Sunday, February 15, 2015

Murder, Mystery and Romance in the Old South

Celia Browning anxiously awaits the return of her childhood sweetheart, Sutton Mackay, from Jamaica where he has spent the last two years. Sutton has not yet proposed, but Celia is hopeful that he will when he returns.

Although the Browning family is one of the most prominent in Savannah, Georgia in 1858, a cloud hangs over the family. Twenty years ago a member of the family committed suicide in the house, or was it murder, and a servant died in the coach house. Savannah society has forgotten the incident until a newspaperman, Leo Channing, comes to town. He hopes to make a name for himself by raking up the old tragedy.

Leo Channing isn't the only problem for the Brownings. The Civil War is looming and Celia's father is not well. In addition, the MacKays have lost one of their ships which is a severe economic blow. Then Celia receives a bracelet. She's delighted thinking the bracelet is from Sutton until she realizes that the order of the stones spells out DEAD. Someone is trying to frighten her.

One of the best parts of this book is the historical detail. Love paints a realistic picture of Savannah before the Civil War. The addition of a mysterious death and the attempts to frighten Celia make for a page turner.

The romance and the characters are not as well done. Celia and Sutton are stock romantic characters. Sutton is a dream lover, too good to be true. Celia becomes more interesting when instead of worrying about her romantic prospects she tries to solve the mystery.

If you enjoy historical romance with a tinge of mystery, you'll like this book. Although the characters are stereotypical, as they worked
to solve the mystery, I became engaged with their fate.

I reviewed the book for Thomas Nelson's BookLook Bloggers