In SQUATTER’S RIGHTS by Cheril Thomas, compelling family secrets come with the house.

The first book in the Eastern Shores Mysteries introduces us to attorney Grace Reagan, who just bought the huge money pit on Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore where her mother grew up.

The old mansion, known as Delaney House, was last inhabited by Grace’s grandmother, Emma Delaney. Grace never knew why her late mother and grandmother were estranged. Buying the house feels like a first step toward righting a wrong from a past she doesn’t understand.

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But to Grace’s surprise, a hitherto unknown uncle and cousin feel entitled to the house, despite Emma’s will which forced the house to be sold at auction. Their goal is to push Grace out.

SQUATTER’S RIGHTS gives us a mystery embedded in the very bones of the house and in the family torn apart inside it. After setting the scene, the narrative is imbued with quickening sense of foreboding.

Grace remains at odds with the uncle and cousins as questions mount. What drove her mother away from Delaney House years ago and why do echoes of distrust and anger linger even now? What secrets did Emma take to the grave? Is Grace’s romantically-inclined contractor who he says he is?

Hints spool out in the form of letters written in the 1950’s by a newly married Emma to her parents back in Asheville, North Carolina. The suspense-building letters are inserted into the current-day action in exactly the right places, driving a two-pronged drama until past and present merge into shocking answers.

Expect spot-on atmosphere and a tantalizing family secret. There are 4 more books in the series, too.

Highly recommended.

Order it on Amazon here.

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