SCATTERED LEGACY: MURDER IN SOUTHERN ITALY
Annalisse Series, #3
Marlene M. Bell
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, high adventure, and the occasional dead body.
When Alec schedules a getaway trip to show Annalisse his mother’s Italian birthplace, he squeezes in the high-stakes business of divesting his family’s 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 key to it all might be a gifted set of rosary beads where Annalisse can use her skills for appraising artifacts to uncover the truth. She leads Alec toward answers that are unthinkable—and events that will change their futures forever.
Scattered Legacy is the third in Marlene M. Bell’s thrilling Annalisse series, which weaves romance, crime, and historical mystery into addictive tales to instantly captivate fans of TV show Bones or Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
I first met Anna and Alec in book two of this series, Spent Identity, that I reviewed here last year, and I’ll repeat something I wrote in that review: “For readers who like a story filled with descriptions of lavish places and lavish lifestyles this is one that they should consider adding to their list.”
It’s always fun to get a glimpse of a different way of life, which is one of the main reasons I read so many books. This time, in this story, I went to Italy and visited the old churches with Annalisse and the beautiful fountains and gardens and bazaars. We ate wonderful Italian delicacies and had some good wine.
But that was just the backdrop for the main reasons Alec and Anna traveled to Italy. They were there to solve some mysteries, one involving a murder, the other the story behind the old rosary.
The intrigue as Annalisse investigates the history of the rosary beads Alec’s mother gave her builds with each encounter with a mysterious nun, and then a priest. Neither one gives answers that unlock the history. That intrigue continues to intensify as Anna becomes more frustrated with each thwarted attempt to find the secret behind the rosary.
Added to that is the frustration over the difficulties in proving the innocence of the former CFO, Josh Jennings, in the murder of the woman found dead in the Signorile offices. Josh has less than a stellar background, but Alec sincerely believes the man is not capable of that kind of violence. Alec also firmly believes his father was not the one who took money from the company, a revelation that threatens the impending sale.
Those mysteries – the rosary, the murder, and the family secrets – intertwine throughout the story, leading the reader deeper and deeper into the drama and intrigue. Alec and Anna are assisted in the investigations by a long-time friend and employee, Bill Drake, who has a background in law enforcement. He’s a strong, interesting character, who knows his stuff and provides much needed protection when needed.
All in all, this is an exciting adventure that readers can enjoy in a quick weekend read.
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