A Charmed Place by Anotinette Stockenberg illustrates that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Cozy cottage with flower filled garden not withstanding, this mystery spans several years and ends with some violence. So what if it ends well and has a decades long romance at its root?
Maddie has always spent her summer in her family’s cottage on Cape Cod. Divorced a few years ago, she is struggling with keeping her teenaged daughter in control and also trying to cope with the loss of her father who was murdered a year ago. Girl friends Joan and Norah are around to keep her spirits up. Ex husband lives nearby and is always dropping in. Celebrity CNN Anchor has taken up the lighthouse for the summer, and everyone in the small town is eager to meet him. Hardly anyone knows that Maddie had a thing for him.
As the story progresses, we learn that a lot happened that summer several years ago. Maddie and Daniel Hawke are drawn together again but they are truly star crossed. With a murder investigation in the background, an about to topple lighthouse, family feuds, teenage angst, and a hurricane that levels parts of the town, this story promises never ending action. The tension builds to a crescendo and you would never guess the end.
A Charmed Place is a good story and a great book but I can’t get away from the fact that the title and cover are completely misleading. It is good as a summer read and the setting will strike a chord with people who have summer houses on the coast.
You can also check out Kingdom by the Sea, another mystery set in a Cape Cod village.