Sunday, December 13, 2015


A MacKenzie Clan Gathering 
by Jennifer Ashley
MacKenzies & McBrides #8.5


Ian Mackenzie is awakened at Kilmorgan Castle one night to find robbers stealing the priceless art collection of his oldest brother, Hart. Since Ian and Beth are the only ones in resident at Kilmorgan at the moment, Ian decides he must find the art and the culprits before the family shows up for Hart's birthday gathering. With Inspector Fellows and Beth, he investigates, though Ian is somewhat worried by Beth's late husband's brother, a retired missionary, who decides to visit. Does John Ackerley hold the "cure" to Ian's madness? And can Ian discover what has happened to Hart's treasures, and who is targeting the Mackenzies before the enemy strikes again?

Return to Kilmorgan Castle to visit the Victorian branch of the Mackenzie family, and catch up on the brothers and friends, their children, and their lives.

Truth. Anytime I can get more of Ian and Beth McKenzie that is a good thing. They are a unique, beloved, indelible paring. Their love is true and they are so good together. Ian is a bit of an an odd duck but, nonetheless, highly lovable. Maybe it's his condition that makes him a little vulnerable but I love the way Beth responds and interacts with him. She does not treat him as if he has any kind of disability. In fact, she does not perceive his "oddness" as odd but instead, he is "different". I respect how she treats him with an expectation of normalcy that includes an absolute adoration love. As a reader, I am completely attracted to that kind of unconditional love. 

As a novella, I'm impressed at how much the author is able to accomplish in such a short space. There's a lot of tension, suspense, and action, all in the context of a kidnapping and a plot for revenge. We get to revisit with the MacKenzie brothers and their wives and children. It is a reunion of characters. This is gathering and family mystery, Jennifer Ashley gets to grow and develop Ian's character. It occurs to me that he could be a wonderful Sherlock Holmes - a bit eccentric, whip smart, and highly logical. The deep dive into his relationship with Beth is an integral part of the story and one in which I much appreciated.

I miss these two. And if Ms. Ashley would like to write another novel featuring Ian and Beth, I'll be first in line to one-click that buy!

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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