Monday, September 2, 2013
Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark
Miranda Miller lost her mother when she was only five years old. Her Aunt Jane (AJ) came down to Louisiana to take her back to Manhattan to raise her, Miranda was in such bad shape that she wouldn't talk to anyone and only stared, it took a lot of counseling and time before she could finally communicate. Miranda is now married to Nathan and has a five year old daughter Tess, she has a job at the Manhattan Musuem restoring artwork. Miranda has a hard time becoming close to anyone in her life because of the events that happened during her first five years of life, it's like she has an invisible wall around her to keep people at a distance but she doesn't know why.
AJ has been receiving letters from Willy Pedreaux, the old caretaker of the antebellum estate that Miranda inherited from her grandparents, but never let Miranda know. Jimmy Smith brings in a painting that he'd like restored which starts a string of strange events. The problem is it didn't really need restored but just cleaned, as she was checking the painting out she noticed a symbol that jogged her memory but couldn't quite place where she'd seen it before. Jimmy insisted on leaving the painting with her and left the museum, he was a very strange acting man. Since this was a Friday Miranda and AJ always met for lunch but on her way to meet AJ, two men attacked her, ripped her shirt up her back from her waist to her shoulders, gagged her with a rag, grabbed the bottom hem of her pants legs and pulled them up to reveal her ankles and calves, ripped off both shoes and socks then grabbed a fistful of hair while pushing her face onto the cold, slimy cement floor. They kept going back and forth in her hair until they found what they were looking for, finally satisfied, they just left her.
She left the building and went to the closest business and had them call the police then called AJ to come and get her. After AJ helped her get cleaned up she told Miranda about the letters from Willy. Later at home telling Nathan about the incident and the conversation with AJ, they discover that their home has been bugged. Miranda decides she has to go to the Bayou to see Willy and find out what this is all about. She leaves the next morning and after she's at the estate a few hours Willy, on his deathbed, tries to tell her everything but dies before he gets all of the details out.
There are many 'secrets' to be discovered in this story and Mindy does a good job of keeping them a secret until the end. If you like mysteries you'll enjoy this book, I have no problem in recommending it to other readers. I am also looking forward to reading some more of Mindy's mysteries.