"Evans always incorporates detailed research that adds depth and authenticity to her mysteries, and she beautifully conjures up the Micco County, FL, setting. This is a series that deserves more attention than it garners." —Library Journal STARRED review
Faye Longchamp is once again at Joyeuse, the family plantation in Florida she labors so lovingly to restore. She's happily doing archaeological work on a site once owned by her family. But her joy abruptly ends when thieves break into the home of her friend and mentor Douglass Everett and kill him, inexplicably ignoring his impressive display of artifacts and valuable art work. All that's missing are Faye's field notes.
Among the items the thieves left behind is the magnificent emerald that Faye had just unearthed and brought to Douglass that fateful evening. Why? Then another murder quickly furnishes a clue that only Faye is likely to interpret. It launches her on a treasure hunt connected to Marie Antoinette and to the history of the Confederacy.
The killers have shown they will stop at nothing to get the information in Faye's notes. It's only a matter of time before they come for Faye.
After digging in rural Mississippi in Effigies (2007), Faye Longchamp returns to her home turf Joyeuse Island, Fla. to excavate the remains of a 19th-century hotel her family once owned in Evans's fine fourth archeological mystery. Soon after Faye unearths a large emerald on the site, someone beats to death Faye's beloved boss, Douglass Everett. In a secret pocket in Everett's pants the police discover the emerald. Later, Wally, Faye's "long-time friend who had kept her secrets back when she lived one step ahead of the law and the tax collector," stumbles off a dock into her boat and dies, a knife in his back. Might the emerald somehow be connected to both murders? As the story settles into a comfortable pace that allows the reader to savor the characters, Faye and her Creek buddy, Joe Wolf Mantooth, seek to bring their friends' killer to justice. In the end, love prevails, without being either sappy or sexual.