I'm grateful to everyone who has shared endorsements of my writing!
A Life for a Life: A Mystery Novel
“REMINDS ME OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I never contact authors yet I must tell you finding your books is like finding a rare jewel. I don’t want them to end. You are a treasure as a writer. Thank you!” — J. M. Grayson
"McDaniel weaves a mystery around believable and totally likable characters. By giving a young man a chance for rebirth, a couple find a rebirth of their own relationship. A believable plot, plausible mystery and its resolution all woven into a complex yet simple resolution. Plus the promise of a redux. I loved this every bit as much as 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and was glad that this was not a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Keep them coming, Lynda McDaniel!"
— J. Porter
"GREAT !! BOOK Lynda McDaniel can write. This is one fine read. A Life for a Life is outstanding. Great character development, real and believable. A good mystery that reads like a literary piece. Della Kincaid is wonderful. READ THIS ONE." —Wooley, Amazon Vine Voice Reviewer
"Five Stars! Lynda McDaniel has that wonderfully appealing way of weaving a story, much in the manner of Fannie Flagg. The mystery isn't a fast-paced one, but rather one that brought me into the lives of many in Laurel Falls. The tale immediately drew me in, into the town, into the intriguing mystery, and into the people. [This mystery is] a real treat to read and made me anticipate meeting the characters in yet another installment." —Deb, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer
"A LIFE FOR A LIFE is one of the most satisfying books I’ve read this year. Everything about the book delighted me. I want to know more about the quirky folks in the North Carolina mountains and their southern customs. McDaniel’s writing style, while vivid with detail, is deceptively straightforward. She uses authentic sounding dialog and delivers real down-home southern mountain culture in what one reviewer compared to the style of Fannie Flagg. A Life for a Life has also been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird. Both are character-driven and back a strong message of forgiveness, redemption and acceptance. The characters and the setting are as much to do with the story as the mystery. McDaniel’s attention to detail and adroit descriptions allow the reader to step right into Laurel Falls. Drawing from her “back to the land” years in North Carolina, McDaniel has stitched a patchwork of true and fictional events and people into a thoughtful mystery rooted in greed and power." —Ana Manwaring, writer, blogger, creative writing instructor
"McDaniel's mystery novel delivers a pair of unforgettable crime-solving characters. Using her keen knowledge of the charm (and less than charming features) of life in the North Carolina mountains, she lured me into her story and kept me there. I hope Della, Abit, and the gang will be back!" —Virginia McCullough, award-winning author of Amber Light and Greta's Grace
"Thoroughly enjoyable and intriguing with descriptive powers and beautiful mountain scenery. Intense family and friend dynamics with character vulnerabilities and complex relationships that steal the reader’s heart and make this mystery a must-read." — Pam Franklin, international bestselling author
"A sparkling gem of a novel. A compelling plot with unique and authentic characters set in small-town Appalachia, create an enticingly complex, warm, witty and uplifting story. I was hooked from the start, and Lynda’s masterful story-telling gently pulled me along to the deeply satisfying conclusion. But I didn’t want it to end so I can’t wait for the next adventure!" — John L. Andrews, Grateful Thrivor and Health Care Advocate
"The most satisfying mystery I've read in ages." — Joan Nienhuis, book blogger
“An earlier reviewer's comparison to 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is justified. I've read and enjoyed lots of mystery novels, including series by NYT best-selling authors, but sometimes I've been disappointed by poorly drawn one-dimensional characters or contrived plots. Not with this book! I was held through to the end, with none of those distractions. And the resolution was surprising yet completely believable. I found at the end that I had become intrigued by and attached to the characters, especially Della. My only disappointment is that now I have to wait for the sequel! —Careful Shopper
"A LIFE FOR A LIFE is a rich read, on so many levels. From expert plot turns to painstaking character development, I was captivated and riveted. Like jumping into a swift flowing river, I was all-in from page one and did not want out till the very end. For those who don’t typically buy mystery novels, you’ll want this one—for yourself and for those you love. It’s far more than a mystery ... it’s a book about life. A great read for summer breaks, book clubs and anyone wanting to be swept away by this journey!" — Jenny Capella, Amazon Bestselling author of Your Dream Team: How to Start and Run a Mastermind Group
"The story has a wonderful balance of drama, mystery, and suspense, that easily left me wanting more. What made the story that much more appealing is that it is more than a just a cozy mystery, as the author interweaves Della's personal journey of self-discovery and sense of community that she finds along the way in the small Appalachian town. ... The reader is easily transported to this rustic small town where life is slow paced, and the engaging dialect of the local townsfolk will make you want to set down on the front porch for a spell. I look forward to reading the sequel to this wonderful story." — Kathleen Higgins-Anderson, Jersey Girl Book Reviews
"I just finished reading [A Life for a Life], and thoroughly enjoyed it. And I learned a lot, especially about how your writing put me into the physical, indoor and outdoor, environment." —Larry Gildersleeve, Amazon Bestselling author of Dancing Alone Without Music
"What a delightful discovery! I'm not even a mystery fan, but there was something about this that grabbed me from the first page. An investigative reporter moves from the Washington, D.C. area to rural Appalachia – and falls in love with it, as the reader will, too. Of course, the mystery engrosses and drives the plot, but it's the characters — Della, Abit, Alex, even the dog, Jake, the villagers and their dialogue – that engage. Pick up this novel; I dare you to put it down." —Dr. Irene Willis, poet and author of Reminder
"Marvelous read! A compelling story told through the eyes and voice of two remarkable narrators who seem like polar opposites but are deceptively similar. They possess the same hopes and dreams for a new life. Not only are they courageous and determined, but most importantly, they share a special friendship. They describe their home life in such great detail that you feel like you have been transported to a small mountain town and are fortunate enough to catch a stunning beautiful glimpse into living and working in the deep woods. The intricate plot will have you guessing until the end." — Yvette Klobuchar, author of Brides Unveiled
The Roads to Damascus: A Mystery Novel
"I could not put this book down!" —J. Capella, Amazon bestselling author of Your Dream Team
"I just finished The Road to Damascus, having previously read A LIFE FOR A LIFE. Like delicious hors d'oeuvres, they left me panting for the next installment. I hope to God the delightful Fiona becomes Abit's second half. Ireland is a very important part of Appalachia's soul; it seems fitting that Abit finds fulfillment in an Irish rose. I find your fiction revealing of the human condition." —J. Porter
"I was so happy to see that the whole gang from A LIFE FOR A LIFE are back in Book 2 of the series. The wonderful character, Abit, has been expanding his horizons, but has 'a spot of trouble' now. So, who better to call on than Della and Alex, Abit's friends and mentors from Book 1? This time the reader has a chance to see this special young man's coming of age (to coin a phrase that doesn't quite cover it), and see Della and Alex's wisdom in the way they help Abit—and don't. The book offers a road trip through an especially beautiful part of Appalachia and like Book 1, captures the character of towns in the region. And the mystery Abit must solve is very intriguing, too! The journey to solve the mystery has a lot riding on it for Abit as a young man. Lots of twists and turns in both the mountain roads and the clues."
"What a great follow-up to A LIFE FOR A LIFE, the first book in this series. … After finishing [that] book, I longed to discover more about Abit and his new life away at school. Abit is a young man on a mission and it's great to spend an entire book with him on his journey of discovery. Of course, there's a crime that must be solved and lots of rotten characters, as well as good people. A few good twists, too. Great pacing—I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this book, but read A Life for a Life first, so you can truly appreciate all that Abit accomplishes in The Roads to Damascus."—Malena E., playwright and author
"After A LIFE FOR A LIFE I was eagerly anticipating this sequel, and I was not disappointed. The suspense and plot twists were as riveting as before, but I think it was the characters and relationships that made the book so compelling. In contrast to the often inauthentic characters in so many novels I have read, Abit, Della and Alex (and now Fiona!) come across as utterly real – people I would like to meet if they existed. I also really appreciated the author's insights into the complicated relationship between the local people and the increasing numbers of former city-dwellers moving into their communities." —Miles G.
"The second novel in the Appalachian Mountain Mysteries trilogy is a sweet and exciting coming-of-age story of Abit Bradshaw. We met and fell in love with Abit in A Life for a Life. Now Abit is challenged to explore a world he didn't know existed. Come along on Abit's adventure, it won't disappoint!" —Kate S.
"Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down, and once again, it left me wanting more ... The characters are well drawn and totally engaging but what is most captivating is the metaphysical thread that gently supports each character's journey of growth." —Aimeela
Welcome the Little Children: A Mystery Novel
“My heart hurts a little today because I finished WELCOME THE LITTLE CHILDREN and now Lynda McDaniel’s characters are off living their lives without me. I’ve been following Della, Abit, and Alex for all three books and have said goodbye to a few people and hello to some newcomers—including a new dog! McDaniel’s stories in this three-book series are certainly mysteries, and without a lot of violence and gore. They’re so much more, though. The third book is no different. The title is appropriate for all kinds of reasons I won’t give away. But I can say this captivating story involves a missing woman, and finding answers takes Della back to Washington D.C., where she also deals with some personal troubles. Meanwhile, I got to listen to Abit, now grown and on his own, try to figure out the people around him and make decisions true to his heart. (He really is one of those unforgettable literary characters who don’t come along often enough.) As always, the writing sparkles and I eagerly turned the pages. More than anything, though, I came away with a picture of what a real family is, and McDaniel is deft in showing how it’s sure not defined by blood. Now I wonder what McDaniel will do next."
—Virginia McCullough, award-winning author of Island Healing and The Jacks of Her Heart