A Touch of Gold, Joyce and Jim Lavene's second Missing Pieces mystery, is just as intriguing as the first book, A Timely Vision. Once again, they take readers to the Outer Banks community of Duck, North Carolina, where the residents share a history of pirates, gold, and ghosts. The current mystery brings those elements all together in a story of murder as well.
Dae O'Donnell spent the morning with school children, walking them to the Duck Historical Museum where the curator excited their interest in the island's history and legends. Fortunately, the children had walked back to school when "The whole world exploded into a ball of fire." Dae was blown across the street, and the museum and its curator, Max Caudle, were blown up by a cannonball shot into the museum.
Dae always had a gift. She was Duck's "unofficial finder of lost things." But the explosion that threw her across the road enhanced her gifts, and she discovered when she touched an item, she could see its history and the people who owned it. She told ex-FBI agent Kevin Brickman about it, and he cautioned her to be careful. However, when a local house goes up in flames, and there's a connection to the museum and gold, Dae and Kevin know she might have to use her new enhanced gift to find a killer.
At thirty-six, Dae has issues in her past that still haunt her. But some of her new visions are enough to bring her to her knees. In the course of her investigation, she learns the truth about some of the legends of Duck. At the same time, Dae learns that her own past isn't what she always believed. Dae O'Donnell is as haunted by ghosts as the town of Duck itself.
The Lavenes once again take readers into a setting with a remarkable past, filled with legends and history. The community of Duck is as much a character as the people themselves. The characters are vivid and fascinating, from Dae and her Gramps, to Kevin Brickman and the mysterious former owner of the Blue Whale Inn, The stories of the Outer Banks are dark, legends of "pirates, marauders and gold" in an area called the Graveyard of the Atlantic. But, A Touch of Gold reveals that the present in the Outer Banks can be just as dangerous and dark. And, fortunately for the reader, Joyce and Jim Lavene also leave Dae O'Donnell facing an intriguing future in Duck, North Carolina.
The Lavenes' website is www.joyceandjimlavene.com
A Touch of Gold by Joyce and Jim Lavene. Berkley Prime Crime, ©2011. ISBN 9780425240243 (paperback), 294p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, in hopes I would review it.