A Rumored Fortune

Review by Bryan Dumas

Politano returns and introduces the heiress Tressa Harlowe in this delightful Victorian mystery. Tressa yearns for one more moment with her recently deceased father, but what she can settle for is time in his vineyard, where she can try to reconnect with his past. And it is a past that includes a hidden fortune. Unfortunately for Tressa, a stranger has taken root in the vineyard—Donegan Vance was hired by Tressa’s father before he died to manage the vineyard and the workers. Left penniless after her father’s death, Tressa must fend off treasure hunting relatives, a former lover who is trying to gain Tressa’s hand—and fortune—for his own political gains (and at the wishes of Tressa’s mother), and her own growing feelings for Vance all the while trying to find the money to pay the workers of Trevelyan Castle, her family’s estate.

While the book begins at a slow, sometime repetitive pace (mentions of the hidden money, Tressa’s longing for her father), the pacing picks up about a third of the way through at the revelation of a secret that Vance has been harboring. The faith elements of the novel are woven into the narrative so as to not disrupt the overall story of romance and mystery, and Politano offers plenty of plot twists to draw readers to a charming and heartwarming ending.