ISOLATION (Faye Longchamp series) by Mary Anna Evans
Mystery / Poisoned Pen Press
This was my first Faye Longchamp book, and I assure you that I will go back to read the previous books. Archaeology, ancient plantation histories, Native American expertise, a grieving mother, and the surprise return of an estranged parent from prison unleash a fascinating tale of deceit on the isolated Florida island of Joyeuse. Distraught after the death of her daughter, Faye spends her days and nights wandering the island, aimlessly digging holes for artifacts, but when she accidently digs into an old tank that releases a noxious fluid, EPA arrives and finds elevated amounts of arsenic in the soil. Throw in a wealthy “Yankee” convinced that his Civil War ancestor was a prisoner on the island, imprisoned by Cally Stanton, who he calls a crazy woman. Faye ignores the man and the geologist he hires, refusing to tell them that Cally was her great-great-grandmother, a former slave who owned Joyeuse Island. Faye has Cally’s unpublished memoir which alludes to a Civil War officer on the island. Faye emerges from her cocoon of grief determined to discover the evil that has moved onto the island when her good friend is murdered. In the process, she places her family in danger and unearths far more than she ever imagined.