BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: All We Buried by Elena Taylor (Mystery)

A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery #1
Elena Taylor

Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Number of Pages: 304


For fans of Julia Keller and Sheena Kamal, All We Buried disturbs the long-sleeping secrets of a small Washington State mountain town.

Interim sheriff Elizabeth “Bet” Rivers has always had one repeat nightmare: a shadowy figure throwing a suspicious object into her hometown lake in Collier, Washington. For the longest time, she chalked it up to an overactive imagination as a kid. Then the report arrives. In the woods of the Cascade mountain range, right in her jurisdiction, a body floats to the surface of Lake Collier. When the body is extricated and revealed, no one can identify Jane Doe. But someone must know the woman, so why aren’t they coming forward? 

Bet has been sitting as the interim sheriff of this tiny town in the ill-fitting shoes of her late father and predecessor. With the nightmare on her heels, Bet decided to build a life for herself in Los Angeles, but now it’s time to confront the tragic history of Collier. The more she learns, the more Bet realizes she doesn’t know the townspeople of Collier as well as she thought, and nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.

Wow! This book is utterly captivating from its beautifully haunting cover design to the atmospheric story enveloped within the pages. The author captures the setting of this small Washington state mountain town in such amazing detail and interweaves its tragic existence into the narrative in such a gripping way that it essentially becomes a character of its own. The chilling nature of the glacial lake and breathtaking background of the mountains that surround this community provide fascinating and breathtaking imagery, bringing so much life to the story.

Spanning the course of a week, this is a slow-burning and well-crafted mystery that provides a compelling view into the work of a rural Sheriff’s office. Not simply just a police procedural that follows the investigation of a possible murder, but also an exploration into the tangled history of prominent residents that converges in answering so many painful questions from the past. Although Bet calls Collier home, she did pursue a career in law enforcement with the LAPD before returning home to assume the role of Sheriff following her father’s death. She has a lot to confront upon coming home, and her strong internal dialogue as well as her conversations with her dead father provide so much intriguing information into her personal conflicts, the powerful nature of father-daughter relationships, and grief. The author’s deft storytelling created not just an unsettling and suspenseful read, but was a masterful character study on family dysfunction and the lasting pain of secrecy. 

Bet is an incredibly competent and confident woman although we spend a great deal of time with her as she works through her own insecurities and misgivings. Her father may have been the Sheriff for as long as anyone can remember, but that doesn’t convince her that the townspeople will accept his daughter enough to vote her into office in the upcoming election. Friends from her childhood are also suspiciously returning, each with their own torments, heightening the sense of distrust. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and maintaining their connections with each other did at times become overwhelming, especially as the climax drew near. The pacing does pick up quite nicely once the investigation gets going and clues are gradually revealed. Everything wraps up in a dramatically skillfully crafted conclusion that left me desperately swooning for more!

Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, the publisher, and especially the author for providing me with a free copy of the book. This is my honest and thoughtful opinion.
Elena Taylor spent several years working in theater as a playwright, director, designer, and educator before turning her storytelling skills to fiction. Her first series, the Eddie Shoes Mysteries, written under the name Elena Hartwell, introduced a quirky mother/daughter crime-fighting duo. With All We Buried, Elena returns to her dramatic roots and brings readers a much more serious and atmospheric novel. Located in her beloved Washington State, Elena uses her connection to the environment to produce a forbidding story of small-town secrets and things that won’t stay buried. Elena is also a senior editor with Allegory Editing, a developmental editing house, where she works one-on-one with writers to shape and polish manuscripts, short stories, and plays. If you’d like to work with Elena, visit www.allegoryediting.com. When she’s not writing or coaching writing, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their cats, Coal Train and Cocoa. Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.


a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck!
Many thanks again to Great Escapes Book Tours and the author! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

April 7 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 9 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 10 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 12 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
April 13 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 14 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
April 14 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 15 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 16 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
April 16 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST  
April 19 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
April 19 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT


1 thought on “BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: All We Buried by Elena Taylor (Mystery)”

  1. Thank you for your review on \”All We Buried\” by Elena Taylor and for being part of the book tour. Can't wait for the opportunity to read this one.2clowns at arkansas dot net


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