The Body in the Birches

In The Body in the Birches, Sophie Maxwell returns to her Uncle’s summer house on the coast of Maine. Most of her family is there to fight for their inheritance, as their Uncle Paul will announce who will inherit the home. The island of Sanpere is a little world of its own, with generations of families vacationing near each other. Most know each others secrets, and most agree that having the family vie for their inheritance could only lead to disaster.

While the premise is interesting, as is the basic story, there are many details about this book that made me cringe. Sophie, upon meeting an attractive nephew of Uncle Paul’s, blushes…often. Who writes about women blushing when they see men? Not usually a good mystery writer. Also, Sophie takes over the cooking after their servant dies. So, shocking, she gets the house. There’s lots of other family drama in this book, but it was pretty clear from the second she walked into the house that she should inherit it, as long as everything was right in the world, which it is, even with people dropping dead and attempted murders.

This was a good vacation read because its always interesting to read about how rich people spend their vacations, but this is not a great mystery that dives into corruption or social injustices.

Read June 2016.


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