Shadow on the Ivy is a Maggie Summer Antique Prints mystery. Set on the campus of Somerset County College, Shadow on the Ivy presents the dilemma of attempted murder of a young single parent, resident of a newly established residence for single parents at Somerset, Whitcomb House. Another successful murder of a Whitcomb House resident plunges Maggie even deeper into the mystery needing to be solved. Struggling with ongoing personal issues of loneliness, further enhanced by her recent widowhood and unwelcome knowledge that her spouse had been unfaithful to her, Maggie ponders the possibility of becoming a single parent herself. Facing two demanding careers, one teaching American History as illustrated by antique prints and cartoons, and the other selling antique prints on the antique circuit, Maggie is caught between factions in the college and private interests in the wealthy founders of Whitcomb House. When she begins to suspect the murder may take her to high places in the college hierarchy, she finds that even her job is in jeopardy. While the local police and detective are not exactly bumbling, they are finally only able to solve the mystery with the full and endangered assistance that Maggie alone can give. Throughout her efforts, Maggie maintains her email relationship with close and friend and antique colleague, Will. Will this relationship blossom into something more enduring? Will Maggie find the solution to the problems that eat her heart as well as the solution to the murder of young Tiffany? The reader is caught up in her world and eager to continue with every page and chapter.
One of the loveliest trademarks of the Maggie Summer mysteries is that each chapter is headed by an actual description of an antique engraving or print, appropriate to the subject of the chapter. Author Lea Wait educates her readers effortlessly in American History, antique prints, and art appreciation, along with masterful suspense. There is not a single false step, tone or move in the flawless narrative. Shadow on the Ivy flows and entices.