Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review: Artifacts (Faye Longchamp Mysteries, No. 1) by Mary Anna Evans

  • Paperback: 492 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (May 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590580796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590580790

Book Description

 Faye Longchamp is doing something she hates, finding and selling artifacts. But she's doing it to save something she loves. Joyeuse, the plantation manor held by the women in her family ever since it was her great-great-grandmother inherited it. Faye makes a little money on the legitimate dig on a nearby island until that work is interrupted by the murder of two young members of the crew. Then bones of a much older murder are uncovered, and clues lead Faye to suspect an old friend, a long-time business partner, and a new love interest.

From the Author


I have always had a guilty passion for antebellum Southern domestic architecture, particularly in remote areas of the Deep South where traditional building materials of the time, like stone and cast iron and exotic wood, weren’t available and had to be "faked" by the use of carved cypress, handmade bricks, even mud and Spanish moss. The problem with these audacious homes is obvious: they were built by slave labor. I wanted to write a book that featured such a house—that gave it the status almost equal to that of the human characters. But how would any reader sympathize with a character who had inherited a mansion built by prisoners? Well, if the mansion was one step away from utter ruin and its owner was a descendant of the slaves that built it, maybe a reader would indeed care what happened to them. And that is how Faye and Joyeuse were born.

I did not intend Artifacts to have a strong romantic theme, so I created Joe to be the ideal sidekick for an independent woman. Kind, strong, and, yes, good-looking, but not Faye’s type. In my experience, intelligent women are attracted to intelligent men, so Joe was intended to be Faye’s true friend, but only that. Yet many people, women and men, have demanded to know why she doesn’t date him. Heck, most of them think she should marry him on the spot. I think Joe took on a life of his own as I wrote Artifacts, and every writer dreams of finding a character like that. He is more than I intended him to be. Will Faye ever notice his stellar qualities? That, my friends is another story—and another book (or two or three) entirely. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author


Mary Anna Evans has degrees in Physics and Chemical Engineering, but her heart is in the past. Her background includes stints as an environmental consultant and a youth choir director. She has also worked offshore and wrapped gifts for pay. Writing lets her indulge her passion for history, archaeology, and architecture, while giving her a great excuse for making up stories. Simply put, writing novels is fun. Mary Anna lives in Florida with her husband, three children, at least sixteen musical instruments, and a cat. Artifacts is her debut novel.

My Review

I discovered this book and this author through the 99 cent books offered by Poisoned Pen Press at Christmas.  This is the first book in the series.  I will be reading Plunder next which is the seventh.  I love history, archaeology and mysteries so this book was a real treat. I am looking forward to reading the entire series. 

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