Book Review: The Sound of Falling Leaves

29 Oct


Lisa Carter has quickly become one of my must-read authors for romantic suspense. With its definite fall-ish vibe, its Blue Ridge setting, and its intriguing characters, The Sound of Falling Leaves is a winner!

After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. She retreats to her aunt’s apple orchard in rural North Carolina to collect folk ballads. But amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community, she uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. Tessa gets a glimpse into an almost-forgotten world, encounters a corrupt, small-town political dynasty, and finds superstition and prejudice at every turn.

She’s also drawn to Zeke, the handsome but enigmatic orchard caretaker, who shows her that mountain justice is neither impartial nor just. But battling a conspiracy of silence, Tessa isn’t sure if she can trust him. Yet somewhere in the mists of the Blue Ridge Mountains, evil lurks, and a killer is determined to keep the past where it belongs — dead and buried.

Multi-published, Daphne and Carol-award winning author Lisa Carter likes to describe her romantic suspense novels as “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.” Her latest suspense novel is The Sound of Falling Leaves. In addition, she writes contemporary romance with Love Inspired, the popular Matchmaker series, set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Lisa enjoys traveling and researching her next fictional adventure. When not writing, she loves spending time with family.

A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. Follow Lisa on Amazon to receive notices about her new releases and join her newsletter mailing list for book happenings at


My Impressions:

If you are looking for a suspense-filled novel that will keep you up wait too late at night to see just what comes next, then The Sound of Falling Leaves by Lisa Carter is the book for you! There is so much to love about this book. It gets a highly recommended rating from me!

To begin with, Carter gets the setting of The Sound of Falling Leaves just right. I loved the way she captured the culture, the language, the superstition/wives tales, the beauty of nature, and even the poverty and despair that lives within the Appalachians. Set in the North Carolina portion of the Blue Ridge mountains, I felt like I could see the mists and smell the crisp air of autumn. There’s a malignancy that permeates Roebuck county, though, that Carter has captured as well. Ancient beauty and traditions and ancient evil are all part and parcel of the small community in the wilds of western North Carolina. The plot centers around the Cozart family and their nefarious doings. Zeke Sloane is undercover trying to ferret out all of their criminal activities. As orchard manager as his cover, he comes into contact with Tessa Goforth, the owner’s great-niece. She has past troubles she longs to escape. There’s definite chemistry between the two — sometimes triggering explosions. 😉 Their relationship is rocky! Both struggle with faith and carry burdens of brokenness and guilt. The faith message is very strong in The Sound of Falling Leaves, and it beautifully unfolds. For those who love music, this novel has many references that will be a treat. I am musically-challenged, but I spent some time googling coloratura and contralto Youtube videos, as well as the folk music that defines the Appalachians.

While The Sound of Falling Leaves is romantic-suspense (and does it very well), I feel this book has a depth not often found in the genre. The characters are very well-drawn, the plot complex, puzzling, and multi-layered. It’s one of the best I have read in some time. I think the themes of justice vs revenge and nature vs nurture would lend themselves to great discussions — so grab some friends and read this one together!

Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults. 

(Thanks to Kregel for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


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