Go to Homepage   Dana Cameron: Past Malice

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsAvon Books (Paperback), ISBN 0380819562

Dr. Emma Fielding, heroine of Past Malice, expresses a range of human emotions, even those that we sometimes find embarrassing. She admits when jealousy of her sister's fun relationship with her husband gets the better of her. She admits when Book: dana cameron, Past malice
she feels frumpy and old in comparison to her graduate students. Emma's humanness and her analysis of her own emotions and motives move this book along. The mystery almost takes a back seat to the emotional and archaeological story in this book, though it remains fast paced and suspenseful.

Emma's summer vacation from teaching duties turns out to be more of a handful than she imagined. Her home, currently undergoing renovations, houses four graduate students, her sister Bucky, her husband Brian and a cantankerous cat named Quasimodo. Supervising a dig at the 18th century Chandler House also proves to be more of a challenge than she bargained for when those associated with the historical landmark start showing up dead in the middle of her orderly dig.

Kept out of her site for days at a time, Emma finds other ways to fill her time, digging into the personal histories of the prominent board members of the Chandler House and its controlling entity, the Stone Harbor Historical Society. From the prim and proper Fee to Daniel with questionable business ethics, it seems that all of the board members have something to hide. Historical records turn up more dirt, and Emma runs around town trying to piece it all together, Book: dana cameron, site unseen
finding that the discoveries she's making at the dig are more closely related to the present than she could have imagined.

Cameron possesses a knack for combining the elements of a mystery novel with a character's introspection and expertise, resulting in an interesting story, with plenty of emotional and philosophical insights and fascinating tidbits about archaeology. Her characters go through real emotional changes and react like real people, a boon in any work of fiction. More than just a beach read, though certainly wonderful for that, this book entertains and educates, all at the same time.

Ceridwen Lewin

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