Delphic Oracle, U.S.A.
by Steven Mayfield
Regal House Publishing

"The bishop was right. In Delphic Oracle, I was a good fit."

The linked fates of a few individuals impact generations of families in Delphic Oracle, Nebraska. Maggie Westinghouse and her mother moved back home (then called Miagrammesto Station) after the death of Maggie's father in World War I. Maggie's life consisted of rumors about her paternity and her troubling swooning spells. Her future was up in the air until she met the dashing and mysterious July Pennybaker. However, Pennybaker's effect would not be solely limited to Maggie. Their relationship will become gossip for decades to come. In the present day, Delphic Oracle is ground zero for various speculative mysteries, such as the duration of Teddy Goodfellow's latest wandering, the possibility of a tornado wreaking untold havoc through town, and the identification of human remains unearthed in a nearby lot.

This is the type of novel that defies being pigeonholed in its description. Mayfield has combined elements of humor and empathy along with suspense in compiling a folksy read that would make Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon appear quaint in comparison. He deftly switches settings and time periods, telling tales that alternate between the Roaring Twenties and the 2020s and from a gangland-controlled city to the comforts of small-town life. He is equally skilled in character development. The characters that populate his Delphic Oracle are an eclectic bunch, ranging from the jailbird priest Peter Goodfellow to the fearless nonagenarian Felicity Penrod. The seeming routine of everyday life in Main Street, USA, is invigorated with a runaway family man, a nail-biting Little League championship, and the occasional threat to life and limb. The key, though, to Mayfield's wonderful book is in its charm and sincerity.

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