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A Deceptive HomecomingBy Anna Loan-Wilsey
A Hattie Davish Mystery (Book 4)
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Genre: Historical Mystery/Female Sleuth
Length: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00P53E0L2
E-Book ASIN: B00P53E0L2
About the book:
Traveling Secretary Hattie Davish is returning to her once-quiet hometown, where a deluge of deadly secrets leaves her feeling anything but welcome…
When her good friend Virginia Hayward’s father passes away, Hattie Davish rushes to her hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri. She’s looking forward to visiting the place where she grew up, even if the circumstances bringing her there are bleak. But upon her arrival, she learns that all is not well in St. Joe.
Virginia is cold and distant, Frank Hayward’s death is shrouded in mystery, and a string of troubling incidents have descended on Hattie’s alma mater, Mrs. Chaplin’s School for Women. Frank was the school’s bookkeeper, and as Hattie begins investigating the bizarre goings-on, she becomes convinced that someone other than Frank was in the casket—but who?
Her search for the truth takes her from the town cemetery, to the home of an infamous outlaw, to the dungeon-like tunnels beneath the State Lunatic Asylum—and brings her face-to-face with a killer bent on the deadliest lesson of all…
About The AuthorA historical mystery set during the Gilded Age, A Deceptive Homecoming by Anna Loan-Wilsey is the fourth installment in her Hattie Davish Mystery series. A well-developed female sleuth, colorful secondary characters, a good mystery and plenty of action kept me turning the pages to discover what would happen next. If you like a strong heroine, a good mystery and learning about social behavior in America’s past, this is a book you’ll want to pick up. Also, don't worry if you haven't read the previous books in the series as each book can be read and enjoyed on its own.Having already established Hattie Davish as a well-trained and educated traveling secretary, Ms. Loan-Wilsey brings her main character home to St. Joseph, Missouri for her best friend Virginia Hayward father’s funeral. Arriving just in the nick of time for the funeral itself, Hattie knows something isn’t right but can’t quite figure it out. At least not until she gets a good luck at the man in the casket and realizes he doesn’t have the distinguishing scar that should be over his right eye. When her friend insists Hattie is wrong and questions why Hattie has bothered to come home, Hattie begins to think she’s made a terrible mistake but as she spends more time at “home”, she realizes nothing is quite as it seems.Having read the previous book in this series, A Sense of Entitlement, I already felt as if I had an old friendship with Hattie’s character and this installment simply deepened our friendship. I admire her determination to be a self-supporting and independent woman at a time when the average woman was more concerned with finding a husband to take care of them. While Hattie is romantically involved with someone, who was introduced in a previous book, she doesn’t make him the center of her world and can easily fend for herself. I especially enjoyed this installment as we get to know more about where Hattie grew up and how she became who she is.The secondary characters were well developed and very interesting. I understood Hattie’s dismay when her friend Virginia acted strangely towards her and was determined to keep her at arms-length. I also enjoyed getting to meet the women at Mrs. Chaplin’s School for Women, where Hattie obtained her secretarial training and learned to rely on her education for her future. All of the teachers where quite colorful, as are the current students they are training. Especially since the young women consider Hattie somewhat of a celebrity due to her “crime solving” skills.The mystery is well written, takes several twists and turns and is tied to Mrs. Chaplin’s school and its finances. It’s also tied to Virginia’s father Frank Hayward, since he was in charge of the school’s finances. As Hattie investigates the strange behavior of her best friend, the curious situation at her alma-matter and her own emotions regarding her former home, her search for the truth takes her from the streets of St. Joseph to an insane asylum. It also puts her on a collision course with a murderer who has no qualms about disposing of anyone who gets in the way.Will Hattie discover the real identity of the man in the casket? Will she figure out what her friend Virginia is hiding and be able to save her friend from a terrible mistake? Will Hattie be able to discover the truth before anyone else gets hurt? You’ll have to read A Deceptive Homecoming to find out. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in this series.My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns
As a librarian and information specialist,Anna Loan-Wilsey tracks down information every day that helps to solve mysteries. She is currently working on her next book in the Hattie Davish Mystery series. She earned her B.A. at Wells College and had several poems published in their literary magazine, The Chronicle. Readers can visit her website at www.annaloanwilsey.com.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Anna-Loan-Wilsey/e/B009ZCCWYQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher via NetGalley for a fair and honest review, which in no way influenced my opinion of the reading material provided.