Publisher: Lake Union

Sept. 2023. 300p. ISBN 9781542036726. pap. $16.99. F

Part mystery, part women’s fiction, the latest from multi-published MacLean (Beyond the Moonlit Sea) explores themes of resilience and second chances. Hollywood legend Scarlett Fontaine is still inspiring fans, long after her death at age 36. Gwen Hollingsworth, the curator of the Scarlett Fontaine Museum, is fiercely protective of her famous relative’s legacy. When tabloid photographer–turned–biographer Peter Miller shows up to conduct research in the museum archives, Gwen is suspicious. But then Peter shares evidence that Scarlet may have been living in Valdez, AK, during the earthquake of 1964, and she may have had a baby there. For Gwen, who thought she knew everything about Scarlett, the allure of uncovering the starlet’s lost year is too great to resist, and she and Peter soon find themselves in Alaska, meeting with the one man who may know the truth. But it’s more than a juicy mystery for Gwen, and the discovery of Scarlett’s tragic secret allows Gwen to finally come to terms with her own devastating grief.

VERDICT Told using two equally captivating timelines and with elements of romance, this is a gripping and addictive read. Expect wide appeal.

Reviewed by Vicki Briner , Aug 01, 2023

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