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13 Steps to the Cellar

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There were thirteen steps to the cellar. They were steep and they were narrow—but was a fall down them enough to have caused the twenty-seven deep lacerations to her aunt’s head?

Callie Harris travels from her home in Alabama to her aunt’s former mansion in Maine to unravel the haunting forty-year-old mystery of Dr. Laverne Harris Doss’ brutal death.

Why wasn’t a murder weapon found? Was her uncle justly convicted of the killing? Was his mistress involved? Or was the murderer the bearded stranger rumored to have arrived by train that night?

In the charming town of Richmond, located on the banks of Maine’s historic Kennebec River, Callie uncovers the community’s darkest secrets—a botched police investigation, a betrayed widow’s lie, a dead woman’s blackmail, and a wealthy philanthropist’s shame. The web of intrigue extends far beyond Callie's suspicions and its connection to her personal story pierces her to the core.

298 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 4, 2019

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Teresa Mathews

1 book160 followers

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5 stars
78 (66%)
4 stars
23 (19%)
3 stars
11 (9%)
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5 (4%)
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1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 73 reviews
Profile Image for Mike.
715 reviews56 followers
December 21, 2020
Callie Harris visits Alabama after her father’s funeral to try and make sense of her family history. Unravelling a forty-year-old murder, that has violent repercussion today, Callie has to confront secrets, lies and a bungled police investigation. Understanding her Aunt’s murder and the truth of her Uncle’s guilt, will have unforeseeable complications for the future. A combination murder mystery, small town life and the meaning of family are all part of this gentle intriguing saga. With thanks to NetGalley and the author for a preview copy for review purposes. With interesting characters as an enjoyable read a three-and-a-half-star rating.
1 review1 follower
July 18, 2019
Wow, wow, wow!! I just finished reading this book, and those are the first words that come to my mind. I am super-impressed with this book! Teresa Mathews is a very talented writer. After completing the last chapter, I hope she considers writing a sequel so I can visit once again with the characters I’ve grown to know and enjoy through this vivid story.

The length of the chapters are perfect. I can never pause mid-chapter while reading any book, so many times I won’t continue reading a book unless I have lots of time to do so. With this book, I could read a chapter or two and then sit it back down to go about my daily responsibilities, eagerly anticipating the next bit of free time I’d have to read a few more.

I thoroughly enjoyed how she included information about Alabama within the story - temperatures in August, life on the Gulf, etc. I also loved getting to “tour” parts of Maine, simply by reading the detailed geographical and historical descriptions of a place I’ve never been. I actually googled the many lighthouses, cities, and rivers that were mentioned in the story to see if they were real - and they are!

Awesome suspense! I would think I had the storyline all figured out, then the author took a sudden unexpected turn! I LOVE this style book. It has it all.....murder, suspense, mystery, romance, and more! You’ll definitely enjoy it!
July 30, 2019
Exceptional writing for a first-time author. The reader gets to know the characters in the first several chapters as the suspense and drama begin to unfold by chapters 12 and 13. The descriptive nature the author uses of each character brings them to life and realistic to the reader. As the story progresses, you can feel the love story, sprinkled among the thrill of the drama, start to come to life. The plot line is captivating and while fictional, is loaded with facts surrounding the Maine coastline. I enjoyed "Thirteen Steps to the Cellar" immensely and can only hope that the author is already working on a sequel.
1 review
July 15, 2019
13 Steps to the Cellar is a very good book. From chapter 1 until the last sentence of the book, I was captivated and couldn’t put it down. The story is well written and easy to follow. It is full of unexpected twists and turns that keep you turning pages. I highly recommend adding this to your list of must reads, you will not be disappointed!
Profile Image for Karen Parden.
2 reviews
July 16, 2019
This book hooked me from the first page and I couldn’t put it down! A great mystery, full of twists and turns that kept me engaged. Beautifully written and easy to read. I also loved the history and descriptions of Maine. A very enjoyable book!
1 review
July 24, 2019
Overall a cool story. I definitely was not expecting the ending. I find myself hoping that Callie ends up staying in Maine and marrying Matt. And whenever I find myself hoping things turn out for fictional characters, that means I've connected to them and the story.
August 16, 2019
I started reading one afternoon and finished the next morning. Could not put it down. It had lots of twists and turns, which I loved. Very well written. Cannot wait for Teresa's next book!!
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,305 reviews1,234 followers
September 5, 2020
This book was a really surprising read. You know when you think a book might go a certain way and find it doesn't? Well, this was one of those for me. Many years ago a woman is found dead at the bottom of the cellar stairs. Ruled accidental death, not everyone believed it at the time, nor now.

Enter a curious niece who travels to her Aunts old house and home town curious to find out more about the Aunt she never knew. She gets so much more than she bargained for as the town becomes aware of her visit and not everybody is happy for her to be there. A lot of different characters come into the plot but not for a moment was that confusing or had me losing track of who is who. It's not easy to do that. Each character stood on their own merits.

With more and more questions asked the town closes in, some want to talk, many don't and not everybody is who they claim to be. What is a visit to know her Aunt becomes so much more. I thought I had the answers but was surprised by the final reveals and truths that came out.

The author had obviously done extensive research on the town and the region with fascinating little bits of history and details weaved through the novel. It gave you the sense of being in the town and knowing the people she met. Friends and foes. There is a touch of romance but not enough to make is sickly if you are not a romance fan. This is more an intriguing book of hidden things, the nature of everyday people and the determination of finding the truth.

A really enjoyable read that I devoured over a few hours. Highly recommended for curling up with a cup of tea or coffee and getting stuck in. This book will appeal to a lot of readers including those that like mystery, crime, family sagas, intrigue and amateur sleuthing.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy. All opinions are my own and totally unbiased.
1 review
September 1, 2019
A must read for all those who love a good mystery! Intriguing characters and plot! Lots of twists and turns! Keeps you guessing “who done it” til the end. I read it at the beach with friends, and it was hard for us to put it down! I can’t wait for them to finish it, so we can discuss it. I highly recommend this riveting mystery. Well done Teresa Mathews!
1 review
July 15, 2019
A very enjoyable book that I highly recommend. The characters were well developed and believable. The story was engrossing and the plot twists and turns will keep you guessing until the last chapter. I look forward to Ms. Mathews next novel.
2 reviews
September 3, 2019
Wow!! Awesome read full of suspense and intrigue! I loved it. Can’t wait to see the next book!!
Profile Image for Melissa In The City.
260 reviews31 followers
September 17, 2020
This book absolutely captivated my entire world for 24 hours. Every one of my senses were engaged with the characters, the environment, the sights, the sounds and the emotions. I could picture the beautiful Kennebec and the mansion overlooking it. I could smell the coffee and paninis at the Railway Cafe. This is so beautifully written and the characters are so detailed. There are a lot of characters and they are all important to the story but in the beginning I had a hard time keeping track of them, however the author distinguished each one so perfectly that after while I had no problem following along with who is who.
I loved Callie and I think she just became one of my favorite book characters ever. Her relationship with Carl was so sweet and made me laugh out loud a few times. I honestly cannot stop thinking about this book. It was so much more than just words on pages. It just felt SO real.
I want this book to become a Best of 2020!! It truly deserves to be noticed. And YES there were twists and turns!! Lots of them! And murder and lying and cheating and backstabbing friends. It was all in here along with some powerful displays of relationships and a whodunnit mystery! If you have this in your TBR, open it up :-)
5 stars across the board! Thank you for my free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Well done Teresa Matthews! Absolutely amazing book!
Profile Image for Reads a Latte Thriller (Michele).
121 reviews15 followers
September 13, 2019
This was a fun mystery centered around a town in Maine. Callie, the main character is settling her father’s estate with her two brothers and begins to question who was responsible for her Aunt’s death, Dr. Laverne Foss. While Mr. Foss has been convicted, something convinces Callie there’s more to this mystery than meets the eye and Callie begins a voyage through the town to interview those friends and neighbors who might have known more than originally thought. While this cover certainly looks creepy, I found this book to feel more like a cozy mystery. The book is also full of characters and I had to keep reminding myself, “ok, now who is that again?” I read this book over several days, so I’m sure another reader could manage it without taking as many breaks. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and the little twist that came at the end. If your up for mystery and a taste of Maine (I was craving lobster after I finished), give this book a try!
Profile Image for Athena D..
898 reviews53 followers
September 9, 2019
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 STARS

What an intriguing debut novel from Teresa Mathews! The story was compelling and kept me hooked. The sequence of events and how the past and present intertwine was well written. I enjoyed how there was a budding of a new romantic relationship, despite the uncommon circumstances and drama occurring around them. It is a truly amazing the secrets many keep to protect themselves and others, even knowing that it is wrong.

I highly recommend this book and I didn't discover who committed the murder until the end! 13 Steps to the Cellar will join the ranks of the BIBLIO-ARISTOCRACY!!!

Profile Image for Abbie.
1 review15 followers
August 19, 2019
This book had me hooked from the very beginning. It was so hard to put down! The chapters are the perfect length to read one or two before bed, but at the end of each chapter I just had to keep reading to find out what happens next! I was very invested in the mystery and characters, I felt like I was in Maine with Callie. I loved this book!! I hope Mrs Teresa writes another!
5 reviews1 follower
August 29, 2019
What a Book! Author Teresa Mathews draws you into the story immediately, and there is no stopping. A page turner for sure!! I am looking for a sequel, as the characters are still very much alive in my mind!! This author mesmerizes the reader. Bravo!! BRAVO!!
1 review1 follower
August 20, 2019
I was hooked from page 1! Language and word choice throughout the story places the reader in the story! Can’t wait to read what this author puts out next!
Profile Image for Tam.
1,827 reviews39 followers
September 28, 2020
A complex, suspenseful plot with tension so thick that it felt palpable. Wonderful characters with depth and substance. I was immediately drawn in and held captive from beginning to end.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.

#13StepstotheCellar #NetGalley
Profile Image for N.W. Moors.
Author 12 books154 followers
September 6, 2019
After the death of her father, Callie Harris travels to the small town of Richmond, Maine to look into the murder of her aunt many years ago. Laverne was her father's sister and Callie feels she owes it to him to dig into the family history. Callie's arrival in Richmond sets off a flurry of repressed emotions bursting forth as the people in town recall the events of the murder. And soon more crimes are discovered.
This is a fabulous murder mystery with lots of twists and turns. Ms. Mathews does a wonderful job of feeding the reader clues but never too much so you don't know who the murderer is until the last pages. Callie is a nice Southern girl doing her best to honor her father but she definitely walks into a hornet's nest.
I happen to be very familiar with Richmond, Bath, and the surrounding area, and it was delightful to read about many of the places I've visited. The author does a great job of describing the museum, The Old Goat, Pierce's grocery store, and the Kennebec River. Richmond is really a quiet town with lovely old Victorian homes, not quite the hotbed of murder and sin described here, but it's certainly fun to read about it. I devoured this story, wanting to see how it all turns out (although there's just a little uncertainty at the end that might lead to another book - I certainly hope so).
Profile Image for Jessica Belmont.
1,483 reviews46 followers
September 15, 2019
This is a debut novel!!! Holy cow! I’m so obsessed with this novel, I am having a hard time writing this review because I’m just so excited. Suspense, romance, drama, even humor. And the twists! Whew! What a ride, 13 Steps to the Cellar was!

Teresa Matthews’ writing is fabulous. She’s written a large cast of characters and not one of them is weak. Every character in this story has a purpose and is fleshed out. I love when that is the case. This is a very character driven novel and those are my favorite kinds!

The plot is very suspenseful and the twists blew me away. I loved every minute of this book. I read it in a day because I just couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of a blog tour with RABT Book Tours. All opinions are my own.*

Find this review and more on my blog: https://www.jessicabelmont.wordpress.com
September 4, 2019
Teresa Mathews’ first novel, 13 Steps to the Cellar, is a winner on many levels. It is what every reader wants in a good book: it’s clean, full of suspense, romance, drama, and humor. The large cast of characters is so believably fleshed out that you will not want to say goodbye to them at the end of the story. And finally, the descriptions of Maine are so beautifully interwoven into the story line that you may want to put it on your bucket list as a future place to visit. From front to back, it is captivating and full of unexpected surprises. It is a must-read...it will not disappoint.
Profile Image for Heather W.
3,971 reviews27 followers
August 30, 2019
This is my first book by Teresa Mathews and I am looking forward to reading more. This book captures your interest from the very beginning and does not let up as you are gripped in a story of death, suspense, intrigue, and romance. An amazing plot twist changes everything you thought you knew.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Bobbi Wagner.
3,921 reviews28 followers
September 2, 2019
Thia is my first book by this author, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. It took me a bit to get into it but once I did I had a hard time putting it down. The story is creative and engaging. The characters are well developed and made the story feel real. There are a couple of edge sitting
moments. I recommend this book.
September 8, 2019
The book immediately draws you in and makes you feel like you have a connection with the characters. The vivid discription of the surrounds make you feel like you are there. The suspense and intrigue made it hard to put down. This one is a must read for anyone that looks a good mystery. Can’t wait to read the next book by this author.
1 review
August 25, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters and how it made you feel like you were a part of the mystery. I was captivated and intrigued right down to the last word.
1 review
August 27, 2019
What an AMAZING book! From the very beginning I was hooked. I honestly did not want it to end! It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me not want to put it down! Just when I thought I had it figured out....I didn’t! Very well written and so worth the read!
September 1, 2019
Amazing. Its descriptive nature makes you feel like you're in the story and know the characters, and the twists and turns throughout the book will keep you reading until the end. I felt myself unable to stop after just a few chapters!
2,415 reviews
September 8, 2019
This was a really great book. Kept me interested and hooked until the end. The story is well written and characters well developed. I highly recommend reading.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
3 reviews
August 6, 2019
WOW!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was impressed with the authors writing style and ability to paint a picture in my head as I read along.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 73 reviews

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