Rachel Sevier, a thirty-two year old inventory specialist, travels to Wynnedower Mansion in Virginia to find her brother who has stopped returning her calls. Instead, she finds Jack Wynne, the mansion’s bad-tempered owner. He isn’t happy to meet her. When her brother took off without notice, he left Jack in a lurch.
Jack has his own plans. He’s tired of being responsible for everyone and everything. He wants to shake those obligations, including the old mansion. The last thing he needs is another complication, but he allows Rachel to stay while she waits for her brother to return.
At Wynnedower, Rachel becomes curious about the house and its owner. If rumors are true, the means to save Wynnedower Mansion from demolition are hidden within its walls, but the other inhabitants of Wynnedower have agendas, too. Not only may Wynnedower’s treasure be stolen, but also the life of its arrogant master.
In letting go of what she has struggled to control and hold onto, will Rachel gain more than she could have dreamed? Or will she lose everything and everyone she cares about? (Synopsis from Goodreads)
A Stranger in Wynnedower is what I would classify as a mystery, though it was certainly not a murder mystery. No real crimes even played a significant role in the book until the plot was well underway. Even so, there were plenty of mysterious events and curiosities to keep my interested piqued.
Rachel was a decent character, and I practically drooled at the idea of taking inventory of an entire mansion full of historic artifacts. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve fantasized about finding a house packed full of historical costumes and furniture… granted, in those daydreams I may have been doing inventory, but it certainly wasn’t for somebody else. All mine, baby, all mine…
The rest of the book could have been horrible and I would have still read it just for the mansion-full-of-cool-stuff aspect. Thankfully, it wasn’t. While it wasn’t a thriller, it was a perfectly good little mystery and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
My criticism isn’t really criticism, so much as personal skepticism or something… but the whole reason for Rachel going to Virginia in the first place seems kind of ridiculous. What kind of full-grown adult rushes away from work and life in one city because her brother–also a full-grown adult–misses a call or two?
I have brothers, and believe me… if I ran to wherever they were every time they didn’t text or call me back I would be broke and have permanent damage to my tailbone from sitting in the car for days on end. I’m sure there is a worst-case scenario somewhere out there, but you could fill an entire book with all the times they haven’t replied or returned a call for no reason beyond “I was busy when you called.”
Regardless, I suppose the point is that the situation fulfilled the need to get Rachel down to Virginia, one way or another.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars