Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: Louisa and the Missing Heir by Anna MacLean

(Full length, historical cozy mystery)

Long before she will achieve fame as the author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott is writing stories of a more dark and mysterious nature. But nothing prepares her for the role of amateur detective she assumes when the body of her dear friend, wealthy newlywed Dorothy Wortham, is found floating in Boston's harbor.

It's well known that Dorothy's family didn't approve of her husband, a confirmed fortune hunter, but Louisa suspects that some deeper secret lies behind her friend's tragic murder...

This is a fun read for all ages especially if any of you have read Little Women or any other of Louisa May Alcott stories. The many details of her life, those around her, her family and her friends are wonderfully shown in great detail. Then in addition, she adds in a wonderfully complex mystery. It was very enjoyable.

That she would take up sleuthing is a foregone conclusion. Her mind is extremely clever and as the story progresses, you will find yourself, along with her, trying to solve the mystery. Every time I thought I had solved it, I was proven wrong, as was she. However she was much ahead of me in figuring out what was going on. As she discovered something new, I would think, “Oh of course.” The fact is, I would not have been able to figure it out, although I was given the same clues as she was.

This is a tale of dark secrets, mysterious men, and a family torn apart with secrets. Louisa dares to confront the mores of the day, and does things that absolutely horrify many of the leading citizens. Her story includes so many facts about Boston in 1854 that I would swear that the author had actually lived there. As she pursues her hunt for the murderer, she is also in danger many times, but is able to handle each situation as it happens.

When she finally finds the murderer, I was surprised. I hadn’t even considered this person. What a cleverly written and fascinating mystery. It makes me want to read more of this series.

5 Flowers -- I loved this book! It's on my keeper shelf! I highly recommend it.

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