Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Poisoned Pen Press, via Edelweiss, for review and gvieaway purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it
A woman waits under five feet of dirt-a woman who is by now nothing but bones stained the deep red of Oklahoma clay. A delicate silver necklace, a handful of ancient pearls, and a priceless figurine rest with her. Twenty-nine years is a long time to wait for a proper burial. Faye Longchamp-Mantooth, who runs a small and shakily financed archaeological consulting firm with her husband, Joe, has come to Sylacauga so she and Joe can join his father, Sly Mantooth, in dispersing his mother's ashes. Fifteen years is a long time to wait for a proper ceremony. Faye has partially financed the trip by hiring on to consult on the reopening of a site closed down 29 years ago when archaeologist Dr. Sophia Townsend disappeared-for good. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation intends to create a park if nothing sacred lies in the soil. What no one expects is the lonely red bones that emerge as the backhoe completes its work. Inevitably they prove to be those of Sophia Townsend. And examination shows Sophia was first killed by a blow to the head. Chief Roy Cloud of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's Lighthorse Tribal Police hires Faye, who clearly can't be a suspect, to consult. Which is fine with Faye, who won't rest easy until Sophia's murder is solved. But the investigation comes uncomfortably close to home when she learns that her father-in-law knows more about the dead woman than he is willing to admit. So, it appears, does everyone in tiny Sylacauga. Dr. Sophia Townsend had possessed a sexual magnetism as forceful as an Oklahoma tornado, and she had never hesitated to use it to manipulate everyone around her, people whose hearts she broke and whose marriages she destroyed. Was she killed by one of her lovers, or by one of their wives? Or by the woman who became enthralled with her? Or maybe Sly Mantooth? Or was something else elemental-greed, buried treasure, fame-at work? Faye's obsession with this case tests her professional ethics and it tests her marriage. Such was the power of Sophia Townsend that, twenty-nine years after her murder, she wreaks havoc (along with the weather) once again.
This is the 10th Faye Longchamps mystery, and arguably the best one yet. While we have learned more about Joe in the previous few books, here we get to see him where he was raised, with his father, and memories of his mother. And we all know that you may be able to go home, but it is never the same- your experiences get clouded and compounded, and are never quite as truthful as you remember them. That thought is imperative in this tale, as the past is NOT what it seems to have been and now comes back to haunt the present. The book offers a wealth of archaeological information, as well as excellent character studies, Mary Anna obviously did her research! Add in a mystery with many twists and turns, and you have a book you can't put down. I do recommend reading the book before this one (Isolation), as it is helpful to know the relationship between Joe and Faye and his father before this series of events. If you're looking for a new series to sink your teeth into, this is an excellent start!
About the Author:
Mary Anna Evans is the author of the Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries, which have received recognition including the Benjamin Franklin Award, the Mississippi Author Award, and three Florida Book Awards bronze medals. She is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she teaches fiction and nonfiction writing. Check out her website for more info!