“My Daughter’s Legacy” by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould have collaborated on a number of novels.  “My Daughter’s Legacy” is the third book in their Cousins of the Dove series.  This novel is the story of two women, living decades apart.  Nicole Talbot is a recovering addict determined to turn her life around and make something of it.  Therese Jennings lives near Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War.  They are connected by an ancient manuscript which has disappeared.

When Nicole, Maddee, her sister, and their cousins were very young, they came upon a murdered man.  However, when they went to get their parents and returned to the sight, there was no body, no blood, and no weapon.  All these years Nicole has harbored a secret about her grandfather that she is now determined to bring to light.

Therese’s father is an abolitionist living in the South.  Since his passing, and afterwards her maternal grandfather’s passing, she and her mother move to the estate where her mother was raised.  Therese wants her mother to free the slaves on their plantation, but her mother refuses.  Therese decides to leave home and take a job as a nanny in Richmond.  There she is introduced to nursing the wounded along with her friend Polly.  Dr. Alec Talbot, a Quaker, has gotten permission to tend the patients and is their only doctor.  Therese becomes aware that Polly and her cousin, Dr. Alec, may be a part of a spy ring, spying for the Union.  As a staunch abolitionist herself, she wants to help.

This novel’s chapters bounce back and forth between Nicole in present day and Therese in Civil War era Richmond.  What becomes a murder mystery to be solved by Nicole is strongly connected to the plantation where Therese’s family lives.  The interaction between the two time frames is sometimes confusing, but leads the reader to the conclusive end.  This is a very intriguing book.

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