Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Affliction by Beth Gutcheon

Kerry Hammond has discovered a great new author and can’t wait to tell us about it.

I am so excited to have discovered not only a new author, but a new series. The Affliction by Beth Gutcheon was published in Hardcover on March 13 by William Morrow. It’s the second book in a series that features Maggie Detweiler and her friend Hope. Maggie is a former headmistress of a private New York City school who has been tasked to evaluate the financial stability of Rye Manor School for girls. She meets the faculty and students at the school and one teacher, Florence Meagher, stands out for her peculiar affliction—she talks incessantly. When Florence’s body is found floating in the school’s pool, Maggie’s work takes on a new focus. She helps with damage control and helps investigate to find out who killed Florence and why.

Hope Babbin is Maggie’s socialite friend who is always available to drop everything to join Maggie for a little investigating. Hope’s social skills, and her ability to disarm people she wants to get information from, are invaluable to Maggie as she continues to investigate not only the teachers, but the students at Rye Manor. Maggie and Hope make quite a crime solving duo and soon get to the bottom of the mystery.

At first I wasn’t sure about this book; the title and the cover made me think it was a novel of suspense and I expected it to delve into some sort of psychological disorder. But when I read the book jacket I realized that Florence’s affliction was her inability to stop talking; I found this funny. I was also intrigued to see where the author would go with the private girls’ school setting. I wasn’t disappointed, Gutcheon has created two very appealing characters in Maggie and Hope and the setting was all I had hoped for. The plot kept me guessing and I enjoyed unraveling the puzzle. I’m looking forward to reading the first book in the series, Death at Breakfast.

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