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by Iona Whishaw
Touchwood Editions, September 2017
337 pages
$16.95 CAD
ISBN: 1771512407

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In the third of a series, Lane Winslow, a former spy living in quiet King's Cove, British Columbia in 1947, is pressed back into police service when the bones of a child are discovered in a neighboring root cellar.

The remains have been found by the Hughes women—Gladys and her middle-aged daughters, Gwen and Mabel—who theorize the child's body must have been hidden in 1910, when their cellar roof was rebuilt. Thirty-seven years later, this discovery brings back memories of the Anscombs, a strange family that lived nearby with several children. Soon after helping the Hughes put on a new cellar roof, the family packed up and left the area. Flashbacks, told through Gwen and Mabel, reveal other secrets the sisters have kept from each other all these years.

Because Lane lives nearby—and has proved herself n other cases—she is asked once again by Inspector Darling to help out with the mystery of the bones. The main mystery is interspersed with the storyline of Erin Landy, a teenage girl who wants to go off to college, but is being pressured by her parents to marry. As an act of sabotage, she has damaged a piece of equipment at a sawmill—and been arrested for it. Here, too, Darling asks for Lane's help. Hearing the girl's predicament, Lane sides with Erin. Darling is in love with Lane, but he questions whether Lane, happy in her independence, has also nixed the idea of marriage.

Darling warns Lane not to put herself in danger. Nevertheless, despite taking precautions, just being part of the investigation puts her at risk.

This series, with a strong and likable female protagonist, is not yet well known. That's a shame, as it continues to get better and better. The novels not only use the past as a setting, but there are lessons about history—and how the consequences of past actions always catch up, sooner or later, with those involved.

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and Maui.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, December 2017

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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