Quilter Benni Harper knows where her life is going and what shes doing until shes contacted by a lawyer. Much to Bennis surprise, Jacob Chandler, a man she has never met or even heard of, has died and named Benni his sole heir. Benni is to receive his house and his money if she spends two weeks residing in the house. She must do it alone and cant even bring her husband, police chief Gabe Ortiz, with her. Although Gabe disapproves, Bennis curiosity is piqued and she moves into the Chandler house.

Right from the start things are unnerving. First off, theres Jacobs dog, a big brute named Scout. Scout greets Benni with great joy, as if hes been waiting his whole life to meet her, which makes sense when Benni discovers a long missing jacket of hers. Obviously, Scout recognized her from the scent. There are other puzzles, including a wood carving of Bennis first horse.

Benni reports her findings to Gabe who is disturbed and feels Chandler may have been some sort of pervert. Then Benni finds a mysterious letter that sends her off on a search for her own past. To Bennis shock she discovers that many of the things she has always believed are based on falsehoods and that somehow Jacob Chandler was connected very strongly to her past.

Rich and satisfying, MARINERS COMPASS is an emotionally involving book of a womans search for herself. Every character is unforgettable in their own way. The story is as touching as it is mysterious and I daresay many readers will find themselves reaching for their hankies. (May, 336 pp., $21.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg