“A humorous journey through insanity, obsessiveness, lawyers, convicts and mystery”


A lawyer and her client are blazing a trail of misplaced revenge from state to state and attorney A.P. Hill is hot on their tails. Meanwhile, her partner Bill MacPherson has just purchased an old mansion for them to use as an office/home. The grand house comes complete with a shed, a chandelier, and the last owner. And then there’s Bill’s sister, Elizabeth. Suffering from depression after her husband goes missing at sea, Elizabeth checks herself into a mental hospital.

So there you have it, three plot lines. Do they tie together? Barely. To me, it seemed as though they were three weak short stories that the author couldn’t make work so she threw them together for a book. The revenge plot line could have been amusing (wannabe Romeos left to be found the next day minus their wallets and clothes) if only more time had been taken to develop it. Elizabeth’s stay at the mental hospital falls flat as most of this line is given to her and the other patients meandering drone mostly about the role of beauty in society.

The most entertaining of the three lines surrounds the purchase of the mansion. To redecorate or not redecorate, that is the question. But that is really just a ploy to gather information. The most pressing question for me was “What is that old man doing with all that sugar?”

I’ve read some of Sharyn McCrumb’s work before. I love her Ballad series set in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains. This is the first of the Elizabeth MacPherson series for me. Sad thing is I started with #9 of the series. I hate doing that. I want to start with #1. But I didn’t realize it until after I was done. Did that have something to do with why I felt this was so lackluster? Perhaps. If I had started at the beginning of the series I may have felt more vested. Or maybe I wouldn’t have made it this far. Who knows?

One thing that really irked me was the way A.P. Hill was addressed throughout the book. A.P. Hill did this. A.P. Hill did that. Who refers to their friends by their full name? Maybe it didn’t happen all the time but it was way too much and enough that I can’t remember four times when she wasn’t referred to as A.P. Hill.

With three lackluster plot lines that don’t really mesh I’m going to give this one a 2.5 on my bookometer. I think I’ll go back to her Ballad series.


Reviewed by:

Teresa M

Added 8th June 2015

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Teresa M