The Paramour's Daughter
A Maggie MacGowen Mystery by Wendy Hornsby
Review: Forty-three year old Los Angeles filmmaker Maggie MacGowen's life is turned upside down when she learns she is the daughter of her father's affair with an intern while he was teaching in France — and her birth mother was just killed by a hit-and-run driver in Malibu — in The Paramour's Daughter, the seventh mystery in this series by Wendy Hornsby.
On Thanksgiving Eve, Maggie is accosted in the parking lot of a supermarket by a woman, who declares, "Marguerite … stop. Look at me. I am your mother. You are my daughter." Maggie initially thinks the woman is simply mistaken, but when she does not leave her alone, she calls for the store's security to help. Later, while driving away, she sees the woman standing by the side of the ride. The next morning, Maggie hears news reports of a hit-and-run accident that resulted in a woman's death — the same woman that claimed she was Maggie's mother just a day earlier. The police identify the woman as Isabella Martin, a brilliant French physicist. When Maggie relates the incident to her own mother, she confesses that Isabelle was, in fact, Maggie's birth mother, with whom she lived for the first two and a half years of her life in France. When Maggie's father returned to the U.S., he brought her with him, Isabella remaining in her home country. Now Maggie's "new" gran'mere wants Isabelle's ashes returned to France, asking her to bring them, which would also give her an opportunity to welcome her into family. But Isabelle Martin was a wealthy woman, and as an outsider, Maggie quickly discovers not everyone in the family is pleased to see another heir to Isabelle's fortune … and in particular, one who may get it all.
There's a compelling interplay of family drama and murder mystery — Isabella Martin's death may not have been an accident after all, and there's another suspicious death to investigate after Maggie arrives in France — in The Paramour's Daughter. It's interesting to follow the how Maggie comes to tentatively accept the mother who gave her life all the while confirming the relationship she has with the only mother she's ever known. And then there are the murderous plots that seem to be simmering beneath the surface. The two primary storylines keep the reader guessing as to how it will all be resolved … and how Maggie's life will be changed going forward.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Paramour's Daughter.
Acknowledgment: Perseverance Press provided a copy of The Paramour's Daughter for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
In the Guise of Mercy
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), September 2009
ISBN-13: 9781564744821; ISBN-10: 1564744825
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), September 2012
ISBN-13: 9781564745262; ISBN-10: 1564745260
Location(s) referenced in The Paramour's Daughter: California, France
— ♦ —
The Paramour's Daughter by Wendy Hornsby — A Maggie MacGowen Mystery
Publisher: Perseverance Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2010
List Price: $14.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites