"Fast-paced plot and well-drawn mystery!"

Joe Sur Landzlodt is a former Special Forces soldier back from his tour of duty disillusioned and ready to settle down. Problem is the woman he is engaged to marry has almost next to nothing in common with him except her love of reading and books.

Helen is nice enough and he enjoys her company but the relationship is missing, among common interests and other important elements, passion. Joe comes to believe their marriage would have been one of convenience and not much else, but is saved from committing a grave error when Helen dies under suspicious circumstances during a camping trip with Joe.

Since Helen's death almost two months ago, Joe has been suffering crippling headaches that come and go out of the blue. He does not begin to put together the possible cause of his migraines until his autistic eight-year-old nephew Timmy draws him a detailed map to take with him on his vacation and cross-country trek. The map is of a region in Michigan and to humor and calm his agitated nephew, Joe takes the map thinking that this will be the end of his nephew's demands and tantrums until Timmy mentions a name --

Benjamin Huntington -- and insists that Joe must find this man.

His nephew's map leads him to Quiet Lake, and a mysterious beautiful young Asian woman who lives on the outskirts of town, out in the wilderness, seemingly all by herself.

Despite a rocky start -- Joe pitching face-first into the gravel in front of MeLing Guinevere Huntington's house after suffering a headache and dizzy spell -- Joe and MeLing discover that they have, not only much in common, but are irrevocably linked by the mystery surrounding Helen's death. It is a mystery that thickens when Timmy scans and e- mails an accurate drawing of MeLing to Joe's e- mail account dated four days before Joe and MeLing ever meet! And it is a mystery upon which MeLing, a trained hynotherapist, will soon shed light when she puts Joe into a hypnotic trance in order to find out what happened during the infamous camping trip.

Though this book suffers from some minor mechanical problems, specifically authorial intrusion and some stilted repetitious dialogue, it was not enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the COUNTRY PRIESTESS.

Claassen has created a sensitive and strong hero in Joe, and MeLing is his match in every way, overcoming great heartache and pain in her past and living with a physical disability to become the admirable and spiritual young woman she is. The pair has instant chemistry, their affection for each other honest and heartfelt, their relationship whirlwind and based in an enigma that each is determined to solve while keeping their love alive and flourishing.

COUNTRY PRIESTESS, with its engaging lead characters fast- paced plot and well-drawn mystery into which I was able to sink my teeth, keeps the reader's interest until the satisfying end. A pleasant romance to cuddle up with in bed on a cold night and a good read.

Posted November 24, 2004

Reviewed by Gracie McKeever
Posted November 20, 2006


Joseph Sur Landzlodt returns from the military, only to be in the presence of his fiancée when she is murdered. Grieving for her, his nephew, Timmy, who is severely autistic and a gifted artist, guides Joe, (through the pictures Timmy draws), to MeLing, Joe's beautiful, mysterious woman of the forest.

At last, Joe's happiness seems within reach. But all is not as it seems. MeLing has a horrible secret that impacts her family, herself, and Joe. Terror overwhelms them as MeLing slowly reveals her secrets and Joe realizes that he, through the help of Timmy's pictures, is the only one who can save them all. Evil men, alien beings, and two lovers take us on a fast, romantic adventure where love wins in the end.


Country Priestess
by Dick Claassen

December 1, 2004
ISBN #1587494604
EAN #9781587494604
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Dick Claassen

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