Stephanie Cooper is eighteen years old and a recent high school graduate. She decides to visit her father and grandmother in the country before starting her university studies. She never expects to become mixed up in art thievery with a side of romance with hunky rocker, James Knox. Armed with the diary of a long-deceased aunt – whose death was surrounded by suspicious circumstances – and her own persistent research, Stephanie uncovers a web of deceit, murder and greed.
The Carlswick Affair is a clever Romeo and Juliet style tale of two young people who meet and fall in love, but are from two families who have been at odds with one another for decades. The first half of the book seemed to concentrate more on the tumultuous relationship between Stephanie and James. It was more “romance” than “mystery” in my opinion. The second half of the book really picked up and delved further into World War II history – specifically Hitler’s ban on what he termed “degenerate” art, which he confiscated from owners, publicly ridiculed and often destroyed. As someone who feels strongly that it’s important for young people to be educated about history, I loved that the author included so much historical detail in her book. And it’s done in a way that is engaging and interesting, so it’s sure to hold the attention of readers.
I would recommend The Carlswick Affair for anyone, of any age, looking for an appealing story that combines romance, history, suspense and mystery. Ms. Beaumont’s debut novel proves she’s an author to follow. I’ll be reading her sequel, The Carlswick Treasure next!
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton