Forensic Handwriting Expert, Claudia Rose, was just hired on to authenticate the signature on a wealthy older man’s will after he passed away and left the majority of his estate to his significantly younger widow, Paige Sorenson. Based on Claudia’s analysis, a judge rules that the signature is genuine and Paige can now claim the Sorenson Academy for Girls as her own to the dismay of the widow’s step children.
Against her better judgment about keeping her business and her personal life separate, Claudia befriends Paige and a troubled young student named Annabelle and the trouble soon begins. On Christmas Eve Paige and Annabelle disappear and Claudia is asked by Annabelle’s father to help find the missing pair. Suddenly Claudia is pulled in much deeper than she hoped and now her own life is at risk along with Paige and Annabelle.
This was a great fast paced mystery that I read in two quick days even with the family over celebrating Thanksgiving. The “who-done-it” factor was a little predictable but the story is exciting enough to overcome that part of the story. The way Claudia gets pulled into the drama is very realistic too. Lowe captures the teen angst of the troubled Annabelle perfectly and the relationship between Claudia and Annabelle is not written as a “happily ever after” tale so I liked that about this book also.
I almost forgot to mention this was book two in the Forensic Handwriting Mystery series by Lowe with book one being Poison Pen. It is a stand alone as I had not read book one and didn’t feel like anything was missing. I will be picking up book one and anticipating book two which is due out in August 2009. I recommend this book to all mystery and cozy lovers.