counter create hit Artifacts - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Artifacts

Availability: Ready to download

Faye Longchamp has lost nearly everything except for her quick mind and a grim determination to hang onto her ancestral home, Joyeuse, a moldering plantation hidden along the Florida coast. No one knows how Faye's great-great-grandmother Cally, a newly freed slave barely out of her teens, came to own Joyeuse in the aftermath of the Civil War. No one knows how her descendan Faye Longchamp has lost nearly everything except for her quick mind and a grim determination to hang onto her ancestral home, Joyeuse, a moldering plantation hidden along the Florida coast. No one knows how Faye's great-great-grandmother Cally, a newly freed slave barely out of her teens, came to own Joyeuse in the aftermath of the Civil War. No one knows how her descendants hung onto it through Reconstruction, world wars, the Depression, and Jim Crow, but Faye has inherited the island plantation--and the family tenacity. When the property taxes rise beyond her means, she sets out to save Joyeuse by digging for artifacts on her property and the surrounding National Wildlife Refuge and selling them on the black market. A tiny bit of that dead glory would pay a year's taxes. A big valuable chunk of the past would save her home forever. But instead of potsherds and arrowheads, she uncovers a woman's shattered skull, a Jackie Kennedy-style earring nestled against its bony cheek. Faye is torn. If she reports the forty-year-old murder, she'll reveal her illegal livelihood, thus risking jail and the loss of Joyeuse. She doesn't intend to let that happen, so she probes into the dead woman's history , unaware that the past is rushing up on her like a hurricane across deceptively calm Gulf waters. Because the killer is still close at hand, ready to kill again to keep his secrets dead and buried.


Compare
Ads Banner

Faye Longchamp has lost nearly everything except for her quick mind and a grim determination to hang onto her ancestral home, Joyeuse, a moldering plantation hidden along the Florida coast. No one knows how Faye's great-great-grandmother Cally, a newly freed slave barely out of her teens, came to own Joyeuse in the aftermath of the Civil War. No one knows how her descendan Faye Longchamp has lost nearly everything except for her quick mind and a grim determination to hang onto her ancestral home, Joyeuse, a moldering plantation hidden along the Florida coast. No one knows how Faye's great-great-grandmother Cally, a newly freed slave barely out of her teens, came to own Joyeuse in the aftermath of the Civil War. No one knows how her descendants hung onto it through Reconstruction, world wars, the Depression, and Jim Crow, but Faye has inherited the island plantation--and the family tenacity. When the property taxes rise beyond her means, she sets out to save Joyeuse by digging for artifacts on her property and the surrounding National Wildlife Refuge and selling them on the black market. A tiny bit of that dead glory would pay a year's taxes. A big valuable chunk of the past would save her home forever. But instead of potsherds and arrowheads, she uncovers a woman's shattered skull, a Jackie Kennedy-style earring nestled against its bony cheek. Faye is torn. If she reports the forty-year-old murder, she'll reveal her illegal livelihood, thus risking jail and the loss of Joyeuse. She doesn't intend to let that happen, so she probes into the dead woman's history , unaware that the past is rushing up on her like a hurricane across deceptively calm Gulf waters. Because the killer is still close at hand, ready to kill again to keep his secrets dead and buried.

30 review for Artifacts

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Artifacts is the first book in the Faye Longchamp series. The characters, location and the decisions that Faye had to make to survive or to hold down her plantation house make this book a good and different read. The location is the Florida panhandle and Faye is living in a rundown plantation house that has been in her family for many generations. She does some illegal pot digging to survive and to have a little money. The book is quite atmospheric I thought. One could see the run down plantation Artifacts is the first book in the Faye Longchamp series. The characters, location and the decisions that Faye had to make to survive or to hold down her plantation house make this book a good and different read. The location is the Florida panhandle and Faye is living in a rundown plantation house that has been in her family for many generations. She does some illegal pot digging to survive and to have a little money. The book is quite atmospheric I thought. One could see the run down plantation and interior of the house. How grand it must have been. Faye found a journal that over the generations various ancestors had journalized their lives. It gave a history of the house and their lives. Faye is from a long line of strong women. The characters were interesting and well developed. Faye has an interest in archeology. She had to drop out of school before completing her course work. She is very good at it and also at recording the findings. She can live on very little. She does not give out her address because she does not want people to know where she lives as she can't pay the taxes. She says she lives on her boat. Joe who lives on her property is a very memorable, likable and a hero type character. He loves the outdoors, nature and lives a simple life. He cares for Faye as she has taken him in and given him a place to live. I liked Faye's previous professor who was somewhat crusty and saw potential in Faye. I always like mysteries that have a mystery from the past and a current mystery. This book had all that and a hurricane to boot! I will continue on with the series. I want to see where Faye's life goes now. I know it won't be static.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Delightful is: discovering a gem that, at first glance, seems a bit slapdash and mediocre, but turns out to be one of those can’t-turn-the-pages-fast-enough, diamonds in the rough. Artifacts is one such gem: A delight to read, ponder, adventure along, and solve. All good qualities: atmospherically transporting, characteristically diverse and interesting, with a culture-rich plot dabbling in history, amid full-flush intrigue. I especially loved the strong, yet appropriately flawed main character, Delightful is: discovering a gem that, at first glance, seems a bit slapdash and mediocre, but turns out to be one of those can’t-turn-the-pages-fast-enough, diamonds in the rough. Artifacts is one such gem: A delight to read, ponder, adventure along, and solve. All good qualities: atmospherically transporting, characteristically diverse and interesting, with a culture-rich plot dabbling in history, amid full-flush intrigue. I especially loved the strong, yet appropriately flawed main character, Faye. She’s flawed just enough for believability, but not overly so as to be repulsive. She’s a great protagonist, blended from mixed heritages, races, and ideologies. The other characters, for the most part, are interestingly unique as well. Another plus, the atypical island setting off Florida’s Gulf region was a novel choice for an archaeological themed whodunit. And despite being a bit techno dated due to being published in 2003, “Artifacts” is freshly appealing in every other way. And though the beginning was a bit slow and blandish, looking to be a three-star read, before I knew it I was hooked and the plot was spinning like a hurricane. I’m looking forward to next in series: Relics. Historically insightful, character rich, action propelling, and contemporary engaging – Four enjoyable, cozy-mystery stars with a bit of grit.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shazza Maddog

    This is one of those serendipitous books - I saw it on a table at the library, read the dust cover and thought, "Hmmm, Mom might like to read this. Hmmm, I might like to read this," and checked it out. Mom read it in less than two days. It took me considerably longer but I still very much enjoyed it. The story revolves around Faye Longchamp, a mulatto woman, who lives in the Panhandle area of Florida. She doesn't believe she fits in anywhere - not the white nor the black world - and she's hiding This is one of those serendipitous books - I saw it on a table at the library, read the dust cover and thought, "Hmmm, Mom might like to read this. Hmmm, I might like to read this," and checked it out. Mom read it in less than two days. It took me considerably longer but I still very much enjoyed it. The story revolves around Faye Longchamp, a mulatto woman, who lives in the Panhandle area of Florida. She doesn't believe she fits in anywhere - not the white nor the black world - and she's hiding a big secret: she's the legal owner of an old southern plantation, Joyeuse, situated off the coast on one of the little islands. The house is in relatively good shape, i.e., you could live there, if you don't mind camping out, but Faye doesn't actually work and has little money to pay the taxes on the land, much less the decrepit but gorgeous old house. What she does to get money is highly illegal: she digs up the surrounding islands (now Federal land and originally connected to Joyeuse's land but hurricanes took their toll and broke the big island into smaller pieces), looking for artifacts she can sell. Having been trained in archeology - and really loved it - she is a careful and conscientious excavator; listing everywhere she finds the artifacts. When Faye uncovers a woman's body on one of the islands, she thinks at first that this is an old burial ground until she discovers a relatively modern earring tucked next to the skull and decides to find out who the woman is. Her searching leads her to a missing person report, filed many years ago, that implicates a man she sells her artifacts to - Fredrick Douglass Everett - though she is sure her friend couldn't have murdered a girl. The puzzle gets bigger when two archeology students are murdered on a dig that Faye and her teacher/mentor are supervising. As a story, I thought that the build up took a little too long of a time but the Ms. Evans' writing reminds me very much of Florida. The characters are all interesting and more than one of them have their share of secrets. Though not everything is wrapped up neatly at the end, there is a great satisfaction at the pat happy ending, because some of the characters definitely deserve it after what they've been through.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This is the first mystery in the Faye Longchamp mystery series. I reviewed number six in the series earlier in the year and though I wasn't lost, I was interested enough in the relationships, especially Faye's husband Joe Wolf Mantooth to find out more about the series. It took awhile for my library to dig up some of the books, but this one was so great it had me wishing I was home. There were all the elements of a mystery, murder, many suspects, doubt, subplots and looming threats to our protag This is the first mystery in the Faye Longchamp mystery series. I reviewed number six in the series earlier in the year and though I wasn't lost, I was interested enough in the relationships, especially Faye's husband Joe Wolf Mantooth to find out more about the series. It took awhile for my library to dig up some of the books, but this one was so great it had me wishing I was home. There were all the elements of a mystery, murder, many suspects, doubt, subplots and looming threats to our protagonist Faye, the tax collector, the sheriff for illegal digging of artifacts, and a cat 5 hurricane, not to mention the murderer. The story is told in third person mainly from Faye's point of view, but it depends on who is in the scene. Faye is doing something illegal, that I for one had never heard of pothunting. Apparently it's digging for historical artifacts on preserved lands or parklands and making a profit on them. Faye does it out of necessity, not that this makes it any less illegal and she has a Native American named Joe that sleeps on her land who helps her from time to time. She's desperate, subsisting on peanut butter and honey though Joe usually catches fish for dinner or squirrel or rabbit for dinner. Faye lives in her family's plantation house with no electricity or running water. It's in somewhat of a state of disrepair. And she's trying to evade the tax collector so she won't have to pay taxes on it. Her pothunting is her income and she uncovers an unlikely body, that of a 40 yr old missing girl (she finds this out after some detective work). She can't go to the police without revealing her illegal activities, but she can't help trying to figure out what happened to her. She has no job to speak of except a minimum wage job as an archaeological assistant and when that gets shut down due to murder, the murder of two the students who were helping, Faye's income dries up. Since the bodies were buried in the wet soil and subject to the humidity of the South, there is absolutely no evidence as to why they were killed or who killed them, only how. The main characters in the story are very well written. Faye Longchamp is neither black nor white. She has a mix of Creek, Caucasian and African American blood mixed in her. She is also a desperate woman one foot ahead of the law and the tax collector. Its all she thinks about. She isn't the kind to actively seek out trouble or search out the killer on her own. She does however put two and two together a little to late, but I never saw it coming. Joe is a Native American with the skills of an ancient warrior. He's protective of Faye though there is no relationship between them other than friendship. Faye thinks he would score only borderline normal on an intelligence test but I don't think she really sees him for who he is. He doesn't know about computers or cars, but he can live off the land and keep her safe and he seems to be a giant standing six foot something. He is at home in the wilderness surrounding Joyeuse, Faye's plantation. But I think he's smarter than she's seen yet. Magda, the professor at the university unnamed is smart too. She knows Faye doesn't live on the dump of a boat she claims to live on. And puts two and two together to figure out where the plantation is. She also wonders why Faye doesn't go back to school and works on that. She's pretty sure she knows what Faye does to supplement her income, but she doesn't call her on it, knowing Faye would never disturb a truly valuable historically significant place. Then there's the Sheriff McKenzie. He's known Faye it seems and he doesn't suspect her of murder, but he wants to know more about Joe. Then Joe is arrested by his deputies for murders so long ago he knows Joe wasn't even born. He questions Joe anyway and finds out about the other body, the girl, and remembers who she is, asking Joe to lead him to the body. All of this is happening while a hurricane brews in the Gulf. When the sheriff finds the body gone and smelling of bleach he realizes the killer as removed her body and they head back in the boat in four foot choppy waters to land. But Joe has other plans and disables the boat and jumps overboard. He has to save Faye from the hurricane. If you've never lived in Florida, this story might be just another story, but Mary Anna Evans does her homework. The story mentions funny names of places in Florida, Cow Ford being one. I'm from Jacksonville and that's what they used to call it because somewhere along the St. John's River they forded cows across it. Hence the name. I couldn't tell you how it got it's current name. But she knows her hurricanes too. No one will ever forget Katrina. This is a start to a great mystery series. It doesn't have food or crocheting in the title. It's about archaeology, but you don't have to know anything about it to enjoy the series. Archaeology is just the means to get the main characters to their locations according to the last book I read which again was the 6th. Anyone who loves a good mystery with some history of Florida's panhandle thrown in will love this mystery. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series- Relics (as soon as I pick it up from the library.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I listened to this on audiobook. The narrator was solid. Artifacts was pretty good. Joe was my favorite character. Faye was ok. The plot and mystery are executed pretty well but the book lost steam for me and I feel like it could’ve been a little shorter to tighten up the pace. The alternating perspectives from Faye’s ancestors to present day was an interesting touch. This seems like an intriguing series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jazz

    4.5 STARS | Very impressed by this first mystery in the Faye Longchamp series. I'm deducting only a half star for the paucity of viable suspects, and yet, even there, Evans delivers a surprising twist on the culprit. I'm drawn to archeological mysteries and this one was unique being set in the Panhandle of Florida -- not the Middle East -- as well as its multi-racial protagonist. Sometimes I find myself racing through the climatic scene, knowing good will triumph, but I took my time with this on 4.5 STARS | Very impressed by this first mystery in the Faye Longchamp series. I'm deducting only a half star for the paucity of viable suspects, and yet, even there, Evans delivers a surprising twist on the culprit. I'm drawn to archeological mysteries and this one was unique being set in the Panhandle of Florida -- not the Middle East -- as well as its multi-racial protagonist. Sometimes I find myself racing through the climatic scene, knowing good will triumph, but I took my time with this one. I could easily visualize what was going on, the architectural details, the ultimate struggle which sometimes comes across as a blur to me in books. And you can't go wrong throwing a hurricane into the mix adding yet one more element for the main character to struggle against. The ending was a little too neatly drawn up, but it provides a basis for future books. Looking forward to reading more in this series, which is fortunate, since I already own many other titles.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    The protagonist, Faye, is a drop-out from a university level archaeological program. She almost makes a poverty level living with "pot hunting" while she tries to restore a decrepit family home that's pretty remote. That's the opener. She is intelligent, pretty, petite, multi-racial, strong-willed, athletic. And she has a few faults, too. (Yeah, I was all teary-eyed before I'd even finished the first chapter. She is just such a sympathetic person.) She knows full well the ethical ambiguities and The protagonist, Faye, is a drop-out from a university level archaeological program. She almost makes a poverty level living with "pot hunting" while she tries to restore a decrepit family home that's pretty remote. That's the opener. She is intelligent, pretty, petite, multi-racial, strong-willed, athletic. And she has a few faults, too. (Yeah, I was all teary-eyed before I'd even finished the first chapter. She is just such a sympathetic person.) She knows full well the ethical ambiguities and illegality of what she's doing there, in secret, on some low sandy islands along the coast of the Florida panhandle. She even tries to be meticulous with cataloging her finds. Meanwhile, Faye has obtained a short-term job as an archaeological field supervisor under a former professor. At her secret location on a nearby sand bar, she uncovers an old murder scene and an earring. And then two of the kids on the university dig get murdered out of the blue. Thing go quickly haywire with a lot of complications, and the suspense builds relentlessly to a stormy climax. This is a wonderful book: way deeper than your ordinary genre novel. The author may not have set out to write the Great American Novel, but I kind of think she has nailed it. It says a lot about history, slavery, America, politics, race, archaeology, ethics, and morality. A couple of times the author even takes the reader aside to give important history lessons that contextualize what's happening. I obtained this for free during an Amazon promotion, but after reading it I would certainly have paid full price. I'll probably move along to buy the next book in the series and find out what happens to Faye.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    It took me a long time to get engaged with this book, but I raced through the last third as the action heated up. The main character, Faye, doles out her family's history in dribs and drabs that are hard to connect with her and with each other, until they eventually all fall into place. The story ends up being a very good one, but the happy ending seemed a little too fairy taleish to me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Lenius

    This was a great mystery and my third good book in two days. It required a lot of knowledge of archaeology, history, geography and anthropology, plus the ability to create complex characters and unveil them gradually. I read this through in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

  10. 4 out of 5

    L.T. Fawkes

    Mary Anna Evans, FREE on Kindle. I love a mystery series with fresh characters and an exotic, well-drawn setting. This has both. You can't help but root for Faye Longchamp as she fights for her heritage and solves a mystery as well. Very entertaining.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy "the book-bat"

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Faye Longchamp is an archaeologist. She stumbles across the remains of a murder victim while digging for artifacts on government land. This discovery sets of a chain of events that puts Faye's life in danger.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    A new author and a series that looks promising. The fact that Faye is an aspiring archeologist caught my eye because my sister is/was an archaeologist. She is even older than me, and retired some years ago. The setting, Florida coast, was so ably described that is could feel the humidity and the sand. I have never personally experienced a hurricane, but feel as though. I have by the author’s writing. I want to go right to the next book, but can’t get it. The ending wraps everything up so tidily A new author and a series that looks promising. The fact that Faye is an aspiring archeologist caught my eye because my sister is/was an archaeologist. She is even older than me, and retired some years ago. The setting, Florida coast, was so ably described that is could feel the humidity and the sand. I have never personally experienced a hurricane, but feel as though. I have by the author’s writing. I want to go right to the next book, but can’t get it. The ending wraps everything up so tidily that I don’t see where things will go next. Anxiously awaiting reading the next in the series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Easy read; enjoyable story. Likeable characters mostly. I liked how the history of Faye's ancestry was slowly revealed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gale Wilkinson

    A new series for me. It was a little hard to get into and a little hard to follow at the beginning. Greatly improved the more I read. I enjoyed reading it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

    This underrated mystery was a lot of fun, even if it had some instances of awkward writing and cliches. Awkward writing example: "Faye moved around Wally's Marina as if she owned the place. She didn't, but her friend Wally did, and praise the Lord for that." Then, while we're hiding from the villain in the final confrontation, let's read some more of your grandmother's journal. Cliches: What do you want in a mystery story? Red herrings? Yes, yes and yes. Deux ex Machina? I would count no fewer than This underrated mystery was a lot of fun, even if it had some instances of awkward writing and cliches. Awkward writing example: "Faye moved around Wally's Marina as if she owned the place. She didn't, but her friend Wally did, and praise the Lord for that." Then, while we're hiding from the villain in the final confrontation, let's read some more of your grandmother's journal. Cliches: What do you want in a mystery story? Red herrings? Yes, yes and yes. Deux ex Machina? I would count no fewer than 4 elements that would count as such, arguably 5. If you're like me, prepare to roll your eyes during the last 15% or so. (view spoiler)[Innocent man as prime suspect? At least once. (hide spoiler)] Okay, we had to get that out of the way. This is not Edgar Award winning stuff, but it's not even close to being a bad book. The Florida coastal setting is vividly used. The idea of a potsherder (unlicensed archaeologist who digs for profit) as a protagonist with an inherited home from her freed slave ancestor on disputed land is utterly fascinating. The other characters are all very interesting. The multiple mysteries of past and present are engaging throughout. This is a wonderful work of suspense. I don't know if Mary Anna Evans' writing improves at all in the next 9 books of this series, but I am hooked enough to check out the next one for sure!

  16. 5 out of 5

    K. East

    I really wanted to like this book better than I did. I'm always looking for a mystery series with some complexity, some character growth potential, an intelligent protagonist. It took place in Florida in places I have visited and very near where I live now. It is a mystery series with an anchoring profession -- archeology -- that moves it beyond the standard cozy mystery province of book store, bakery, library, hats, buttons, antiques, whatever. It has a main character with a good deal of pluck I really wanted to like this book better than I did. I'm always looking for a mystery series with some complexity, some character growth potential, an intelligent protagonist. It took place in Florida in places I have visited and very near where I live now. It is a mystery series with an anchoring profession -- archeology -- that moves it beyond the standard cozy mystery province of book store, bakery, library, hats, buttons, antiques, whatever. It has a main character with a good deal of pluck and intelligence that seemed a bit off the standard, goody-two-shoes path. And then the author spoiled it by having Faye do an about-face and fall for a slippery politician -- an act that was so far out of character that even the people in the novel were shaking their heads, "huh??". But I might have forgiven that momentary lapse if it weren't for the fact that the novel just seemed to drag. I found myself enjoying many of the novel's elements but I also found myself reluctant to return to reading it. I couldn't quite put my finger on what the problem was. The novel starts with so many questions that go unanswered for so long that I began to lose patience -- where does she live? why does she live there? why doesn't she want others to know? how does she manage to keep that knowledge from the people who know that area like the back of their hand? how did she acquire that house? how long has she lived there? who is Joe to her? The list goes on and on, and it seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to find out the answers. Perhaps that was the issue. I went back to read reviews and found that I'm not the only one that thinks the author's style could use some pep tonic. This book is a current reprint of the first in the series and the only title our library currently carries. I'll read more of these if the library obtains them, but I won't go so far as to actually purchase another one. Interesting, but with reservations.

  17. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    "This story is about a mulatto woman, Faye Longchamp, who is not comfortable with her heritage. She does not enjoy being around people in general and finds it difficult to make friends. She lives on her own island near Tallahassee, Florida. An Indian male, named Joe Wolf Mantooth lives off the land on her island. He does not share her ancestral home. Joe's ability to remain calm is an attribute I truly hope to I can learn to emanate in my own life. Faye has studied and trained in archaeology, alt "This story is about a mulatto woman, Faye Longchamp, who is not comfortable with her heritage. She does not enjoy being around people in general and finds it difficult to make friends. She lives on her own island near Tallahassee, Florida. An Indian male, named Joe Wolf Mantooth lives off the land on her island. He does not share her ancestral home. Joe's ability to remain calm is an attribute I truly hope to I can learn to emanate in my own life. Faye has studied and trained in archaeology, although she had to give it up to help take care of her grandmother and mother when they were ill. She digs up artifacts on her island and the nearby federal land to sell in order to pay the taxes on her land. While working on a dig site with her old professor, two fellow archeologists are murdered. She gets entangled in the investigation. Faye ends up trapped on her island with the murderer attempting to take her life as well. The characters are well developed, likable, and each have secrets they don't want to share. I enjoyed the interweaving of historical information. The emotions Fay experiences are clearly depicited. It's not a quick, fluffy read. But it does compel the reader to continue through intrigue and suspense."

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is a high action murder mystery, involving several old murders in addition to recent murders. Faye is a pot and artifact rescuer, unfortunately she has to dig on federal lands in addition to her own island, which makes her a criminal. She is fighting to save her inheritance, no laughing matter. She has taken a job with a University dig nearby until the murders of two of their group causes the interruption of the project and of her paycheck. While looking for artifacts to dig up and sell to pay This is a high action murder mystery, involving several old murders in addition to recent murders. Faye is a pot and artifact rescuer, unfortunately she has to dig on federal lands in addition to her own island, which makes her a criminal. She is fighting to save her inheritance, no laughing matter. She has taken a job with a University dig nearby until the murders of two of their group causes the interruption of the project and of her paycheck. While looking for artifacts to dig up and sell to pay the taxes (sort of sounds like Gone With The Wind) she uncovers a skull of a past murder. Her research into missing people of the correct time period also uncovers potential suspects. Her actions do not go unnoticed. In the conclusion the area is hit with a hurricane and it takes a boatload of friends to help her reveal the people involved and get justice. I believe I received this copy free in a book bag at Left Coast Crime several years ago. I received a free copy of book two at a private group session with the author at the Phoenix Left Coast Crime last year.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    This is the first book in a series that is new to me, but was written several years ago. The story surrounds Faye Longchamp, an archaeology student who is a descendant of a slave holder and one of his female slaves. Faye lives on an island off the gulf coast of Florida, and is trying to save the island and her family's old plantation/mansion from developers; at the same time Faye draws the attention of a murderer who is trying to cover up old murders, and willing to kill others to hide his past This is the first book in a series that is new to me, but was written several years ago. The story surrounds Faye Longchamp, an archaeology student who is a descendant of a slave holder and one of his female slaves. Faye lives on an island off the gulf coast of Florida, and is trying to save the island and her family's old plantation/mansion from developers; at the same time Faye draws the attention of a murderer who is trying to cover up old murders, and willing to kill others to hide his past crimes. The suspense was pretty good, and the characters were somewhat interesting. The most interesting aspect about the book for me was the bits of history about this part of Florida, and the descriptions of the landscape. I may read more in this series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    This slow cozy almost made my abandoned shelf. The writer's style grated on me. Loving that particular area of Florida, that's what kept me plodding on. The premise sounded intriguing. Faye and nothing else about her occupation was believable. Nor were points of the plot. If I knew much less about archeology and had not been to digs in Pompeii and near Naples, I might have been able to swallow it easier. But it was still primarily the writing style itself that turned me off.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    This is the first in the Faye Longchamp Mystery series. It started out as an average read, but it wasn't long before I was gripped by the story. I will most certainly read the rest of the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Slow This book was extremely slow. I was never able to relate to the main character which made it hard to read. Not recommending.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Too much deus ex machina

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I wavered between 3 and 4 on this as I approached and just after I finished. I suppose my side disclaimer: I don't read a ton of murder mysteries (I think this could be indirectly termed a "police procedural," though the police figure very shallowly), so I am not sure I'm fit to say where its true quality falls. The whodunits I normally read are an annual Christopher Fowler and possibly a period piece (think Phryne Fischer). Anything else mysterious is usual more in the line of horror (King, etc I wavered between 3 and 4 on this as I approached and just after I finished. I suppose my side disclaimer: I don't read a ton of murder mysteries (I think this could be indirectly termed a "police procedural," though the police figure very shallowly), so I am not sure I'm fit to say where its true quality falls. The whodunits I normally read are an annual Christopher Fowler and possibly a period piece (think Phryne Fischer). Anything else mysterious is usual more in the line of horror (King, etc.) or historical-sci-fi, that kind of thing. Having whinged all that out, I'll say I consumed this directly after one of Linda Castillo's Amish murder mysteries (which, frankly I was leveraged to read in two directions: I was at a gas station on a long drive and really desired an audiobook from my library, but without the time to thoughtfully critique my options, plus Ms. Castillo is a featured speaker at the book festival in my town this fall, so I figured I'd kick the tires on that book; I would likely almost never have been drawn to that subgenre, but I also tried to read as widely as I can). Compared with Castillo's mildly intriguing but often only serviceable procedural, I found Evans's quite engaging. I had to ask myself, is this merely because of the lined up comparison? And I've decided it's not, that this only highlights some of its qualities. Its strengths: a wide range of characters who are not reduced to stereotypes; a mystery that builds in a way that I could only partially predict; thoughtful handling of numerous sub-topics; absence of hokey narration or dialogue; presence of efficient but sophisticated, at times stirring prose; a unique heroine on many levels: her ethnic heritage, her unusual residence, her misfit-esque financial/educational situation; the weaving of legal, archaeological, and historical ideas. It suffers here and there from overwrought or slightly untenable character statements or ideas, but these did not distract me or stay with me over the long haul of the narrative. I had stumbled across this series in my ongoing search for more intersectional titles, protagonists, and narratives for my diverse body of readers in my high school at-risk classroom. I applaud Ms. Evans's admirable efforts to give voice to an often-missing type of protagonist. I am not unaware of the potentially problematic flipside of that coin: that she is a white writer voicing key characters of color. This is certainly a whole topic on its own and not the purpose of this review. Presently, in August of 2018, I find myself tempted to acknowledged that Evans (and many writers like her) are using their skill and relative privilege to continually expand our reader options, and that increased consumption of this work will lead to increased exposure for overlooked voices in this art world as well. I find myself interested in reading (or audiobooking) another Faye Longchamp mystery in the future as the genre craving arises.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I wanted to like Artifacts. I really did. And while I did enjoy it for what it is... This was another of those books that reminded me so much of another book series (the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs) that it was hard for me to separate the two in my mind. And unlike a lot of other stuff that I've been reading recently, the Tempe Brennan books was the better series, so I kept going “But Tempe would have done this.” and “Dr. Brennan wouldn't have done that.” Which... I will be the firs I wanted to like Artifacts. I really did. And while I did enjoy it for what it is... This was another of those books that reminded me so much of another book series (the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs) that it was hard for me to separate the two in my mind. And unlike a lot of other stuff that I've been reading recently, the Tempe Brennan books was the better series, so I kept going “But Tempe would have done this.” and “Dr. Brennan wouldn't have done that.” Which... I will be the first to admit that it's a shitty thing to do. Because at the end of the day, Artifacts was a decent novel. And even though there were a lot of similarities between the two, I can't really compare them. I enjoyed reading about the struggles of black people throughout the book-- both past and present. I also enjoyed the various diary excerpts throughout the entire book. I felt like they really put this connection between Faye and her ancestors, whose land that she lived on. At the end of the day, I felt like the actual murder mystery aspect fell a tiny bit flat. So much time was spent on other parts of the book, like Faye constantly worrying about having her house taken away. And when she revealed who dun it (and I mean the actual who dun it), it was kind of... Sudden, I guess that you could say? I felt like I'd missed something between “Hmm, I wonder?” and “OH NO!!” Overall, this was a very enjoyable book. I grew attached to Faye and Joe and all of the other characters who are going to stick around for the next book, so I'm glad that this is the start of the series. (Plus, by the end, Faye had her entire situation figured out, so in other books, I'm sure that there will be way less constant whining about money and doing all of that illegal stuff. And then she can focus on something else.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    ARTIFACTS was an entertaining mystery. Faye Longchamp was an archaeology student until she was forced to drop out to take care of her mother and grandmother. Paying their last bills has made it impossible for her to return to school and threatens Faye's heritage. She is spending every cent she can scrape up to maintain Joyeuse - a mansion that has been passed down in her family since slave days. She earns most of her money doing black market archaeology and selling artifacts she discovers mostly ARTIFACTS was an entertaining mystery. Faye Longchamp was an archaeology student until she was forced to drop out to take care of her mother and grandmother. Paying their last bills has made it impossible for her to return to school and threatens Faye's heritage. She is spending every cent she can scrape up to maintain Joyeuse - a mansion that has been passed down in her family since slave days. She earns most of her money doing black market archaeology and selling artifacts she discovers mostly on her family's land. She also has a job working for a dig run by one of her university professors. But when two of the student archaeologists are found murdered and buried, the dig is halted leaving Faye in even more need of money. When she is digging in a previously unexplored corner of land, she discovers bones. These aren't ancient. She identifies an earring that was popular in the 1960s. However, since she was digging illegally, telling anyone about the body threatens all her secrets. So she decides to investigate on her own not knowing that the murderer is still around and wants his secrets to stay buried too. I liked the multiple timelines that were woven together in this story. Faye discovers a diary that tells the stories of some of her ancestors who also lived in Joyeuse and those stories are woven into the contemporary story. Time also flashes back to when the girl whose bones Faye discovers lived and died. I liked the variety of characters. I liked the Florida panhandle setting. I liked the added tension that a hurricane taking aim at them brings to the story too. I also like that this is the first of what is currently a twelve-book series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    Faye Longchamps, is a student of Archaeology in the Florida Panhandle area. Faye is living a secret life shared with only a couple of fellow Lost Isle natives. Joe Wolf Mantooth, understands the outdoors and Faye, although many would say he is borderline simple-minded. He cares for Faye with a loyalty that is complete. Faye, last of generations of women who are strong, both white and black, strives to keep the family plantation in her ownership. Taxes, money and health are issues that constantly Faye Longchamps, is a student of Archaeology in the Florida Panhandle area. Faye is living a secret life shared with only a couple of fellow Lost Isle natives. Joe Wolf Mantooth, understands the outdoors and Faye, although many would say he is borderline simple-minded. He cares for Faye with a loyalty that is complete. Faye, last of generations of women who are strong, both white and black, strives to keep the family plantation in her ownership. Taxes, money and health are issues that constantly cause Faye to be a lowly pot hunter. Having nursed her Grandmother and Mother until their passing's, depleted all monies and caused Faye to leave the University prior graduation. Having a minimum wage job on an authentic dig, Faye revels in doing a complete and thorough job until one morning when two fellow students go missing. Finding not only their bodies, but a woman who has been buried several decades causes Faye's life to be in jeopardy. Faye finds an old journal of her Great Great Grandmother's and learns the truth about the times when the plantation was under siege by the Civil War and Hurricanes. This novel was interesting and had a good plot. It was written in the viewpoint of a Bi-racial woman. You end wondering what happens next to Faye and Joe.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lia Jones

    Readers Delight I powered through this treasure in one day. Like an archeologist uncovering the latest dig, I couldn’t be bothered with mundane distractions like chores or T.V. I had to find out how the heroine of this story would uncover the mysteries of her past and solve the crimes that threatened to take away everything she cherished in life. I like strong, educated women who persevere through life’s adversity and struggles but somehow are able to maintain hope and heart. Faye Longchamp is ju Readers Delight I powered through this treasure in one day. Like an archeologist uncovering the latest dig, I couldn’t be bothered with mundane distractions like chores or T.V. I had to find out how the heroine of this story would uncover the mysteries of her past and solve the crimes that threatened to take away everything she cherished in life. I like strong, educated women who persevere through life’s adversity and struggles but somehow are able to maintain hope and heart. Faye Longchamp is just that kind of character. She sacrificed her education to care for her dying family. She made do with very little, and barely scraped by in an effort to pay off her family’s debts. She hung on to her ancestral home by a thread. Who could imagine she would somehow overcome this avalanche of adversity? Especially when it was compounded tenfold by the evil machinations of murderers and marauders. How could I possibly tear myself away from all this mystery and intrigue? Only a natural disaster could make this story any more harrowing, and believe it or not, this story did not disappoint.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Borum

    An email from the publisher suggested a later book in this series. It sounded like something I'd be interested in, but I figured I'd better start at the beginning. While I enjoyed this book, it felt like there was a lot of exposition. Murders happened, bodies are discovered, within the first 30 pages or so. But then it took a long time to resolve, or really even to get any clues. I understand that as the first of a series this is necessary, and the final scene at the barbecue does establish who An email from the publisher suggested a later book in this series. It sounded like something I'd be interested in, but I figured I'd better start at the beginning. While I enjoyed this book, it felt like there was a lot of exposition. Murders happened, bodies are discovered, within the first 30 pages or so. But then it took a long time to resolve, or really even to get any clues. I understand that as the first of a series this is necessary, and the final scene at the barbecue does establish who I assume will be the important characters going forward. The resolution of the case was satisfactory, even though the hints were a bit scarce. And I'm still not sure who "the boss" is. Is it supposed to be (view spoiler)[the Senator (hide spoiler)] ? It's not clear, maybe he shows up in later books. But (view spoiler)[Nguyen (hide spoiler)] is dead and (view spoiler)[Wally (hide spoiler)] ran away, so I'm not sure the operation is still ongoing. That said, I liked this book and it's the type of characters I like to read about, so I will definitely look for more entries in the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Faye Longchamp is a bi or tri racial woman living on an island off the Florida coast. She had to quit college, studying archaeology, to nurse her grandmother and mother through their final illness. This dried up all her funds and so she spends her time excavating the ruined slave quarters of the plantation she inherited. She has spent the time using the university library and learning to restore the plantation house. Unfortunately, as a descendant of slaves and the white men who owned them, she Faye Longchamp is a bi or tri racial woman living on an island off the Florida coast. She had to quit college, studying archaeology, to nurse her grandmother and mother through their final illness. This dried up all her funds and so she spends her time excavating the ruined slave quarters of the plantation she inherited. She has spent the time using the university library and learning to restore the plantation house. Unfortunately, as a descendant of slaves and the white men who owned them, she is unable to prove her ownership, so she keeps the house and where she lives a secret. Because of her illegal pot hunting, she and the Native American man who lives on her land, uncover a long buried woman. She is unable to report it, but her sense of justice won’t let it rest. A very good book and I enjoyed it immensely. The suspense and sense of imminent danger, is threaded throughout. One of the techniques, the author uses is to intersperse the narrative with entries from journals and other writings. Very good.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.