Novella Review: The Inheritance Book One by Olivia Mayfield

The Inheritance Part I

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Debut author Olivia Mayfield presents a thrilling and sexy new serial about seductive money, deadly secrets, and fatal attractions…

 

The Inheritance, Part I
The Will

Maggie Willings knew that returning home for her estranged grandfather’s funeral would not be easy, but she never expected the reading of his will to be the most difficult part. The four people named in the will—Maggie, her brother Robert, her ex-boyfriend Andrew, and her grandfather’s far-too-young girlfriend Bethany—are given a challenge: find out the truth about what happened to Maggie’s younger sister Cassandra, who vanished over eight years ago, and win the entirety of the estate.

Maggie is thrown by the strange request, reluctant to drag up painful memories of her sister’s disappearance, and bothered by her lingering attraction to Andrew, who wants to team up to solve the mystery. But there are ten million dollars on the line and Maggie has no idea where to start—or who she’ll be able to trust.

Review:

It’s hard to get a handle on The Inheritance Book 1 because of it’s episodic nature.  The book is bringing released in a serial format, so by it’s very nature there will be cliffhangers and dangling threads.  I think I like the idea of a book being released in little chunks, because it’s easier to fit them into my reading schedule, but I need to explore more stories like this before I make up my mind.

Maggie’s wealthy grandfather has just passed away, and she’s surprised to see her ex boyfriend and ex best friend at the reading of the will.  Then she’s dismayed when the conditions of the will are read.  She, her brother Robert, her ex Andrew, and her grandfather’s girlfriend, Bethany, are competing to solve the mystery that has torn her family apart.  When she was a teen, her younger sister Cassandra went to a party – and never came home.  Her grandfather never gave up looking for her, but his daughter, Maggie’s mom, did.  To get on with some sense of normalcy, she put Cassandra’s disappearance in the past, and because Maggie’s grandfather refused to do the same, the family has been at odds for years.  Now Maggie sees this as an opportunity to finally find out what happens to Cassandra, so her family can heal.

Maggie’s mother is dismayed at the thought of  Bethany walking off with the 10 million dollar estate.  She begs Maggie to solve the mystery first, so that the money will stay in the family, where she thinks it belongs.  Maggie is so hurt that Bethany had sunk her claws into her grandfather that she’s determined to make sure that Bethany doesn’t get the money.  She doesn’t care whether she solves the mystery or if her brother does, just as long as one of them is the victor in this strange competition.

The first book is really just set up.  We learn who the major players are, at least through Maggie’s eyes, since the events are told from her point of view.  She’s hurt that her brother won’t work with her to solve the mystery of Cassandra’s disappearance, but she and Robert never got along, so she’s not really surprised.  Maggie dealt with her sister’s disappearance by running away.  First to an out of state college, and then to Florida, which is about as far from Ohio as she could get.  Now a web designer, she has the freedom to work from where ever she chooses.  The thought of being back in her hometown, though, leaves her with many conflicting emotions.  Sadness and guilt, are the major ones she’s trying to deal with.  She isn’t comfortable in her parents’ house, and all she wants to do is find out what happened to Cassandra and get back home to Florida.  As she digs into the past, danger begins to follow in her footsteps.

I am interested enough to read more after this introduction to The Inheritance, though I wish Book 1 had been a little longer so I could have felt more invested in Maggie’s quest.  So far, the story is promising to deliver plenty of soap opera angst and dramatic plot twists , which I love.  Let’s see how far Maggie gets with her questions about her sister’s disappearance in Book 2.

Grade:  C+ / B-

Review copy provided by publisher