Strangers by Mary Anna Evans: A review

Somewhere between the last book that I read in this series, which was number 3, Effigies, and this book which is number 6, archaeologist Faye Longchamp completed work on her Ph.D. and she and her assistant/lover Joe Mantooth got married. As this book opens, we learn that the now-married Faye is eight months pregnant with their first child.

We also learn that Faye and Joe have established a new archaeological firm and that their firm has just been selected for a project in America's oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida. Four hundred years have given the city a lot of history and a lot of artifacts and skeletons to explore, and Faye is eager to get on with that exploration.

But soon after Faye's arrival on the scene, a woman from the archaeological team disappears. A trail of blood at the scene fuels fears for the woman's safety and her survival. The scene is also littered with priceless artifacts, and the detective in charge of the case hires Faye as a consultant to discover their origin. The plot thickens when, two days after the woman disappears, her boyfriend's body is found floating in the Matanzas River. His throat had been slashed.

Among the artifacts that Faye discovers is the diary of a priest who had left Spain in 1565 and was present at the founding of the city of St. Augustine. She sets about translating the diary. Her translation is intermingled with the telling of present-day events. The story is presented in rotating chapters from the present day and then a chapter of the translated diary. Over the course of the book, this adds clarity and depth to the story. 

Quite a bit of the history of St. Augustine is interwoven into this story and I found that particularly illuminating. It definitely gave an extra dimension to the plot. Moreover, Faye and Joe are both interesting and likable characters and it is easy to root for them and to experience events through their eyes. This is a well-written series and I especially like the archaeological angle since archaeology has always been a keen interest of mine. I look forward to reading more about Faye and Joe and their exploits.


  1. Any mystery with artifacts and archaeology in it is always fun. My library has a few books in this series...maybe I can convince them to buy a few more.

  2. This is a series that I really must get back to because I enjoy it so much. Evans is a very interesting speaker, too, with a great sense of humor.


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