Paths cross and intersect at different angles leading many to travel different or similar pathways. Megan Sawyer is about to find that s path or road traveled in her youth will be revisited in the present. Preparing for a new venture besides her farming, cafe, law degree and opening a pizza restaurant something will happen that will change the complexion of where she lives, put a damper on the events while a Yoga and wellness center is also opening and here’s where people and situations blend or converge. Bibi is Megan’s grandmother, her father Eddie is now married to Sylvia a demanding and high maintenance woman that has him pistol-whipped. His love for Megan pales compared to his devotion to Sylvia who is hard to take at times. Thana Moore is presenting her work at the retreat center and Sylvia wants a special meeting with her. About what is not revealed. Thana and Sylvia meet but words are spoken and the encounter anything but calm or friendly. Thana is difficult and once in the past Megan’s best friend which cries out for what happens next. Thana is an upcoming and rising artist whose work is colorful and realistic to the viewer. Yet something about her murals and paintings reveal a hidden personality and a different Thana than what the public really sees. When she wants something she’s all sweetness and light but cross her and the other side of darkness or midnight comes out. As the story unfolds we meet Clover, Alvaro the cafe chef, Megan’s father and Maria, Alvaro’s wife and Clay a second chef at the cafe and possibly pizza pie maker at the new restaurant. Loyalties are stretched and her grandmother and other family members join together but her boyfriend remains for a short while missing the opening to care for his sister in Scotland. Things spiral in many directions as Maria had an argument with Thana and so did Sylvia who’s acting strange and Megan meets with Ray Cruise part owner of the Center and each one has a different take on what might have happened to Thana and why she was invited to the opening. Sylvia’s primary goal for meeting with Thana was to get some pieces of art for her Milan boutique and meeting with her at the retreat she hoped that this would happen. But, arguments ensued and Thana is killed but did Sylvia do it? Questioning her proves quite interesting and her attitude definitely one of someone hiding something but was it murder? Megan decides to reach out to the owners of the Center and things get more sinister.
Ray Cruise and Carly Stevenson ran the center and Ray and Megan had a past. Thana and Megan were friends until Ray came between them. Thana wanted attention and Elliot her boyfriend and manager made sure her art would yield money but something happens and when Megan investigates there are hidden truths and lies about both Thana and Ray yet to be revealed. Learning more about Thana and Ray’s ongoing relationship even though she was will Elliot, gives readers a first hand perspective about Thana presented by both Ray and Elliot’s viewpoints. Getting to know more about Elliot we learn that he handled Thana’s artwork and her as her manager and yet he had his own business that made special wooden frames that were well crafted but what is hidden beneath the naked eye you won’t believe. Elliot had his own agenda in mind and with the help of someone else you won’t believe what he was able to pull off at least for a while until someone decided to silence him too.
Blaming Maria for destroying the painting and firing her was she a scapegoat? Sylvia, what was her real reason for wanting to get more of Thana’s work or was there a hidden one? Her father seemed bent on doting on her and yet why does Sylvia make an odd request of Megan that she flatly refuses to agree to? Accusations all around, Alvaro upset about his wife being arrested and Sylvia hoping that she could just go home and leave the country, Megan has her work cut out for her to solve the murders and hopefully stay alive.
Meeting with Oliver Craddick, Elliot’s father we can tell that he’s distraught over his son’s death. Elliot was having financial issues so how did it connect to Thana and the Center and an unknown player?
But, things take a more sinister turn when the pizza restaurant is burglarized and pieces are destroyed and the art is gone. Megan once again reached out to her mother to understand art prices and values on paintings and is put in touch with Elizabeth Yee from the New Beginnings Mission to understand their work and learn more about Thana. Meeting with Carly is enlightening and the end result Megan is banned from the Center but why? Sometimes asking too many questions and having the light shine on you can be dangerous as she’s about to find out. When they repair the damage to the pizza restaurant Chief King, her friend says the thieves had to come from the Marshall property and they feel she should buy the property, which would insure that no one would get through to her restaurant and the situation would be safer.
Bibi is a great support and when things really spiral out of control you won’t believe what the final plan is to take down a killer. Bibi might be older and her grandmother but she is one of my favorite characters in the book and a force to be reckoned with. But, when Megan calls Denver in Scotland who’s the person that answered the phone and why is she worried? Greed, power, financial and one rising artist whose fame was up and coming but whose moral values got in the way of those who wanted to profit from her fame. Author Wendy Tyson takes us deep inside the corruption in the art world and the development of a Center whose owner had cross-purposes in mind for success. The connection came from an unexpected place and when Megan realizes that someone close to her was in danger you won’t believe the scene the author created as one Lawyer, cafe owner, pizza restaurant owner and owner of a small farm in Winsome, PA takes down a killer in a unique and outrageous way right out of an episode of Criminal Minds or even Bonnie and Clyde. An ending that changes it all and suspects that are hoping to be cleared but the local police think Maria and Sylvia look good for the murder but the end result would make any demolition derby driver stand up and cheer. A final surprise reveal at the end and a confrontation with Sylvia brings to light something that Megan never expected. What was the changer? What has been hidden on the farm and what is the final reveal? One thing you will come away is hoping that you and your family will be able to partake of the amazing homegrown fruits and vegetables, the many kinds of wood burning pizzas, and the events planned that everyone looks forward to in the café and on the farm. Will Denver return and give Megan peace of mind? All told the author lets us know that some secrets, deceptions, betrayals, lies and revenge are rooted deeper than the deepest planted vegetables because at the end you will learn the true meaning when you add it all up to the definition of ROOTED IN DECEIT!
Characters that are well developed and a plot that will keep you wondering who wanted to kill Thana, why and who would gain from her death? Wouldn’t you want to live in Winsome?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ network/MJ magazine