The Twillyweed of the title is a large, imposing house on the North Shore of Long Island, New York. The reason that Claire, our protagonist was visiting Twillyweed was to meet her niece from Ireland who is working there as an ‘au pair’. Jenny Rose is Claire’s sister’s child – the result of a teenage indiscretion. Besides employment, Jenny Rose has come to America to meet her birthmother for the first time. Claire’s sister, in her usual flighty way is out of the country herself, so dutiful Claire steps into the breach to meet with her long-lost niece.
Jenny Rose is a beautiful, larger than life, naughty and modern Irish lass. She is a talented artist (she even creates her own ‘fake’ tattoos.) Once ensconced at Twillyweed, Jenny Rose falls in love with her little charge, Wendell – and also the ‘bad-boy’ of the neighborhood, Glinty. Not is all smooth sailing though, there are mysteries and family secrets aplenty at Twillyweed.
Claire was a talented photographer overseas. Now she is trying to find her way after a divorce and a subsequent engagement – which has soured due to the fact that she discovered her fiance was gay. The mother of two grown, college aged children, she most recently lived in Queens where she ran a bed and breakfast which quite recently burned to the ground. If ever there was a woman in need of a fresh start – it is Claire.
Claire Breslinsky is a woman of a ‘certain age’ who has the realization that she hardly ever does anything she loves anymore. So, when the opportunity presented itself to stay near Twillyweed in an old cottage situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean – she grabbed for it with both hands. Surely such a magical place is ideal for sorting yourself out.
The old lady, Noola, who had lived in the cottage before, died from an overdose of her heart medication. Noola’s son, Morgan, wants Claire to sort through her things and organize the house. Claire, against her better judgement, is immensely attracted to Morgan. This is hopeless because of her vulnerability and the fact that he is engaged to someone else.
Missing persons, stolen jewels, violent attacks, and then a murder, ensure that Claire’s interest is piqued and her amateur sleuthing experience stands her in good stead.
Filled to the brim with interesting, at times eccentric, at times suspicious, characters, lovable animals, and with a beautiful seaside setting, “Twillyweed” will attract anyone who loves a good old-fashioned ‘whodunit’. With elements of suspense, humor, mystery and romance this is a novel which has something for everyone.
My only criticism would be that the ending was tied up a little too well. Folks who love that in a mystery will be more than satisfied, but I found the ending a little smug.
“Twillyweed” is the seventh novel to feature Claire Breslinsky – but do not let that deter you! I once was the sort to read series in order, but I’ve since discovered that some series – like this one – are written in such a way that each and every novel in it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. This particular series contains books that are not mysteries, some are just family sagas and some have more romance. I have not read any of the previous novels but I relished this one!
prequel “Pack up the moon”
#3 “Keeper of the mill”
#4 “Jenny Rose”
#5 “The Cordelia squad”