Anna Coughlin is a modern 1920s woman, armed with a college education and a partiality for numbers. Now, within the walls of a fantastic castle-like mansion in the hills of Virginia, her skill will be tested as never before. Hired to serve as financial advisor to wealthy Lawrence Richardson, Ann finds the welcome she receives anything but warm. Lawrence's handsome but antagonistic son Tyler wants nothing more than to send her packing. The household staff isn't much better, but who can blame them, considering the way Lawrence's last advisor, Irene, disappeared...
Convinced that one of the enigmatic members of the household had something to do with Irene's disappearance, Anna doesn't dare trust anyone—not even temperamental Tyler Richardson, who, despite her best intentions, is beginning to steal her heart.
A series of frightening incidents ensnare Anna in a maze of intrigue, putting her life in peril. But even as Anna begins uncovering the secrets hidden within the mansion's stone walls, she harbors a secret of her own. Now, the only question that remains is whether she will disappear as mysteriously as Irene.
|Size||6 x 9|
|Published||Covenant Communications 2017|
Searching for Irene is a very well-crafted murder mystery. Anna is a charming heroine that you want to cheer for. The plot is complex enough to keep you guessing, but is still believable; and the ending will catch many readers by surprise. I had a difficult time putting this book down until I had finished the last page!
Despite the cover design, this is yet another GREAT story from author Marlene Bateman. A historical novel, it's a departure from her usual contemporary fiction. However, the new time frame does nothing to stifle her great characters and their lives. Bonus for me: HORSES!! Any book with well done horsemanship is a winner. The mystery and the setting add to the depth. I definitely recommend this latest addition to her already bright lineup!
I love a good mystery.
Let me rephrase.
I LOVE a good mystery!
A page-turner that simply won't let you put it down.
With a plot and characters that keep you reading.
And make you wish the book was longer!
Searching for Irene has it all and more: An innocent young woman hired by a mysterious wealthy family. An enigmatic (and magnetic) heir. A missing secretary. Suspects. Clues. Red herrings.
All packaged together in a bonafide modern castle.
The quiet Virginia countryside will never be the same.
P.S. I totally guessed the wrong murderer. I'm so dead.
I really enjoyed this book as both an historical mystery and romance. I found the characters interesting, the setting compelling, and the mystery intriguing. Anna makes for a great main character as a young female in the workforce at a time when many still considered the home the best place for women. When she arrives at Ashton Place to work as a financial secretary she's surprised to discover just how off things are in the family. The oldest son, Tyler, greets her quite rudely and tells her to leave, the housekeeper is also rude, and the secretary whose place Anna has taken, has disappeared. It quickly becomes clear that Anna's reasons for being at Ashton Hall are more complicated than they seem and the mystery of Irene's disappearance is at the heart of it all. As Anna gets to know the family, things get increasingly complex and confusing as she tries to figure out who might be behind Irene's disappearance. But the Richardson family is not entirely happy with two sons who are fighting over control of the estate, a father with failing health who struggles to please both his sons, a father who ignores his son, and a woman who wants more than anything to become the estate's next mistress. Add to this, Anna's growing attraction to Tyler Richardson and she's got a real mess on her hands. Bateman has done a great job creating a mystery full of twists, turns, and a deliciously creepy and confusing atmosphere. She's also done a good job of creating a group of characters with depth, strengths and weaknesses which makes it harder to guess who the guilty party is. I can highly recommend this one for those who enjoy historical mysteries with a touch of romance. I also enjoyed the romance because it's not a typical too-sweet-for-words romance either.
I enjoyed this good, clean mystery set in the 1920s. It was interesting to see a different time period. I loved the setting of the modern-day castle! Bateman did an excellent job of dropping numerous bread crumbs, continually leading the reader off the trail of the killer. The main character, Anna, has quite the secret and stumbles upon several clues in her search for Irene. At times, Anna was a bit frustrating with her indecision and flip-flopping back and forth on who she could trust or fall for romantically. Bateman created a page-turner where I wanted to reach in and tell Anna what to do! I enjoyed the many facets of the mystery and would recommend to anyone needing to get their mystery fix.
This was an interesting book. I found I loved each individual character by themselves. I loved most of them together, but I had a hard time following some of their "mood swings." It was obvious that Anna had something to hide in the beginning, and as her secrets were revealed, I wondered if they were revealed too early in the storyline. In the end, her secrets were laid out at the right time which helped things along. As the story progressed though, I had a hard time figuring out who the culprit was. Just as I was solid with evidence and person, something else would happen that caused me to question my deduction. When everything came to a conclusion I still felt confusion. As I thought about it I felt like there were too many red herrings for my taste. I will have to go back through the story again to see if I missed some cleverly hidden clues as to the true guilty party. I'd be curious to see what other people think about this.
I really liked everything about this book! I liked the plot, the characters, the setting, the suspensefulness of the whole thing! It really is a great book.
Let's start with Anna. I liked her as a main character. I liked the way that even the reader doesn't know that she has a secret until quite a bit into the story. I liked her strength. She doesn't know what happened to Irene, but she's determined to find out. She's also determined to figure out just who had anything to do with her disappearance. All of her determination puts her in just as much danger as Irene faced.
You don't see the story through any of the other character's eyes, so the reader has no idea just who the criminal is, just that they are somewhere on the estate. That makes it a bit hard for the reader to really like any of the other characters, at least for me. I had a hard time knowing who Anna could or should trust. And it turned out that I was right that she should trust no one until she was absolutely certain what had happened to Irene.
The plot was suspenseful and full of twists and turns. Mainly because Anna kept putting herself into dangerous situations that she should have avoided. The plot kept me guessing until the very end. I liked that the perpetrator wasn't revealed until the very last chapter. It made me want to read more and more until I had finished the book!
If you're a fan of suspense, you won't want to miss this one! So great!