrish The Thought
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours.