November 28, 2023

Bella: An Appalachian Love Story & Jagged Dawn: Logan's Beginning


Bella-An Appalachian Love Story and Jagged Dawn-Logan's Beginnings by Valerie Davisson
Fiction - Novellas
2020 Vaughn House Publishing 
Finished on November 17, 2023
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

For the first time ever under one cover, enjoy these two companion stories-prequels to the Logan McKenna Mystery series.

BELLA: An Appalachian Love Story

Over fifty years ago, high in the hills of Appalachia, Bella's story begins. Norah, Logan McKenna's great-grandmother, falls in love with Giovanni, a young immigrant from Italy searching for his place in the world. Each must face trials they never expected, but from their love, Giovanni creates his masterpiece--Bella, a hand-crafted violin with unparalleled sound that accompanies each generation that follows.

JAGGED DAWN: Logan's Beginning

Unexpected events launch faithful wife and mother, Logan McKenna, battered and wounded, into an unknown future and a life she would never have predicted. A lesser woman wouldn't survive, but with inner strength grounded in the love of family and friends, Logan not only faces her problems head on, but also rediscovers the joy of living--including playing Bella, her beloved violin, and cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway in her gleaming, sapphire-blue '58 Corvette.

Easily read in a single sitting, I allowed myself to linger over these stories, which transport fans of Davisson's Logan McKenna mystery series back to both Red Sleeve, West Virginia and Irvine, California. The first novella alternates between past and present, with details about Logan's great-grandmother's youth, as well as the budding relationship between Norah and Giovanni, the talented craftsman from Italy. I found the second (contemporary) novella more engaging, most likely due to my familiarity with the location (I grew up in Southern California), as well as the dramatic turn of events and likeable main character. Both of these novellas present an engaging back story that makes the reader want to know more about Logan McKenna and what happens to her in the series to come. Valerie Davisson has written nine novels in this mystery series, and I look forward to reading the first installment, Shattered


  1. I haven't heard of these, but they sound good. I like novellas where we can get a taste of a story and characters.

    1. Helen, the author lives in our neighborhood and I've been meaning to read some of her books. I'll probably read the first in her series later next year.

  2. Just under the wire for Novellas in November! They sound like good reads.

    1. Lol! I wasn't even trying to read something for that challenge. :) BTW, I'm thrilled that your comment showed up in my email. I usually have to check Blogger to see if you've commented. Wonder why this time it worked the way it should...


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