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The Dunn Deal (A Christine Sterling Mystery) (The Christine Sterling Mystery Trilogy) Paperback – March 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: The Christine Sterling Mystery Trilogy
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Ellechor Publishing House, LLC (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937844978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937844974
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A death, a murder, the occult, a paramilitary organization, a potentially corrupt sheriff's office, a nosy reporter, a diva, a missing dog, bikers, Goths, a surprise ending, and a woman trying to piece together her own investigation among lies, rumor and innuendo all to clear a deputy's name. This is The Dunn Deal, the second in the Christine Sterling trilogy.

You don't need to read the first book in the series to be swept up and carried along in this book. The beginning is strong and sets up the story nicely. Suspicion builds gradually over time, just enough to pique our interest and tickle our brain. Catherine Leggitt creates characters we believe in and want to root for, and we happily go along for the ride. Her word pictures are painted so vividly, we see, hear, smell and feel everything that's happening. We are transported to locations and situations seamlessly without much thought. Thankfully, this isn't true for the limited mention of the occult. This is handled well without being graphic.

Suspense builds slowly. Clues and information are provided at just the right times so we don t feel spoon-fed or hand-held through the story. We can piece together our own ideas through Christine's eyes. We are hooked and kept guessing, as many answers aren't provided until the surprise ending.

Christine is wonderfully sculpted and drawn, from her interest in Zora Jane's fashion sense to her questioning why God created weeds. Her humor and honesty make her someone you'd love to have coffee with. Her humanness shines through and we see ourselves in her. She is just like us. Ordinary. But trusts in her instincts, which sometimes gets her into trouble, and follows her heart. We follow her as she links one bit of evidence after another, assumptions that sometimes become fact. We root for her as we follow her on her journey to unveil the truth behind the lies and rumors. And we know, despite all her shortcomings, the Lord will use her to solve this mystery.

The way her faith is, at times, weak is refreshing. We identify with her frailties and doubts because we are all like that, at some point or another. Having Zora Jane there to build Christine (and us) up with her unwavering faith in her Lord and His ability to handle anything is a wonderful reminder that we, too, need to trust and obey. The recurring theme of waiting on the Lord for He is good and has promised to never leave us, is a comfort. And the thought-provoking discussion questions at the end of the book are perfect for any book club or Bible study.

Anticipation builds throughout the story with several heart-stopping episodes. I didn't want to put the book down, and couldn't wait to pick it up. That to me is the sign of a good book. As an editor, I read for a living, and find it hard to find a book that keeps my interest. The fact The Dunn Deal had me reading late into the night, and enjoying the journey, proves this book is well worth the read.

--Janet Dimond, January 2012

About the Author

Catherine Leggitt is an author, editor, and inspirational speaker. Writing is Catherine s number one distraction.

PAYNE & MISERY is scheduled for release in November, 2011. The next two books in the series will be published in 2012.

Customer Reviews

I look forward to her next book.
Sharon A. Steuart
The story was captivating even though I wanted to strangle the main character sometimes for not having others help her.
Great story line, interesting and believable characters, an good Christian message, just an all around excellent book.
Mrs. Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By P. Creeden on March 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I never knew it before, but I am finding out that I have an honest preference for cozy mysteries. They are fun, and amateur sleuths need to be tough, strong women with charisma and a smattering of bravery to do what they do. Christine Sterling does not disappoint. She is an honest and forthright character whose curiosity and tenacity put her in trouble. Luckily she has the charisma and faith to get her out of it. I'll be looking forward to more of her adventures.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Susanne Lakin on March 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I love this series starring too-curious Christine Sterling, who doesn't want to sit around being retired and is a real person who struggles with her marriage, faith, and her ethics. She knows she shouldn't get too involved solving the mysteries that fall on her doorstep, but her heart is moved when she sees kind people being harmed or in danger. Leggitt's characters are rich, funny, deep, and their relationships are believable. And since I'm a dog lover, I really enjoy the subplots with Molly, Christine's border collie, who has an important role in this book. Be prepared with a couple of tissues at hand for some touching moments. I don't usually like or read "cozy" mysteries because I often find them trite and shallow but this series is not of that sort. Enjoy!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amber C. Stokes on August 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Dunn Deal is like Murder, She Wrote with a Christian emphasis and a dear husband tagging along for the ride. Christine Sterling is in her "golden years," so what can she contribute to a possible murder investigation that has far more dangerous implications the deeper she gets involved? Well, apparently plenty! Although it is difficult to say how much more work she makes for the local law enforcement...

The story is told from Christine's point-of-view (first person), so it's easy to either be highly amused by her antics or to just plain be annoyed. Because of some of her interactions with others (like her husband), I'm not fully on the latter end of the spectrum, but pretty close.

For a book that highly prizes the Truth, Christine doesn't seem to be above evading it in personal matters in order to protect herself from a lecture or to get away with what she wants. One of the discussion questions at the end suggests that the author made Christine to be a flawed character whose every decision should probably not be emulated...but at the same time, there seems to be mixed messages about truth when Christine constantly makes the same mistakes while the case is ultimately solved.

Christine's husband, Jesse, comes across as wishy-washy on occasion, not quite determined enough to really work through some of these issues. However, the romance between this older couple is quite wonderful. It's fun to see the protective nature and the caring ways of a couple whose honeymoon ended many years ago. Jesse is a unique and adorable hero!

As for Molly, the pet modeled on the cover, I'm torn. She is a sweet addition to the story, but her addition sometimes comes across as forced.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Ours on March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
"The Dunn Deal," second in the series of Christine Sterling mysteries by Catherine Leggitt, keeps the reader's interest piqued throughout as Sterling gets into even more dangerous situations than she did in the first book in the series, "Payne and Misery." Has the curious, "jump to conclusions" amateur sleuth taken the advice of her loving husband to stay out of situations that might lead to serious troubles? Well, she tries, but . . . .

In this case, the mysterious death of Deputy Sheriff Baxter Dunn, son-in-law of Christine's close friends and neighbors Ed and Zora Jane Callahan, cries for help from someone outside the official investigation being conducted by the sheriff's department in a rural California county. And Christine is just the person to do it, getting even deeper into the investigation when her beloved border collie, Molly, is seized by a mysterious group of armed men who might have been involved in Dunn's death.

Trying simultaneously to rescue Molly and dig out the details of Dunn's murder leads Sterling into many perilous escapades. The middle-aged sleuth begins to become more aware of her age and physical restrictions while pursuing the case, but doesn't let that stop her. She also, step by step, relies more on God and her good Christian friend, Zora Jane, to help her overcome hazardous situations.

Leggitt is an excellent writer whose keen observations and sense of humor come through in her characters. This volume is another quick and easy read, and a book that readers of mysteries will find rewarding. Keep 'em coming, Catherine!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karen on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story,though somewhat slow starting held ones' interest throughout the rest of the story. Clues that at first seemed to go nowhere began adding up. Surprising and amusing characters and situations along with elements of fear and adventure come together to make a very readable story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B Nelson on August 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Dunn Deal's clever plot twists combined with interesting and believable characters make this a really fun read that was hard to put down. The author has crafted a classic and rich story. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
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More About the Author

Catherine Leggitt is author of the cozy mystery series, the Christine Sterling Mysteries. She is also an inspirational speaker presently residing in northern California. She offers one free book to any book club that reads one of her novels for their selection, and is available for discussion with the group via phone, or in person if the club is based nearby in Northern California.

PAYNE & MISERY--the first adventure in the Christine Sterling Mystery series--placed second at the Orange County Christian Writer's Conference in 2010 and was initially published by Westbow Press. In 2012, Ellechor Publishing House published the series of three. In each book, Christine struggles with an important spiritual mystery while also pursuing solution to a murder. In PAYNE & MISERY, Christine learns to stop complaining and choose joy while searching for her missing neighbor, Lila Payne. The second book, THE DUNN DEAL, finds Christine searching for absolute truth as she investigates the murder of Deputy Baxter Dunn. In the third book, PARRISH THE THOUGHT, Christine discovers her own prejudiced heart while trying to rescue a teenager accused of murdering Nevada City matron, Bessie Parrish. PARRISH THE THOUGHT made the quarter finals of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.

During Catherine's first career--after raising children and before caring for her aging parents--Catherine worked as an elementary school teacher, where she developed her flair for playacting and storytelling. Struggling with retirement, Catherine needed a distraction and found it at her keyboard.