Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Deceptive Homecoming

I just finished two great books that I want to tell you about.  The first one is The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts by K.C. Tansley which will be out tomorrow.  The second book is Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport which will be on August 1.  I will post my reviews of these books as soon as I write them!

A Deceptive Homecoming by Anna Loan-Wilsey is the fourth book in the Hattie Davish Mystery series.  Hattie Davish has returned to her home town of St. Joseph, Missouri for the funeral of her best friend’s father.  Virginia “Ginny” Hayward and Hattie went to school together at Mrs. Chaplin’s School for Women.  Hattie was devastated when she lost her father and wanted to be there for Ginny.  Hattie is a traveling secretary to Sir Arthur Windom-Greene and will return to Newport, Rhode Island after the funeral.  When Hattie sees the body of Frank Hayward, she knows that it is not Frank.  She tries to tell Ginny, but she refuses to listen (she is also very cold and distant towards Hattie).  Then Hattie receives an anonymous note written in an outdated shorthand.  It asks Hattie to help.  Hattie knows it is about Mrs. Chaplin’s school.  There have been several incidents at the school and no one seems to know who is behind them.  Someone set a fire, stole pages from textbooks, destroyed champagne at a party, and embezzled money from the school (these are just a few of the incidents).  Hattie wants to help Mrs. Chaplin find the culprit behind these occurrences.

Then Hattie happens upon Mrs. Bertha Yardley.  She is looking for her husband, Levi.  When Hattie sees a picture of Levi Yardley, she notices that he could be Frank Hayward’s twin (except for the nose).  Hattie could see how Levi could have been mistaken for Frank since the face had been damaged in the accident.  Looking for Levi leads Hattie to the State Lunatic Asylum (the last place Hattie wants to visit).  Hattie’s father died in the asylum and it brings back bad memories for her.  Dr. Cyrus Hillman (who also treated Hattie’s father) was Levi’s doctor.  He claims that Levi escaped from the asylum and has not been found.  Dr. Hillman is not being completely forthright with Hattie and Mrs. Yardley.  Hattie is determined to find out who was in the coffin and what Dr. Hillman is hiding.  Hattie believes that Dr. Hillman contributed to her father’s death and the truth will be beneficial to Hattie (she will be free to move on with her life).

Hattie’s employer, Sir Arthur has asked Hattie to do a little research while she is in town (it’s not like she is doing anything else), and her beau, Walter (a doctor) would like a souvenir from the Jesse James’s house (where he was shot).  Hattie is going to be very busy while in St. Joseph.  She will have to keep her wits about her to solve the crimes (especially since someone seems to be following her).  A Deceptive Homecoming can be read without reading the first three books in the series, but there are references to incidents and people (from the other books) that are not completely explained.  Hattie’s beau, Walter is mentioned several times throughout the book, but we never get his last name or other details about him (except he is a doctor).  I found Hattie to be a contradictory character.  One minute she is strong, nosy, and determined, and then she is fainting, scared, and wanting to go home.  We are also never told what year it is in the book.  I am guessing it is around 1890 or later from the descriptions of clothing, hat, behavior, etc.  I give A Deceptive Homecoming 3 out of 5 stars (my rating for okay).  I think there is too much in this book.  The mysteries were child’s play to solve.  All the mysteries relate to each other, but it can get very confusing (with all the people and details).   

I received a complimentary copy of A Deceptive Homecoming from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.

I appreciate you stopping by and reading my latest review.  I am currently reading Made with Love by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore.  I am off to the grocery store.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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