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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Orchid Shroud

Wan, Michelle. The Orchid Shroud. Mara Dunn is renovating a French mansion in Dordogne when the workmen discover the partially mummified body of an infant in one of the walls. The baby in the wall has been a strangely popular plot device in mysteries. Julian Wood is a landscaper who is in search of a wild orchid that may no longer exist; his interest is heightened by the fact that the infant is wrapped in a shawl with a beautifully embroidered image of the very orchid he's been seeking. The story has these two main branches, the identity of the baby and his murderer and the discovery of a wild orchid that may or may not still exit. The story shifts between the present and 1870. Then the author inserts a new twist to the mystery--that seems a bit too fantastic. On a scale of 1-5, I'd probably give it a 2.

Fiction. Mystery. 2006. 336 pages.

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