A series of clues written in crayon, reminiscent of the games once played by a now-dead child, and the long unexplained circumstances surrounding the death of one of their number casts a shadow over the planned reunion of family and old friends in this mystery by author Debbie De Louise.
Twenty years ago, the bed and breakfast at Sea Scope, South Carolina was closed following the death of a guest who meant far more to some of the long-term residents there. In the present, Sarah, who was a child at the time, receives an invitation from her Aunt Julie, to return to the inn for a visit. Julie plans to reopen the inn and wants select family and friends to help her prepare for its grand reopening. As Julie gathers family and former staff members of Sea Scope, both Julie and Sarah receive messages pertaining to the events that led to a tragic summer twenty years in the past.
While the events of the present reveal those things long hidden, the past plays its part in the tale, too, as the reader is drawn into a haunting story with clues doled out one at a time. The author carefully weaves an enticing mystery by alternating chapters between past and present, so that events may unfold in the past through the child Sarah’s diary and recollections, assisted by revelations by other visitors and family members from the time.
In fact, the revelations continue right up until the last few pages, where the true nature of certain characters and the events leading to the death of Michael are finally unveiled. The switches between time settings are not confusing or detract from the appeal of the story at all, as the author also skillfully changes point of view, from third person in the past to first person in the present, with Sarah’s point of view.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book I was able to obtain through a recent Amazon promotion by the author. I love good mysteries, and this one has much to offer, from a good plot to appealing characters and a beautiful location. I would recommend this story to any lover of mysteries, and award it five stars for its originality and the quality of the mystery.