SERIES: Alice MacDonald Greer Mysteries #7
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Stuart’s Creek Press, LLC
RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2021
Coffee Creek lawyer Alice MacDonald Greer knows a dangerous client secret when she hears one—especially when it disappoints impatient heirs.
Wealthy widow Ellie Windom asks Alice to help change her will, revealing she’s found her long-lost daughter, and hinting at valuable hidden art in Santa Fe. But there’s trouble with Ellie’s warring sons.
When Ellie is found dead at her ranch, her skull cracked—and a horse in the house—police can’t find a murder weapon and the obvious suspects all have alibis.
Determined to carry out Ellie’s final wishes, Alice races to find the hidden art, eluding intruders and carjackers. But who are the thieves trying to beat her to the hidden art? Is the art a treasure or a clever forgery? Is Ellie’s death connected to the murderous attacks on a lover from long ago?
The search sends Alice and her companions road-racing up Santa Fe mountains, fending off attackers in Austin, and escaping across the Texas Hill Country…rewarded occasionally with some delicious barbecue.
This is my first read by Helen Currie Foster – and therefore my first read in the Alice MacDonald Greer mystery series. I immediately liked Alice – she’s professional, smart, and savvy but she’s down-to-earth enough to be completely relatable. She’s an amateur sleuth in that she’s not law enforcement but as executrix of the murder victim’s estate she does have a legitimate reason to be investigating some aspects of the case. Particularly in her capacity to protect the estate from theft. I appreciated that such a smart protagonist remained smart in her amateur sleuthing, and that it made sense for her to be poking her nose into the investigation. I don’t really mind setting aside some disbelief when I read cozies – because that’s part of the charm of the genre – but it was also nice to read one where I didn’t have to do that.
Even though the murder takes place in the Texas Hill Country, it’s estate business that also takes us to the Santa Fe art scene – and both locales are described in warmly vivid detail without feeling as though you’re reading a travel guide. A long-lost love of the victim’s, a secret child, sibling rivalry, political intrigue, and art theft are all additional layers to this multi-dimensional mystery, and readers will feel right in the middle of it as we tag along with Alice’s investigation. There’s not a lot of down time or superfluous filler in this cozy, and at times it borders on a suspense novel, giving readers the best of all worlds and an intense ride from start to finish.
Bottom Line: Ghost Daughter by Helen Currie Foster is a complex mystery with a layered plot and likable, proficient characters. The setting – from Texas to New Mexico – adds to the realistic feel of the story, and all of the well-placed red herrings and clever twists keep you guessing. I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series but didn’t feel lost, and the writing style drew me in right away. An intriguing mystery with a sophisticated tone!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some frequent cursing throughout this novel.
Helen Currie Foster lives and writes north of Dripping Springs, Texas, in Texas Hill Country, supervised by three burros. She’s deeply curious, more every day, about human history and prehistory and how, uninvited, the past keeps crashing the party. In each of her Ghost mystery novels, small town lawyer Alice Macdonald Greer must unravel a murder with its roots in the past…long ago.
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