Some Enchanted Murder (An Apple Mariani Mystery)
by Linda S. Reilly
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432826819
Date: 15 February 2013
Apple Mariani, a paralegal for a firm handling estates, and her realtor aunt, Tressa, attend an estate sale. When the man in charge is killed, the suspects include Apple, her aunt, an eighty year old woman, a young rebel, the heir, or a person unknown. Her aunt is the prime suspect because of her relationship to the dead man.
Determined to prove her aunt's innocence, Apple starts to investigate the family who sponsored the estate sale. At one point, she finds the diary of an uncle at an antique shop where many of the items from the estate sale ended. The diary belonged to wealthy banker and his estate was the source of the family wealth. He sees a young girl and immediately falls in love with her. Many years his junior, the girl is interested in a young soldier instead. The banker courts her when the soldier leaves and, unknown to her, he paints her portrait. Shortly after the girl disappears, he dies.
Things become complicated for Apple when someone kidnaps Lillian, an old woman, who had showed some distress after talking with the victim before his death. The local police chief doesn’t believe Apple's insistence that Lillian was kidnapped. Then Apple receives a garbled cell phone call from Lillian, which is cut off. However, it doesn’t convince the chief.
This is a mystery and not a romantic suspense. The climax is predictable, and some readers will work out the identity of the murderer well in advance of the ending. Others may find it a surprise. The relationship between Apple and her aunt enlivens the story. Reilly lets her heroine off more easily than some authors, but overall, the novel should satisfy most mystery fans.