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Deadly Design: A Deadly Past Mystery

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  • Posted March 29, 2010

    Deadly Design

    Millie Kirchner, a lover of Jeffersonian history, snatches the opportunity to volunteer at Poplar Forest, the retreat which Jefferson also designed. She and her nine year old son are roommates with three other women, each of which has past baggage. A twice stolen ring completes the circuit between a roommate, a nearby mansion called Highgrove, and a member of the Lewis & Clark expedition. Millie's research not only answers the questions, but indicates that she is not the only one doing research into the matter and that time is of the essence. This is a laid back historical mystery. If you enjoy books with "meat" in them, then read this one!

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  • Posted August 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    entertaining amateur sleuth

    In 2002, single mom Millie Kirchner and her nine year old son Danny head to Lynchburg, Virginia where she is a volunteer at an archaeological site; the Poplar Forest, secret retreat of Thomas Jefferson. Her recently widowed friend Alice invited the mother to join the dig while Danny attends camp next door. The women met when they both found out they are heirs along with others to a trust fund set up two centuries ago by a Nathan Henry (see DEADLY WILL).

    However, after a near incident with a motorcycle driver whose recklessness reminded her of her ex Jack, she learns that archaeology intern Paige Oberlin was murdered. Soon after that roommate Cynthia flees as her unwanted former boyfriend Ted stalks her. Soon afterward someone kills another roommate Jill. Millie investigates finding ties back to the nearby Jeffersonian Era Highgrove mansion and Lewis and Clark; as she believes the early nineteenth century has the answers to the twenty-first century murders.

    This entertaining amateur sleuth mystery occurs in 2002, but has more of a feel of a historical tale as told by a tour guide; as much of the story line especially the musing of the amateur historians and the archeological professionals focuses Jefferson or the nearby attractions. Still though the whodunit takes a back seat, fans of cozies with a strong sense of location will enjoy Marian Moore Hill's fun guided tour of Jeffersonian Virginia.

    Harriet Klausner

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