Evie Randall is the ward of Thomas Heyworth, taken in to his care at the age of 11 following her mother's death. Left slightly warped by her mother's succession of boyfriends throughout her early childhood and later raised on the island home of a millionnaire crime novelist, Evie is in serious danger of isolating herself from the world until Thomas is murdered. As a writer of thrillers, Thomas leaves an unusual will. Naming 6 individuals, he invites them to join in his last crime caper, giving the participants 2 weeks to solve 7 clues; riddles which not only lead to the rights to his vast estate, but also to the identity of his killer.
3 teams of 2 people each have been chosen to play Thomas' treasure/murder hunt; Madame Grovda (the renowned Russian psychic) and her partner Edmunds (the butler), Lorna Whitney (Thomas' secretary) and James Dabney (a reclusive poet) and lastly Evie and Maxfield Galloway, a hard hearted detective who holds a long standing grudge against the recently deceased for marrying his mother Lillian despite his very vocal protests. Unfortunately Lillian died several months after her wedding, never reconciled with her son.
As each couple search for their clues, the murderer is intent on killing Thomas' rumoured heir, a young woman rightfully due his entire wealth, and he has his target firmly set on Evie. With plenty of people with a motive for killing Thomas, Marianne Stilling had ample opportunity to keep the reader on their toes; unfortunately she failed to do this. As the plot developed she gave away far too many details, leaving the identity of the killer fairly obvious. I was hoping for a little bit more than a formulaic romance and thought that MS could provide this; as a mystery this book didn't shock the reader with any type of twist, yet romance wise, Evie and Max were likeable characters who come to love each other despite events in their pasts. On the whole this wasn't a bad book; however I can't really say it was good. Maybe this is something to read when you find yourself stuck in a lift without a glossy magazine available.