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Friday, November 29, 2013

Locked Within By Helen Macie Osterman

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Sandra Murphy

Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

Emma Winberry and her significant other, Nate Sandler, are extras for the Midwest Opera Company in Chicago. Delia is a good friend and singer in the opera.

Emma has a sixth sense about things–she calls it her Guardian Angel, an inner voice that tells her when something is wrong and it tells her something is very awry with Delia. When Delia suffers a stroke and is hospitalized, Emma feels compelled to help in any way she can. Delia is paralyzed on her right side and surprisingly, can only speak in Italian, with most of the words coming out backward. Emma is able to act as translator.

Delia’s son just got divorced and is married again already. Delia doesn’t like or trust her new daughter-in-law and things get worse when Delia is forced to live with Mike and June. Mike is a busy veterinarian and Delia’s care falls to his new wife, which was not in June’s game plan at all. Adult Day Care is a respite but June wants Delia gone to a nursing home or something more permanent. Just how far is she really willing to go?

Image source: Oak Tree

There are nice twists and turns, side plots and good characters. Gladys and Cornell are long distance friends in distress, the workers at the day care are kind and caring, and family plays a big role. My favorite is baby Robin, who at eighteen months old, shows signs of having a Guardian Angel of her own. At the veterinary office, there’s Marge, someone you’d like to know and Frances, someone you wouldn’t! Nate is a good man, although he does get a little cranky about Emma’s gift because it gets in the way of their time together. On the other hand, when he’s needed, he immediately helps in any way he can.

Osterman herself was a nurse for forty-five years, so the scenes with Delia during speech and physical therapy ring true. As she says, she has taken a few liberties with privacy rules in letting Emma know all about Delia’s condition, but it doesn’t distract from the story or seem out of line. It’s nice to read about older people who are so actively involved, not only in the community but with their neighbors, friends and family and who still make time to do the right thing.

This isn’t so much a “who-dun-it” as it is about how everyone will get what they deserve, both bad and good, and that’s not a bad thing.

Locked Within
is the sixth in the Emma and Nate series. You’ll want to read them all!

To enter to win a copy of Locked Within, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Locked”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 7, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including Bananas Foster.

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