Ever since her marriage as a teenager to billionaire Jimmie Manville, Lillian Manville has led a very sheltered life. Life as she knows it is forever shattered when Jimmie dies suddenly in a plane crash. When her husband's will is read, Lillian is bewildered to learn Jimmie has left her nothing other than a run-down farmhouse in rural Virginia. The rest of his billions are left to his greedy brother and sister, both of whom he despised.

Apart from the farmhouse, Jimmie also leaves Lillian a cryptic message… "Find out the truth about what happened, will you?" To escape the paparazzi, Lillian undergoes plastic surgery and changes her name. Once arriving at the old farm, Lillian sets out to uncover the shocking truth about Jimmie's past and attempts to build a new future for herself.

With THE MULBERRY TREE, bestselling author Deveraux concocts a never-predictable novel that is a successful mix of women's fiction and intriguing mystery. Dark secrets and old tragedies intertwine to make Jimmie's request a fascinating puzzler.

There is also an interesting romantic dynamic at work between Lillian and Matt, the contractor who works on her farmhouse; their relationship becomes comfortable and familiar almost upon meeting, but Lillian has needs of her own that must be fulfilled, and Jimmie's memory must still be put to rest before she can fully move on with her life. (Jul., 377 pp., $25.00)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith