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by Lauren Elliott
Kensington, April 2023
320 pages
ISBN: 1496735145

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Addie Greyborne's wedding to Simon is interrupted when Lauren Hill and her aunt Valerie stop it with the announcement that Simon is still married to Lauren since the original annulment was not filed sixteen years ago. Addie, hurt and angry that Simon never told her about the teenage marriage, storms out of the church. After preparing new annulment paperwork, Lauren discloses she gave birth to Simon's son, Mason, sixteen years ago and is seeking custody since his adoptive parents have died.

Lauren intends to bring Mason home to Greyborne Harbor, and Aunt Valerie plans a tea to introduce Mason to the community. Meanwhile, Addie and Martha decide to clean out Addie's attic to take her mind off the wedding mess. They uncover a hidden room containing a mannequin covered by an old wedding dress. Addie speculates it is her Aunt Anita's dress even though she never married. (Aunt Anita left her house to Addie when she died.) Curious about her aunt's life, Addie searches for her Aunt Anita's diaries to find details about her aunt's life.

While Addie starts digging into her aunt's life, she discovers that Aunt Anita planned to marry David Winthrop before he was murdered. However, since she was pregnant with his child, she moved to Boston, had the boy, and gave him to her sister and brother-in-law to bring up as theirs. Addie becomes determined to find out who killed David and enlists the help of Marc and her friends to uncover the truth.

Valerie drops dead after drinking tea at her tea to introduce Mason. The police chief determines that murder by poison is the cause and enlists Addie's help since she is the only resident who did not attend the event. So, now, Addie is investigating two murders, over seventy years apart.

Lauren Elliott combines a clever historical mystery with this present-day conundrum which makes for an intriguing story as she moves between the two settings. Ms. Elliott also creates life-changing events in this Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery with fascinating shifts for her characters.

Ruth Castleberry has worked as an investigator for Pinkerton's, a city desk assistant on the Charlotte News, free-lance writer, marketing/business strategy consultant, competitive intelligence practitioner and digital marketing consultant.

Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry, April 2023

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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