By: Nancy Geary
(Hardcover / 322 Pages / Warner Books / ISBN: 0446527548 / $23.95)
Description: The sea air still peels the white paint from the clapboard mansions and the penny candy store still sells one-cent gumballs. Manchester-by-the-Sea, a haven of venerable New england families, continues to send its sons to Groton and its daughters to Miss Porter's. Nothing, it seems, can shake this bastion of old money and cozy security from its reverie of the good life. Except murder!
Verdict:For her second novel, another mystery/drama, Nancy Geary has returned to the arena of family problems, this time set in a bastion of New England affluence, beautiful Manchester-by-the-Sea, where the family has a home filled with comfort and luxuries. Frances Pratt has spent many happy summers with her aunt's family, enjoying the good life, where the beautiful people are never too rich too thin, or, in this case, too dead. At this level of society, self-protection is second nature, silently closing ranks against any threat to the projection of the successful American Dream. When Frances is invited to her cousin's wedding, she has no idea what drama awaits them all. A former prosecutor now working as an advocate for abused women, Frances is more than ready for a short vacation, as well as the opportunity to reunite with relatives she hasn't seen for years. Though at times the novel feels more like a four tissue box soap opera starring the rich and not so famous, fans of New England cozies will appreciate the tale. For the most part, readers will feel for Hope, though some in the audience will want to yell at her to get a life as her tribulations at times seem minor. Francis, still recovering from the misfortune of her own mother's death, is the strength of the tale as if all the assertion genetic material went to her. Nancy Geary provides a fine cozy that those readers who enjoy murder among the affluent will want to peruse.
Reviewed by KK Barrett