Publisher: Mystic Circle Books
Publication Date: July 1, 2022
Pages: 360 pages
When Tori Winters becomes the star witness in a murder trial, someone tries to kill her. Terrified, she’s not giving the killer a second chance. With all her worldly possessions packed in her car, Tori is on the run. A mysterious phone call about an inheritance leads her to Granbury. After all, who would look for her in a small, quaint Texas town?
Instead, Tori’s life is about to spin into an existence where nothing is as it seems. The historic house she inherits is steeped in secrets from the past. Secrets that may prove deadly. A stranger in a strange town, who can she trust? There is the disinherited step-grandson and the lawyer and his son. What are they hiding?
Tori’s inheritance may not be a blessing when a killer strikes again. It could be her death warrant.
Clueless Gent’s Rating for Deadly Keepsakes
Deadly Keepsakes is a riveting mystery that will have readers perched on the edge of their seats. Author Anita Dickason has perfected the keep-looking-over-your-shoulder trope in this well-written, underdog adventure.
The story follows Tori Winters, who moves to Granbury, Texas, fleeing a killer in Missouri. She learns that she is the heir to a fortune from her paternal grandmother, who she never knew. Her inheritance incudes a grand, old house that has secrets. When people begin to pressure her to sell the house, there is a race for Tori to discover the house’s secrets before someone takes her refusal to sell to the next level.
My simplistic description of the storyline really doesn’t do it justice, but I don’t want to take anything away from the reader’s excitement at discovering all the parts that turn that simplistic synopsis into a wonderfully fun, exciting and engaging read!
There are so many things I enjoyed about this story, I don’t really know where to start. Let’s start with the characters and their relationships.
Tori, seemingly a loner, hires Mia and her team to clean the house and make it livable. Unaccustomed with the hospitality of these Texas women, a strong bond begins to form between Tori, Mia, and even the three women in Mia’s employ. Mia becomes like the sister Tori never had, as well as her close friend and confidant.
Tori also has to deal with a number of people urging her to sell the house. It made me wonder why there was so much pressure, and I was soon trying to guess whether any of these folks had an ulterior motive. (I won’t mention if they did, but I will say it was an intriguing guessing game for me.)
“Built by my father, it has secrets, ones I’ve kept all these years. They will be yours as well.”
Warning in handwritten letter from Tori’s grandmother!
I think the best way to describe the author’s wonderful description is just to give you a snippet of her describing the house: “Despite the dirt and stains, she stared at the large entryway in awe. Blue and white cream-colored wallpaper accented mahogany walls. Stairs rose to a landing where sunlight gleamed through a stained glass portal, casting a mellow glow before sweeping upward. Base and crown moldings were carved in an intricate pattern, and the parquet floor extended into a long hallway. But it was the etched glass chandelier that held her gaze. All she could do was gawk.”
The pacing in this story is off the charts! The pacing starts off pretty quick in Missouri, and it even includes a mini-climax. Once Tori arrives in Texas the pace appears to slow down, but the reader is still on seat edge because Tori is always looking over her shoulder and could experience danger at any moment.
The characters pressuring Tori into selling the house create some great tension in the story. Author Anita Dickason did a superb job of steadily building this tension throughout the Texas part of the story.
The build to the main climax is paced very well. Actually, I’ll go on the record and say this is one of the best climaxes I’ve ever read! It’s well-written, and it keeps the reader hanging for a number of pages. I enjoyed the excitement very much!
This is one of those books that you want to clear your schedule for, because you won’t want to put it down. You’ve been warned!
After the end of the story, the author provides a little history on a part of the story that’s based on fact. I’m sure this would be a wonderful surprise to any history buff. It took me by surprise.
I could gush for several pages about this book, but perhaps the best part is that it’s the beginning of a series. I can’t wait to see what adventures the author has in store for this group of feisty women.
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