"Tattler's Branch" by Jan Watson, is a historical mystery novel set in the early 20th century in a small coal town called "Skip Rock" in the mountains of Kentucky. The main character, "Lilly Corbett Still" is the doctor for that mining community and leads a very full life, taking care of the town and her younger sister. Lilly's good friend, "Armina" has a strange series of events happen to her, and suddenly the entire town in involved in figuring out the mystery. The suspense takes you through to the very end of the book, when you find out the fate of the main characters.
I really enjoyed reading this book, although it didn't enthrall me from the beginning. The first half of the book seemed a bit slow and there was a lot of energy spent concentrating on an illness that one of the main characters was battling. I found that it picked up a lot about halfway through, and then turned into a tension filled page turner for me, in a good way.
Watson has a very detail oriented and descriptive writing style that is enjoying to read. You do feel like you get to know the characters and become attached to them. One thing that I didn't like as much was that most of the male characters in the book were either portrayed as absent, weak, gambling prone, or criminals. It would have been nice to have at least one additional strong husband/boyfriend in the mix.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or books with medical themes. Jan Watson is a talented writer and I would definitely be interested in reading more of her books in the future.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.