Authored by Margaret A. Westlie
Prince Edward Island in 1859: murder disrupts a close-knit community descended from Scottish settlers, nearly all related by kinship. The murder is soon followed by a series of ever more unsettling events. Neighbours come together to help one another, but their trust in the goodness of life has been shaken and will not be restored until the perpetrator is uncovered.
The constable’s investigation is over in one day, but no one is satisfied. When the men gather at the store or the women to quilt, they speculate about Anna, the murdered woman. Angus, elder of the church and de facto leader of the community, helps his cousin Ian, Anna’s husband, deal with an angry son. But Angus is himself the victim of malicious pranks that leave him struggling with an awareness of his own mortality. The ever-present twins Hector and Duncan, with their belief in ghostly presences behind the mischief plaguing the community, lighten the tone and offer comic relief. When events force Angus and the church elders to enquire, they find they understand little of Anna, whose secret is guarded until her last breath by Old Annie, healer, midwife, and the last of the original settlers.
Anna’s Secret is a gentle mystery without detectives, gore or violence, bringing readers into a community of good and caring people. Those who expect the sweetness of Anne of Green Gables in Anna’s Secret, will instead find a sterner world where memorable characters grapple with perennial themes: confidence and betrayal, corrosive secrets, grief and mourning, rebellious youth and helpless parents, and above all the shadow of old age and death. Readers will also find humour and affection, comic characters, and above all the life-affirming message of the value of community.
Come home to Prince Edward Island! Join the community! Read Anna’s Secret.