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The Qualities of Wood    by Mary Vensel White order for
Qualities of Wood
by Mary Vensel White
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Vivian and Lowell Gardinar have decided to leave the city and live in his grandmother's old house for the year it will take to restore it for sale. Only married for a short time, they felt the pulling away that can happen when a love starts the slow process of dying.

Feeling they could repair what they had broken, they set to work on the house. Lowell is a published author with one book under his belt. He's working every day to complete a second one. Vivian works hard clearing out the house of Grandmom's belongings before she starts painting.

Slowly making friends helps the loneliness that has set in with Lowell working on a time limit. His brother Lonnie and his wife appear for a visit not a good time but he is Lowell's brother. His wife and Vivian get along well but the tension in the household builds.

Then a missing girl turns up dead! In the woods. A neighbor, Mr. Stokes, seems suspicious to Vivian. She investigates his home and finds nothing incriminating. The girl's death is ruled accidental but some feel murder is the answer.

The woods separating the Gardinars' property and that of Stokes is literally a forest of mysterious trees. If only they could tell what they had seen.

The Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White is a first novel for the author. Her short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines.

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