Killer Nashville Book of the Day

Idyll Threats by Stephanie Gayle / Reviewed by Maria Giordano

Purchase Idyll Threats or read other reviews through Killer Nashville’s affiliate,* 

Stephanie Gayle  Credit: Sayamindu Dasgupta
Stephanie Gayle
Credit: Sayamindu Dasgupta

Police Chief Thomas Lynch has a world of challenges on several fronts with murder seemingly the least of his worries in Stephanie Gayle’s Idyll Threats.

First, he’s new to the job in bucolic Idyll, Connecticut, where little is similar to his former world in New York City until the murder of a young woman found sprawled out on a golf course shatters the quietude. His staff is wary of his leadership and methods. The mayor is breathing down his neck for a quick resolution, and besides being one of the last persons to see the woman alive, Lynch is gay, a secret he wants to keep for now.

In a town as small, traditional, and close-knit as Idyll, which by the way, is a homophone of idle, finding the perpetrator of the woman’s death leads Lynch to uncover more secrets than answers. The trail leads him to some of the more colorful members of town for clues from a UFO-obsessed, conspiracy theorist to a Goth-punk teen.

While taking personal risks to shake out the murderer, Lynch is forced to reflect on his own arrival to Idyll, his past work as a New York City detective, and the death of his partner and friend when an investigation goes awry. It turns out he has his own mysteries to unravel.

Stephanie Gayle delivers a tight story that is part police procedural and part traditional mystery that keeps you guessing to the very end. It is also a fast-paced jaunt that never lags and paints a believable picture behind the charming and sometimes complicated facade of small town life.

Moreover, Gayle tackles Lynch’s homosexuality in a non-preachy way. Her perspective rings true for what it might be like to be homosexual in a predominantly heterosexual profession as well as living in a traditional community.

Maria Giordano is a learner of life who continues to be amazed at the little things. She resides with her two daughters in Nashville.

(If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the assistance of Maria Giordano, Will Chessor, and credited guest reviewers. For more writer resources, visit us at and

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