A mystery involving ghosts. Well, not exactly ghosts per se. Let me explain. a woman whose husband left for cigarettes a couple of years ago never returned. Turns out he was murdered, and his body only recently found. She finally has some sort of closure, and feels she can now leave her cramped apartment where they lived while planning their dream house and move on, literally and figuratively.
She travels to a small town of 550 people, decides to settle there. Being an artist, she figures maybe she can freelance and also sell some of her work. She contacts the local realtor (A town of only 550 has enough business for a local realtor? OK, putting that issue aside….), and the realtor shows her several places for sale in her price range, and she sees the perfect house. It was owned by the town’s Nasty Old Lady who had recently died.
The Nasty Old Lady’s sister and the sister’s two kids lived with her 30 years ago, and suddenly went missing. The NOL claimed they were moving out to start anew elsewhere. Turns out the house did not belong to the NOL but to the sister. (Again, I am not clear on the legal ramifications of sales of property not actually belonging to the estate of the seller, but again, putting that aside…..). Our artist lady meets a nice retired cop recently moved back from Chicago, who helps her with some handy man stuff. (How come all the really nice, decent retired/ex/former cops are in books, while in Real Life, they seem to be all racist bigots and homegrown terrorists?) And he’s single, too. Whoopdedo. He is a widower of two years, and it also turns out, he had the hots for the disappeared sister from when they were kids and he lived in the town. Anyhoo, as she is cleaning, she comes upon notes written by the two children 30 years ago indicating serious trouble, and she begins to get the idea that the little family didn’t just move away.
Something of a possible attraction between our artist and the retired cop, growing evidence that the sister and her two kids were murdered, a lot of gossip about how the sister had a married boyfriend (or two or more), and we start making a list of the possible suspects. And was the NOL herself murdered? Could be.
Oh, yeah. The ghosts. Well, sometimes, our artist can hear children playing outside in the woods surrounding the house. And maybe sees just a movement. She decides the children are trying to contact her to solve the mystery of their disappearance.
OK, so maybe not really a story with ghosts. But it IS a story about the ghosts from the past who haunt our minds today.
Chick lit. Not bad.