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Murder at the Courthouse

(Hidden Springs Mystery #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,072 Ratings  ·  255 Reviews
After a few years as a police officer in Chicago, Michael Keane has no trouble relaxing into the far less stressful job of deputy sheriff in his small hometown. After all, nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. Everyone in town is a little uneasy. Still, no one is terribly worried--after ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 2015 by Revell
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3 of 5 stars to A.H. Gabhart's Murder at the Courthouse, the first in the "Hidden Springs" cozy mystery series. I downloaded this free e-book for Kindle and read it on my iPad. While the story was clever and interesting, it wasn't as appealing as I'd hoped.

Michael Keane leaves his position on the Columbus police force when he realizes he doesn't want to watch people suffer in the city. Orphaned at 15, he's seen enough death and returns home to his peaceful and quiet town of Hidden Springs, Kentu
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Although I never figured out the murderer till they finally revealed him at the end, this book was not very interesting and took me awhile to get through it. I was expecting to like this one because her other books that I've read have been so good.
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This mystery novel didn't hold my interest after the initial chapters. Another let down is that I figured out who the murderer was very early on in the novel.

Although I do not plan to continue reading this series, I do plan to read one of the author's other books as I've heard they are quite different from this one.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-done-it, murder
I like Ann Gabhart.

My first exposure to this talented writer was years ago when she was writing a number of books about Shakers. I had no real knowledge of the religion, so I picked up The Outsider. It was fascinating, so I picked up more. This lead us to visiting a Shaker compound in Ohio. Even my husband enjoyed that.

Murder at the Courthouse is a bit different from her Shaker books. The setting reminded me of Jan Karon's little town of Mitford, but this book is based in Hidden Springs. Fun ch
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is the first in a new series entitled "A Hidden Springs Mystery". I have had the pleasure of reviewing and enjoying the Shaker books written by this author, but had no idea she wrote cosy mysteries. I wondered if this would appeal to me, but it didn't take long for me to know that a talented author is just that, regardless of what she writes!!

Michael Keane was formerly employed in a stressful position as a Columbus police officer. He is done with that kind of life and ready to relax i
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is not your ordinary cozy mystery, although anyone who’s read Ann Gabhart’s other books knows there’s nothing ordinary about her books. Instead of a plot-driven story where readers turn pages as fast as they can, eager to reach the end so they know whodunit, she’s given us a story to savor, one where we care at least as much about what will happen next to the characters as we do about solving the mystery. That’s the classic definition of a character-driven book, and it’s the type of story G ...more
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
A very cozy type of cozy mystery, if there's such a thing :)
Small town and slow paced.
For most of the book, there isn't any progress on solving the crime, it relies mainly on theories of the townsfolk.

The second murder (as mentioned in the book blurb), occurs only at 56% into the story, and this is where the story starts to get a bit more interesting. The first half was pretty dull in my opinion.
But it is not all that bad, because of its slower pacing, you get to savour the characters, you get
Reet Champion
So it’s been awhile and I have really missed reading all the yummy books and blog reviews due to personal circumstances that are still being worked out. But it looks like it will be smoothed out very soon and I’ll be able to get caught back up with everyone. Yay!
Hidden Springs, Kentucky is just a little town with a laid back atmosphere. Dead bodies aren’t supposed to turn up on the courthouse steps. Dead bodies that are apparently the result of a murder are definitely not suppose to turn up on t
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed getting to know Michael Keane and the quirky characters in Hidden Springs, Kentucky. The story was rather slow, easily put down, but hard to put out of my mind. Who shot someone right there on the courthouse square? This story could've happened in my town, or any of the small towns around me. I could see it so vividly. I liked Michael and the other characters. The identity of the murderer was a mystery to me until it was revealed. I never saw it coming. Readers will fall in love with t ...more
Kathy Kirkland
What a fantastic mystery! Fast paced action and very believable from the first page to a very last one. Small towns, big secrets and murder all combined into a story I really couldn't put down.
I'll be reading more by this author!!!
I was really hoping that this would be the beginning of a wonderful relationship with a new author, but it doesn't seem like it was meant to be. There were many things I liked about this book: it was completely clean (and safe), there was a great message about God without an overly preachy feel, the H was a genuinely good guy and treated women with respect, and there was a not-too-scary mystery to boot. However, for whatever reason, the writing failed to engage me.

I'm not quite sure what the ex
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“After a few years as a police officer in Chicago, Michael Keane has no trouble relaxing into the far less stressful job of deputy sheriff in his small hometown. After all, nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. Everyone in town is a little uneasy. Still, no one is terribly worried--after all the man was a stranger--until one of their own is murdered right on Main Street.
As Michael works to sol
Merry Chapman
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun, fast paced cozy mystery you don't want to miss

This is the first book in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy mystery. The characters were well developed and easy to get to know. I had my suspicions about the murderer pretty early on, but the conclusion did actually surprise me as to the entire story. Important loose ends were tied up nicely and It will be interesting if the love interest between Michael and Alex goes any further since they are of different minds. And loved Aunt Lin
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked on this one from the get-go. Small town? That's where I live. Seriously, it was almost like reading a story from my own town. The characters were friendly, familiar, full of life, love, and hidden secrets. You know the sweat tea on the porch swing, chatting with friends, summer evening walks, type stuff.

Michael moved away from Hidden Springs to become a big city cop. But, it wasn't the life for him. After seeing too much big city crime, he returned to Hidden Springs. All he wanted w
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hidden Springs, Kentucky, was supposed to be a peaceful little town where nothing serious ever happened. That’s the reason Michael Keane left a big-city police department to become a deputy in his hometown.
Then one morning a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps, and as a result the community is in an uproar. Everyone has a theory as to why a stranger would end up murdered in Hidden Springs, of all places. When the mystery spreads from a truant young man to long-ago deaths, Michael i
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-kentucky
When a stranger is found dead at the Hidden Springs courthouse, deputy sheriff Michael Keane, back from being a big city beat cop, feels that he must solve the case. Yes, it would be easier to agree with his fellow townsmen and decide that the murder must be a mob hit or something else that has no connection with the quiet town he knows. But he senses something wrong. When he finds a second body, this one part of the fabric of the town, he knows that murder is lurking close to home. This is clas ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Initially this book seemed to be the old cliche of a law enforcement officer getting fed up with all of the crime in a big city and returning to his small home town where nothing ever happens only to find more crime than he ever expected. And it is that, but so much more. I really enjoyed it. Good characters and an interesting plot.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This small town mystery is fun and easy to read. Surprisingly, it won me over even though I thought I knew who probably did it fairly early in the plot. A.H. Gabhart is an author I have enjoyed many times before, and I will continue to look for her books.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A Friday free nook. Easy and enjoyable. But a who-done-it without much mystery. The 'who' was a very easy call no more than a quarter way thru.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this book so much. I wasn't sure since it was a NOOK freebie. The description on Goodreads says former Chicago cop Michael Keane but it's actually former Columbus cop returns to his hometown of Hidden Springs. Although I was able to figure out the killer it still had me second guessing myself at times. I loved the way the author took different incidents and intertwined them all to connect. It definitely has peaked my interest to continue the series.
Deb Haggerty
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Deb’s Dozen: Who-dun-it? Murder at the Courthouse, a Hidden Springs Mystery by Ann Gabhart.

Michael Keane has come home to Hidden Springs, Kentucky, after a stint as a police officer in Chicago. He left the big city action because he didn’t feel he made a difference in Chicago. In his hometown, where he knows everyone and everyone knows him, he has carved out a comfortable niche and routine.

Comfortable, that is, until the day “Miss Willadean Dearmon found the body on the courthouse steps at exact
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded this straight from KU and hadn't realised it was a Religious and Inspirational novel - which I usually avoid. But the 'religion' aspect was low-key for the most part and the story and characters held my attention throughout.

I am not familiar with the procedures in small-town America regarding dealing with a murder (to be honest, some of the procedures horrified me !) but this is a fun book to read and I enjoyed the author's style.
Janet Sketchley
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Michael Keane took the deputy sheriff position in small-town Hidden Springs to get away from the ugliness of big-city crime. He wants to help people, not get hardened like his former partner.

When a stranger is found dead on the courthouse steps, Michael will only solve the mystery if he can see the truth about his fellow citizens – and about himself.

Murder at the Courthouse is a gently-paced cozy mystery with quirky characters and a heaping helping of heart. I enjoyed the small-town feel, and it
Christian Fiction Addiction
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fans of novels by Gabhart are in for a treat as she pens something a little different with "Murder at the Courthouse". The author has created a whole cast of colourful, quirky characters who so intrigued me that I found myself thinking about them long after I had finished the novel. As a male reader, I always enjoy books with a male lead character, and Michael is a likeable man of integrity that both female and male readers alike will appreciate getting to know over the course of the story. Alth ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A.H. Gabhart is Ann Gabhart. I have read one book by her which was a Christmas novel about the Shakers. To my knowledge, she has never written suspense, which might be the reason she used her initials for this first time suspense novel.

Her debut suspense/mystery novel is one she can be proud of. The novel is somewhat of a "cozy" mystery, if murders can be cozy..... but at least the setting and people fall into that description. Hidden Springs is a small town where not much exciting ever happen
Julie Graves
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
I always seem to be starting a series in the middle or at least one book in. Murder at the Courthouse is the first book in the Hidden Springs series. I read the 2nd book 1st. Murder Comes by Mail and then I was able to get an ARC copy of the 3rd book that hasn't come out yet, Murder is no Accident. And then I finally read book number 1! I don't know why or how I manage to do that, but it just seems to happen. Anyway, here are my thoughts on Murder at the Courthouse, book 1 in the Hidden Springs ...more
After spending a few years as a detective in Columbus, Michael Keane is glad to return to his hometown of Hidden Springs as a deputy sheriff. The job is way less stressful and he's able to relax a bit more because nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs. Well nothing except for the dead body on the courthouse steps. The sight of the body makes the town uneasy, but only slightly. After all, the man was a stranger. But Michael senses that there's more to the murder than what is on the surface. His ...more
Yo Leo Ficción Cristiana
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, inglés


Mystery and suspense

Curiously, some people often fear mystery books because they think it's all blood and death; Contrary to this, the novel doesn’t inspire fear but rather encourages you to use your detective skills and follow Michael Keane in his adventure.

This book is the first in a series, whose protagonist has such an interesting life as the mystery he is trying to solve. It also has a love interest which creates a balance between his work and private life.

Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gabhart knows the intricacies of small-town life and the complexities of a good mystery -- a winning combination that makes for a truly riveting read. I was smitten by Hidden Springs and its eccentric characters. Enthralled by the mysterious plot rife with twists and turns and enamoured with hero Michael Keane. He's a good guy with a deep, abiding faith who believes that quiet, one on one interventions can make a world of difference to a lost soul. A police officer with an emphasis on keeping th ...more
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've enjoyed a number of Ann Gabhart's earlier books, so I was intrigued when she decided to write a cozy mystery series. Murder at the Courthouse is an engaging tale containing an assortment of eccentric characters. Gabhart creates a charming town in Hidden Springs and the unexpected crime causes no small amount of upheaval in the community. Don't mistake "cozy mystery" for simplistic, however, as Gabhart weaves in plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing right up to the end of the book ...more
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Nook books: February 24,2017 1 3 Feb 24, 2017 06:30PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect ISBN 3 18 Sep 04, 2015 05:08AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Aug 19, 2015 12:44PM  
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A. H. Gabhart is Ann H. Gabhart, bestselling author of many novels, including Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Love Comes Home, several popular Shaker novels such as The Outsider, The Believer, and The Innocent, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. Ann grew up in a small rural town in Kentucky much like Hidden Springs, but Ann is happy to report nobody was ever murdered on her hometown's courthous ...more

Other books in the series

Hidden Springs Mystery (3 books)
  • Murder Comes by Mail (Hidden Springs Mystery #2)
  • Murder is No Accident (Hidden Springs Mystery #3)
“every weekday morning at that exact time, barring holidays, major illnesses, or snow over her boot tops. As far as anybody knew, she didn’t actually have a schedule written out, but were her day divided out on paper, that’s what it would say. Courthouse steps 8:59 a.m. Out of bed at 7:30, bran” 0 likes
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