The Old Cape Map
by Barbara Eppich Struna

"His Grandma Anna had said there was a treasure map, courtesy of Wilkins."

This beguiling mystery covers approximately 125 years of families, pirates, poverty, treasure maps, and altruistic as well as criminal acts that take place on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The author tells the tale of an eccentric older man with a mysterious past who, in the early part of the twentieth century, gives treasure maps to two young girls. Shortly afterward, the man dies in a house fire. One of the girls hides some of the information in her father's home. Through the years, the story of the treasure—a small portion of which has been uncovered by the girls—as well as myths about the property and uncertainties about the land's ownership inspire curiosity, amateur treasure hunting, alliances among eccentric neighbors, life-threatening situations, and murder.

The timeline easily switches between the past and present as the two periods grow closer together. The denouement is revealed after the reader has experienced many intellectual adventures in intrigue and mystery. The author expertly manages a great variety of characters in the decades covered, showing births, deaths, the verisimilitude of the characters’ daily lives, and their transformations as they grow and change within their cultures and develop their motives about the treasure as well as the greater issues of their lives. This novel, part of the author’s Old Cape series, is fresh and exciting from the first to the last page. Struna is an expert on "unique facts and myths of Cape Cod" and a veteran writer of thrillers. Her extraordinary ability as a storyteller shines through in this excellent opus.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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