Family Plot (John Pickett)
by Sheri Cobb South
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432829636
Date: 19 November 2014
Family Plots by Sherri Cobb South, a John Pickett Mystery, brings Lady Fieldhurst and John together in Scotland to first investigate the sudden reappearance of a woman claiming to be the long lost step-daughter of rich old Angus Kirkbride. Once murder occurs, the uncertainties and the threats become more intense and threaten them both.
Bow Runner Pickett once saved the widowed viscountess from the charge of murdering her husband. While romantically attracted to one another, class difference separate them. Lady Fieldhurst and her young nephews decide to change the plans made for them by the current viscount, the father of the boys and Lady Fieldhurst's brother-in-law. They stop at a seaside inn where she registers as Mrs. Pickett, never expecting to see John in Scotland.
A nephew discovers an unconscious woman lying on the strand and they fear she may be dead. They seek help from the nearby manor house and learn the woman resembles the daughter who disappeared fifteen years earlier. The reader will know from the prologue that the woman is a Drury Lane actress hired to pass herself off as the missing daughter.
Meanwhile, the relatives see the resemblance, but are uncertain if the woman is the missing daughter. Lady Fieldhurst as Mrs. Pickett urges the relatives to send to London for a Bow Street Runner to investigate the case.
When John arrives, he is shocked to discover Lady Fieldhurst using his name, but has no choice except to keep the fiction going.
Things are more complicated than they appear and Cobb South keeps the pages turning and the readers guessing. While villain should be obvious, the murder and what happened to the real daughter will more than satisfy most readers. There is no offensive language or sexual material to offend readers. All in all, a pleasant diversion with an exciting ending.