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North of Clever [Mass Market Paperback]

Suzann Ledbetter

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never a Dull Moment 2 Dec 2001
By paula_k_98 - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Imagine getting ready to finally consummate your relationship with one of the sexiest men you have ever met that just happens to be seven years younger and the sheriff of the town. You've worked up to this moment, the time is finally here, you are ready for it, anticipation hums in the air, finally, finally it is going to happen, and then wham. . . his parents show up unexpectedly before you can do the deed! Welcome to North of Clever, the continuing saga of Hannah Garvey, Sheriff David Hendrickson, and the over the hill gang of the exclusive retirement community of Valhalla Springs.
As luck would have it, Hannah and David are interrupted before the big moment. Some people have all the rotten luck. Now are you ready for a nice, quiet little story? Don't be, things are never what you expect when dealing with Susann Ledbetter's stories. Have no fear; things run amok in Hannah and David's relationship when the circus comes to town. Sheriff David is continuing to campaign for his bid to be reelected as sheriff of Sanity, Missouri. His opponent is a good for nothing good old boy who promises to deliver the moon and stars to the good citizens while making mountains out of molehills the little things that have happened lately in their town while David is in lust with Hannah. David, needing some goodwill from the townspeople, goes to see the visiting circus and takes Hannah along. It should be a day of fun and goodwill. Right? As usual, life isn't simple with our heroine and hero. Who does Hannah just happen to meet at the circus? Her long lost father who turns out to be none other than Reilly Boone, former star magician. He is now the husband-assistant of the lady illusionist AnnaLeigh who just happens to be built like a centerfold and isn't exactly what you call the faithful wife. During their performance the lovely, two-timing AnnaLeigh bites the dust as their bullet-catch trick turns out to be the real thing and she ends up dead. Reilly is charged with murder and Hannah and the over the hill gang race to prove his innocence.
This is a fun book to read; however, it doesn't quite manage to hit all the high notes as the two previous books. I can't really put my finger on what isn't right in the story. While the over the hill gang played their part, it seems like they don't have much to do with the plot as they have in the two previous books until the end. There wasn't as much emphasis placed on Hannah and David's relationship throughout the story. Beginning and ending are pure Hannah and David, but in the middle they don't really work together as they have done in the past. Don't get me wrong, it's still a good book. I guess I was just a little disappointed it didn't have the same feel as the two previous books.
However, hats off to Suzann Ledbetter for generating anticipation for the fourth book, West of Bliss in July 2002. Wouldn't you just know it, David finally pops the big question to Hannah and we are left with no answer until the next book. Like any other loyal fan, I will be waiting for it just to see what kind of trouble can follow our gang over a simple marriage proposal. With this gang, no telling what is in store for us!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Series Is Still Going Strong 21 April 2002
By Mayfayre - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is the third in the series involving Hannah Garvey, the manager of an exclusive adult community. This book picks up where the second left off. Hannah and David Hendrickson had been about to (finally!) consumate their relationship when his parents unexpectedly turned up, interrupting the moment. It had taken a while for Hannah to get to that point, since she has issues with the fact that David is seven years younger than she is (she's about age 43 at the time of this story).
All that, however, becomes secondary to the main plot, which is the arrival of the circus in town, and its magician, a man who claims to be Hannah's father. Hannah's childhood had been a rocky one, and she isn't prepared to just welcome Daddy back with open arms. Of course, all isn't sweetness and light at the circus either, and needless to say, a murder occurs and the magician appears to be the culprit.
I thought that by the third book I might begin to get tired of Sarah's cohorts, a band of intrepid yet busybody seniors, but I actually liked them more in this book. Their personalities are differentiated better, I guess, and it's obvious that their actions are motivated on a large part by affection for Hannah. The romance between Hannah and David continues to perk along, becoming more sexually charged as time passes. One of the best parts of the romance is that he is rock-sure of his feelings toward her, which is a nice change of pace for a male lead character.
All in all, this is a great continuation of the series, and I'm looking forward to the next book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing romantic amateur sleuth 26 Nov 2001
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The geriatric residents and the staff of the Valhalla Springs Retirement Community in the Ozarks as well as the citizens of Sanity, Missouri are excited over the arrival of the circus. However, the community manager Hannah Garvey turns into numbing shock when circus magician Reilly Boone introduces himself claiming to be her long lost father. He knows a lot about Hannah, but her main squeeze Sheriff David Henrickson thinks Reilly is pulling a sleight of the hand con.
The situation turns deadly when Reilly's wife and partner AnnaLeigh takes a bullet during a performance. Reilly has the motive (beneficiary of a large life insurance policy), the means (their joint act that included a gun prop), the opportunity (during a performance), and a history (two previously dead wives). Everyone except Hannah believes he killed his spouse. As Hannah sets out to prove her father could never commit murderer, her elderly charges don clown costumes to infiltrate the circus and keep their beloved manager safe.

NORTH OF CLEVER, the third Hannah Garvey "sedate" Ozarks tale, retains the wonderful wackiness of the previous novels (see EAST OF PECULIAR and SOUTH OF SANITY) due to the endearing, but ultra-eccentric ensemble. Though the story line is a romantic amateur sleuth tale, the plot is much more humorous than it is a taut suspense thriller. The characters leave readers laughing from one incident to another so that fans will impatiently await West of whatever and hopefully other in-between "due" directions on the amusing compass of Sanity.

Harriet Klausner
2.0 out of 5 stars A letdown 14 Mar 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had read Ms. Ledbetter's previous two books and enjoyed them both. However this one left me feeling flat..
the plot seemed thin and formulaic; a frail framework to hold us in suspense not to wonder at the outcome of the murders, but to keep us enthralled with the frustrated romance of the main protagonists. It was as though she had to meet a publisher's deadline and, distractedly wrote this while doing 15 other things. I hope her next one features more of the wacky activities of her elderly sleuths.....
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 1 July 2014
By Kathryn Pousho - Published on
very pleased
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