Review: Assault in Asheville by Kate Merrill

Amanda ran to Asheville to escape her problems and instead fell right into murder.


When Amanda Rittenhouse feels betrayed by her partner Sara, she flees to the festive mountain town of Asheville, NC with Gina, a predatory stranger with romantic intentions. She intends to explore the bustling art scene for new studio space, but instead runs headlong into a web of intrigue. The elderly potter Carl and the younger painter Ron with whom they stay have tensions and secrets of their own. Are they a gay couple? Does the widow Gladys want to marry Carl for his money, does eccentric Millie want to kill him for his art collection? What about the sinister outsiders―a Chicago gangster, the burly stranger stalking them, and the charming surfer dude with an agenda? Someone has murder on their mind, and Amanda lands squarely in the crosshairs.

While ducking unwanted sexual advances, targeted by the police and trying to stay alive, Amanda is both upset and relieved when Sara arrives in Asheville to try to save their relationship. Together can they solve the deadly mysteries that threaten to destroy both Amanda and her new friends? Can Amanda and Sara reconcile their differences, then survive to enjoy a second chance?4

Let me preface this review that even though Assault in Asheville is the fourth in the “Amanda Rittenhouse Mystery” series this can be read as a standalone. Matter of fact, I do not think I have read a Kate Merrill book before and thank goodness I have corrected this oversight.

Asheville, NC is where the tea is at, honey, whew! Merrill causes so much drama I am surprised that rainbows have not flocked there in droves. Holy sugar! Never mind that Amanda left drama back at home and it is HUGE drama there. Now she is in Asheville with hungry lesbian and murder is afoot. Well attempted murder…I kind of fudged the tag line for dramatic purposes. This is not to say that Merrill’s perpetrator does not try multiple times. I told you there was tea.

There are secrets within secrets and Amanda stumbles upon them as the newcomer to the scene. I think sometimes outsiders can see things that people living in the forest cannot see and Merrill takes advantage of this in Assault.

The mystery is solid and makes sense. Amanda can find trouble anywhere (laugh). The secondary characters are just as interesting as the main characters. I think Merrill should have a side mystery with our lovely sheriff and her young cop. 

I am going to go back and start at the beginning, which oddly enough is another series (laugh) that Merrill wrote. This is a great mystery to spend a rainy day with or sit in the backyard on a sunny day. Huddle down in Asheville and enjoy all of the mayhem and tea which Kate Merrill serves with panache.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


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Books in the “Amanda Rittenhouse Mystery” series:


Meet the Author

Kate Merrill

Further Details:
Publisher: Bella Books, 9781642471281, 13 August 2020
Cover Design: Judith Fellows
Editor: Alissa McGowan
Series: An Amanda Rittenhouse Mystery #4
Pages: 242
Settings: Asheville, NC, US
Sex: PG-13

2PR is not offering this giveaway – just sharing the information.
4Bio and/or Synopsis are from Goodreads.
Photo credit: Book covers are from Goodreads.


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