A Swift River Valley Novel by Carla Neggers
Review: Samantha "Sam" Bennett is the granddaughter of Harry Bennett, famous for his explorations and worldwide adventures as a treasure hunter. Sam had come to be an expert on pirates after listening to her grandfather's stories, and became especially interested in Captain Farraday, who sailed the eastern seaboard about three hundred years ago. She had no way of knowing how true the stories her grandfather told were, but she longed to explore them all the same. After her grandfather died at the age of ninety-six, Sam has the responsibility of going through her grand-father's possessions. In his home in Boston she finds hidden in a closet a beautiful old painting of "The Mill at Cider Brook". Next to the painting she also finds a legal sized envelope containing about fifty yellowed handwritten pages — a rough draft — of a story titled "The Adventures of Captain Farraday and Lady Elizabeth". She knows there is a mill in Cider Brook. Could this be a painting of that old mill? And could the stories in her hands be true? She decides to learn more in Cider Brook, a Swift River Valley novel of romantic suspense by Carla Neggers.
Sam travels from Boston to Knights Bridge, a town where she had been two years earlier and where she had left behind her own uncomfortable history. Arriving, she is caught in a thunderstorm just as she arrives at an old faded Cider Mill. Although signs say "Danger" and "Private Property", Sam is soaking wet and desparate for someplace dry. She picks a pad lock, opens the door and gets out of the rain. But then lightening strikes the back wall, the mill is on fire. As she begins to crawl out, smoke causies her to cough and become weak. She is rescued by Justin Sloan, a volunteer firefighter, and the one man who caused her problems in Knights Bridge two years ago. Although Justin doesn't trust her, he urges her to stay until she could replace the items that she lost in the fire. That also gives her time to look into the stories her grandfather wrote about.
The mystery of the old painting and manuscript is largely superseded by the evolving relationship between Sam and Justin and the dynamics of their respective families, who come together for a family reunion. The Massachusetts setting is very well drawn, charming and mysterious, more or less just like the two principal characters here. Appealing for what it is, Cider Brook makes for a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Cider Brook.
Acknowledgment: Harlequin provided a copy of Cider Brook for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Harlequin Mira (Hardcover), September 2014
ISBN-13: 9780778316534; ISBN-10: 077831653X
Location(s) referenced in Cider Brook: Massachusetts
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Cider Brook by Carla Neggers — A Swift River Valley Novel
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: February 2014
List Price: $7.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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