The Secret Portrait
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(First print-published by Five Star/Gale 2005)
"The Flowers o' the Forest are a' wede awa'."
Death in the Highlands. It came by claymore and cannon fire in 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie's men died at Culloden, and the last Stuart fled back to France, leaving his followers to death by noose and firing squad, and his gold hidden in the heather for others to find. After a thousand years of bloody history, death in the Highlands is nothing new. But it should not be happening now.
Jean Fairbairn has a coin from Prince Charlie's hoard, and a story, she thinks. Until the story comes to murder, up close and personal, and Jean isn't just a reporter, she's a prime suspect. Nose to nose with Chief Inspector Alasdair Cameron, whose forebears led Charlie's rising, and Rick MacLyon, who thinks being a dot.com millionaire makes him an expert on Charlie's life, Jean finds herself entangled in a story that's getting grimmer than the Dark Mile by Loch Arkaig and twistier than Stuart politics. And it's all too likely to end with Jean trapped by a murderer, on her way to becoming the MacLyon mansion's newest ghost.
- Lillian Stewart Carl, December 2010
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