Monday, September 20, 2010

Findings by Mary Anna Evans

Faye Longchamp is overjoyed to be back home, being paid to do archaeological work she would have done anyway--excavating a site once owned by her own family. That joy ends abruptly when intruders break into a dear friend’s palatial house and leave him dead among the scattered remains of Faye’s artifacts. None of the valuable artworks lining the walls of his home are taken. The open wall safe is untouched. Choice artifacts are left in their cases. There seems to be no motive at all for the vicious crime…unless the thieves were aware of the fabulous emerald he had been holding minutes before his death. But how could they have known? Faye had only uncovered it that very evening, and she had told no one.When his widow asks Faye to organize the relics left broken on the floor by the intruders, Faye realizes that there actually is something missing—not an emerald nor a valuable painting, but simply her own field notes. Faye’s professional curiosity leads her to seek the story behind the mysterious emerald, and her grief drives her to find out how her fieldwork was connected to her friend’s death. As she delves into these secrets, she comes to realize that the key to all her questions must be buried in the field notes now held by the killers…and those notes are written in her handwriting and signed with her initials on each page. The intruders have shown that they are more than willing to kill for that information. It is only a matter of time before they come for Faye. (Summary from Good Reads.)

Whew!  Where to begin on this one.  A lot happens in Findings.  We still see Ross Donnelly, the lawyer from the previous book that Faye was seeing.  He comes to Florida, after a tragedy strikes to help her through this rough time.  But Faye isn't really one to lie down and cry about things.  When another murder happens and the victim dies in her arms she has to do something.  This victim, Wally from the first book, leaves her a note in her pocket and a message in her ear just before he dies.  She finally figures the clue out and she and Joe go on a treasure hunt in the library of rare books at the university and on her own island.  They have to piece together a book of old handwritten letters and match the dates with Faye's great-great-great Grandmother Cally's letters about the plantation and the visitors to find out about the rare emerald Faye found and if their was any more to the story that the visitor that came left any more jewels or gold behind.

During this time, Ross tries to convince Faye that she isn't safe and she needs someone smarter than Joe to look after her.  And after a few more accidents, Joe comes to that conclusion as well.   Ross tries to force Faye's hand telling her she can live in Atlanta and they can visit Joyeuse on the weekends, but the University doesn't even have an archaeology department.  When she asks, "But what about Joe?"  she realizes, she could give up Joyeuse if she had to, but not Joe.  And she tells Ross to stop telling her what to do.  Needless to say he's gone the next day.   She and Joe are careful in their investigations but they get outsmarted and are left to fend for themselves together against a double threat.  And Faye realizes the one thing she can't lose has nothing to do with her plantation house, but she may just lose it before she ever had it.  The ending, the final sentence leaves you hanging but you know anyway without the words being said.

Mary Anna Evans says in the back of the book that she realized that the whole book was a love story and it was.  Several love stories in one, from the past and present.  This has been my absolute favorite and as far as cover love goes, this one is much better than the last two were.  A definite step up!

So, who should read this book?  Everybody!  It's a love story, but not gushy at all.  It's got archaeology, history, Civil War, a lot of facts and things I never thought about or was taught when we learned about the Civil War,  mystery and suspense it covers just about every genre.  A teen could definitely read this.

Also, the author has started including questions and answers in the back and it gives a lot of insight into how she prepared for the book and how it just wrote itself.  Plus she gives her references.  I'm off to read the next one, Floodgates now.  Review to follow.

Heather in Sandwich


  1. A love story but not gushy. Perhaps I would like to read it after all - thanks for the recommendation.

  2. This is not gushy at all, so if you're looking for love scenes and romantic kisses, forget it. But it's a love story several in fact, but tells about the deeper love not the physical love between a man and a woman.


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