When Hannah’s house is burgled, she gains as much as she loses: she meets Jan, her reserved Dutch neighbour and successful antiques dealer, and Callum, the detective in charge of the case, then finds some hidden letters to her dead grandmother that take her on a roller-coaster ride of discoveries.
As Hannah juggles the attentions of the two men now firmly in her life, she works to uncover the secrets of the past, only to find these encroach on the present in unexpected ways.
And then there are the two men in her life, both vying for her attention, both hiding things from her and each other. What does Callum really know about Jan? What is Jan hiding from everyone? And what did her grandmother—whose house it once was—hide from the world?
As if Hannah doesn’t have enough mysteries to solve, her best friend Rachel enlists her help in solving her marital crisis, while her pleasure-seeking mother seems intent on finding her a husband.
With so many skeletons rattling the door of Hannah’s house, can she unravel these mysterious threads and reveal the truth, changing her life forever?
I sat back in my seat, gave my upper lip a surreptitious swipe with my finger to make sure there was no froth on it, and looked into his friendly eyes.
“Perhaps I never really felt a sense of ownership to my grandmother’s belongings. The burglars didn’t take anything of mine—not that I have that much that would interest them anyway, or anything to which I have any great attachment. As you pointed out, they left a fairly valuable ring behind, so all they wanted was Grandma Elouise’s stuff. She had some lovely antiques and art deco pieces. I might never have bought them myself, but she left them in my custody when she left me her house, so it’s like I’ve let her down by allowing them to be stolen. And that’s what makes me angry. Does that make any sense to you at all?”
He sat watching me for quite a while, before picking up his cup and taking another swig of coffee. At last, he nodded. “Yes, I think so. But I also think a burglary invokes a kind of grieving process, and you’re still very much in the early stages of it.”
That made me laugh out loud. “I’m familiar with the stages of grieving. I deal with grief a lot in my line of work, remember. I’m not grieving; I’m just furious that some low-life broke into my house and stole my grandmother’s treasures. And I want to get them back. That’s all there is to it.” I knew anger was the second stage of the grieving process, but so what?
He smiled, not in the least offended by my outburst and asked in what sounded like a teasing voice, “And do you have an M.O.?”
I shrugged again. That’s not a habit I want to develop, since I've always considered it looks uncouth. “Not a definitive one, as yet. But I have a mother with the nose of a bloodhound, a friend who deals in antiques, another friend with contacts in the seedy criminal underbelly and a loss adjuster’s absolute best friend, the Internet.”
When he laughed, I couldn’t help noticing his good teeth. Nice and white and even. “So I’m your friendly neighbourhood copper now, am I?” he asked.
“Hmm… maybe. I’m working on it, anyway.”