Title: Mourning Meadow
Author: Larion Wills
Website of Author: http://www.larriane.com/romance.htm
Publisher: Swimming Kangaroo Books
Website of Publisher: http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/
Publication date: Nov 2007
ISBN – 13: 978-1934041161
Length: 284 pages
When architect and developer. Steven Chase, and his partner Robert Brown learn of another potential money-maker, they waste no time in tracking down the owner of Fulton DeBain’s Morning Meadow Mansion and accidentally (on purpose) bump into her.
Caroleigh is pleased to have someone take an interest in her mansion, and being the confident, outgoing woman she is, is shocked when Steven appears to have more in common with her quiet, shy younger sister, Kari. The tension between them is obvious, and gets worse as Caroleigh watches Steve strike up an undeniable bonding friendship – right before her very eyes. She can’t understand it and tries to convince Stephen that her sister Kari is mentally unstable and cannot be trusted.
Then comes the bombshell. There would appear that someone is out to kill one of them, but although their attempts have been futile, the police get involved. When both sisters announce that they are the rightful owners of the mansion suspicion and doubt sets in. In Steven’s search for answers past family secrets are revealed, as are hidden scandals and family feuds. Meddling in such matters could cost his reputation, or possibly his life.
This well thought out plot is heightened by several bite-sized chunks of family history, supplying the sturdy and intelligent cast of characters with credibility and warmth. The possibility that the mansion could be haunted also adds to the tension and drama, as does the pressure put upon Kari who is deeply involved with a suspect. This novel has romance, mystery, intrigue and portrays a sense of ‘who done it?’ to keep you hooked right through the end. Another aspect I enjoyed about this lighthearted mystery is Larion Wills’ portrayal of the droll, British Edward Van Philips. He has a dry, but highly amusing sense of humour that made me smile along with him, and you can’t help noticing his heart is in the right place.
Opportunist, Steven Chase, is delighted to accept an invitation to Morning Meadow. As an architect and developer he spotted the mansion’s money-making potential and the dollar signs just lit up his eyes! What he didn’t bank on was the owner Caroleigh’s unwanted sexual advances, or that the haunted mansion held the key to a labyrinth of family secrets, sibling rivalry and a murderous madman intent on exacting revenge against her family.
Caroleigh’s younger sister, Kari, is quiet,and withdrawn, but Steven is determined to discover the real woman. Little by little she reveals there is much more to her than the strange, shy woman she is known for, as he awakens repressed desires Kari can no longer deny.
Neither of them could have foreseen being forced to confront their emotions so swiftly, but as the troubles of the mansion take precedence, Steven begins to wonder if Kari is being truthful with him. Is the real Kari the woman whom loves and has opened up to him, or should he be wary and believe Caroleigh’s warnings that her sister is mentally unstable and cannot be trusted? In too deep, Steven can only hope his gut instincts are correct. Meanwhile, the bomb ticks and Steven races against time to unravel the mystery behind the Morning Meadow mansion before he too becomes a victim.
Suspicion and doubt, surround the members of the Morning Glory estate and trust fund, but just who is safe and who will die next?
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