Killer Nashville Book of the Day

Marry in Haste by Susan Van Kirk
Reviewed by Britany Menken

In the mystery, Marry in Haste, by Susan Van Kirk, a retired English teacher from Endurance, Illinois gets drawn into a murder case of an abusive loan shark and discovers that a secret floor board could be the key to clearing a past students name. Grace Kimball, retired teacher, has a simple life with her boyfriend, Jeff Maitlin, until a string of events lead her into helping a former student, Emily Folger. Trapped in an abusive relationship, Emily indulges her husbands every whim to avoid his hand on a daily basis. The bruises on her body imply no whim of his will ever be satisfied as she savors alone time while he’s away at work, discriminating against people who come to him for loans. Grace often wonders about Emily, one of her brightest students who had a concrete future full of promise. From the outside, Grace sees a secluded life with a man not suited for one of her favorite students and questions her life choices.

When Grace learns of her blue-eyed beau’s newly purchased house and the history behind it, she can’t resist her longtime hobby of writing historical articles and decides to amass as much research as she can on the Lockwood Home. Unbeknownst to her, the research could become clues in this wonderfully written murder mystery. Abandoned and turned into multiple things throughout the decades, she finds a one-hundred-year-old secret in the form of a diary. Grace discovered it once belonged to a young girl, Olivia Lockwood. Olivia was married to Judge Charles Lockwood and realizes the predicament of Olivia and Emily are uncanny; Both abused and treated like the bits and pieces section in the back of a newspaper. Grace sees the resemblance in both stories in hopes it could be the key to proving Emily’s innocence. Two pains in the same dignity, stretched out one-hundred years apart from each other, both suffer the same cruelty, one hidden underneath an old floor board and the other living it on a daily basis.

The only thing stopping Jeff from pursuing his dream of the Lockwood home is signing a few papers to finalize his loan and must pay a visit to Conrad Folger, a depictable man in the workplace and at home to his wife, Emily. At the meeting, Grace reads him and his fake exterior as Conrad chats with the pair, making it more obvious he would be a reasonable candidate for murder. TJ Sweeney, Endurance’s only female detective and a longtime friend of Grace, is on the case of solving the murder. The well-off tycoon stemming from a rich family has a number of enemies, such as a pair of Grace’s old students who opened a new restaurant together but were denied a loan because of their sexual orientation. Or maybe it was relative after more than money. Was it any of Conrad’s disgruntled customers? After reading this book, it’s easy to see Van Kirk has a knack for mystery and a deep understanding of women from any time period. If you haven’t picked up your copy of Marry In Haste, I strongly urge you to do so and be prepared to enjoy this hard-to-put-down mystery.

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