The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood ) finds our heroine unexpectedly in possession of a foundli"/>

The Tale of Hawthorn House: The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter

Susan Wittig Albert, Author . Berkley Prime Crime $23.95 (322p) ISBN 978-0-425-21655-2

Albert’s charming fourth Beatrix Potter mystery (after 2006’s The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood ) finds our heroine unexpectedly in possession of a foundling child, Baby Flora. The reader knows the mysteriously twinkly Mrs. Overthewall stole Flora from her teenage mother, Emily, a maid at the gloomy and possibly haunted Hawthorn House, and left her on the Potter doorstep, but Beatrix—not having read the prologue—suspects the child of having gypsy origins. Capt. Miles Woodcock and his sister, Dimity, gladly give Flora a new home, leaving Beatrix to solve the mystery of her old one. Other thoughts of families and youngsters abound: Jemima Puddleduck broods over a nest of long overdue eggs; Reynard the Fox struggles with his unnatural fondness for Jemima; and the village gossips bring all their matchmaking powers to bear on Beatrix and the highly eligible Captain Woodcock. The whimsical blend of romance, mystery and nostalgia will keep cozy fans happily entertained. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/09/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
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