Review/Giveaway – A Deceptive Homecoming by Anna Loan-Wilsey

(A Hattie Davish Mystery)

Historical Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2015)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617737268
E-Book ASIN: B00P53E0L2


Traveling secretary Hattie Davish is returning to her once-quiet hometown, where a deluge of deadly secrets leaves her feeling anything but welcome…

When her good friend Virginia Hayward’s father passes away, Hattie Davish rushes to her hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri. She’s looking forward to visiting the place where she grew up, even if the circumstances bringing her there are bleak. But upon her arrival, she learns that all is not well in St. Joe.

Virginia is cold and distant, Frank Hayward’s death is shrouded in mystery, and a string of troubling incidents have descended on Hattie’s alma mater, Mrs. Chaplin’s School for Women. Frank was the school’s bookkeeper, and as Hattie begins investigating the bizarre goings-on, she becomes convinced that someone other than Frank was in the casket—but who? Her search for the truth takes her from the town cemetery, to the home of an infamous outlaw, to the dungeon-like tunnels beneath the State Lunatic Asylum—and brings her face-to-face with a killer bent on the deadliest lesson of all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 4th installment we travel back to St. Joseph, Missouri and the school Hattie Davish attended, Mrs. Chaplin’s School for Women. She was their star pupil and gave her the training she needed to become a personal secretary. Her studies have also helped her become quite a amateur detective too.

There was plenty of deception going on throughout the entire book. Hattie’s homecoming turned out very different from anything she ever imagined. Virginia was her best friend. When Hattie received word that her friend’s father had passed away she made immediate plans to return to Missouri, but Virginia was very surprised to see her there. If Virginia didn’t send her the funeral notice who did? More questions arise when she peers into the casket. While the man’s face was disfigured by the accident that killed him Hattie doesn’t think the body belongs to Virginia’s father. Who else would it be? Hattie also hears rumblings about strange happenings at the school. Could all these things be connected?

This is a fantastic story. Hattie is such a strong woman with strong principles and an excellent role model. It is easy to see why Mrs. Chaplin thinks so much of her. All the secondary characters were so wonderfully written. I formed immediate images of just what they looked and acted like.

The author takes Hattie and the others into some very unique and a couple down-right scary situations. There was a part that was like watching a horror movie where you find yourself yelling at the screen, “NO! Don’t follow him!” Turn around! Come Back!” Okay I was yelling in my head but I was loudly yelling in my head!

We are taken to the Hayward home, the Chaplin home, the school, a historic landmark, and even to a lunatic asylum. We also travel the streets of St. Joe and along the river. All perfectly described and so easy to envision.

Things moved slower back then but this story is very fast paced with more than one edge of your seat moment. I absolutely love the way Anna Loan-Wilsey writes. I am ready for book #5 right now!

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About The Author

As a biologist, librarian and then information specialist, Anna Loan-Wilsey tracked down mysteries every day.  Now as the author of the Hattie Davish Mysteries Series, featuring a traveling Victorian private secretary, she enjoys creating them.  Anna earned her B.A. at Wells College in Aurora, NY and had several poems published in their literary magazine, The Chronicle. She earned her M.L.I.S. from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She has worked in academia much of her life including Syracuse University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas A&M University-Commerce and most recently, Iowa State University, publishing in several scientific peer-reviewed journals. A Lack of Temperance, her first novel and first in the Hattie Davish Mysteries series, was the #1 bestselling historical mystery on She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. A Sense of Entitlement, the third in the series, came out out last summer. Anna lives in a Victorian farmhouse near Ames, Iowa with her inquisitive four year old, her old yellow dog and her very funny, very patient husband, where she is happily working on Hattie’s next adventure.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

8 thoughts on “Review/Giveaway – A Deceptive Homecoming by Anna Loan-Wilsey

  1. Love your Mysteries, I’m a big Fan, keep them coming, thanks for this awesome giveaway.

  2. Would love to read this. I’m across the river in Illinois but have traveled throughout Missouri so I know the area where the book is centered. thanks for the chance.

  3. This sounds like an excellent historical mystery – and I do enjoy well-researched mysteries that include a historical setting. Each review I read shows me that your series exceeds that – would love to read it! I have picked up the first in the series and added to my TBR stack, but can’t wait to read this one!

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