“If only we could see the world through curiosity and hope.”
Ms. Wilson has taken my two favorite genres, historical and mystery, and woven them into a fascinating story including a treasure hunt. Her beautifully poetic style draws you into the story. “The fickle sun peeked in and out of a cloudy sky, commanding the tiny water crystals on the ground to sparkle.”
We met Phoebe Radcliff in the previous Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey, a daughter of Lord Torrington. After some unpleasantness there, Phoebe decides to study painting under Miss Drake at Avonthorpe. When the great-nephew of Miss Drake descends on the estate to conduct business in antiquities, suspicious things begin to happen, including murder. A dying wish has Phoebe and Lt. Graham Burke puzzling out clues to find a vast treasure. The search would prove their loyalty, their mettle and their motives. Lots of interesting characters and suspects to ponder. There is an underlying Christian World View with the main characters subtly acting out their faith.
This was a superbly plotted book that has me wanting more. Dare we hope for a story about sister Julianna?
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a slight faith thread
Hidden treasure and betrayal mingle with unexpected love within the walls of Avonthorpe Hall.
After studying art under Miss Drake, a renowned painter, Phoebe Radcliff is certain she can finally move beyond the childish mistake that’s kept her away from home. She is thrilled when Miss Drake employs her to complete a complicated ballroom renovation.
Everything changes, however, the moment Miss Drake is murdered. With her last breath she imparts the location of a clue to Phoebe. Can the biggest secret of Avonthorpe Hall be true—the rumored treasure real? Phoebe is tasked to finish her work in the ballroom by Miss Drake’s infuriatingly regimented yet all-too-handsome nephew, Lt. Graham Burke. Determined to fulfill the promise she made to her beloved teacher to find the treasure, Phoebe also works to uncover the truth about Miss Drake’s death—and she must do so before Lt. Burke leases the house.
But dark shadows line the gilded halls of Avonthorpe, and soon enough Phoebe realizes she’s not the only person who knows about the clues. What’s worse, she needs Lt. Burke’s help to stay ahead of whoever is hard on her heels. If only she weren’t so attracted to him.
Caught up in a deadly race for answers, Phoebe must find a way to breach the shroud of lies that surrounds every last resident in the house and, more importantly, face a past she’s been running away from for far too long.