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by Carol J. Perry
Kensington, September 2022
352 pages
ISBN: 1496743644

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

WICH-TV Program Director Lee Mondello picks up the assignment for directing and producing a documentary covering the opening of the new Salem International Museum and its first exhibit, Seafaring New England, centering on New England’s maritime and seafaring history from the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 1620 to the present.

The old brick building being renovated to serve as the new museum once housed an A&P store. The driver of an armored car delivering boxes for the museum's first exhibits is found murdered, but none of the items in the truck are missing. Since there is no theft, the reason for the driver's death is a mystery.

As Lee begins filming the renovation's progress and interviewing folks preparing the various exhibits, she and her videographer, Francine, meet Kitsue and Fiona Sullivan, who are preparing an exhibition based on their family's early shipping and maritime history. Also working on a display is Dr. Sam Bidani, a professor of Indian culture with knowledge of the commerce between Salem and India in the 1700s and 1800s. Dr. Bidani plans to fill a gigantic, round glass column featuring lucite shelves to hold jeweled items from various periods.

As the various exhibits are being completed, Kitsue discovers her jade bowl, worth over a million dollars, is fake. And then, someone steals a jeweled dagger from India housed in the glass column. There is no sign of a break-in, so how the thefts occurred is puzzling. Lee's husband, Detective Pete Mondello, begins investigating the thefts and speculates that the armored car driver's murder may be related.

Another intriguing mystery from Carol J. Perry finds Lee juggling program directing, on-air-field reporting, and documentary production at WICH-TV, not to mention investigating murder and theft. The fascinating theft sub-plot is well conceived and moves at a suspense-driven pace.

O'Ryan, the feline that Aunt Ibby and Lee share visits both households as he sees fit since both houses installed identical cat doors for access at his convenience.

§ 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, September 2023

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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