Pat Montella hates her boss, hates her dead-end job, and is getting desperately down on herself when she receives the letter that changes everything. It’s from lawyer Joel Peyton, who represents a 91-year-old woman with the antebellum name of Magnolia Shelby. The text of the letter is dramatic enough. It seems that Miss Shelby wants to leave Pat her land—200 extremely valuable acres in rural Virginia. But it’s the subtext that really has Pat’s head spinning, suggesting as it does that she’s not exactly who she always thought she was. Through a never-known-about great-great-grandmother, it appears that Pat is descended from landed gentry who figured prominently in the Civil War. In fact, the property that Maggie Shelby—a lot livelier and feistier than Pat had expected—wants her to have contains a famous Civil War battleground. But though Maggie does indeed want her to have the land—and has spent years tracking her down in order to will it to her—there’s clearly an opposing view. Somebody tries first to scare Pat off, then to kill her. And while Pat tries to discover that certain somebody’s identity, she stumbles on another mystery—one involving her new batch of ancestors. It’s this dustier, stranger mystery that truly disturbs her, for in the process of solving it she becomes, in some inexplicable way, a part of it . . . while it’s happening. Marks the debut of a series featuring a heroine who time-travels. An author who plots better might make it work.