Rachel Goddard

6 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 1,098 ratings

The Heat of the Moon Publisher's Summary

Young veterinarian Rachel Goddard’s world begins to crumble when a client rushes into the animal hospital with a dog struck by a car during a thunderstorm. The woman’s terrified child, drenched with rain, loses sight of her mother in the flurry of activity and screams, “Mommy! I want Mommy!” Instantly Rachel is hurled back in time to a day in her own childhood when her baby sister, Michelle, uttered the same cry while thunder crashed and rain poured down on them. The unearthed memory feels like a fragment of a nightmare, and Rachel doesn’t understand its meaning or the anguish it stirs up in her.

When she seeks answers, she learns nothing from Michelle or from Judith, their loving but manipulative mother. Judith is a psychologist who is only too happy to have her adult daughters still living in her elegant Tudor house outside Washington, DC. But their apparently serene home is a house of secrets where Judith’s unspoken rules forbid questions about the family history or the daughters’ long-dead father. As more baffling memories surface, Rachel begins to suspect that nothing about her family is what it seems.

Fighting her mother’s attempts to control her, Rachel embarks on a quest that takes her not only deep into her own memory but also halfway across the country. The truth she uncovers will shatter her world and force her to make an unthinkable choice.

Sandra Parshall, a former newspaper reporter, is the author of the Rachel Goddard mysteries, the first of which won the Agatha Award in 2006.

©2012 Sandra Parshall (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc
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  • Book 1

    • The Heat of the Moon

    • A Rachel Goddard Mystery, Book 1
    • By: Sandra Parshall
    • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
    • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 783
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 702
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 704

    Young vet Rachel Goddard's life changes one day when a child's scream activates a long-forgotten memory from her own childhood. Fearing that nothing about her family is what it seems, Rachel begins a quest for answers.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Quite an unusual and captivating book!

    • By Kathi on 06-24-14

    Regular price: $20.97

  • Book 2

    • Disturbing the Dead

    • A Rachel Goddard Mystery, Book 2
    • By: Sandra Parshall
    • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
    • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 118
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 105
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 105

    Tom Bridger, who is half Melungeon, thought he had escaped his mountain community's lingering prejudice against the mixed-race group when he left to work for the Richmond, Virginia, Police Department. Tom was moving up the detective ranks when a family tragedy brought him back home and moved him into his father's job as a county sheriff's deputy. Now the bones of a Melungeon woman who disappeared 10 years ago have surfaced on a remote mountaintop, and all evidence points to murder. Violence escalates as the victim's poor family and the wealthy white family she married into scramble to protect their secrets.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Very good mystery

    • By Kathi on 05-28-14

    Regular price: $24.47

  • Book 3

    • Broken Places

    • A Rachel Goddard Mystery
    • By: Sandra Parshall
    • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
    • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 78
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 59
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 58

    Two residents of Mason County, Virginia, Cam and Meredith Taylor, are murdered within hours of one another. Deputy Sheriff Tom Bridger is called in, along with his girlfriend, veterinarian Rachel Goddard, because she heard—but didn't see—Cam’s murder.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Predictable, But Fun

    • By Karen on 06-20-15

    Regular price: $19.56

  • Book 4

    • Under the Dog Star

    • A Rachel Goddard Mystery, Book 4
    • By: Sandra Parshall
    • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
    • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 54
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 48
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 49

    Something terrifying is happening to the dogs in the mountain community of Mason County, Virginia. Pets are vanishing mysteriously and “missing dog” posters cover the waiting room walls at Dr. Rachel Goddard’s veterinary clinic. A pack of feral canines roams at night, attacking livestock in a desperate search for food. Now a prominent physician, Gordon Hall, has been found dead in his yard, his throat torn open. Sheriff’s Department investigator Tom Bridger believes the killing was premeditated murder, with a trained attack dog as the weapon.

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Depressing Storyline

    • By Rusty on 02-12-16

    Regular price: $19.56

  • Book 5

    • Bleeding Through

    • A Rachel Goddard Mystery, Book 5
    • By: Sandra Parshall
    • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
    • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 34
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 27
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 29

    When veterinarian Rachel Goddard and Deputy Sheriff Tom Bridger take teenagers on an outing to clean up roadside trash in rural Mason County, Virginia, they make a grisly discovery: the plastic-wrapped body of a young woman. One teen peers at the face through the plastic and screams. The dead girl is her sister, Shelley, a law student who has been missing for a month. As Tom launches a murder investigation, Rachel copes with a visit from her own sister, Michelle, who is terrified that a man is stalking her.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Weak Woman - Unbelievable Villian

    • By Rusty on 04-17-15

    Regular price: $20.97

  • Book 6

    • Poisoned Ground

    • A Rachel Goddard Mystery, Book 6
    • By: Sandra Parshall
    • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
    • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 31
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 27
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 27

    When a powerful development company sets its sights on Mason County, Virginia, as the location for a sprawling resort for the rich, the locals begin taking sides. Many residents see the resort as economic salvation for the small Blue Ridge Mountains community, while others fear the county will become financially dependent on a predatory company. Few oppose the development more vocally than veterinarian Rachel Goddard.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Lots of suspects, twists & turns--good story

    • By Kathi on 08-17-14

    Regular price: $24.47