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Claire's Last Secret: A Lord Byron Mystery    by Marty Ambrose order for
Claire's Last Secret
by Marty Ambrose
Order:  USA  Can
Severn House, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Claire's Last Secret by Marty Ambrose takes readers back to 1873 Florence, where a poverty-stricken Claire Clairmont tries to sell some of her memorabilia to a British tourist for enough cash to support herself and her niece Paula in her waning years.

The items she wants to sell relate to the summer of 1816, when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein and John Polidori penned The Vampyre. However, this British tourist, William Michael Rossetti, is not who he purported to be. Claire is reminded of the child she conceived with Lord Byron, and of a time when four lives collided, ending in a tragic death.

Mystery is a new venture for author Marty Ambrose and this novel is the first of a trilogy. While her writing is at times exquisite, and her depiction aroused in me memories of the Spanish Steps and the Dome by Brunellischi on the Santa Marie del Fiore, I just can't see this book as a true mystery.

Claire's Last Secret is a thought provoking story, set in a beautiful city, and told with heart. But - a mystery it is not.

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