“Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel” by Melody Carlson, book review

Daphne Ballinger has been working for the “New York Times” for over 10 years. When she started, it was her big break, her dream come true! What new journalism grad would turn down a job offer from the Times, even if it was writing for the social pages. And she had moved up, now she writes the wedding columns. But when she receives the call that her beloved Aunt Dee has passed away, she drops everything to return to Appleton for the service. Little does she know what the reading of the will reveals.

Aunt Dee, who had be a sort of mother figure to Daphne after her own mother died when she was 7, had named her in the will. And in a big way. Daphne is to inherit everything: car, house, investments, everything. The whole family is in shock. And Daphne also finds out that there is a stipulation to the inheritance. And it is quite life changing for her. But after a night to read the will and contemplate Aunt Dee’s intention, Daphne decides to follow Aunt Dee’s directions. She returns to New York to clean out her apartment and resigns her job. Then she returns to Appleton to start her new life.

I enjoyed this novel. It was easy to read and the characters were well-developed. I do not want to give a way to much of the story, but I am ready for #2 of the series.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher, as a member of the Christian Fiction Alliance. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel

B&H Publishing Group (April 30, 2013)


Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults–with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


With high hopes, Dorothy Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it’s not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dot passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Dorothy, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Dorothy only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt’s very specific posthumous terms — personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dot’s cats.

And if Dorothy thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dot’s life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God’s perfect timing.

If you would liketo read the first chapter of Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel, go HERE.


About dwolters

mama to 4 wonderful kids. live on a farm and raise sheep
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