Reviewed by Dee
TITLE: The Burning of Her Sin
SERIES: Brenda Strange Mystery #1
AUTHOR: Patty G. Henderson
PUBLISHER: Black Car Publishing
LENGTH: 217 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2010
After learning to cope with her near death experience and new found psychic abilities, Brenda and her lover decide to move to Tampa, Florida and the house of their dreams. Malfour House is a very old Victorian located in The Tides of Palmetto, an exclusive community for the rich. But after she and Tina move in, Brenda finds the dingy Walls and empty rooms screaming their secrets in her mind. Brenda begins tracing a path filled with murder, betrayal, ghosts and the deadly curses of Santeria, a dark and exotic religion. Realizing that Malfour House will not let her leave until she unravels the clues to the horrifying murders long buried in its past, Brenda renews her career as a private investigator.
The prologue to this story sets the stage perfectly. Fast forward from 1926 to present day and Brenda and her partner Tina are house hunting. It’s no surprise when they buy a house built in the 1900s. However, the event that put Brenda on her death bed was gritty and took me by surprise. After surviving the harrowing event, Brenda develops psychic abilities, which enables her to see things that have happened in the house, and makes this story very much a paranormal mystery.
When they move into the old home, Brenda finds love letters dating back to 1924, which adds intrigue to the plot. There’s a bit of a plot jump between chapters four and five, and the introduction of a new character, Papa Chucho, threw me off kilter for a beat.
Even though the story is told from Brenda’s point-of-view, her partner, Tina, is well fleshed out and a likeable character. My one quibble, was the constant references of Brenda looking like Lady Di, well the mention of such didn’t bother me but her being called Princess all the time wore a little thin.
Brenda makes Teddy bears, which gives the story a nice little subplot. The story is set in Tampa, which was a delight for me to read about.
There’s plenty of inferred sex between the heroines, but there’s no explicit content and romance is far from forefront to the bigger story. For some reason, someone wants these two women out of Malfour house, but who and why? Of course I can’t say. But curses, poisoned gardens, old love letters, and many other aspects add layers upon layers of mystery and intrigue to the story.
Even though I understand why the story had to end like it did, and it was fitting, I can’t say I was happy about it. I would say it’s a happy for now, but then again that could be taken to mean many things. And I can’t explain it more clearly without giving away spoilers, which I’m loathe to do. So in order to discover the outcome you’ll have to read ‘The Burning of her Sins’ yourself.