I really enjoyed this 3rd installment of the Wedding Cake Mystery series. Even though it's part of a series, I think it can be read as a standalone book. I'm not totally caught up on all of the books; I've only read one other one, the 2nd. In this book, I don't remember many (if any) references to previous mysteries, so anyone new to the series shouldn't have any trouble starting here.
The short chapters and the way in which Clark skipped amongst the different story lines really added to the suspense. The author had me reading as fast as I could and rapidly turning the pages, just to see what would happen next.
As usual, Clark has put together a great mix of eclectic characters. Piper is always fun to read about. She definitely has a unique set of skills. I wasn't sure I liked her postings on Facebook, but that's individual taste. I also liked reading about Isaac, who left the Amish life behind to become a wedding planner.
The location specific details really made me feel like I was in Florida. Clark presented some fascinating information about the sea turtles and a little about the invasive Australian pine. I loved reading all of that new-to-me information. However, I'm not entirely sure the mystery itself hinged on any of it. Change a few details and the mystery could easily have taken place on another beach halfway around the world.
By having a few Amish characters, Clark is able to touch upon some Amish traditions, such as Rumspringa and shunning. She was also able to insert some charming Amish proverbs. Like the sea turtle information, it was interesting and added another dimension to the story, but I don't think it was a natural fit with the rest of the story. Clark definitely made it work, though, and I enjoyed learning a little more about the Amish.
netsuke (page 23): a carved wooden or ivory ornamental toggle on a kimono cord.
As I said above, the author included some Amish proverbs. My favourite appears on page 289:
Even a saint is tempted by an open door.
I've read a number of other books by Clark, all of which I enjoyed. My review of The Look of Love can be found here. The first one of the series is on my eReader, but I still haven't gotten to it. Clark also writes the KEY News Thrillers series, which is also good. I've only read the last three. For those reviews (and more), visit my Reviews by Author page and scroll down to Clark, Mary Jane.
Recommended. Despite my small complaints about this story, I'd definitely read another book by this author.
For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the HarperCollins website.
I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins for this review copy.
Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark, William Morrow (HarperCollins), ©2013. ISBN 9780062222824(Uncorrected Proof), 367p.