Review by Elizabeth Jasper
Title: The Happenstance Marshall and The Deliberate Sheriff
Author: Michael O’Gara
Genre: Crime mystery
These two books are the first of six books in the Millie Mystery series by Michael O’Gara. They are written in an unusually straightforward style that suits the stories and the target audience which, from what I’ve read of these first two books, is readers who like their characters either very good or very bad, with few shades of grey in between.
Mr O’Gara’s writing style is simple, direct and effective. I raced through these first two books and I will be back for more. The settings are excellent, the dialogue very natural and there is understated comedy throughout. Although Mr O’Gara breaks a few conventional writing rules, he carries it off with style and the reader is not distracted from the narrative in any way.
My only criticism, and this is from a purely personal point of view, is that Millie rises from her lowly beginnings as a war widow living in a cottage on a small plot of land to a property millionaire by an amazing set of coincidences, all due to her good and kind nature and instincts for helping others. By the end of ‘The Deliberate Sheriff’, it has become obvious to me that strong Christian values that pay off in not only a spiritual but also a material way are one of the main themes of the books. None of this detracts in any way from these stories being a mighty fine read.
The second theme is Millie Boyd’s exceptional talents in law enforcement and the clever way she manages people and events for the greater good. There are exciting conflicts with criminals of many and varied hues, from corrupt politicians to ineffective and corrupt police, and sometimes conflict with other law enforcement agencies. Like her friends, family and colleagues, by the end of these first two books I’ve come to love Millie. I want to read more of her adventures and find out whether she does find true love for a second time, in between fighting for the people of Safe Haven, LakeView and Mountain View.
A 5* read for me.