Ann H. Gabhart
c/o Baker Publishing Group
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780800723415, $14.99, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. The war ends without further word. Now penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, only to discover that they will not allow her to keep her beloved dog, an animal that has been her faithful companion since her husband went off to war. Sheriff Mitchell Brodie has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?
Critique: Another superbly crafted and thoroughly entertaining novel from a master storyteller, "The Innocent" by Ann H. Gabhart is enthusiastically recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Innocent" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).