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Mystery Review   


Perdition House
A Bay Tanner Mystery
by Kathryn R. Wall
St. Martin Minotaur, 2003
Hardcover, $24.95 (354 pages)
ISBN: 0-312-31385-3



Book Three of the Bay Tanner mystery series finds that Bay has formed an investigation firm with her father the Judge and Erik Whiteside, the computer wiz she met in book two. The first case belongs to a cousin from a broken link in the family tree.  Mercer Mary Prescott, after being released from the Beaufort, SC jail for vagrancy, has a shady past after skipping a court appearance for an anti-nuclear plant protest arrest at the Savannah River Plant.  After charming the Judge, Mercer disappears again.  Plus, she has two women looking for her, who put Bay's housekeeper in the hospital.  Then an ex-con shows up threatening Bay.  The only solution is to track down Mercer.

Bay drives to the foster home in Georgia where Mercer stayed during her teens.  Then she traveled to her aunt's house near Aiken, SC.  Mercer had been there and had charmed her aunt with her knowledge of genealogy was enforced by records that Bay's uncle had kept about a Confederate treasure located at Perdition House on the nuclear plant reserve.

Bay and Mercer are chased in their car by a truck, and are believed to be dead when the car goes into water.  Having no vehicle and with this gang still looking for them, the only option is for Mercer to take Bay to her home -- and to see her child-like mother. 

Perdition House is compelling with the history of Sherman's march through South Carolina, family history and the nature of environmental protests.  There are also subplots concerning foster care, elder care, and the mentally ill.  There is also the hints of a developing romance between Erik and Mercer as well as Bay and Darnay.

Kathryn R. Wall was an accountant for twenty-five years in Ohio before retiring with her husband to Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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