Review--The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.






My first creepy read of the season was Sarah Jude’s The May Queen Murders and while it wasn’t the super creepy read I was hoping for, it was still pretty chilling once all was revealed. It’s a murder mystery story set in the Ozarks in good ol’ Missouri! While I don’t know if Ivy’s little town is actually real, there were just a few mentions of this and that that made me smile because I knew what it was! LOL!

Ivy and Heather are cousins and pretty much best friends since they grew up together in their small town of Rowan’s Glen. But lately, it seems Heather has been keeping secrets. Ivy is able to devise that Heather is seeing someone romantically and she’s fearful that it’s her own long-time crush, Rook. Heather refuses to relent on her secrets and it’s after a major fight that Heather goes missing.

After the celebration of the May Day festival, Heather has seemed to vanish. No one knows where she’s at and it’s assumed the worst has happened. Which is proven correct when Ivy and Rook stumbled upon her body. Ivy is more determined than ever to figure out who killed her. Her first clue is to figure out who she had been meeting in secret. And she has an idea of who that would be, as he was the one seeking her out at school.

I’m pretty sure I read a review that somewhat spoiled things for me. As I was reading, I was remembering one of the many secrets and trying to think…why am I remembering this when it doesn’t seem to fit? Well, when it gets revealed towards the end, I was like, that’s it! So yes, I was spoiled somewhere down the line for this one in a sense, but as I said, there is more than one mystery going on.

There has also been a string of animal murders going down in Rowan’s Glen. Animals being found mutilated. So be aware that there is some sort of animal abuse in this one. It was heart sickening, but it was meant to help set things into place. There was also, a long time ago, a murderer amongst them known as Birch Markle. He’s the boogeyman so to speak and they say that he was never caught, so children are warned to stay out the woods at night because that’s where they claim he lives now. So there’s a good setting going on here to get you nice and creeped out! Add in Ivy trying to solve her cousin’s murder and you have the makings of well-read thriller.

I will definitely say that Sarah kept me on my toes in this one! I kept making guess after guess of who I thought did it! I will say that one of my guesses was correct! Think it was my second guess but then I went on to suspecting another! So it’s really up in the air if I can claim I KNEW IT! Lol. I sort of knew it at least!

There is a bit of lightness to the story too as there’s definitely a romance happening between Ivy and Rook. It was a sweet kind of first love romance that I was too quick to get caught up in. What I loved about it was that Ivy and Rook were these long-time friends first. And even when they started to be a “couple” the romance was still a sweet, slow buildup! It doesn’t overpower the story either. It’s just sort of there in the background.

Now onto that ending! Oh my goodness! This ending was insane! And I mean that in the best possible way! I feel like I can’t even discuss it without leading into spoiler territory, just know that the ending was freaking crazy and head turning and totally amazing!! I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for Sarah’s books in the future!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars





 

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