Written In Blood
by Sheila Lowe
Obsidian Books (Imprint of Penguin)
Claudia Rose Series
For those of you who like Mysteries, there is a brand new series of Mystery books available with a most unusual heroine. Her name is Claudia Rose and she is a Handwriting Analyst. This book is the second in the series. The first book was called Poison Pen and was also published this year.
And for those of you with Kindles, both books are now available on the Kindle list.
Anyway, Paige Sorenson is a young widow who's elderly husband died a few months before. In his will, Torg Sorenson left his business to his wife, Paige, but his adult children from Torg's previous marriage are challenging the will. Claudia is asked to verify if the signature on the will is genuine or not. Considering that Torg had had a stroke, and was not in the best of health when he signed his will, Claudia has some serious comparing to do. She must compare the signature on the will with 57 other samples of Torg's signature.
The adult children, Dane, Diana and Neil, are all involved in making Paige's life hell, calling her a trophy wife and a gold digger. Torg owned a large old house which he had turned into a school for troubled and emotionally sensitive girls. It was called the Sorenson Academy. One of the girls who has just enrolled at the school is Annabelle Giordano. Her father Dominic Giordano is a very wealthy and powerful studio owner and movie producer. He is rumoured to have links to the mob. Annabelle is disliked by all the other girls at the academy because she was "different". She was a manipulator and she had a huge crush on the athletic director, Cruz Montenegro.
While Claudia is analysing the will signature, Paige tells her about Annabelle, the rebellious new teenager at the school. When Claudia goes to probate court to testify about the will, she states that the signature on the will is genuine, thus allowing Paige to keep the school. Dane and Diana Sorenson start threatening Paige about the school and about the will. They call Paige a fraud and the signature a fake.
Claudia breaks the rules and becomes involved. Claudia arranges to do a lecture on handwriting at the school and get an example of Annabelle's writing to see if she can understand what emotional state Annabelle is in. She invites Annabelle back to her home to stay for one weekend. Claudia's niece Monica is staying with her and the two teenagers become good friends.
Then things come to head during the Christmas vacation break. Annabelle was supposed to stay at the school over the holidays because her father couldn't pick her up until New Years Eve. On Chrtsmas Eve both Paige and Annabelle go missing. Cruz is interrogated by the police and is the main suspect because he was the last person to see them alive. On Christmas Eve Annabelle calls Monica and says she think she is in a hospital, and then hangs up.
The race is on to find Annabelle and Paige, and there are three groups looking for them. Dominic Giordano, the Police and Claudia.
A few days later Annabella calls Claudia and says she is in Las Vegas. The last part if the books follows Claudia and Annabelle's adventures in Las Vegas and also includes two surprise twists in the ending.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I read it in just 4 hours. I enjoyed the characters - especially those of Claudia and Annabelle. They were both very well written. Now I must find Poisen Pen and read the first book in this new and exciting series.
With more than 35 years experience in the field of handwriting, Sheila Lowe has been qualified as a handwriting expert in the California Court system since 1985. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and was certified by the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation in 1981, as well as the Society of Handwriting Analysts in 1985. She is an active member of the National Association of Document Examiners. Sheila is also the author of a mystery series, beginning with Poison Pen, featuring a sleuth who shares her expertise.