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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
Downstream: A Witherston Murder Mystery (Book 1) is written by Betty Jean Craige. Billionaire Francis Hearty Withers celebrates his 100th birthday with a publicly held party. He tells everyone that he has bequeathed $1 billion dollars to his hometown Witherston and $1 billion dollars for all its residents. His land will go to Bio-Senecta, manufacturers of the drug Senextra that allows elderly persons to live more than a century. Environmentalists protest against Bio-Senecta, infuriating Mr. Withers who proclaims he is going to rewrite his will, but he dies before doing so. Detective Mev Arroyo suspects foul play because everyone has a motive for murdering the victim: environmentalists, greedy residents and pretentious town officials. Finding an unconscious man with gunshot wounds confirms her suspicions, but finding a killer in a small town is not so easy at all.
Betty Jean Craige has written a very good suspenseful mystery. Downstream: A Witherston Murder Mystery (Book 1) will keep readers wondering “whodunit?” Guessing correctly was difficult but fun for me because unnamed characters narrated some parts; others behaved suspiciously and one even jotted questionable references in a journal. Detective Arroyo was impressive on Witherston’s first murder case. Betty Jean Craige’s small town setting was nice, aided by a dramatic plot that showed the natural reactions of people to the pharmaceutical conflict. She approached this topic fairly, highlighting its pros and cons. This was done extremely well and entertaining, as it included witty rants in the local newspaper from residents that I enjoyed so much.