A POISONED LEGACY
Author: Margaret Blake ISBN: 9780709086628 11/2008 CONTEMPORARY Publisher: ROBERT HALE LTD.
RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:
A POISONED LEGACY is almost like the gothic romances I read when I was younger from the late 60's-early 70's. It certainly follows the formula quite well: young girl inherits grand estate from one of the most obscure relatives ever thought of, two men who stood to gain everything but got nothing, eerie foreboding atmosphere, and suspicious deaths.
There is quite a bit to recommend this as a suspenseful romance, at least in the beginning. Towards the middle portion of the book there is less ambiguity in who was responsible for everything. Or I should say what side of the family is responsible.
And what a family! Belinda is the deceased's stepdaughter's stepdaughter. Or in other words, Belinda's stepmother Carolina was Nash the senior's first wife Anna's daughter from a previous marriage. Which I'm sure is confusing, but honestly, half the time I couldn't remember the exact relationship because it was just that out there. Carl is Nash the senior's adopted son from his second marriage to Marietta, and Jesse is his son born out of wedlock with Morning (who other then being friends with Carolina, I never quite understood how she became entangled so deeply with the family). Blake does repeat how people are connected many times, but taking notes wouldn't be a bad idea.
I was a little disappointed by the second half of the book because its like things fizzled out. The tensions, the who-did-it, the why-did-it-happen seemed to lose a lot of steam once Belinda became involved romantically. From there it was just a matter of how would they catch him and how would things be revealed.
Take away the suspense plot however, and I think you have a solid romance and I thought it was wonderful that it was set in Florida somewhere other then the normal tourist spots.