Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What People Are Saying...

Lilah and the Locket - Reviews

What people are saying about Lilah & the Locket

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader

If you are a mystery fan who likes sand in their shoes and the sound of waves and the scudding of clouds just offshore, you should definitely join Kristie Connelly and her dog, Lilah, as they stroll along the beach. Of course, your walk would be interrupted when Lilah turns up a human bone.

Thus begins the hunt for the identity of the body buried beneath the sand dunes put up to protect the island fifteen years ago. And for the identity of the murderer.

The unexpected involves Kristie on a level she hadn't expected when the body is identified by a tarnished locket found buried with it. Old memories bestir themselves and form links in a chain that leads to the killer.

Could Lilah's new friend be involved? Why does she find him so irresistible? What does Kristie think of him? Why does he suddenly appear just at this time?

These and many other questions will pull you along as the tension builds. The motive for murder will take you by surprise and look out for red herrings dragged across the path.

A cleverly plotted tale by talented author Nikki Leigh that provides a pleasant and satisfying read. Enjoy. I did.


On the Outer Banks of North Carolina, an Oceanside region subject to hurricanes and tidal waves, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore construction commenced in 1932 under the auspices of the Civilian Conservation Corps to preserve the area's topography and wildlife. World War II interfered, but in the 1950's postwar climate the project was resumed. In August 1954, the Outer Banks have been fortunately passed over by Hurricane Carol on her way to inflict damage on the New England coastline. Kristie Connelley, walking her German Shepherd Lilah near the lighthouse, sees Ben Mallory of the Park Service sifting in the dunes, but he tries to avoid her.

Then Lilah scents a bone and pulls it out. It could be merely a bone from one of the 1600 shipwrecks nearby, or it could be evidence in a murder investigation, one of the few in which the presiding investigator is assisted by a vacationing waitress and her canine. The primary question is the identity, and whether the skeleton was placed there recently, or as long as fifteen years ago, before the CCC renovation work was abandoned. As Kristie works hand-in-hand with the Deputy and the local doctor, evidence is uncovered which brings the situation very close to home for Kristie and her family.

Nikki Leigh provides a fascinating story with a tremendous amount of historical insight. She had me racing along to discover the identity of the skeleton and to learn how it happened to rest under the dunes. Her inclusion of a heroine who is self-educated, determined, and curious made the story that much more exciting. Another true heroine in this story is the Shepherd, Lilah, for the case would neither have been instigated, nor completed, without her capable aid. I look forward to more Outer Banks historical mysteries by this intriguing author.

Overall rating:
Sensuality rating: Mildly sensual

Reviewer: Annie - May 29, 2007

The first morning of Kristie’s vacation she jogs along the beach with her German shepherd, Lilah. At the base of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, Lilah finds a human bone below the sand dune. Kristie’s plans for a quiet week are forgotten as she joins in the investigation. Ocean breezes blow across the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Kristie uncovers a personal connection to the murder victim and her locket.

She meets a handsome government worker named Nathan who is working to complete the National Seashore project in 1954. Do his co-workers know something about the crime? Will Kristie and the Deputy find the guilty party? Join Kristie on the rugged shores of Hatteras in the search for a murderer.


Nikiki Leigh’s new release, LILAH AND THE LOCKET, is a mystery set in the beautiful coast of North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras. I especially loved the location of the story, vacationing there myself, as I found Cape Hatteras to be a beautiful beach rich in history and bathed in charm.

Although LILAH AND THE LOCKET is a rather short read, it accomplishes what Leigh wanted it to do—tell a good mystery story with interesting characters. While Kristie Connelly was out jogging along the beach, her dog, Lilah, found a human bone. The discovery of this bone is going to unravel a fifteen-year missing woman mystery, with an ending that will surprise you.

I would recommend reading Nikiki Leigh’s LILAH AND THE LOCKET. It’s a short read with interesting characters and it takes place in a beautiful location. There’s even a touch of romance added to this story, making it just perfect for the romance reader!

Julie Kornhausl


Nikki Leigh has penned another beautifully written story. Lilah and the Locket has it all: delightful characters, a setting so real I could taste the salt in the air and an intriguing mystery that kept me captivated to the end. Even if I wasn't a fool for anything on four legs, I'd love Lilah and the Locket.

Nora Peterson
Past Imperfect - Available now at
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Pre- order now at

The last thing Kristie Connelly expected on her first day of vacation was for her dog to find a human bone buried beneath a Cape Hatteras sand dune. Even more unexpected - that it would reopen a twenty-year old family mystery surrounding her father’s sister Marilyn.

As amateur sleuth Kristie begins to investigate, she discovers some people aren’t too willing to discuss Marilyn. What is Janet Jennings hiding? Does Mallory know more than he’s letting on? How does Nathan fit into the puzzle?

Join Kristie and her four-legged sidekick Lilah as they find new friends, unearth old betrayals, and discover the truth that’s lain beneath the sand for two decades.

Patty Lunt


This was an interesting story that painted a colorful picture of Cape Hatteras and the inhabitants. Lilah and Kristie are quite a pair and I can see them solving future crimes. Mystery, romance and suspense are all included in the story.

Officer Mark Kearney, Crime Prevention Officer

Waynesboro (Virginia) Police Department

President, Book 'Em Foundation -


Kristie Connelly thought a week off of work would be relaxing. That was until her dog, Lilah, found a human bone on the beach. Now Kristie is knee deep in a murder mystery that involves a long lost family member.

Lilah and the Locket was a quick read with vivid scenery and a wonderful story backed by true events. I liked Kristie's ambition for being a woman of the 50's even though there wasn't much [leeway for women] of the 50's lifestyle. Although a satisfying ending, I craved a bit more of the budding relationship between Kristie and Nathan.

Courtney E. Michel - - Romantic Suspense For Every Day Of The Week

Idle Tuesday - Now Available! (09/05)
Month of Sundays, Book One: Time of Tragedy - Available 12/06
Month of Sundays, Book Two: Hour of Healing - Coming Soon!
All on a Saturday Night - Work in Progress


Lilah and the Locket is the heartwarming story of a young woman, Kristie, and her canine companion. She is working with the help of local law officials to solve the twenty year old mystery of her aunt’s disappearance, after Lilah digs up a human bone from beneath the sand dunes. In the course of discovery, Kristie meets a man who might share her future, one who might also provide clues to solving the crime.

As the story begins, I was drawn into the words, which disappear from the page to play a movie in my mind. I walked the warm sands along the Outer Banks of North Carolina of the 1950s, exploring with Kristie and her German shepherd, Lilah, as she fought to solve the crime and bring the guilty to justice.

Reviewed by: P. June Diehl - Editor, Virtual Tales:

THE MAGIC & THE MUNDANE: A Guide for the Writer's Journey


Kristie Connelly frequently walks Lilah along the beautiful North Carolina beach, but on this particular day, as they stroll toward Cape Hatteras, her German Shepard unearths something shocking. After marking the spot where the grisly find was made, Kristie hurries to contact the local police to report the incident.

At the site, Deputy Tucker and Kristie cordon off the area and carefully continue digging where Lilah dug up the human leg bone. When they are done, they have recovered a complete human skeleton. There is no evidence to identify the remains, but the location clearlyindicates the person was buried years before. The only piece of evidence is a locket Kristie finds nestled beneath the human rib. It strikes a familiar cord and brings the mystery way too close to home.

Lilah and the Locket by Nikki Leigh is a captivating short mystery that will keep you reading until the end. Ms. Leigh has penned her novella in ‘first person’ and I found it extremely well-written with descriptive phrases that pulled me into the story and made me feel as though I was walking on the beach right alongside the characters. I haven’t been a fan of novels written in this style, but I believe Ms. Leigh has changed that for me. If you are looking for a little mystery based on a location rich in historical value, then Lilah and the Locket will fit the bill. The secondary characters lend color to the story, personalize the plot and make for a satisfying read. The possibility of a budding romance between Nathan and Kristie make me hopeful that there will be a continuation on the horizon. (Hint, hintJ)

Reviewed by Ginger Simpson -

Spice of your life with Ginger

Historical, Suspense, Time-Travel, Humor… Ginger does it all


Little did Kristie know that her vacation would be such an adventure. When her dog, Lilah, finds a human bone while cavorting on the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, it is just the start. When detective work discovers that the body is that of a female killed fifteen years ago, Kristie joins forces with the local sheriff to find the guilty party. Along the way, she finds romance in the guise of Nathan, who is working with a crew to complete the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Who committed the murder? And why? And exactly who is the murder victim?

This is a light mystery in the vein of Nancy Drew that moves quickly but resolutely from digging up the bone to finding the answer. Nikki Leigh has invented a character who, since the title says Book 1 of the "Outer Bank Chronicles", we might hear from again. A short but satisfying read.

Reviewed by Alice Klein


A historical note: In the early 1930’s Dare County was about to go bankrupt. However, artist and entrepreneur, Frank Stick masterminds a plan to bring tourism without altering the majestic coastal landscape. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina was a part of the preservation of eastern shorelines; starting at the Virginia stateline descending down towards Cape Lookout, North Carolina. This project is handled by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which employs many workers that help Mr. Stick’s vision become a reality. Now, in 1954, the National Seashore Project continues.

Published by Write Word, Inc., Lilah and the Locket: The Outer Bank Chronicles, Book 1 is a pleasant romantic mystery although, I am quickly caught up in the imagery of the North Carolina coast line; Kristie notes the sea foam “collecting along the surf line”, and then watches “terns and gulls” flying overhead. The mystery is fast paced as the suspense moves smoothly forward. Deputy Tucker and Kristie’s deductive reasoning is plausible while following leads, which steers them toward dead ends or provides a critical piece in the criminal puzzle. Though late in the story, Kristie and Nathan’s romance burns bright; sweet and charming. The characters are all amiable, whereas Kristie is convincing as an amateur forensic scientist; supported by her extensive reading and research into archeology. Nathan is caring and obviously values family; bringing his quilted blanket along on the job that his grandmother made for him, long ago. Even the dog, Lilah is enchanting, licking Kristie’s toes as they relax with Nathan on their first outing, together. A native Marylander, I can’t wait for the next book in this ongoing series.

A dedicated reader, Pamela Jenewein