THE CHARM STONE by Lillian Stewart Carl


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Historic Williamsburg has been the scene of many provocative acts of violence. The latest isn’t a reenactment.

Jean Fairbairn and Alasdair Cameron have flown to the Virginia town from Scotland. Jean plans to write an article for Great Scot on the Witch Box, a 16th-century artifact once owned by the Dingwall family. The box went to the New World with an 18th-century ancestor who thought she would find in Virginia the charm stone that had gone missing from her box, proclaim Tim and Sharon Dingwall, who are much given to conspiracy theories—somewhat understandably, since a replica of the box has just been stolen from their castle. Alasdair, who’s left the police to head a security agency, wants to examine the original in Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Museum. When the replica maker is found murdered and Sharon is hanged from a tree in the historic area, Alasdair and Jean provide help behind the scenes to Detective Stephanie Venegas. Tim’s son and his sister are obvious suspects in the theft of the box, as are a former colleague of Jean’s and his divorced wife, daughter and mother, all of them entangled with the Dingwall family in various suspicious ways. A ghost haunts the cottage the sleuths are inhabiting, and somehow even the unlucky Scottish Play is involved.

Though Carl (The Burning Glass, 2007, etc.) could have pruned this installment, she manages to tie up the loose ends, renew Jean and Alasdair’s shaky relationship and describe Williamsburg in a manner that will delight former visitors and intrigue those who have never been there.

Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59414-770-8
Page count: 390pp
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2009


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