THE SECRET PORTRAIT
LILLIAN STEWART CARL
Worldwide Library Worldwide Mystery
Harlequin Enterprises 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3BK9
$5.99 U.S./$6.99 Canada
Rating: 4 Cups
Jean Fairbairn has taught history for almost twenty years with a distinguished career at an American university. After doing an article in a magazine, George Lovelace asks her to do some legwork on a precious coin.
Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Cameron is called on to investigate the death of George Lovelace. Alasdair takes his job seriously. He would rather ask the questions instead of the other way around, as he quickly points out to Jean.
Jean is part-owner and writer for Great Scot. George Lovelace enjoys the articles in the magazine. He believes she is good at providing interesting articles. She finds Lovelace a charming fellow. He has an almost three-hundred-year-old coin and does not wish to reveal where he found it, but wishes her to take it to a museum for further research. Still, as she heads out on her quest, she feels George is a bit secretive. Jean wonders just how valuable the coin is, especially when someone tells her to stay clear of George. After stumbling upon a dead body, faintly resembling an unrecognizable George, things turn heated for Jean. Alasdair is called to investigate, and he and Jean try piecing clues together. While learning more about the Bonnie Prince coin, Alasdair grows attracted to Jean as they try to solve the puzzle to the coin and the murder.
The Secret Portrait is an intriguing read. I love the premise of the storyline and the stylish characters that come into play in this elegant story. Alasdair and Jean stir the pages with a soothing chemistry that makes the story heavenly. Hmm, and I wonder, just what Alasdair is hiding under that kilt. The mystery surrounding the coin, as well as the twists and turns with the murder, and a few little ghosts along the way, gives a magnificent flair to the plot. Lillian Stewart Carl creates such sophistication in this unique tale that every expression and emotion from the characters, became real to me. The visualization of the countryside of Scotland really gives grandeur to this class-act read.
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