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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The Chase farm is not doing so well. The bills are mounting and the recurring accidents on the riding trails are not good for business. After all, who would want their child learning to ride at a stable where the riding trails are riddled with potholes? Maddie is beside herself with worry. Her Uncle Michael was killed when his horse stepped into one of the holes at a full run. Now her best and only riding instructor has almost met a similar fate. Will the holes never stop appearing? The forged letter was supposed to insure a lack of interest in the possibility of treasure buried on Chase property, treasure from the Civil War era. When Professor Randall appears, determined to find the treasure once and for all, Maddie is put in a difficult position: allow him to stay and conduct his research, or risk his revealing the truth about the forged letter. That's when complications intensify and the man who, years ago, Maddie had a childhood crush on comes back into her life and starts romancing her.
Killarney Traynor's Necessary Evil is a treasure hunt story with an interesting twist. She uses letters and diaries written from the Civil War era to help lead the sleuths on their search. These old writings help build a second story within the novel, bringing the characters of the past to life just as much as the characters in the present try to read between the lines to decode the underlying mystery. This is a very compelling read. It's a real page-turner with a little bit of everything, past and present, including a treasure hunt. Well done!