Murder Sweet Murder
Lydia and William Rees are about to embark on a trip that will take them down some slipper and dangerous paths. Learning that her father, Marcus Farrell has been accused of murder why would she try to learn more. Estranged from him for many reasons, not living up to his expectations and yet when her stepsister, sends her a missive or letter requesting she come to Boston to find out more, why does she go? Never a close family, her father not thinking she was good enough or met his standards, why does she take her youngest child and her adopted daughter to his stately home. As you meet Marcus and his judgmental and hardnosed wife, you will wonder how Lydia turned out the way she did. Families during this period were concerned about appearances and social status. Marcus Farrell was hiding secrets about his businesses and the fact he had gambling debts. As Lydia and William delved into his financial dealings and records at the distillery he owned they learn vital information which might have led to his brother’s murder too. Julian worked for his brother and what he revealed before his death led Lydia and William on a path to uncover who killed him and what about the murder of Roark who her father was supposed to have killed?
Added in we meet Mr. Hutchinson who Marcus wants his daughter, Cordy to marry or at least get to know. He is one of his associates at work but as we get to know him you wonder what his real motive is for dating a young girl like Cordy. Secrets are held within this family’s house, and we learn about a young man that Cordy is sneaking out to see but when Lydia finds out will she tell her parents, or will Cordy stop be seeing him on the sly?
There is a serious cover up and deceptions behind the truth about the murder, the reasons and you won’t believe how it was conceived. Eyes fall on Julian, Lydia’s brother who enlightens her about the gambling debts her father incurred, plus just who was Roark Bustamonte and what about the sugar plantation did this have to do? A letter would explain it all and the sale of the distillery in question but who wrote it and what does it have to do with the sale of the distillery and Farrell and his brother?
Then we get to hear the voice of Roark when Rees manages to follow him and de talks about how the plantation originally grew coffee, indigo and sugar. They were stating up a shipping business and traveling between the plantation and Boston. Julian and Marcus were happy with the products that Roark’s father sold but somewhere along the line sugar was to be grown and increased in production.
Farrell wanted sugar and not coffee and then he was planning to marry Isabeau. But Roark had sealed documents proving that his father owned the plantation, and it was in his father’s name. Was it real or a forgery? Mr. Hutchinson her father’s business partner had other reasons for wanting to own the distillery and the business thinking if he married Cordelia he would profit from it and if the father were deceased it would get it all. But did he really disown James?
Blindsided and used as bait Cordy would learn just how far someone will go to achieve their goal even at her expense. Edward Barrett was the man she so desired but when you dig deeper and learn something about someone close to her you won’t believe the result. Then Rees learns where a certain person lives and decides to explore another’s chamber and what he learns and finds will shock a family, uncover who might have killed the wrong man namely Benicio and another murder occurs. Why would someone kill the wife of the Painted Pig? What did they think she saw? Lies, betrayals, a family in tatters and another one plagued by lies and murder.
Family loyalties, bonds, deceptions, money, power, greed and selfish needs are some of what is at the heart of this novel. A father that was distant from his daughter and yet she comes to his defense hoping to prove that he did not commit two murders. A stepmother with her own agenda, a young girl that just wants to be happy and a family that might never be the same when the truth about the murders and who committed them comes out.
Rees explains that his never had time for his children until they were useful to him. Julian taught Lydia to ride and to derive a trap and even gave her favorite doll. Jerusha will endear you to her and her values and understanding of education will make you realize that not all children back then were money oriented as she valued knowledge and education. Added we learn why Rees felt he was poisoned and how he realized it. We learn why James’s thought that too and the ending will shock you. An article of clothing would expose a killer and father’s love for someone would be destroyed. As author Eleanor Kuhns creates an ending that will leave you will many unanswered questions and many unexpected results. A killer that justifies the reasons for doing two murders and getting someone else to do a third. A man who was cheated out of his business, debts that were to be paid and retribution well who will benefit? What will Lydia do when she learns the truth? How will her sister react? Will Marcus finally accept Rees, and will they ever be a true family again?
Well-orchestrated, brilliantly executed and a unique manner of murder as the author creates a final ending helping us to understand why a murder thinks the goal is to execute: MURDER SWEET MURDER.
Will and Lydia are relentless but what case will they solve next?
Fran Lewis Just reviews