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Payne & Misery (A Christine Sterling Mystery, # 1)
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Payne & Misery (A Christine Sterling Mystery #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  139 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
All that glitters is not gold for Christine Sterling. The luster of her shiny Golden Years dream fades when Christine s newly retired husband, Jesse, becomes obsessed with a hobby requiring extra time away from her. Mired in boredom, Christine develops a bad reputation for conjuring wild tales to explain ordinary occurrences. Then she meets someone who has true reason to ...more
Paperback, 2nd, 334 pages
Published November 11th 2011 by Ellechor Publishing House, LLC (first published 2010)
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Dolores Ayotte
Mar 05, 2012 Dolores Ayotte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Leggitt, first time author of mystery novel Payne & Misery, has done a great job of capturing her reader's interest right at the onset. This is her debut novel in the three part Christine Sterling Mysteries. The second book titled, The Dunn Deal, is soon to be released with a third, Parrish the Thought, to follow.

Leggitt is a gifted writer. Her book reminds me of an adult version of the Nancy Drew Mysteries that I was so fond of as a young girl. The main character in her series is
In a tale of mystery and crime, reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock mystery Rear Window, Catherine Leggitt brings readers into the small town of Grass Valley, California. This is a town where watching neighbors through basement windows can lead to some serious drama. With a setting drawn from the author’s surroundings and emotional turmoil from personal experience, the characters and situation take on the qualities of a believable tale of Payne & Misery.
The main character, Christine Sterlin
I really enjoyed this story about a retired married woman who finds herself playing detective. The writing was strong and the story well thought out.
There is one mention of the married couple making love (and that is all that is said about it). There is also some mention of some things that younger readers might find disturbing, but if you watch any murder mystery shows, this book will probably feel tame.
Looking forward to reading more by this author.
Sep 26, 2012 Brittany rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this cozy little mystery! Christine definitely has a wild imagination and comes up with some of the most uncanny ideas, least of which is spying on her neighbor. Her curious nature and witty comments keep you giggling throughout the book and have you wondering what else she can get herself into. I love the author's writing style and can't wait to see what happens in book two, The Dunn Deal. If you like comical mysteries, this book is for you :)
Victor Gentile
Mar 27, 2013 Victor Gentile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Leggitt in her new book, “Payne & Misery” Book One in the Christine Sterling Mystery series published by WestBow Press takes us into the life of Christine Sterling.

From the back cover: Christine Sterling’s loneliness reduces her to snooping on neighbors she’s never seen. When her newly retired husband, Jesse, becomes obsessed with a hobby requiring long weekends away, Christine inserts herself into the wrong place at the wrong time-a sure recipe for disaster. Add Christine’s dubiou
Apr 14, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Retirement can be a challenging and lonely time in a woman's life, especially when her husband discovers a new hobby of mounted shooting that includes weekend ventures away from home. For fifty-five year old Christine Sterling, moving away from their Southern California home and retiring to Green Valley, a Northern California historic mining town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains two years ago has brought loneliness and a bit of unhappiness in her life. With too much time on her ...more
Apr 03, 2013 Nancee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nancee by:
Christine Sterling has a nose for trouble, and before giving trouble much thought she's in the thick of it. She can concoct a mystery from watching a handbag being filled with leftover food. Her husband, Jesse, finds her insatiable curiosity tiresome, and takes off on long weekends to horsemanship events. A bit too observant in her spare time Christine conjures up scenarios that Jesse discounts as an overactive imagination until events lead to the mysterious disappearance of their dog.

Ed and Zor
Paula Ratcliffe
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Ruth Hill
Dec 28, 2013 Ruth Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this mystery! I can hardly wait to read the others in the series, and I have already told my mom that she has to read this book next. This is the kind of mystery book that is somewhat reminiscent of Miss Marple and Rear Window. Put all that together with living out in the country, a nosy neighbor, and a curious dog, and you have the things that contribute to an amazing mystery book. This is definitely a cozy, clean mystery. No sex nor profanity of any kind. It ...more
Apr 24, 2013 Yvonne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christine Sterling is not happy with retirement in the small town of Grass Valley, California. For starters, her husband Jesse is more interested in his new hobby than in her. Feeling lost and on her own, Christine takes an interest in her mysterious neighbors and becomes suspicious when Lila Payne appears scared, hungry and bruised.

Used to his wife's overactive imagination, Jesse brushes off Christine's concerns, which only frustrates her more. When their beloved dog Molly disappears, along wit
Tia Bach
We all have neighbors who could single-handedly be a neighborhood watch committee. Christine Sterling is one of those type neighbors. One day, she notices some strange happenings at a nearby house, and she feels compelled to stop by and check it out. When she does, she meets Lila and notices some strange bruises on her. But things only get more disconcerting when Lila, along with Christine's dog, go missing.

Initially, everyone blows Christine's concerns off. Determined to find out what is going
Maureen Timerman
Apr 13, 2013 Maureen Timerman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Poor Christine Sterling has been moved by her husband away from her children and her friends. Now she seems to be spending her time snooping, and trying to guess why someone is doing what they are doing. Every time she goes anywhere she suspects someone. So when she sees something at her neighbors, she is off on her adventure. In my mind and her husbands, she does cross the line.
When you think things can't get any more dangerous with Christine, her beloved dog Molly disappears, along with her m
I quite enjoyed this book. With likeable characters, an interesting, believable plot and a beautiful setting, Payne & Misery, provides an entertaining and compassionate read. I think the thing I liked the most was the characters. Christine, with her penchant for snooping and observation, is a fun main character with plenty of strengths and weaknesses. When she believes something is wrong, she wants to do something about it. With her husband gone on a regular basis pursuing his own hobbies, ...more
Terri Costanzo
Good enough mystery, but the main character is a bit too daring-you want to slap her every 20 pages for doing things she should know better than to do.
Aug 27, 2013 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Payne & Misery" is a tale told by Christine Sterling, a middle-aged empty nester who becomes intrigued and disturbed by her reclusive neighbors, the Paynes. The woman appears withdrawn and possibly abused, the man angry and hostile. Then Christine’s dog disappears, and the neighbor woman does as well. Christine’s snoopy, curious nature kicks into high gear and she goes about solving the mystery of what’s happened.

I dunno. I liked this book’s Christian feel (most of the characters were Chris
Apr 05, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming,light mystery ala Murder She Wrote, but with a Christian twist. Christine Sterling is the neighborhood busybody(think Gladys Gravits of Bewitched)who watches all those around with a suspicious, negative eye. She stumbles across some neighbors who truly do need watching and help and an interesting, snoopy investigation begins.She enlists the help of her husband( a little unwilling at first,)some good neighbors, and even gets some clues from her loveable dog,Molly.The sad story of her ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Crystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Payne and Misery

This was a great book. It started slow but soon progressed to a real good page turner. I enjoyed how Christine was a real Nancy Drew sleuth. The story got good when Jesse,Ed and Sarah Jane joined in. Christine's determination to find out what happened to her neighbor Lila and who killed her was her awakening to the power of prayer. Her faith in God was renewed. The surprise that the DNA revealed in the end was great. That Helen was a real doosie.
Barbara Cook
May 04, 2014 Barbara Cook rated it liked it
3.5 really. Christine Sterling needs a hobby!! this was a Christian mystery that includes some funny moments, intense moments, and ultimately shows we need to rely on God at all times. She's a bit nosey and a bit pushy but her heart is in the right place! I'd read another "Payne and misery" mystery. Easy enjoyable read!
Jul 28, 2012 Dodi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mystery interesting to me since it was about the Grass Valley area. The story was fairly engaging, but the main character was annoying. And there are ways that work better to bring God and faith into a least for me.
Jun 01, 2014 Rlmiller68 rated it it was ok
started reading this month's ago, felt it drug on but kept with it to try to see what happened to the dog! finally flipped to the last few chapters and got everything I needed!
This is an intriguing mystery with an interesting sleuth. Her investigative methods, including breaking and entering, aren't really in line with her developing faith.
Christine Lowe
Christine Lowe rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2013
Carol Peterson
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Sep 01, 2011
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Jan 19, 2014
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Catherine Leggitt is an author and inspirational speaker. A native Californian born in the Bay Area, she raised two daughters, taught school, and cared for her aging parents in southern California before retiring to northern California.

Her first book, PAYNE & MISERY, won 2nd place at the Orange County Christian Writers Conference in May 2010. Along with THE DUNN DEAL, PAYNE & MISERY was f
More about Catherine Leggitt...

Other Books in the Series

A Christine Sterling Mystery (3 books)
  • The Dunn Deal (A Christine Sterling Mystery, # 2)
  • Parrish the Thought (A Christine Sterling Mystery, # 3)

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