Title: Her Lost Love
Series: Amelia Moore Detective Agency series #5
Author: Linda Weaver Clarke
Narrator: Diane Lehman
Format: Unabridged Audiobook,
Published: Red Mountain Shadows Publishing 1 July 2016
ISBN: ASIN: B01HSLCUD8
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of her partner, Rick Bonito, the business is flourishing.
Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.
“Romantic?” he teased. “Of course, I wouldn’t be interested in something like that. Is that what you think?” He winked at her. “After all, I’m just a guy. Men wouldn’t be interested in a bit of romance. Right?”
Her Lost Love is the fifth installment in Linda Weaver-Clarke’s Amelia Moore Detective Agency cozy mystery series. As with the previous books, Her Lost Love is sweet and clean. There’s no hanky panky other than a few chaste kisses. Even so, I found Her Lost Love to be the most romantic installment of this series and my favorite-to-date.
In this story, Amelia and her partner/sweetheart, Rick Bonito, are hired to search for well-known attorney Julie Anderson’s high school beau, archaeologist Joseph ‘Joey’ Yancey Witherbee. Julie and Joey had met when she was eight years old. He was her neighbor and her best friend. They had been inseparable. But, she lost contact with Joey twenty-four years ago after she went to college to become a lawyer. Julie is considering moving on with her life and is being pressed to marry Senator Fox, who aspires to the presidency, but she’s never been able to forget Joey. The bottom line is that Julie cannot accept Senator Fox’s marriage proposal without solving the puzzle of what happened to Joey. Because of the high-profile of the parties involved, Julie has especially requested that Amelia’s and Rick’s investigation be hush-hush.
Even though this book is part of a series, it could be enjoyed as a stand-alone, if that is your preference. However, you should know that Amelia’s and Rick’s relationship has been slowly developing since the first book. If at all possible, I would recommend that the series be read in order. Each book has been a fantastic read.
This series also serves as a fun travel diary. After I finish each of these books, I feel that I’ve ‘adventured’ the areas they visited too thanks to the author’s vivid imagery. Don’t you love it when education is entertaining? In the past, the couple has traipsed through Bali, Ireland, Mexico and the American West taking drooling readers along for the ride. In Her Lost Love, we get to visit northern Arizona and southern Utah. One of my favorite both photographic and tender scenes takes place at Snow Canyon State Park as the couple evening-hiked the Petrified Dunes Trail and star-gazed. The dunes are painted the brightest red coral. While stargazing, Rick points out the Big and Little Dippers, the Milky Way and Orion. Here’s a short snippet from that memorable excursion:
"Hmmm,” hummed Rick. “Now isn’t this pleasant?” With a sigh, he softly said, “’Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.’”
“That’s beautiful,” whispered Amelia as if not wanting to ruin the pleasant mood he had just created.
“Henry Wadsworth Longfellow…
“Have you ever heard of the constellation: Berenice’s Hair?”…
“It’s named after an Egyptian queen. Berenice and Ptolemy were newlyweds when he went off to war. She was worried about him so she made a deal with the goddess of love to protect her husband. In order to save his life, Berenice was supposed to cut off her long golden hair, which she was very proud of. She felt it was her crowning glory, but she was willing to sacrifice anything for the man she loved. The goddess was so pleased with her newly acquired treasure that she took it up to heaven.”
The author also treats us to seeing Zion National Park. I have actually visited that beautiful park years ago, and, through this book, I was able to relive many of my fond memories from that time. Zion is called ‘Color Country’ for good reason as it has grand deep red coral mountains that seem to surround you on every turn. I can still see them when I close my eyes. The area is populated with roadrunners, horny toads, coyotes, tarantulas, scorpions, and quail. These are only glimpses into the places you will go and the people you will meet in Her Lost Love. There’s much, much more in store for those who dive into the pages of this book.
Following please find a few more of my favorite quotes from Her Lost Love:
Rick nudged Amelia and grinned. “Hey, stick with me baby, and I’ll keep you in shape. Good food. Exercise. Fun games. You name it.” He wiggled his eyebrows flirtatiously. “And plenty of lovin’. I guarantee it.”
An elderly couple sat on a bench, gazing at the scenery. The man grinned at Rick as he approached and gave an approving nod. Apparently they had heard his insinuations. Rick had spoken loud enough.
“You’ve got the right idea, young man,” said the elderly gentleman as he winked at his wife. “Plenty of lovin’. That’s what we do for sure.”
Rick smiled as he grabbed the fat round toad from her back. “Got it.”
Amelia breathed a sigh of relief when she saw what it was. “Oh. Just a frog.”
“Correction. Toad,” said Mr. Witherbee. “There’s a difference. I guess Herman was just taking a swim and you were in his way.”
Rick raised his brow. “You named him?”
When Amelia looked at the toad, she smiled. “He’s cute. Can I keep him?”
She was just joking around, but it made Rick laugh.
“Sorry, missy,” said Mr. Witherbee. “No can do! He eats all the gnats and mosquitoes on this here pond, not to mention all the flies that can really get on a person’s nerves. He’s been my friend here for at least ten years.”
Amelia raised her brow. “They can live that long?”
“Hey, they can live up to fifteen years if taken good care of.” He smiled. “And I take very good care of Herman.”…
Rick placed the toad on a rock. He then warned the little fellow, “Now you better watch out because some girl just might give you a kiss and you’ll turn into a prince.”
Amelia laughed. “You’ve got that all wrong. It’s a frog that turns into a prince. Not a toad.”
Diane Lehman continues as the talented narrator of this series. She has an amazing voice excellently balancing pacing, sound and characterization. Her voice is extremely clear and she differentiates between the characters to where I have no problem knowing who is speaking at any one time. Her characters also sound realistic. She's quite versatile, too, as throughout the series she's voiced multiple accents and sang in different genuine-sounding voices. I look forward to hearing more of her performances in the future.
Her Lost Love is a very good mystery adventure set amidst picturesque scenery with a strong romantic element. I was pulling for Amelia and Rick as they strived to outwit some determined characters who are following them; It’s a puzzle as to who they are, why they are tailing them and their purpose. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys perfectly-paced, light-hearted romantic mysteries.
Suggested Reading Order:
THE BALI MYSTERY (Book #1)
THE SHAMROCK CASE (Book #2)
THE MISSING HEIR (Book #3)
THE MYSTERIOUS DOLL (Book #4)
HER LOST LOVE (Book #5)
MYSTERY ON THE BAYOU (Book #6)
THE LIGHTHOUSE SECRET (Book #7)