North Bay Road by Richard Kirshenbaum #BookReview #Mystery #Romance #DualTimeline #NorthBayRoad @NetGalley
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
It was the blurb that had lured me to North Bay Road by Richard Kirshenbaum, as I am always attracted to mansions or inheritance left to an unknown male or female trope. The whole idea of untangling the past to find out why has something so uniquely mysterious about it and if there are some villainous disgruntled family members around, voila nirvana.
Though the villainous family members are absent in this story, North Bay Road did keep me engaged in most parts. Liz Galin, our heroine inherits a mansion out of the blue in Miami. Having no clue about the mysterious relative who left her the million dollar villa, she travels to Miami on a whim, accepts the conditions of the will, and stays put. Accompanied by her friend, she sets out on her journey to unearth the past of Elsa that led to this gift horse and changes the course of her life having to deal with some major upheavals along the way.
Richard Kirshenbaum writes the history of the era in exhaustive detail oftentimes making me feel a little too much when it could have been trimmed down and probably the reason why the pacing felt a tad too slow, There is a murder mystery in the story which again failed to keep me hooked to the edge of the seat. To be honest, it could also be because I was not in a good frame of mind going into this story which may have affected my reading experience.
Alternating between the past of Elsa’s life and the present of Liz’s, the author explores women and their predicaments, the racial prejudices that even if not overtly suggested are still the core reason for many a decision, including the snobbery of the rich and their indulgences. I would have loved a tighter edit to this dual timeline story to make it more gripping but again it could be just ME!
After receiving a crumbling Mediterranean mansion, Liz Galin uncovers clues that will solve a century-old murder…and reveal a forbidden love story that mirrors a modern one.
Everyone fantasizes about receiving a gift from a stranger.
Liz Galin, an out-of-work fashion stylist, lives in a walk up studio apartment in Alphabet City in Manhattan. She has put her life on hold during COVID-19 to care for her mother going through chemo, and cannot see her boyfriend Cary as he is an emergency room doctor during the height of the pandemic. One Monday morning, she receives a cryptic letter from a Miami lawyer indicating that she should call his office. When she does, she and her mother Linda find out she has been bequeathed an asset in a will. She is shocked to find she’s been left a storied, crumbling Mediterranean mansion on Miami’s famed North Bay Road by a reclusive socialite who has recently passed. She has no idea who Elsa Sloan-Barrett was or why she left her multimillion-dollar home to her.
Liz’s journey uncovers clues that will solve a century-old murder mystery and a forbidden love story that will ultimately change her life. It will also uncover a new love triangle with a famous, reclusive celebrity neighbor that will test her own relationship and values and in many ways, mirroring the love story she uncovers. In the end, the mansion won’t be the only gift she receives….