Mystery / Thriller
Date Published: February 18, 2016
Historian Wrenn Grayson arrives at the Rosemont mansion expecting to receive payment for her services from the mansion's new owner, Clay Addison. That expectation dies when she and Clay find Trey Rosemont murdered on the foyer floor. Across town, police officers race to Eastwood University. Priceless Egyptian artifacts were stolen from the history department safe. Wrenn's longtime love, Eastwood professor Gideon Douglas, heads the department. Only recovery of the artifacts will save his career.
Life in Havens, Ohio, doesn't stop for this crime spree. Wrenn works for Mayor K.C. Tallmadge. He wishes Wrenn would stop searching down clues ahead of the police and pacify temperamental playwright Barton Reed. Barton's play is just days away from opening in the town's historic Baxter Theater.
Amid murder, theft, or curtain calls, Wrenn's instincts prove sharp. But it's her stubborn one-woman approach that places her directly in the killer's path.
Interesting, Suspenseful, and Intelligent
Wrenn Grayson is only going to meet Clayton Addison at the newly-purchased Rosemont estate. As an historian, Clayton is hiring her to make sure the restoration of the place is authentic. Problem is there’s a strange car parked out front. Even worse, there’s a dead body inside, sprawled on the marble-tiled foyer. How did it get there? And is the murder connected with the theft of priceless art from an Egyptian exhibit?
DEADLY HOMECOMING AT ROSEMONT by Connie Chappell was an interesting, suspenseful read. The story line was complex and the characters very well-defined. I really vibed with Wrenn Grayson, the lead character. I liked her quirkiness and thought it amplified her more intellectual pursuits. Another thing I liked about her is her mad crush of a boyfriend Gideon Douglas. Hubba-hubba! He’s my kind of college professor, and a lot of women seem to feel that way. Then there’s her rather unique problem-solving methodology. This is not your average detective.
The plot is complicated so thinking caps in place, please. Ms. Chappell does a good job of moving it all along while introducing new characters and information in small enough packets that we can absorb and not get overwhelmed. Oh, and the ending … pretty exciting and unexpected. Yes, the solution was cleverly disguised and it’s one most people won’t guess on page two. At least I didn’t and I’m usually pretty good at figuring these things out.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that first chapter. I don’t know why. The pacing is adequate and Wrenn is being herself, but somehow it didn’t work for me. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great. While not nearly enough to cause me put down the book and stop reading, I thought I’d mention it in case you find the same thing. So please, if your mind starts to wander, hang in there! The story picks up in a big way and it’s worth getting over that small bump in the road.
I recommend DEADLY HOMECOMING AT ROSEMONT and definitely will be reading Ms. Chappell again. Her writing has an individuality and flair, and the descriptive passages were rather superb. And with both the Egyptian art theft and murder to solve, and the romance and small town hijinks to sink into, what’s not to love?
I’m giving this one 4.6 stars and two big thumbs up.