Monday, April 26, 2010

Vanish With The Rose by Barbara Michaels

Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

Who knows what long-forgotten family secrets lie hidden in the eighteenth-century mansion which is being restored by a pair of wealthy eccentrics?  Not Diana Reed, who arrives at the house with a false name and a false identity and who lives in constant fear of betraying herself.  For Diana, posing as a landscape architect trained in the esoteric specialty of "old roses," is determined to uncover a darker and more personal secret-one that may have begun and may well end in murder.

But the dead past intrudes on the present as Diana is haunted by eerie visions, strange music coming from nowhere, and the scent of roses wafting through empty rooms, and she is forced to confront forces more deadly than any she could have imagined. 

After my dissapointing time with Neverland I had to read something that I knew would be a great read and since I had a few Barbara Michaels' books waiting to be read, I picked one up and I was dissapointed.  Michaels is a new author for me, as I've only read one other book of hers but I enjoyed it so much that I figured I would at least enjoy another.  So when I picked up Vanish With The Rose and started reading, I wasn't dissapointed.

Diana is a wonderfully headstrong woman who sets out to discover what happened to her brother, who has been missing for almost a year.  Now her method of putting herself into a situation that allows her to do this is a little shady, but you forgive her for it, even after she discovers the family she is duping are kind, welcoming and overly likeable.  The guilt she ends up feeling is very real and her desire to make it right with them but also to find out the truth start to war within her, which creates an intersting dynamic.

The mystery itself has a solution that I did not see coming and I'm still thinking of the interpersonal issues that such a solution finale would create.  It was such a anguishing outcome that you could feel the sorrow and horror the Diana feels when she discovers not only what happened to her brother but who was responsible.

As in the previous book I've read by the author, and the third who's review will be coming up shortly, this is a masterful blending of mystery, suspense, romance, and just the right amount of the supernatural to concot an engrossing novel that is almost impossible to put down.  I think I've found a new favorite author to keep Agatha Christie and Mercedes Lackey company.

This book will qualify for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 hosted by Carolyn at Book Chick City.


Heidenkind said...

I read this book a really really long time ago, but I remember liking it. It's not my favorite Michaels book, though!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

WoW! Ranking up there with Agatha is amazing! I know how highly you think of Agatha so these must be amazing reads. Great review of the book. Thanks!

Becke Davis said...

A very belated comment, but I had to jump in and say this book is a favorite of mine, too!