Loved Honor More (Elizabeth Pepperhawk / Avivah Rosen)
by Sharon Wildwind
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432826192
Date: 14 November 2012
Just after the fall of Saigon, a woman with a baby shows up on Elizabeth Pepperhawk's doorstep and demands three thousand dollars. She also has a letter from Darby Baxter, Pepper's lover, and tells her he died in Saigon after giving her the infant. He promised the money for delivering the child, the letter, and his field diary to Pepper. Later, when the woman is found dead at Pepper's workplace, the police demand answers
The fifth Elizabeth Pepperhawk/Avivah Rosen mystery, Loved Honor More, concludes the series. The Vietnam War dominated the series and the major characters had all served there. In each mystery, one or more of the veterans are involved in or suspected of a murder. Pepperhawk was a nurse and Rosen was in the military police. In this mystery, Pepper works for a women's clinic while Rosen is now a police detective in nearby Ashville. The two are housemates along with Rosen's lover, Saul. Benny, an ex-Green Beret, and his wife, live next door.
Distraught at the news of Darby's death, Pepper is in a quandary over what to do with the baby. Darby's dying letter asks her to find Vietnamese parents for the infant. If she doesn't pay the woman, she will report the child to the authorities who will place the baby in a foster home. Darby's letter states the payment should be taken from the proceeds of his estate, but the money won't be available for a while.
Determined to honor Darby's request, Pepper consults her friends over how to get a loan to pay the woman. With their help and agreement to co-sign the loan, she obtains the money and pays the woman. Pepper suspects Darby may have been the child's father.
Darby, a military intelligence agent, often worked undercover on covert missions. Pepper had no idea he had gone to Vietnam. She is also shaken by his field diary. Such a document may contained highly classified information. Finally, she decides to send it to his mentor, a retired general.
The woman who brought Pepper the child is found dead at the clinic where Pepper works. Suspicion falls on Pepper, but Rosen knows she didn't do it. The police try to trace the woman's activities from the time she left Saigon until her death.
For most readers, the murderer will come as a surprise. Wildwind ties up series lose ends, but not all is resolved. This series provides insights into the Vietnam War and those Americans who served. Like Pepper, the author served as an officer in the U.S. Army Nurses Corp in Vietnam. At present, she is working on a new mystery-romance series set at a nursing station in northern Alberta.
From: Sharon Wildwind
Thank you so much for this review. I'm excited about the upcoming release. SharonFrom: Jacqueline Seewald
A well-written review.