Missing Pieces Mysteries, No 3
Joyce and Jim Lavene
Berkley Prime Crime
December 2011/ 978-0-425-24502-6
Mystery / Cozy / Paranormal
by Laura Hinds
Dae O'Donnell is the mayor of the tiny town of Duck, North Carolina.
She loves her job, and the people who live in Duck. She also has
a gift shop, named Missing Pieces. The name is most apropos because
Dae has a gift for finding lost things. She sells various small
treasured items and as she soon learns, the items have a palpable
history of their own. She·s not a medium, nor a psychic,
but when she holds the hand of someone who has lost something, and
the person concentrates on the missing item, she is able to tap
into another dimension and find it.
Her gift has become more complex of late, after a near-death experience
several months earlier. Now she is an empath who feels the emotions
connected to items that she touches. It is as if she sees and feels
things through the soul of the person who owned the item. This can
be problematic and overwhelming.
Dae is hosting a Mayor's Conference weekend held at The Blue Whale
Inn. Things start out well, but a storm brews up that is much more
severe than had been predicted. When the storm blows over, Duck
looks like a war zone. It will take days, if not weeks,". to
get the power back on, the streets cleared and buildings repaired.
While looking over the damage around the grounds of the inn, Dae
comes across the body of another mayor. Mayor Sandi Foxx is trapped
under the ruins of a shed that blew apart. The shed falling on her
isn·t what killed her though; it was murder.
Not only does Dae get involved in the murder investigation, she
happens upon another victim after one of her visions. On top of
that, she's getting to know her father who has quite the unsavory
past. Through the ghost of the pirate Rafe Masterson into the mix
and Dae finds her mind reeling; especially when it comes to light
that she is likely related to the scallywag. She has trouble confiding
in her grandfather about her newfound relationship with her father.
Dae also keeps some secrets from her boyfriend, Kevin, owner of
The Blue Whale Inn. Will she learn to communicate and not hide things
in time to keep both relationships intact? Or will her stubbornness
overrule her heart?
With a unique setting, quirky townspeople and even a ghost pirate,
this book brings a cozy feeling, quite the sense of the paranormal,
some romance, and layers of mystery that many authors couldn't pull
off. Yet Joyce and Jim Lavene do such a splendid job that the threads
all come together to sew a tightly woven story. The pace is quick,
the crimes multifaceted and the storytelling is intelligent.
This is a fun, intriguing book and fans of the amateur-sleuth/paranormal/cozy
genres should all enjoy it. It's good as a stand-alone, but even
better if you also read A Timely Vision and A Touch
of Gold as well.