What happened to Irene?
When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels
to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she
discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, mysteriously disappeared a few
weeks before. Upon arriving at the
castle-like mansion to begin working, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but
antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t
the only one—
After Anna sets out to find the truth behind
Irene’s disappearance, a series of frightening incidents ensnare her in a maze
of intrigue. Anna is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler
Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart.
But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets in
a troubled household, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. When
her life is threatened, Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the
mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene—
EXCERPT FROM "Searching for Irene"
tallest parts of the mansion—fanciful turrets and a circular tower—were visible
only in glimpses Anna caught between lofty oaks and towering pines as her cab
wound through the knolls and hills of eastern Virginia.
the cab turned up the long driveway lined with dogwood trees in full bloom,
Anna Coughlin reached for her handbag, gripping it with a tension that had
knotted her muscles ever since getting on the train.
vast estate stood on a hilltop, like a castle—and she craned her neck to better
view the starkly impressive gray-stone mansion of Ashton Hall—where she hoped
to be hired. With its arched, leaded windows and slate roof with numerous
chimneys, the house rivaled pictures she’d seen of castles in Europe.
the driver to wait, she climbed out, patted her hat in case it was askew, then
smoothed her gray suit with gloved hands in hopes of presenting a professional
appearance. Anna had no confidence she was clever enough or bold enough to pull
this off, but she had to try.
eye was drawn by a tall man—more than six feet—who came from the side of the
house. Since the man was striding toward her so purposefully, Anna stopped and
waited. As he drew near, Anna noted his deep-set eyes were as black as his
hair. His skin was tanned, his thin, long-fingered hands brown and strong.
Coughlin?” He stretched out a hand and shook hers, but there was no warmth for her
in his eyes. “I’m Tyler Richardson. Unfortunately, your services are not needed
after all.” A touch of arrogance marked his manner, as though he was long
accustomed to command those around him.
father called only last week to have someone come out,” Anna blurted in dismay.
“May I ask what caused him to change his mind?”
fleeting glimpse of discomfiture crossed Mr. Richardson’s face. “I wasn’t
consulted about his hiring another secretary to replace the one who left so
suddenly. My father isn’t in good health, and the last thing we need is someone
coming in and upsetting him by making a muddle of things.”
His words kindled a fire that glinted in Anna’s eyes. How
dare he make such an assumption? It was difficult to hang on to her temper, but
there was too much at stake to let his boorishness sidetrack her. “Since I’m
here, I’m sure you won’t mind if I keep my appointment. After all, your father
is the one who requested my services. I’m sure he’s expecting me.”
words hit home.It took a few bitter seconds, but he
finally acquiesced. “Come in, then,” he muttered ungraciously before leading
the way up the steps and opening the door.
his rigid back down the narrow hall, Anna’s brows furrowed as doubts crept in. How
wise had she been to come to this remote place? Especially when the previous
secretary had disappeared so mysteriously? Even her employer thought it odd
that no one in this mansion seemed to know where Irene had gone or where she
was now. It was as if Irene had vanished into thin air.
OUR FAVORITE LINKS!
Stressed by a difficult year, McKenzie
Forsberg quits her high-powered job to move back to her hometown. Desperate and
determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie seeks to buy the home she grew up in. The
only problem is that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, also wants the house. As
a battle of wits ensue, sparks of attraction grow into something more. Then,
Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past that changes everything. Will
the power of love be enough to allow Jared and Kenzie to find their happily
Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah
with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and
they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene
has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the
best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on
Fire Island. She
has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive
for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.
also written a number of non-fiction, LDS books: Latter-day Saint
Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the
Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s
Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in
Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts
of Where We Go When We Die.