Morrow, Jun 2003, 23.95, 214 pp.
In 1932 in Voorburg-on-Hudson siblings Lily and Robert Brewster recover from their sudden fall from wealth by turning the mansion they can live in for life (according to their late uncle's will) into a bed and breakfast. When an obviously masqueraded stranger leases a room for the outrageous price of $500, Lily hesitantly agrees though she suspects the worst from this individual and his cronies coming for the weekend.
However, Lily misread what the worst is when someone stabs and subsequently drowns radio preacher Brother Mark Luke Goodheart in one of the B&B bathtubs. While Police Chief Walker investigates the homicide, Lily and Robert begin work as a substitute teacher temporarily replacing Millicent Langston who seems to have vanished. Meanwhile someone abducts young Joey while his mom waits for news whether her husband died while working on the Hoover Dam project. Lily being Lily cannot resist making inquiries into the murder, the misplaced teacher, and the kidnapped child.
Though this is a Grace and Favor mystery, the suspense elements take a back seat to the Depression Era ambiance of the story line. Readers can feel the mood at least near the Hudson River of the change in presidential administrations from Hoover to the New York Governor Roosevelt. The intrigues tie together, but never really hook the reader as deeply as the historical perspective as LOVE FOR SALE is more a strong 1930s fiction that contains mystery subplots.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner