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Saturday, February 25, 2017

(18)The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

On Halloween night a young punk died under mysterious circumstances.  The whole town blamed the local eccentric, Rose Whalen.  This wasn't the first time that Rose was involved in a shocking murder. Twenty-five years ago that very night Rose was there for the "Goddess Murders" -- three young Salem women were brutally murdered and Rose was one of the only witnesses, the other witness was the young daughter of one of the Goddesses.  The Goddesses were three beautiful young women who had bewitched the men of Salem.  Nobody really believed that Rose murdered the Goddesses, but she was placed in psychiatry care because she said that it was a Banshee, a figure of Irish folklore,  had killed the Goddesses.

Callie Cahill is a music therapist in the Boston area.  She grew up in an orphanage run by nuns after her mother was killed that night in Salem.  She is shocked to see Rose on the news because she believed that she was killed that night, too.  Callie drops everything to go to Salem for Rose.  There she encounters Towner Whitney and her husband, Sherriff Rafferty. Rafferty reopens up the Goddess murders and seeks the truth.  What will happen to the historic families of Salem when the truth is revealed?

I read Brunonia Barry's first novel, The Lace Reader, what seems like a million years ago.  I was excited for The Fifth Petal because I was excited to return her version of Salem.  Towner and Rafferty are now married and Rafferty has a pretty significant role in this book.  As Callie is there to help Rose she finds herself getting involved with the son of one of the wealthy Salem families and I really did not care for him. He was a bit of an ass, in my opinion. Callie was a more likable character and I felt she deserved better.  I didn't fully understand how she could just up and leave her life in the city to be there for Rose.  The logistics of that are never fully explained and leave a bit of a gap, but not enough to keep you from enjoying the story.  I had the "whodunit" figured out pretty early, but didn't really have any "proof" of it until the very end. -- CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS 

Bottom line --Even though there were some gaps in the plot,  I enjoyed The Fifth Petal.   I enjoyed the quirky, eccentric characters that the author has created in the historical community of Salem.  I know there is going to be another book in this series and I can't wait!