BITTERSWEET SUMMER is a good night's mystery and Ms. Wilsons clever, inventive storytelling will hold your interest to the end. She hints at the characters
who have motivation for murder fairly
early on, but does not give away too much.
Though Genevieve Crowfoots family has been feuding with Tobias Rakes since before the American Revolution, she is so desperate for funds that she agrees to sell the family castle to him in 1895.
Returning home from the army and recovering from an injury, the embittered Tobias needs a place to live and has the money to buy whatever he wants. He purchases the run-down estate for the privacy it offers, but the fact that the castle is owned by the Crowfoots makes obtaining it all the more delectable.
However, Genevieve is not what he expects. She is cheery, lovely, and optimistic, despite her hardships.
While cleaning, Genevieve comes across an old document hinting at buried treasure. She agrees to become house manager so she can continue her search. Despite her intentions, she discovers shes attracted to the sullen new owner.
The resident ghost, Granny Crowfoot, will have none of it. Believing her father was murdered by the Rakes, she will carry on family tradition to rid Tobias Rake.
But Granny has some very human characteristics. Her anger holds her to the castle. Genevieve will not be scared away and confronts Granny, who explains that she cannot harm anyone. Then who is causing the accidents that plague Tobias?
(June, 298 pp., $5.99)