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Miranda Warning

(A Murder in the Mountains #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,135 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her.

But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well i
Paperback, 364 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by WoodHaven Press
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Heather Gilbert Cora, I tried to answer this, but it showed up with the spoilers! I would just say to re-read the beginning of chapter 50, where Tess and Charlotte…moreCora, I tried to answer this, but it showed up with the spoilers! I would just say to re-read the beginning of chapter 50, where Tess and Charlotte are talking. Hope that helps!(less)

Community Reviews

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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,135 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of contemporary mysteries
Note, June 30, 2018: I edited this just now, because I discovered I'd left the "I would recommend to..." box blank.

Although the author is a Goodreads friend of mine (and graciously autographed the book!), this series-opening contemporary mystery didn't come to me as a free review copy; I purchased it as a gift for my wife Barb, and it was one that she and I read together. My prior acquaintance with Gilbert's work was through her Vikings of the New World duology (she's an outstanding new voice in
Tess Spencer has been thrown some curveballs throughout her life, so she is no stranger to pain and heartache. She carries a knife and can handle a Glock on any day, ready to take on whatever comes her way. When an anonymous warning note, in the handwriting of a woman long dead, appears in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox, Tess starts to follow a trail that went cold years ago. With very little go on but a handful of clues and her own tenacity, Tess attempts to unmask the killer before she or s ...more
Heather Gilbert
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Once again I feel kind of dorky reviewing my own book, but otherwise it keeps popping up as unread and I know that's not true. I really hope Tess Spencer finds her way into readers' hearts as she has mine. She has many adventures to come, and with Thomas, Nikki Jo, Charlotte, and others in her life, we know someone (almost always) has her back. Can't wait to get book 2 to readers--TRIAL BY TWELVE.
Jocelyn Green
This was the first contemporary novel I've read by Heather Day Gilbert, and it will not be the last! I knew the author was extremely talented from reading her Viking fiction, God's Daughter and Forest Child. Now that I have seen how skilled she is with contemporary (and mystery, no less!) I am even more impressed.

I loved the structure of the book, how it was told from two points of view with two different timelines, so I was given clues along the way in addition to what Tess Spencer, the main p
Karin Kaufman
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don’t you love it when you find a new fictional character to root for? As all mystery lovers know, it’s important to love a series’ main character, and I love Tess Spencer, the heroine of Miranda Warning. She’s intensely loyal, she’s both kind and tough, she carries a Glock or a knife when she does her sleuthing (the woman lives in the West Virginia mountains, after all, and she is no fool), and she says things like “More coffee is never a bad thing.”

But this book’s plot is also terrific--full o
Tess Spencer's friend, Miranda, receives a note from her friend who died 40 years ago. Tess is wondering who would do this and why and starts to look into Rose's death.

If you would ask me if I prefer 3rd person to 1st person, I would always choose 3rd person. However, the 1st person narrative in this mystery novel were laid out well and drew me in from the start. Tess was a quirky fun, lovable character, with her faults and I found myself smiling at a lot of her sayings and the fights she had wi
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, murder, mystery
I'm a little over 50% done with this book and felt the need to write. I'm enjoying this so much. I had just finished a book about Vikings by Heather Day Gilbert, and knew I had another of her books in my cloud stash, so I downloaded it and started right in.

So.....only two things are similar about these two books....female lead and use of weapons. But the female leads couldn't be more opposite. In the last book (Freydis) the Viking heroine's favorite weapons were her sword, her bow and arrows, a
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookfun-org
Miranda Warning is an interesting and intriguing mystery read.
The story introduces Tess and Thomas Spencer. Tess is a Glock
packing, knife toting wife who becomes involved in a mystery
surrounding an older woman, Miranda.
Miranda befriended Tess when the Spencers moved into the
house on her husband’s parents property in the West Virginia
Miranda is dating a widower named Paul. His wife died over
40 years ago and was a friend of Miranda. Then a handwritten
warning is received by Miranda,
Beverly Locker
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought I'd take a break from reading my favorite genre, historical fiction. This mystery was just what I needed. The author kept me in suspense from beginning to end. Characters were believable and enduring. Reader is led through an investigation with strategic clues that keeps the story intriguing.
Whenever you embark on reading a new author for the first time, you don't know quite what to expect. Sometimes you are disappointed; sometimes you are mesmerized. But I love moments like these when an author writes in such an authentic way, full of messy, broken characters that point towards grace and hope.

Heather Day Gilbert has blown me away with Miranda Warning, which is part Christian fiction, part suspense thriller, and part Southern fiction. The dialogue is realistic and it is clear that
I was a little worried about this book when I first started reading some of the reviews listing it a Christian fiction. I have to say the author did a fabulous job of balancing the characters Christian beliefs with a great little mystery.

The author also introduced me to a great new heroine in Tess Spencer. I really love strong women who can still be vulnerable and really like reading books where the lead is happily married. And no they are sickly sweet married, they have fights but still manage
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Yellow Begonia . . . .Warning or I am fanciful."

The warnings have begun, in spite of the fact that Tess Spencer has no idea who or why someone might be sending her veiled messages of impending danger. Her dear seventy year old friend has just informed Tess that she is considering a serious relationship with a widower whose wife tragically took her own life; or was it really suicide and what are this man's motives in securing the admiration of this very wealthy widow? Why now, after so many year
Jessica Patch
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love a good mystery that keeps you guessing and is loaded with great plot twists, quirky characters, and set in the Appalachian Mountains? If so, Heather Gilbert’s Miranda Warning is the perfect book.

Her strong, unique voice will hook you on the first page while the story unravels at a fast pace leaving you starved for more. I had to make myself slow down while reading!

Her heroine is strong, compassionate, savvy, and full of spunk. I enjoyed traveling with her as she hunted down the truth, and
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. What a read from a first time author for me. Suspense all the way. Couldn’t get enough.
Tess's quest for the truth of what happened to Rose Campbell all started Miranda Warning that came in an anonymous note to stay away from Paul Campbell in Rose's handwriting. The problem was that Rose was suppose to be dead for over forty years.

Rose was a troubled woman, became a recluse, left clues and journals behind when she disappeared on New Years 40 years earlier. This troubled woman left a series of conflicting clues that Tess is determined find her way through the confusing spider's web
Alicia Ruggieri
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Spine-tingling fun! Heather Day Gilbert captures the mysterious appeal of the mountains well, combining it with superbly-drawn characters, unusual plot twists, a quick pace, and a satisfying conclusion.

The author used her first-person, present-tense voice to her advantage, giving a strong sense of immediacy to this murder-in-the-past tale. Tess is a quirky but not over-the-top narrator with a good sense of humor, a past with which we can sympathize, and concerns that we understand. She
Gwendolyn Gage
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Miranda receives a threatening note from someone posing as her fiancé’s deceased wife, Tess Spencer puts her Nancy Drew skills to work, determined to protect her elderly friend and expose the culprit. As Tess encounters suspects and uncovers new aspects of the mystery, she's pulled into a web of danger. Will she back off and abandon Miranda to risk, or will her continued pokes at the hornet's nest jeopardize her new family, her marriage, and even her life and unborn baby?

The author has a un
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a terrific mystery! The snippets of memories at the beginning of each chapter were so intriguing, and I was a bit unsure what the mysteries would unveil for a good deal of the novel. In the end I even felt empathy for a character that I started out disliking because there had been such a twist. And I loved Tess - each little snippet of information that rounded out her character made her even more endearing. She was serious yet quirky, with a fun side and a propensity to be delightfully nerd ...more
Stephanie Landsem
If you're looking for a great mystery with unique characters and setting, Miranda Warning is it. This mystery kept me guessing and a plot with plenty of layers kept it interesting. Tess was my kind of heroine: smart, flawed, and someone I'd want to be friends with (plus anyone with a Doctor Who ring tone gets my vote!) The best part is that there's more of Heather Day Gilbert's books to look forward to!
Sara Conklin
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is yet another book that I wish I had picked up a long time ago. It had been sitting on my kindle shelf for the longest time, and I have no idea why I hadn't read it already. It was just that good.

Throughout this Miranda Warning you're following Tess Spencer on her journey to uncover the mystery surrounding a strange note that her elderly friend Miranda had received. But that's not even the half of it.

From the beginning the book is gripping. It grabs you and pulls you in for the ride ahea
Chloe S.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Surely heaven was hemmed tight with friendship.”

Friendship in all its power and potential is a strong theme in Miranda Warning, a Christian suspense novel that is both mysterious and thought-provoking.

Tess is a headstrong young wife whose dear friend and second mother is receiving alarming messages. Her quest to get to the bottom of the mysterious notes leads her down a tortuous path of old gossip and long-buried secrets that have the potential to endanger everyone she cares about.

The narrati
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five wows! I think I just found a new author to add to my favorites list. If you love authors like Colleen Coble or Brandilyn Collins then you will find a new love with Heather Day Gilbert. Her words draw you in and have you trying to figure out what is the truth from the beginning. You question which characters to believe and can't stop reading till you find out. I love feisty Tess Spencer especially when she does the unexpected where her husband is concerned. Made me laugh. I enjoyed how each ...more
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent mystery! I'm a romantic suspense fan, and the heroine in Miranda Warning is already married, so the romance element was different to my usual preference. But the mystery/suspense aspect was excellent, and kept me on my toes throughout.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story felt like a Hallmark mystery. The plot and the truth slowly emerge, unfurling like a flag caught by a breeze. I appreciated how Thomas supports his wife and his fierce protectiveness. Smart and scrappy Tess Spencer, won’t stop until she knows the facts. “Nothing like a loaded Glock to give a girl a healthy dose of bravery.” This storyline flips from the past to the present. Complex situations and a host of characters fill the pages. I never did understand the role of Axel Becker as he ...more
Karen Collier
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I first discovered Heather Day Gilbert’s writing through her book God’s Daughter , the first in her Vikings of the New World Saga, which I thoroughly enjoyed and reviewed over at the Edgy Inspirational Romance blog. When I found out her next book was taking the leap from historical fiction to contemporary mystery, I was curious and eager to see what this one would be like. I found it highly enjoyable, sharing some of the best features of the author's earlier work, including vivid settings and a ...more
Janet Sketchley
Whether writing contemporary suspense or Viking historicals, Heather Day Gilbert delivers novels with vibrant characters and a strong sense of place. Miranda Warning is a compelling mystery that kept me thinking about it when I couldn't be reading.

Miranda Warning tells two stories in one, tying them into one satisfying ending. Tess is a young woman whose best friend, Miranda, happens is in her 70's. When Miranda gets a letter in a dead woman's handwriting, Tess starts asking questions.

The bulk
Susan Snodgrass
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just this minute finished reading 'Miranda Warning' by Heather Day Gilbert and let me tell you, she takes the reader on quite a fast paced roller coaster ride. From the first line, 'I chose the day I would die', to the last word, this book totally had me hooked!

I finished in less than 24 hours because I absolutely could not tear myself away from this book! The author creates a mystery so intense tht I was guessing up until the last chapter! For a while, I'd think one thing was going on, then t
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent mystery by an author who can spin a good mystery and create characters that are very believable, all while respecting West Virginia and its native sons and daughters without resorting to stereotypes. All this while leaving out filthy language, unnecessary sex (in fact, there are no sex scenes at all) or explicit violence. Oh, yes, some violence takes place, some in the past and a small amount in the present but no lurid descriptions and no "blow-by-blow". There was plenty of love, b ...more
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy a mystery with twists and turns and an unexpected ending!
Recommended to Denise by: I had read another book by the same author
This is an entertaining read. It is fun, serious, intriguing and touches on subjects that are, well, touchy. There is stalking, murder, adultery, mental problems, disfunctional families, drugs, secrets, abortion, lies, spying etc. A well woven tale. The main character, Tess, narrates the story. She is newly pregnant and hormonal. The story consists of her trying to protect her elderly friend from being taken advantage of financially, emotionally, mentally and physically. She is trying to solve a ...more
Lori Downing
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book! I love Tess and her personality. I enjoy the love relationship shared between her and her husband. All of the characters are believable and it's an easy read. I like the twists and trying to figure out the mystery. Can't wait to read more!
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HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren't afraid to protect those they love. Publisher's Weekly gave Heather's Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is "an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith ...more

Other books in the series

A Murder in the Mountains (3 books)
  • Trial by Twelve (A Murder in the Mountains, #2)
  • Guilt by Association (A Murder in the Mountains Book 3)
“I love the tactile experience of walking in the woods. It's muted browns, grays, and greens comfort me. The moss and leaves five softly under my boots. Large, scattered rocks feel permanent and unshakable. The pull of the mountain is like gravity for my soul.” 6 likes
“The pull of the mountain is like gravity for my soul.” 6 likes
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