Scattered Legacy: Murder in Southern Italy is the third entry in the Annalisse Series by Marlene Bell and an enthralling tale for fans of crime thrillers and cunningly plotted novels. Annalisse Drury is a Manhattan antiquities assessor who is in a relationship with Alec Zavos, a man with a passion for sports cars. Their relationship is characterized by fun adventures that could include treasure hunts and dangerous stunts. When the two plan to visit Alec’s birthplace, they expect anything but murder. In Bari, Italy, they are embroiled in a murder case in which the disgraced former CFO of Alec’s family company becomes the prime suspect. Things get even more complicated when Alec and Annalisse, accompanied by detective Bill Drake, their friend, uncover a conspiracy that links Alec’s late father to shady business dealings, with links to the Sicilian Mafia. As the case unravels, the trio is faced with a startling truth that will alter their lives forever.
Marlene Bell’s novel reads well as a standalone story and it is well-plotted, a story that will have readers enmeshed in an intricate maze as they follow the solid characters in their quest to solve a murder. I adored the ancient rosary as a plot element and how the author uses it to create mystery in the narrative. The plot is intricately written, the characters are elaborately developed, and the writing is bold and confident. The setting is mostly in Italy and the descriptions of the locales and atmosphere are terrific, giving readers a wonderful reading experience with the lush imagery. The relationship between Annalisse and Alec is a complex one and it adds depth to the plot. Marlene Bell is deft at creating a conflict that arrests the attention of readers and that moves the plot forward in unexpected directions. Fans will enjoy following the characters as they wade through an intricate web of conspiracy and danger. Scattered Legacy: Scattered Legacy: Murder in Southern Italy features an insanely calculated plot to keep readers guessing and fascinating characters that are endowed with staying power, offering the company that readers looking for the perfect t escape will adore.