Avenging Angels (A Beaufort & Company Mystery)
by Mary Stanton
Cover Artist: Kimberly Schamber
Review by Beth Slater
Berkley Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425233092
Date: 02 February 2010 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Bree Beaufort has taken over her great-uncle's law firm in Savannah following his death – his mysterious death. In book three, we rejoin Bree and her eclectic cast of ethereal and corporeal characters in fighting injustice – for those dead or alive. Bree was unaware of the otherworldly aspect of her uncle's law practice when she re-opened the doors of his firm, but she is catching on with the assistance of her staff at her Angelus Street office. These cases don't pay the bills, though. And while her rent is minimal and her angels' salaries low, it still drains the bank account – and people are starting to notice that they can't find her office – well, unless they are dead...
Bree has decided that she needs to find an office for her other clients – the ones that breathe – which means hiring more staff, as well. All of this means that she also needs more clients that actually pay money – but once again, she finds herself another wraith-like client begging for help while she's at an auction. She believes it is someone who committed suicide after losing a fortune, and now his widow is attempting to get the furniture of the estate back, but Bree is convinced that she is hiding something. The questions to ask, though, are whether it has something to do with the suicide or with fixing the auction?
Bree is drawn into the investigation by her ghostly client, and her staff is ready and willing to delve into the mystery. When her Aunt Cissy manages to get her hired (albeit unwillingly) by the widow, Mrs. Tully O'Rourke, to investigate the suspicious death of her husband, Bree jumps at the chance to openly investigate the death, but dislikes working for the person she already suspects as the killer. Not to mention that her home life is getting a lot more complicated – her parents have shown up unexpectedly to visit, and her sister has switched roles and become quite motherly with her. Antonia has decided that Bree's changing; that her personality since moving to Savannah has evolved and not in a pleasant way, and she's going to sit down and talk with her about it. Bree can't get a break – murderers, ghosts, and sisters, oh my!
I really enjoy this series – I love the setting in historical Savannah, even though I've only been lucky enough to visit there once. It still gives me a sense of being able to walk the streets and enjoy the sense of the south along with Bree while I'm reading, without the humidity.
The uniqueness of the character and the mystery subgenre have me hooked – it is a woo-woo without gobs of religion being heaped on you, despite the Angels. In fact, I'd enjoy more background on the history being used. I do think the amount of characters is reaching critical mass. If there are too many more, it will be too difficult to follow all of them and continue to have depth with all of them.
I have to admit, while I enjoy the series, and liked this installment, I did know the clue to the answer early on, which did disappoint me a little. But this, I'd like to add, is unusual! Read it yourself to find out.