Review

Echoes of Titanic

by Mindy Starns Clark and John Campbell Clark

It’s no coincidence that ECHOES OF TITANIC was released just in time for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I jumped at the chance to read the book, not only because the details surrounding this tragic event has always fascinated me, but the author happens to be Mindy Starns Clark, a popular mystery writer I discovered years ago when I read her acclaimed Million Dollar Mysteries series. Even more motivating for me was the fact that Clark co-authored the book with her husband, John Campbell Clark. Because of these factors, I anticipated a wonderful read.

So did ECHOES OF TITANIC live up to my expectations? Read on...

"If you’re a fan of mystery/suspense, and a history or Titanic buff, you’ll likely enjoy how these contemporary and historical stories expertly intertwine. The characters are well crafted, the plot is intriguing, and the loose threads are nicely tied up..."

Kelsey Tate is making a name for herself at Brennan & Tate, the company her great-grandmother, Adele Tate, founded after surviving the Titanic and arriving in the States in 1912. During a public ceremony, at which Kelsey is honored with an award, someone stands up and makes allegations that Adele was not really Adele at all. The real Adele Tate supposedly drowned on that fateful night, 100 years before, and Kelsey’s great-grandmother was a fraud. While Kelsey is slightly shaken at this ludicrous claim, it is nothing compared to moments later, when Kelsey walks into the company’s executive conference room to find her beloved friend and co-worker hanging from a projection screen. It appears to be suicide, although police aren’t ruling out murder.

Kelsey soon discovers that both mysteries --- the one surrounding her great-grandmother’s identity and the death of her friend --- may be very much connected. Readers are then taken on a wild roller coaster ride through the corporate world of suspicion, deceit and betrayal. But it’s not all business; it definitely gets personal.

Speaking of business, I’ll admit I don’t usually enjoy books involving politics or that are heavily business-oriented. But although references to investments, bonds and hostile takeovers abound in this story, the authors keep the details simple enough for anyone --- even me --- to understand. This is surely to the credit of John Campbell Clark, an attorney and CPA who is well versed in all things business.

Back to the storyline… In addition to being immersed in Kelsey’s present-day dilemma involving her great-grandmother and the uncertainty of the future of Brennan & Tate, we are also taken back 100 years to sail along with Adele Tate on the Titanic, as she makes her voyage to America. We learn that Adele had a natural and astute business sense, and was trying to prove herself as an intelligent and competent businesswoman in a man’s world. We also learn that she and her cousin Jocelyn often switched identities for fun, which may add to the credibility of the allegations. The pacing is superb, and the story switches effortlessly from past to present, connecting the dots along the way, while at the same time creating questions and suspense as Kelsey gets closer to solving the mystery.

Woven throughout is an element of romance as well. Cole Thornton is the only man Kelsey has ever loved, but a business-related incident caused their relationship to fall apart several years ago. Now Cole is back in the picture, and Kelsey is trying to balance her heart and her head.

If you’re a fan of mystery/suspense, and a history or Titanic buff, you’ll likely enjoy how these contemporary and historical stories expertly intertwine. The characters are well crafted, the plot is intriguing, and the loose threads are nicely tied up, with even a touch of sentimentality at the end.

So did ECHOES OF TITANIC meet my expectations? The answer is most definitely yes, and then some.

Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on May 23, 2012

Echoes of Titanic
by Mindy Starns Clark and John Campbell Clark