Title: Regarding Anna
Author: Florence Osmund
Author: Florence Osmund
Losing both her parents in a carbon monoxide poisoning upsets Grace Lindroth’s life. Her future is upset even further when a search through the attic of her childhood home reveals evidence that she may have been adopted, that her real mother was in fact a certain Anna Thalia Vargas, not the Lindroths who raised her.
Anxious to find answers, Grace hastily changes her plans to be an interior decorator and decides to become a PI instead. She encounters a lot of difficulties in her struggle to find answers, and the truth, she learns, does not always set you free.
As a PI, she is not very successful, and she seems to have more misses than hits. Of the hits she has, most seem to be solved by the clients themselves. The Green Teen case is followed through by the missing teen’s own mother and aunt.
Grace admits that being a PI isn’t about being like Sherlock Holmes and Philip Marlowe. Even so, I was amazed at how naïve she is. She couldn’t see that Elmer Berghorn, her landlord, was a shifty character, even though a child could have told her that. I could understand that she wouldn’t have some kind of Spidey sense to warn her, but she seemed short on common sense and high on naivete too.
At some level, she aroused my sympathies. When she is upset, she has a compulsive need to iron something, anything. This is the first time I’ve seen a character in a novel begin so friendless. Of course, she is to an extent ‘adopted’ by the tetchy Minnie Lawless, but I wondered why. As a character, Grace wasn’t particularly endearing. I couldn’t see why Minnie had to make Grace’s concerns her own. Maybe Minnie‘s loneliness had a lot to do with it.
Minnie Lawless was one reason why the plot kept rolling. On her own, I doubt Grace would have achieved much. Minnie also manages to enlist the help of handyman Tymon Kossack, the other stellar member of the supporting cast, who practically carries this book on his shoulders. I loved reading about this elderly gent who carries a torch for Anna, and is willing to help Grace because of the resemblance he sees between Grace and Anna.
Naomi Step, the oomph-exuding Girl Friday that Elmer hires and Grace comes to rely on, is another interesting character. She is remarkably efficient, contrary to Grace’s preconceptions.
It is these minor characters that completely aced this book for me. Fortunately, Grace was smart enough to defer to them and give them their place in the sun, wherever they deserved it.
I found the whole idea of probing the pasts of characters long since dead quite fascinating. Grace gets the opportunity to make her own family history come alive.
The ending was a twister that I really didn’t see coming. It made the task of plodding through this one completely worth it. Besides, the style of the writing was nice and laid back and it was one of those times when I wasn’t looking for anything taxing.