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Another Stab at Life (A Volstead Manor Mystery, #1)
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Another Stab at Life

(Volstead Manor #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  58 reviews
She has nowhere to go, except the dilapidated mansion she's just inherited from her Granny Minna. Unfortunately, Bailey discovers the house has a history as shadowy as its hidden passages and finds the neighborhood overflowing with some rather quirky folks. Bailey suddenly feels like she's trapped inside the pages of a gothic novel - but with a comedic twist. In order to h ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 29th 2008 by Heartsong Presents (first published 2008)
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Showing 1-30
3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  316 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Michelle Randall
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mystery, mystery
Not really sure what to think about this book. I picked it up because it was cheap and sounded interesting, bu once I started reading it, I had to finish it just to try to figure out what was going on.

It starts with Bailey inheriting an old manor house from her Grandmother called Volstead Manor. From the start the book was hard to follow, she seemed to slip into her mind and her dreams or fears and out of reality so easy it was hard to follow if what I was reading was really happening or not. Th
Joy Avery Melville
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
The first in a cozy mystery series Anita Higman has given us in Volstead Manor Mysteries. She's furnished something to intrigue us and bring a smile or chuckle to our lives.
This great story published in the Heartsong Presents MYSTERIES is a great lead in to the following book(s).
Ms Higman spreads out the clues and seems to be a master of foreshadowing. I look for that in any mystery and she subtly handed out clues without ruining any suspense for me, the reader. I found the romance to be somewha
Apr 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty dismal mystery, and I have zero interest in reading additional titles in the series.

It's a weird mix of gothic mystery and heavy-handed humor, but it just isn't successful. So Nanna was quirky, we get it. But her actions (specifically with cash) are pretty ridiculous. The mystery of what's "haunting" the house is odd, and there are way too many characters set forth as suspects. Overly friendly artistic neighbor who happens to have a mental illness (but it's fine as long as she
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I really liked this book but was a bit disappointed in it. It had really great potential, just needed expanding on all points. The relationship with Max developed way too fast, and with an old, creepy mansion that has a tower and secret passages .... so much potential. It's sort of like the author was trying to hurry up and get a book written. I'm always drawn to books about old houses, so much history to learn from them. I feel like there was so much more the author could have done with the pre ...more
This book ws fun to read! I am really enjoying all the Heartsong Mysteries, but the ones that include old historic buildings or antiques are my favorite. Volstead Manor has lots of secrets. Will the new owner Bailey survive all the snooping she undertakes to find the houe's mysteries? Or will someone scare her out of her Granny's old house before she knows all that she has inherited? I am looking forward to reading the second and third volumes in this series to find out what other myteries await ...more
Andrea Stoeckel
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cozy CHRISTIAN mystery? With believable characters? Who have lives outside their faith? It works. Bailey, broke and out of luck inherits her grandmother's old house, and begins a new life in Houston TX?

As fun as it is, there are some characters kinda out in left field who appear for no apparent reason. Would love to see unedited manuscript. I will read others in the series
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Bailey, the heroine, seems a sad lot to begin with, but she shows a strength throughout the story which is admirable. Max, the hero, seems quirky and cute, but has a depth which surprises. The suspense and mystery is interlaced with enough humor to make a very enjoyable read. It is followed by Another Hour to Kill taking Bailey and Max through another mystery.
Tanya Dennis
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I liked the premise. The characters and plot had a lot of potential, but the book suffered an identity crisis. It wanted to be a mystery, a romance, and a humor novel all in one, but, sadly, did none of the three genres full justice. Also, numerous grammatical and structural errors distracted. Several plot points fell flat or were just left hanging.

All in all, I had hoped for more.
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This first book in the Volstead Manor series is fun escape with a bit of romance and a bit of gothic mystery. Bailey's fresh start in life with a spooky old house inherited from her grandmother is a tad unbelievable but perfect for a relaxing, quick read.
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this series. I wish she had more.
Karen Robbins
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Anita Higman weaves a great suspenseful cozy that is difficult to put down. The mystery of the old house and a mysterious neighborhood mixed with an unexpected romance kept me page turning.
Cathy Daniel
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun cozy mystery with romance :)
Janet Sketchley
Bailey Walker is in desperate need of a fresh start, but the decaying old mansion left to her by her beloved grandmother is not what she had in mind. Still, she’s plucky and determined, with a sense of humour and nowhere else to go.

Along with the house, she’s challenged by neighbours who want to be her friends. Bailey’s rules for life tell her to be independent and not rely on anyone, but when it seems like someone’s trying to scare her out of her inheritance, she starts rethinking the value of
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple easy going cozy mystery. Life leads Bailey to an old creepy house her grandmother left her. Not her first choice in living arrangements, but at this point she has no choice. As if the old run down house wasn't scary enough, weird things start happening. Then the people in the neighborhood want to be in her life but she has been so closed off of basic human kindness, everyone is suspect to hurting her or being the person creating more weirdness to the house...which means they are getting i ...more
Mary Hamilton
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
My first book by this author. I enjoyed reading it, trying to figure out who was the culprit. Would probably read another one except the romance was a bit too much for my taste. That's a personal preference, nothing against the author. The book was well-written and kept my attention. Good character arc.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-ok
Well, that was cute! The mystery ended up being too easily solved at the end for how much time went into it all, and I couldn’t quite figure out Bailey’s personality, but this was still a fun read. And Max... he was pretty awesome.

3 stars.
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a 3.5....wish these ratings had a .5 option....

The book was okay, it wasn't bad. I read to the end and it was a cute little story, I just had a hard time connecting with the characters for some reason. Worth checking out if you like the lite horror genre.
Sherri Smith
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read

The more I delved into this story, the more intriguing and entertaining it became. It started slowly, but is definitely worth the read as it picks up and flows quickly. Highly recommend!
Julie Patterson
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

Fast paced and full of mystery. Great for a roam e novel with suspense thrown in. Definitely will read mor3 from this author.
Marge Glens
A an ok book to spend some time looking for a real mystery.

Good luck trying to find an alternative ending. You must use your own imagination in order to pull this one together.
Yvonne Meyer
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book.

This is a really good story. It has mystery, love, friendship.and God's healing love. Loved it! Will definitely read more from this author.
Tracy Baker
Cute read.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 star

I wouldn't call it a cozy mystery. Not enough mystery in it. And slow developing. Pretty blah. 2 star .
Gabi Eagon
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Christian Mystery

Loved this story. It had many interesting parts and secrets to the Dilapidated mansion. Bailey inherited the mansion from her granny Minna.
Diana Reeve
Feb 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
soft, Christian friendly read

i thought i would read something completely different, like something i would never read...for a mystery it was really poor and the book had more questions than anwers. Bailey 's character was not constructed well, considering the fact she had a traumatic past she was quick to trust and tell people her findings, i.e. she found a quarter of a million of dollars in a secret space behind her closet. You were shown more about her romantic notions and faith in God than he
ken whitsitt
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good read.

I will be anxious to read book two in this series. The third book is on my list also. Keep up the good Christian writing. No four letter words. Thank you Anita.
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-read
A Christian suspense book without any depth. The concept was a good one, but it was just too shallow for me to fully enjoy.

As I said, the concept:
Thirty year old heartbroken Bailey,
old Victorian home that needs to be totally remodeled complete with secret passages and secret treasures,
a hunky neighbor who her grandmother had 'set up' to watch out for her,
another neighbor who wanted to be best friends but had psychiatric problems,
the return of Bailey's old heartthrob giving her a chance to
Amy Mccorkell
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Christian story, I get that. Her reliance on God to help her through the tough spots in her life. But the ending did not feel complete. Why these neighbors from Transylvania just take Bailey's word that there is no treasure. These characters needed to be developed more. Why did they move from Transylvania, how did they find out about a treasure, why weren't they searching the house while it was empty? And what about Sam and Ann? Why did they come to Houston? I understand they are part of Bailey' ...more
Charles Ray
Bailey Walker’s only plans involve fixing up the dilapidated mansion she inherited from her Granny Minnie. The old place has secrets, though, that it seems determined to keep. Another Stab at Life by Anita Higman is a fairly interesting Christian cozy mystery, with a touch of humor, about Bailey’s adventures as she tries to solve the mysteries of Granny Minnie’s house. A relatively enjoyable read, although I found the ending a little too pat, and a bit disappointing, after the way the story was ...more
Deborah D.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-mystery
A rather disappointing, drab mystery. Numerous possible antagonists, loads of poor decisions on the protagonists behalf...but I did enjoy the fond memories all the active characters in the neighborhood had of Grannie.

So many tempting threads were not followed for us to learn about the house and why so much focus was placed on the Volstead house.
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Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over forty books published. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art.
A few of Anita’s favorite things are good movies, fairytales, traveling, gardening, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.
Feel free to drop by Anita’s website at a

Other books in the series

Volstead Manor (3 books)
  • Another Hour to Kill  (The Volstead Manor #2)
  • Another Grave Matter (The Volstead Manor #3)