Fourteen years ago, the night her mother died, Bronwyn Whalen ran away from Magnolia Creek, Alabama, and never looked back; now her family is in crisis, and Bronwyn knows it’s time to mend the rifts in her heart and her home.
Bronwyn has made a life for herself in upstate New York, worlds away geographically and emotionally from her Alabama hometown. She's a famous photographer and has embraced a nomadic professional life and a quiet personal life, alone on a farm with her partner, Ben. But a single phone call changes everything when she learns that her brother Patrick is in jail for killing her childhood best friend, Charlotte. Bronwyn knows her brother couldn’t kill anyone, but since he confessed, she’ll have to untangle a whole mess of mysteries to get to the truth—which means she’ll have to go home and get started. Of course untangling current mysteries often means looking to the past and occasionally to the future, particularly when a family has magical tendencies. Palmieri’s second magical family mystery is steeped in a vibrant mix of Southern charm and gothicism. Sometimes the sleuthing seems a little red herring–ish as Bronwyn ambles from clue to clue and suspect to suspect, and the mystery often serves the family drama more than the other way around. But Palmieri is a delightful writer, and we are drawn in by her characters, descriptions and worldbuilding. Weaknesses in plot construction are offset by the author's lively prose and her ultimately affirming exploration of dark and light.
A fascinating look at magic, mystery, family and love with a Southern gothic flair.