A Review by John Hunziker
I would like to share with you a series of books by the author Mary Anna Evans featuring Faye Longchamp as the amateur archeologist, heroine and looter of artifacts on her own property.
Faye is the last of her family and struggles to repair and keep up her childhood home, Joyeuse, hidden in the backwaters of the Florida Panhandle. The biggest problem she deals with is the looming unpaid property taxes. Her way of solving the issue is central to her love/hate relationship with herself as an amateur archeologist and the fact that she is forced to loot artifacts from what should be an archeological site, the slave quarters on her own property.
Another string of the story is how her great-great-grandmother Cally, a freed slave, came to own Joyeuse in the first place and then keep it throughout the years.
As Faye begins digging in the area she finds a woman’s shattered skull and a 1960’s styled earring. If she talks to the police she has a serious problem; but not talking to the police brings its own set of problems – particularly when she returns to the area and everything is gone. Somebody knows that she knows.
There are enough strings to the story to keep everyone interested and I certainly was. My wife has begun reading this book and is also enjoying it.
There are, so far, seven books in this series: Artifacts, Relics, Effigies, Findings, Floodgates, Strangers and Plunder, with the newest, Rituals, due to be published in 2013. I would suggest reading them in order as the characters grow in depth and interests, and her relationship with Joe, described by one reviewer as “Yum,Yum,” is one I enjoyed watching develop.
I will read almost anything dealing with art, antiques and archeology; and working at the library offers many opportunities. However, I’ve enjoyed this series so much that I have purchased these from the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press. I enjoyed them enough to own them and plan to reread them in the future. They can also be found on Amazon, and of course the library has all of the series except the first one which can be requested through interlibrary loan.
I highly recommend this series. Faye Longchamp is a heroine that makes you root for her, and the locations and plot lines in all of the books are believable and interesting.