- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
A cache of love letters lead to murder.
When the D.C. Metro train she's riding in crashes, Hannah Ives (All Things Undying,2010, etc.) winds up with a broken arm and a Garfinkel's shopping bag that belonged to the young man who had been sitting next to her. Feeling like a voyeur when she dips into the bag to see if she can identify the owner and return it, Hannah is soon immersed in a decades-old romance. Fifty-seven love letters and photographs document a 10-year affair between Lilith Chaloux and her married lover Zan. With gentle assists from her husband, her sister, her sister-in-law's husband (a Chesapeake County police lieutenant), internet searches and a snooping instinct second only to Miss Marple's, Hannah not only tracks down the reclusive Lilith, an artist and major-league hoarder, but stakes out theLynx Newsheadquarters to confront the man formerly known as Zan. In response, her home is burglarized, she's confronted by a seedy lawyer working for the young man who sat next to her on the train—now laid up for serious rehabbing in a D.C. hospital—and she meets Zan's wife, who tells her off in no uncertain terms. Meanwhile, a staffer at Lynx, a former college friend of Hannah's daughter Emily, is murdered, and the seedy lawyer heads for Lilith's cottage, which winds up ablaze, incinerating those 57 love letters and almost costing Lilith and Hannah their lives.
If you've a taste for love denied, love reunited and coincidences piled on coincidences, you'll have plenty to swoon over here.
Posted June 25, 2011
Hannah Ives returning home to Annapolis on the metro gets into conversation with a guy clutching a Garfinkel bag - Hannah muses that they went out of business twenty years ago. The guy who introduces himself as Skip complains about the hot weather. When the train crashes most of the passengers with Hannah in the front carriage are killed but Hannah survives with just a broken arm, and sits with Skip who is trapped and obviously injured until paramedics arrive. In the time that they wait Skip confesses to killing someone, but Hannah is too concerned with keeping him conscious to take on board just what he is saying. When she is discharged from hospital she finds in the sack from the hospital containing her clothes and other effects, the Garfinkel bag. Her enquires at the hospital for someone called Skip meet with a blank. In an effort to trace him Hannah opens his bag and finds a number of letters. The fascination of uncovering someone's life from letters reminded me of 'Smallbone Deceased' by Michael Gilbert when the background to a mystery was solved from the contents of the accumulated documents held by the solicitors over a period of years. To say that this is a fascinating mystery is an understatement, I was riveted. Couldn't even put it down to make a sandwich. I have long been a fan of Marcia Talley's books and have read them all, and can say that this is the best. Mystery apart my favourite sentence in the book is 'No scientific instrument yet invented is sensitive enough to measure how little I care about football'. - way to go girl! ----- Lizzie Hayes
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