An Accident…Or Murder? The House On Devil’s Bar ~ Review and Giveaway

Posted: July 26, 2017 in giveaways, Mystery, reviews
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The House On Devil’s Bar

The Linn House Mysteries #1

by Jessie McAlan

TheHouseOnDevilsBar cover

Genre: US Amateur Sleuth


My Review

There’s no one thing that makes me like this book. I do like a good mystery. Especially one with no real obvious suspect. I also enjoy humorous and snarky dialogue between characters. And it sure adds to my enjoyment when the scenes are visually written, putting me there in the story. And last, but not least, the surprise reveal of who did it and why. This book had all of this, and something else. This is where I wish I was a writer so I could spit it out. Something just really charmed me. Maybe the compelling prose.

Rona is finally seeing progress with her bakery and events business. When a mysterious woman shows up at Linn House asking questions and then disappearing, Rona shrugs it off. But the strangeness of it keeps niggling at her. And soon she’s thinking all kinds of things. And her fears are justified when the woman’s body is discovered drowned in the river.

Not one to sit on her hands and wait, Rona delves into the woman’s life, feeling duty bound to prove her death wasn’t an accident and see justice done. This leads to some threatening occurrences. The success of her business, and her life are now in question.

Rona is very likable. She’s kind and professional, stubborn and determined.  And while she’s a bit lonely, she doesn’t feel she has to have a man to be happy. Then her ex shows up and their back and forth banter comes naturally. She’s now having second thoughts. Can’t help but like a second chance romance. Even if it doesn’t go the way you want. Won’t tell you how it goes with these two.

Lots of lovely scenery, plenty of mystery and false trails, and humor and romance, what more could you ask for. I hope you try The House On Devil’s Bar. You’ll want to read more about these characters.

4 Stars



The police verdict of a woman’s accidental drowning in the Mississippi River does more than set tongues wagging in the small Missouri town of Klim; it starts a flood of cancellations that threaten to sink Rona Murray’s bakery and events business. And blacken her good name. Determined to save both, she starts her own investigation to prove she and her property are blameless.  Barbara Lindborg had stopped by Linn House to consider renting it for a party. Yet, when Rona returned from accepting a delivery, the woman had vanished.

Rona’s preliminary search for Barbara yields nothing more than suggestive footprints on the Bar.  Did the woman accidentally fall into the river?  Was she pushed – and if so, why?  A later hunt reveals Barbara’s cell phone in the woods. How did it get halfway up the hill if the woman drowned a hundred feet below? The phone’s camera holds snaps of Klim, its residents, and the Bar. Do any of these hold a clue to her death? Or did her and Rona’s earlier conversation about history and treasure have a different meaning?

Suspects and motives pop up like bubbles in yeast. Is Matt, an employee, still bitter about his and Barbara’s divorce? What about Rona’s own ex, Johnny? Is he trying to drive her out of business, or is his current girlfriend, Crystal, jealous of their relationship and trying to eliminate the competition? A bit like calling the kettle black, for Crystal seems very friendly with Frank, the bad boy neighbor. Frank isn’t lily-white, either. He dislikes Rona; is he behind the pranks on her property or mixed up in Barbara’s death?  It isn’t until Rona’s life is threatened one stormy night that she learns the killer’s identity and her true feelings about Johnny.



Clouds cloaked the moon, and the darkness in the woods closed around her. She increased her pace. The ground and leaves were slick, causing her to lose traction. When she slid downhill the second time, she heard the whispers.

She remained where she was, her back against a tree trunk, her palms on the ground. The wind had kicked up while she’d started back from the Bar, and it sighed as it wandered through the pines. A cricket chorus grated beneath the melody, strident and sharp, punctuating the wind’s fluid lament. A crack, like someone stepping on a branch, bore through the song, and Rona froze. Was someone walking through the woods, walking without a flashlight?

Which could only mean he was sneaking up on her.


Author Jessie McAlan

A family trip to the Big Spring area in the Missouri Ozarks introduced Jessie to the wonders of nature.  Her summer stints as a camp counselor and canoeing instructor cemented her enthusiasm.  This love of the natural world and the river flows through her Linn House mysteries.

In 2001 Jessie graduated from Webster University with a BA degree and departmental honors in English.

She lives in the St Louis, MO area and spends as much time as she can camping and watching the barges on the river.

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  1. Lisa Brown says:

    Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Thank you for hosting the tour and for the very nice review of my book!

  3. Anne says:

    Thanks for this intriguing feature and wonderful giveaway. The novel sounds compelling.

  4. Gwendolyn Jordan says:


  5. taylordeanbooks says:

    Love the title, love the cover, and I love your review, Laura. I love a good mystery and this book fits the bill!

  6. Sold, it’s going on my wishlist. :)

  7. Lilyn G says:

    Looks like a good mystery!

  8. I shall bid everyone good night. Thanks to my review host for hosting and reviewing, and thanks to everyone who left a comment. I appreciate it!