A mystery from the past provides just the therapy a grieving mother needs.
Archaeologist Faye Longchamp-Mantooth is in a deep depression after suffering a miscarriage and losing her baby daughter. Her husband, Joe Wolf Mantooth, is holding things together, caring for their son, Michael, and dealing with a visit from his long-estranged father, Sly Mantooth. Faye spends her time aimlessly digging holes on Joyeuse Island, her home off the Florida coast, until one day she digs into an old tank that’s releasing some noxious fluid. When the crew from the EPA arrives, they find elevated amounts of arsenic in the soil. On the mainland, Faye’s friend Liz Colton has been murdered and a local boat mechanic caught dumping noxious substances in the water. Faye’s been trying to avoid Oscar Croft, a wealthy Ohio native convinced that his Civil War officer ancestor was held prisoner nearby by a crazy woman who sent his sword home to his wife. Working for Oscar is Delia Scarsdale, an attractive genealogist determined to track down information on Cally Stanton. Faye’s unwilling to admit that Cally is her great-great-grandmother, a former slave who owned Joyeuse and left an unpublished memoir mentioning the Civil War officer. Could the murder, the contamination, and the search for information about the past all be related? Faye, who feels compelled to look for answers, puts her whole family in grave danger, but what she finds turns out to be her salvation.
A worthwhile addition to Faye’s long-running series (Rituals, 2013, etc.) that weaves history, mystery, and psychology into a satisfying tale of greed and passion.