“The House That Vanity Built” is book two in the “Misty Dawn Mystery” series, but new readers will easily get up to speed on Dawn’s adventures and outlook on life, death, and life after death. She is the leading “Psychic to the Stars” with a clientele that has included the elite of Hollywood and sometimes even the FBI. She lives in a nice quiet house with the recently deceased former owner, Wilson Thorne, Hollywood set designer. Dawn’s adventures unfold in her first person narrative filled with conversations and personal reflections so readers know what she hears, sees, and thinks.
Dawn’s new client, Carlene Muller, has lost her engagement ring the week before the wedding. Dawn normally just wants to help people help themselves, but she knows this girl is in trouble, and not just about the ring. When the girl’s rich fiancé shows up dead, she is set to inherit “The Estate” and the accompanying cosmetics fortune, and then things get complicated. Dawn tries to manage relationships, both in life and on the other side of the veil, but finds both love and vengeance complicate everything. Clues are uncovered, but the detectives on the case are only interested in information that can be taken to a jury.
“The House That Vanity Built” is entertaining and easy to read. It has suspense, excitement, and some danger but without blood and gore. The characters are likeable and funny. The plot moves purposefully and systematically to a satisfying end. I received a review copy of “The House That Vanity Built” from Nancy Cole Silverman, and Henery Press. For those who read the first book in the series, the “Academy Award” doorstop is still there.