Aspen Allegations is a thoroughly enjoyable mystery. After Sutton Mass. resident Morgan Warren finds a body during a woodland walk, she is drawn into solving a puzzle that reaches back to the 1968 death of eighteen year old Eileen, a local beauty. Four young men who, along with Eileen, were about to graduate high school were present when a boating accident claimed her life. More than forty years later one of those men lay dead from a gunshot in Sutton Forest. Who knows what really happened on that long ago night? Morgan and Jason, a forest ranger, set out to find the truth.
I was interested to learn that this novel was written in 'real time'. That is to say that the locations used in the novel were visited by the author and described as they were on the day that those pages were written. The detailed descriptions add a great deal of atmosphere and realism to the story, but at times I feel that they went a little too far and too long. Some chapters felt more like a book about the flora and fauna of Massachusetts. Also, I feel that I did not need to know in such detail about the meals that Morgan eats, or quite so much about her social engagements with her various friends. Although elements that help with Eileen's mystery are worked into these scenes, I think this could have been achieved more succinctly.
The later chapters of the book move into much higher gear, and the climax of the story is extremely exciting. Although I did manage to guess whodunnit, this was not until late on in the story and it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the ending, or from finding out the 'why' behind the 'who'.
All in all, Aspen Allegations is interesting and involving, and a good read. Lisa Shea gives depth to all her characters, even those in minor roles, and engages the reader's interest further by weaving elements of local history into the fictional tale. I appreciated the fact that Morgan and Jason's growing relationship is subtly written, without recourse to unnecessary physical details - it is through Morgan's feelings that that part of the story is told.
Aspen Allegations is the first in a series of Sutton Mass. mysteries, and I look forward to reading the next.
(I borrowed this book through my Amazon Prime subscription.)