Faye Longchamp has lost nearly everything, except for her quick mind and a grim determination to keep her ancestral home, Joyeuse, a moldering plantation hidden along the Florida coast. No one knows how Faye’s great-great-grandmother Cally, a newly freed slave barely out of her teens, came to own Joyeuse in the aftermath of the Civil War. No one knows how her descendants hung on to it through Reconstruction, world wars, the Depression, and Jim Crow, but Faye has inherited the island plantation - and the family tenacity.
When the property taxes rise beyond her means, Faye sets out to save Joyeuse by digging for artifacts on her property and the surrounding national wildlife refuge and selling them on the black market. A tiny bit of that dead glory would pay a year’s taxes, and a big, valuable chunk of the past would save her home forever. But instead of potsherds and arrowheads, she uncovers a woman’s shattered skull, a Jackie Kennedy-style earring nestled against its cheek bone. Faye is torn. If she reports her find, she’ll reveal her illegal livelihood, thus risking jail and the loss of Joyeuse. She doesn’t intend to let that happen, so she probes into the dead woman’s history herself, unaware that the past is rushing toward her like a hurricane across deceptively calm Gulf waters.
Mary Anna Evans, award-winning author of the Faye Longchamp mysteries, has degrees in physics and engineering, but her heart is in the past. Her books have found an unexpected home in schools, and when she’s not writing novels, she works with elementary teachers to develop ways to use popular fiction to teach math, science, and history.
©2003 2005, 2012 by Mary Anna Evans (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"The shifting little isles along the Florida Panhandle - hurricane-wracked bits of land filled with plenty of human history - serve as the effective backdrop for Evans’ debut, a tale of greed, archaeology, romance, and murder." (Publishers Weekly)
"Evans introduces a strong female sleuth in this extremely promising debut, and she makes excellent use of her archaeological subject matter, weaving past and present together in a multilayered, compelling plot." (Booklist)
"Artifacts is a haunting, atmospheric story in which a mysterious island holds the clue to long-buried family secrets. Mary Anna Evans brings passion and insight to her subject and has written a modern southern gothic novel about a biracial woman’s search for her heritage." (P. J. Parrish, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author)
I don't know how I over looked this one, but I am happy that I found it. This is one of the best books I have listened to in quite sometime. Sometimes it was a bit slow, but I never lost interest or skipped any part of this book. That is also contributed to the narrator. Cassandra Campbell is a wonderful narrator. She is in my top 3 of all narrators. She brought the characters to life and made me want to listen to every word. This is a must have for mystery lovers. I will be starting the next book in the series tomorrow.
This could have been a darn good book. Loved the identifying corpse via earring and final (but unbelievable) ending. Most of the book was taken up with the mystery of which handsome man gets beautiful but struggling woman. No porn or sex though (good thing) Just too much who is the winner and 'this person could have done it because' speculation.(Anne Perry style speculation filler) Give up more clues and let us figure it out for ourselves.
The reader did 1 good voice. However, she never separated Chapters and there was little separation between characters lines. One would be talking and then all of the sudden a different character was telling their story.
Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!
Faye Longchamp is an unusual young woman, great, great granddaughter of a freed slave, who is more interested in her pursuits of archeology and somehow finding a way to hold onto her old, now decrepit, ancestral home on a small island off the coast of Florida, than living a more comfortable way, but without her property. In the course of the story, she stumbles across an old skeleton which is a problem, because to report it might jeopardize her secret means of making the small amounts of money which she desperately needs to pay taxes on the island.
She has a friend, a Cherokee man who is more comfortable living off the land than living a conventional lifestyle, who protects her, but comes under suspicion himself at a point in the story. Faye feels she has to solve the mystery of what happened to the murder victim she found without revealing how she ekes out this small living for herself.
There is another mystery unraveling at the same time throughout the book. The story of how Faye has come to possess this once-grand house and property, without which proof she would be unable to claim it all as her own. While this part of the story is very clever and interesting, I found the means by which it is revealed a bit of a stretch. So, okay, a fair dash of poetic license there. Also, things got tided up in the end a little too miraculously, also a bit of poetic license I guess.
Despite these observations about it, I found this book very intriguing. Believe it is a good foundation that will have explained who Faye is for readers of subsequent archeological mysteries in this series, which I look forward to reading.
Intriguing location and premise. Decent narrator. Archeology leaves plenty of room for additional interesting plots.
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