In Winslow Falls, New Hampshire, Gwen Fifield is the Assistant Fire Chief, a volunteer position. When she is called to the local museum fire, she does not expect to see the body of Beulah Price burned in the fire. The Fire Chief, Harold Seeton, had taken a look at Beulah's body and collapsed with a heart attack. Now Gwen is in charge, not what she expected at all in her so-called volunteer position. When Hugh Larsen of the Fire Marshal's office arrives, Gwen informs him of a rash of other fires in the past two months. She hopes he will take charge of the entire case, but he requires her help to learn about and investigate the villagers. A recently arrived immigrant family would be the suspects of choice for the residents; but Gwen is convinced that the murderer is a native as facts from the past emerge.
In 'Live Free or Die', a debut mystery for Jessie Crockett, she has written a well-plotted storyline that is compact and maintains constant interest and surprises for the reader to the very end. Crockett's characters are well-defined and very believable with lively dialogue that does not veer from the main plot. Gwen Fifield is a woman to be reckoned with and I hope to see her soon in another book.
A very enjoyable debut mystery from Jessie Crockett!
FTC: Full Disclosure: Book provided by author