Review: Jay Brandon crafts a somewhat surreal, definitely atmospheric, tale of mystery, of a family from San Antonio (Texas) and the city itself in Milagro Lane.
The history of the Grohman family dates back about as far as the history of San Antonio. The family's fortune was amassed through ranching, manufacturing and brewing. The family has now gathered for the funeral of Jerome "Jerry" Grohman, who, at the age of 50, was killed in an automobile accident. But there is some question as to whether it was an accident … or murder. It seems someone is plotting to destroy the family, claiming they have a document proving the Grohmans swindled the city out of millions of dollars during the late 1880s.
Attending the ceremony is a stranger to the family, a young woman, Estela Valenzuela, dressed in red. When questioned by the family's matriarch, Madeleine "Miss Maddie" Grohman as to who she was, the woman's reply is that Jerry had requested her presence and that she should wear red. Gabe Grohman, Jerry's eldest son, is intrigued by Estela, who ultimately helps him discover parts of the city in which he's always lived that he never knew existed, including a special place called Milagro Lane. His investigation into the purported fraud by his ancestors leads him to a surprising discovery, and evidence of Estela's true identity. But why would she want to help the family? And who is trying to tear it apart?
Brandon's flowing, descriptive prose draws the reader into the heart and history of San Antonio. The story is captivating in many ways, from the deep emotions exhibited by the characters (love, hate, fear, anticipation, desire) to the secrets every family buries at one time or another. Milagro Lane is an easy book to start but a hard one to put down, and will capture the reader's imagination from its opening pages to its closing paragraphs.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Milagro Lane.
Acknowledgment: Wings Press provided an ARC of Milagro Lane for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Milagro Lane: San Antonio, Texas
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Milagro Lane by Jay Brandon
Publisher: Wings Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2009
List Price: $17.95