Friday, August 27, 2010

Murder in Caleb's Landing-D-L Nelson

Murder in Caleb's Landing
D-L Nelson
Five Star, Sep 15 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594148972

Thirtyish Annie Young may have been born in the States, but the contract technical writer has lived mostly in Europe with her Swiss based parents. She is a “Third-Culture Kid” not quite comfortable in Europe but totally uncomfortable in America. When her father inherits a home in Caleb's Landing, Massachusetts, the Young family leaves Geneva for New England.

In Massachusetts, Annie dad and his friends persuade her create a CD on the real founding of America. Her program is previewed at the local elementary school. Many townsfolk are irate due to her realistic portrayal of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. In the basement of their new house, father and daughter find skeleton dressed in pre-Civil War rags and a diary written by a runaway slave; her mother’s business partner and Annie intervene to save a woman from her abusive spouse. Then there is Des.

This is a fascinating fast-paced mystery the takes off once the Yong family arrives in Massachusetts and never slow down until the finish. Annie’s problems with poorly adapting to a different society enhances the tale as her actions make her an eccentric and to some a pariah. Her diligent research provides a rounded realistic portrayal of the founding of America, but alienates many who prefer deity filters on the heritage of the country especially the state.

Harriet Klausner

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