Paxton has recently spent a year restoring the Blue Ridge Madam, the town's grandest home, long abandoned by Willa's ancestors, in the hopes that it will be ready to host the anniversary gala of the Young Women's Society, a club that was started by Paxton's and Willa's grandmothers 75 years ago. But when a peach tree planted on the property is moved to make room for a live oak, a skeleton is discovered, and long-buried secrets threaten to spill out. Suddenly, Paxton and Willa find themselves tangled together and must unravel a seventy-five-year-old mystery.
I wasn't in love with this book. It was adequate for what it was, and it kept me interested enough to keep walking, but the characters were pretty one-note. The mystery wasn't exactly a mystery; I put two and two together pretty quickly, and I was only really sort of half listening. t found the story and the subsequent happily-ever-after ending for everyone a little bit trite, and Allen tried to interject some southern ghostly happenings, but they never really took off. Actually, I think that's what bothered me the most. The ghostly sightings or bells ringing when nobody was there felt contrived and almost after the fact. There was potential for a really compelling story - a nearly century old mystery, the catty women in the Young Women's Society (which could have had quite a few delicious scenes, but only produced one sort of half-hearted argument), unrequited love, family drama - but it just never really took flight for me. I'll give it three stars, but to be honest, I finished it Saturday, and I'm having trouble remembering the details two days later.