Type: Romantic Suspense
My Copy: Sent
Cage Foster can’t catch a break. The discovery of a dusty skeleton in the antebellum home he’s caring for is bad enough. But the unearthing of two fresh bodies, buried during his tenure at Ironwood Plantation, may land Cage on Mississippi’s death row. Even worse, the one person certain of his innocence is a pushy Yankee newcomer, a woman who talks too fast and still believes in the romance of the Old South.
A specialist in historical renovation, Dani Evans intends to restore Ironwood to its former glory while she rebuilds her life after the death of her mother. Death, hidden treasure, and falling in love with a murder suspect were not part of the plan. The lure of the infamous Ironwood treasure cache convinces Dani the skeleton is the key to unraveling the legend, and that the treasure itself is the motive for the murders. Cage is certain an old grudge is setting him up for murder, but the evidence against him is mounting and time is running out. Dani believes she can find the truth before Cage is arrested, but her search for answers will uncover a descent into madness that should have stayed buried.
Skeleton’s Key is an intriguing mystery that holds your interest until the very end, with romance and danger added into the mix to make this a thoroughly enjoyable book. This is the first book I have read from this author and I definitely will be picking up the next book to see how the trilogy continues.
Cage Foster is a sheriff’s deputy for Adams County and is also the caretaker for Ironwood Plantation, one of the oldest intact plantations in the area. He is living in the carriage house and cleaning up the downstairs for the new owner, a Northerner. While working in the basement he finds a partially buried skeleton, the authorities come in to investigate and of course the new owner decides to move down earlier than expected.
Ironwood Plantation was recently sold to a Yankee, Dani Evans. For the last few years, Dani has been taking care of her mother and she is ready to start somewhere fresh, a place that both Dani and her mother dreamed of going. Her career is in historic preservation and she is the new preservation specialist in Adams County.
Dani is excited to start work on her new house; she talks with Cage and makes plans to move forward, unfortunately the first night she stays she finds another body in the basement that eventually turns out to be two and they were both more recently deceased than the skeleton. As Dani and Cage wade through the clues, the evidence piles up against Cage. The answers are buried in the history of the Plantation where secret passageways and long lost letters tell the truth, but they must find the answers before the killer strikes again.
I enjoy a good mystery and this is definitely one that held my interest. I was intrigued until the end where the twists and turns kept me guessing. The author would lead me down one path and I was thinking I knew who did the deed, but then by the end I was completely surprised.
I thought the characters were interesting, I really like Dani, she is a true Northerner that did everything at a fast pace, even talked, and although I have rarely experienced it myself, the heat just about did her in, which made for some funny moments. I would laugh every time Cage made comments about the fact she talked too fast or she could not handle the heat. I like how Dani loved the history of the South and would stop at nothing to keep it safe. She is passionate about history, not only for the house she now owns but also the stories surrounding it. The only problem I had with her overzealousness was she that cared more about the older skeleton than the more recent bodies in the basement.
The character of Cage is so likeable and he won me over from the first, a hero that is a bit vulnerable as he is still dealing with past issues that are still close to the surface. And although he did not like Dani at first, it did not take them long to be the perfect fit. The romance is slow to start and the mystery takes precedence, but Dani and Cage do have a connection and there is an HEA. This is the second of the Delta Crossroads trilogy and although you do not have to read the first book, several characters play important roles and the past story does come up.
One of the things about this book that I really enjoy is the way the author uses Southern history, she mentions several times that in the South everyone remembers the past. I enjoy reading about history and thought the author did a wonderful job of describing the world we were reading about. I love finding new to me authors and I will add her books to my reading list. I am not sure when the third book will come out but I hope it is soon.
I give Skeleton’s Key by Stacy Green 4.0 stars!