An ingenious mystery… a complete page-turner.
This winning second installment in the Annalisse Series from Bell trails Annalisse Drury, 30-year-old antiquities expert who arrives at her childhood home and gets entangled into a murder investigation while her aunt goes missing. Trying to get away from the miseries of her dwindling relationship with the business tycoon Alec Zavos, Annalisse Drury arrives at the family ranch to see Aunt Kate. After the body of a stranger turns up strangled to death in the barn, the police presence forces the women to seek shelter at Alec’s nearby estate in Catskills. But when Kate goes missing at the estate, the resulting investigation draws a few too many connections to the past secrets and soon past and the present lives begin to collide. Bell makes good use of local rural color (the pleasant atmosphere of the Walker farm lingers long after readers finish the book) and infuses this charming, swiftly paced mystery with intelligent, unexpected twists. She skillfully imbues Annalisse and Alec’s delicious romance into the storyline without ever losing track of her plot or slowing the pace. For all the thrilling pleasures of the mystery plot, which includes murder, disappearance, old secrets, and lies, it’s Bell’s characters (key as well as minor), who are standouts: Bell has created an appealing, relatable lead in Annalisse; Kate with her gusty persona is easy to root for, and the readers will hope to see more of her in the upcoming installments. Fans of well-constructed cozy mysteries will hungrily devour this sophisticated, clever crime novel.
Note: This title is available as an audio book as well.