Disclosure time. I know Sonja Hakala, I read and reviewed her last book. Further disclosure, I am not a big fan of mysteries. It’s not that I dislike them, I simply don’t read them, so I figure the two things even out to create some measure of objectivity. I like Hakala, I don’t really like mysteries. Moment of truth. I loved this book!
Hakala surprised me! A Vermonter, I am always interested in how writers handle talking about my state. Hakala managed to bring to life the astute local wisdom of native New Englanders, while making them ring true. She did this while weaving a story of art forgery and international intrigue and somehow made it seem possible to have occurred to people I know. She created a story that somehow managed to be clear and crisp as a New England day and simultaneously as rich and captivating as an unexplored landscape. I was hooked.
Her cast of characters was long, but well drawn so that I could identify each and embrace them like locals in my own small town. The plot kept me enamored and reading on to see what would happen to Edie Wolfe and company and to learn exactly what the secret was behind the painting that hung in Carding Academy. Reading Thieves of Fire is a bit like reading an adult Nancy Drew! I highly recommend. It is a book that manages to be as familiar as the easy chair you curl up to read it in, while offering enough surprise that you can’t wait to turn the page.