A young woman loses everything and must plumb her past before she can build a new life for herself.
When a fire destroys the Ontario orphanage Betty has called home for most of her life, she is sent to Kingston to work for the city’s most wealthy and influential family. Shortly after taking up her new position, Betty discovers her mother was also a maid for the Remington household prior to her death at the hands of Betty’s father 14 years before. After a visit to her mother’s grave, a curious Betty faces her imprisoned father, who insists he’s innocent. Subsequently, Betty enlists her cop boyfriend, David, to help her dig up the facts about what really happened to her mother. Although Betty is slow to pick up the clues, readers will realize the truth before she does (see the book's title). The 1964 setting appears arbitrary, established by the book’s relationship to the others in the Secrets series rather than narrative needs; period details are few, and without consistent time-appropriate cultural references, the resulting story feels anachronistic to today’s readers. The plot moves quickly, but the conclusion is tidy and clichéd. The big reveal—who killed Betty’s mother and why—unfolds more like the unveiling of a vaudeville villain (sans twirling mustache) than a dramatic novel.
Lukewarm and unremarkable. (Historical fiction. 12-16)