Plunder by Mary Anna Evans: A review
This is the seventh book in Mary Anna Evans' Faye Longchamp archaeology mystery series. In this one, archaeologist Faye Longchamp has married Joe Wolf Mantooth and together they have started an archaeology-based consulting business. Their first big job finds them working near the mouth of the Mississippi River, researching archaeological sites that may soon be flooded by oil. This is during the time of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Their lives are now complicated by the fact that they have a son who is a toddler and they must provide for his care while they are working in the field. When their babysitter is injured, their solution to that particular problem is to hire a local teenager, Amande, who lives nearby with her eccentric grandmother.
Then Amande's grandmother and her uncle are murdered, leaving her with only two other known relatives who are only interested in claiming her small inheritance, and Faye and Joe find themselves as surrogate parents who must protect the young woman from their avarice.
Silver coins that are hundreds of years old have been found in the era, leading to the possibility that there may be a shipwreck hiding under Gulf waters and who knows what riches it might contain. Meanwhile, the police are investigating the murders and Faye and Joe are attempting, in spite of the chaos, to carry on with the job that they have been hired to do. Of course, they do inevitably end up as part of the murder investigation.
Mary Ann Evans does a very good job of developing her characters, both the main characters and the supporting cast, with the result that they appear as fully-formed human beings, not just words on a page. It makes it easier for the reader to feel invested in the action of the novel and in its outcome. Those are important qualities for a cozy mystery series to have and "cozy" very much describes this series. The books are not challenging reads in any sense but they are quite satisfying for a reader who only wants to be entertained.