Saturday, June 10, 2023

Scattered Legacy by Marlene Bell Book Review

About the Book:

To outsiders, the relationship between Manhattan antiquities assessor Annalisse Drury and sports car magnate Alec Zavos must look carefree and glamorous. In reality, it’s a love affair regularly punctuated by treasure hunting, action-packed adventure, and the occasional dead body.

When Alec schedules an overseas trip to show Annalisse his mother's birthplace in Bari, Italy, he squeezes in the high-stakes business of divesting his family’s international corporation. But things go terribly wrong as murder makes its familiar reappearance in their lives – and this time it’s Alec’s disgraced former CFO who’s the main suspect.

Accompanied by friend and detective Bill Drake, Annalisse and Alec find themselves embroiled in a behind-closed-doors conspiracy that threatens the reputation and legacy of Alec’s late father – linking him to embezzlement, extortion, and the dirty business of the Sicilian Mafia. The search for the truth sends the trio straight into riddles, secrets, and an historic set of rosary beads. Annalisse leads Alec toward a discovery that is unthinkable, and events that will change their futures forever.

You can read my reviews of the earlier books in the series: Stolen Obsession and Spent Identity.

My Review:

This novel has a complex plot and I was unsure much of the time as to where it was finally going. The focal point is a set of rosary beads of particular interest to Annalisse because of their age and puzzling heritage. Apparently someone is willing to kill to get them. The thrust of this novel is the revelation of Alec's family history.

There is travel abroad and when Annalisse and Alec investigate, some people may not be who they claim. Also, when Annalisse does historical research she find names have been changed. It is like a huge international puzzle that must be solved and the mafia is in the middle of it. Annalisse manages to get herself in trouble so there is some suspense too.

The narrative is seen mostly from Annalisse's viewpoint, in first person. But there are other parts of the book seen from other characters, such as members of the mafia, in third person. Bell's writing style is quite flowery and hard to follow at times. For example, “King turns, with an arm taking flight above his head.” (1654/4092) I have no idea what that means nor can I picture it. Bell is good at description so her novel would appeal to readers who like detailed passages.

This is the third novel in a series and it would be understood the best if the previous ones in the series were read first.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Marlene M. Bell is an eclectic mystery writer, artist, photographer, and she raises sheep on a ranch in wooded East Texas with her husband, Gregg.

Marlene’s Annalisse series boasts numerous honors including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery (Spent Identity,) and FAPA— Florida Author’s President’s Gold Award for two other installments, (Stolen Obsession and Scattered Legacy.) Her mysteries with a touch of romantic suspense are found at her websites or at online retail outlets.

She also offers the first of her children's picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! Based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. The simple text and illustrations are a touching tribute of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb.

Ewephoric Publishing, 352 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime BVook Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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