#AMonthof Faves: The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo

#AMonthof Faves: The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo


Today’s topic for A Month of Favorites is a book review or discussion, preferably about a book from from your fave genre or author. A Month of Favorites is hosted by Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge. Today’s link-up is at Girlxoxo.

My favorite genre is mystery and I just happened to finish listening to The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo this past weekend. It’s not my favorite series, but it has definitely improved over the years. This is #6 and I’ve read all except the novella. When I wrote my review of the first book, I said, ” I’m hoping that this is one of those series that gets better as it goes. It definitely has promise and I’m glad I read this because we did get to know Kate and John quite well and got a good feel for the town dynamics.” With #5, I stated, “This has been a series that had potential, but it’s finally getting to where I actually enjoyed the book.” With this one, I feel like the series has settled in to a place I like.

#AMonthof Faves: The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo
Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
Series: Kate Burkholder #6
Published by Macmillan Audio on July 8, 2014
Source: Library
Genres: Mystery
Length: 8 hrs 37 mins
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon
Add on Goodreads

Everyone in Painters Mill knows the abandoned Hochstetler farm is haunted. But only a handful of the residents remember the terrible secrets lost in the muted/hushed whispers of time—and now death is stalking them, seemingly from the grave.

On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide—an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident. Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in so long, they're both happy; a bliss quickly shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti’s family four years ago is found not guilty, and walks away a free man. Will Tomasetti be pulled back to his own haunted past?

When a second man is found dead—also seemingly by his own hand—Kate discovers a link in the case that sends the investigation in a direction no one could imagine and revealing the horrifying truth of what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago, when an Amish father and his four children perished—and his young wife disappeared without a trace.

And, as Kate knows—the past never truly dies . . .

As always, there is an uneasy relationship between the Amish and non-Amish in Painter’s Mill, a gap that Kate does her best to bridge. You get an idea of what’s going on pretty early, but not who is doing it – the obvious choice is impossible. This is one of those mysteries where the past catches up to you. I will admit that I guessed who the killer was, then second-guessed myself, but it turned out I was right. The killer is a very disturbed person, a person whose life was twisted by events outside of his/her control. The hunt for the killer heads in pretty much a straight line, with just one good twist. It worked well.

Kate has bugged me in other installments, but it seems like she’s grown up some, is not as haunted by her past as she was. She seems more content with herself, more confident. She still makes a stupid decision, like she does in all the books, but this time it’s not just herself that she puts in danger.

Kate and Tomasetti have had a relationship that’s grated on my nerves a bit, but they’re finally pulling it together, trusting each other, relying on each other but neither needing rescued. I still don’t know if I’m a fan of them as a couple, but maybe they can manage to be happy after all. If a mystery series is going to have a couple in it, I need the couple to be fairly drama-free so the focus can be on the mystery and not the relationship.

The story is told in the first person and Kathleen McInerney’s voice has become Kate for me. She does both the action scenes and the more introspective passages well. She also makes it easy to differentiate between the characters.

This series may become a must-read for me yet. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s set in an area of Ohio that I’m semi-familiar with.


  1. I do like a good mystery/thriller myself. They are my go-to genre when nothing else seems to catch my interest, or when I need a good rest from something heavy and classical. Thanks for the recommendation of this author/title.

  2. Hi Carol,

    Give me a good mystery / thriller, or any sub-set of those genres and I shall be quite happy.

    Linda Castillo is not a new name to me, although to date I haven’t read any of her work. I do have the first couple of books in this series on my shelves, which I originally bought for my elderly father to read. He didn’t get on with Linda’s style of writing, so I have never really worried too much about pulling them to the top of my TBR pile.

    Your comprehensive review had me rushing to Goodreads to check out what other people thought and as the responses have so far been very positive, I shall definitely think about starting the series ASAP. Do these stories work well as stand alones, or do I really need to read them sequentially, do you think?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a great week,

    1. They’re probably best read in order, because the early ones definitely give you an understanding of the characters’ back stories But at the same time, I didn’t like the first few, so I don’t know what to tell you.

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