Intrigued by both the title and description of Feather on the Moon by Phyllis A. Whitney I added the book to my ‘must read’ collection. I’d read a few of the author’s books in the past and I enjoy her writing style.
Whitney wastes no time in getting the story of Jennifer Blake’s kidnapped daughter Debbie rolling. Beginning with a telephone call from a stranger thousands of miles away from her Connecticut home, Jennifer is drawn into the mystery of the Arles family.
The wealthy widow, Corinthea Arles, sees a photograph of Debbie Blake seven years after her kidnapping and suspects the child now living in her home may be the missing girl. With the slim hope she may finally find her child, Jennifer travels to Vancouver Island in British Columbia to see if she will recognize the child. Leaving her deaf parents, she sets out on a journey that could bring joy or leave her once again feeling hopeless.
Almost as soon as she arrives in Victoria, she is embroiled in a story that is filled with suspense. Met at the airport by the family chauffeur, Kirk, Jennifer is thrust into a maze of secrets, magic, and mystery. The child Mrs. Arles suspects could be Debbie may be the old woman’s granddaughter. As more details of the little girl called Alice emerge, Jennifer becomes more convinced she is the lost Debbie. Although Corinthea doesn’t get along with the little girl she harbors the hope that Alice is her great-granddaughter, child of her late grandson Edward.
The cast of characters in the book provide mysteries of their own. From Kirk to the mother Peony and step-father of Alice, the deaf Uncle Tim, Mr. Dillow the house manager/butler/secretary, and Crampton, Mrs. Arles personal maid and companion, the stories surrounding them are cloaked in questions.
As the story unwinds Whitney skillfully leaves clues to tantalize the reader. Each character provides some hint about the mysterious past of the residents. However, the question of Alice’s identity seems ever out of reach.
The climax of the book is breathtaking. Using notable locations of Vancouver Island, Whitney sets the stage for a tension-filled tale of a mother’s desperation and the dangers of family secrets.
If you have never read a book by Phyllis A. Whitney this is as good a starting point as any. She spins a yarn you won’t want to set down until the last paragraph is finished.
“The gothic mystery of a long-unsolved kidnapping from an Edgar Award–winning author—“I read it at one sitting and loved every page” (Mary Higgins Clark).
It’s been seven years since Connecticut widow Jennifer Blake’s three-year-old daughter, Debbie, vanished, but she’s never given up hope of finding her. Then comes the call from a wealthy dowager a continent away: Corinthea Arles saw Debbie’s picture and believes the girl living in her own home on Vancouver Island could be Jennifer’s long-lost child.
From the moment Jennifer sets foot on the sprawling Arles estate, she discovers a place far darker than she feared. And at the center of it all is Corinthea’s great-granddaughter, a vulnerable little girl in line to inherit a vast fortune.
Lost in a maze of deadly intrigue, buried secrets, and anonymous threats, Jennifer must uncover the truth. But that means solving the most shattering mystery of all, locked away in the shadows of Radburn House . . .
From the New York Times–bestselling author and recipient of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement comes “one of Ms. Whitney’s best” (The Chattanooga Times).
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Phyllis A. Whitney including rare images from the author’s estate.”