I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Zeke’s sister-in-law, Rachel Winslow Caen, was despondent over her inability to carry a child to term, so when her body was found on Christmas Eve, 1937 drowned, her family assumed she took her own life. Now, five years later, one of the emeralds that Rachel was wearing at the time of her death has turned up at a stonecutter’s in Portland, Oregon.
Zeke’s brother, Simon, who has paid off his gambling debts with funds from an unknown source, is under suspicion of murdering Rachel and taking the emeralds. The town gossips are certain that Simon’s family will influence the investigation and that Simon will get away with murder.
With troubles of their own and in need of a place to hide, Sarah and Zeke return to Zeke’s hometown and set out to clear Simon’s name. Things take a sinister turn when Rachel Caen’s ghost leads Sarah to another emerald, hidden away in the Caen house. Did one of Zeke’s family members murder Rachel? Who can Sarah trust? Sarah and Zeke pit their wits against a cunning killer who will stop at nothing to thwart them, and discover just how far someone will go for the love of family and tradition.
Set in California in 1943, Neptune’s Daughter is a taut mystery told in the style of Mary Stewart, Dorothy Eden, and Victoria Holt, and is a poignant reminder of civilian life on the home front during the Second World War.
Sarah Bennett does not disappoint in Neptune’s Daughter. Murder and mystery always follows her wherever she goes and ghosts always show her the way. I can definitely see that throughout the series Sarah develops more as a character and I love going on her journeys in each book.
Even though I always say that Sarah never seems to catch a break, it goes without saying that I’m kind of glad that she does have a little misfortune. However, she has evolved enough to expect it and doesn’t hesitate anymore about solving her mysteries. It’s because of this that I can say she has grown a lot since the first book in the series. No longer shy, reserved, and unsure of herself, her personality has blossomed because she has come to terms with her ability to see ghosts. I do believe that Zeke has also been a great influence on this as well.
Besides playing the love interest, Zeke has his own demons and those unravel with each book too. Sara and Zeke have a somewhat co-dependent relationship in that they both support each others’ weakness and accept their faults.
In each book, Sarah is confronted by a ghost who wants her to solve a mystery, usually because of their untimely death. The mystery hits closer to home this time when Zeke’s family is involved. Finally, we see more behind what makes up Zeke and where he comes from. It really is no surprise why he hasn’t visited his family, some of them are jerks. Seriously, I was already gathering up my suspects the minute we were introduced to them.
The suspects do narrow down as the story progresses and I had a hint of who it could of been, but wow! I did not expect the reasoning behind it at all. I was pleasantly surprised at the cold-hearted craziness of it all. Jealousy, folks, is a common factor.
So, I’m already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, because of the sweet little surprise at the end of this one. I really do suggest reading this series in order.
Note: The link for book 1 above leads to my Goodreads review. I don’t know why it’s not on my blog, but I might have to remedy that.
(Clicking on the images will take you to the books’ Amazon page.)