By Tim Holland
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When Sidney Lake learned the author's copy of Anne Brontë's novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall had been stolen, he firmly believed he would never see it again, much less hold it in his hands. But there it was. In the hands of an appraiser at the National Arts And Crafts Show. Could it be the same three-volume first edition of the book? He had to find out.
Assembling his experienced team of investigators, they begin searching for the appraiser, who is believed to be from Savannah, Georgia, in the hope of being led to the young man who claimed to be the owner of the book. But before they get fully underway, Tillie James, his Gullah companion, and confidant drops out of the group as a ninety-year-old Gullah woman is threatened with losing her home at a delinquent tax sale. The woman had been deceptively tricked by a real estate attorney into not paying the tax claiming he had a way around it.
Could there be a connection between rare book thefts and attempts to steal land from Gullah residents of the Pirate Islands?
Sidney and his associates decide to pursue both the tax fraud deception and the possible Brontë book forgery at the same time and keep running into coincidences. But are they?
The Lowcountry of South Carolina takes center stage as Sidney Lake and Tillie James pursue the answers to questions not everyone wants asked.