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The Devil’s Fortune
Amy Schisler. Chesapeake Sunrise, $4.99 e-book (314p) ASIN B07NWY293Q
A woman struggles to renovate her ancestral home and uncovers secrets buried within it in this intriguing tale from Schisler (Island of Miracles). Courtney decides to buy what had been her family’s colonial-era house in Maryland after being involved in a near-fatal car accident. The accident also prompts her to dump her fiancé, who she isn’t happy with, and to dedicate herself fully to fixing up the home. But the rundown house has its own stories, namely a treasure Courtney finds that was hidden there by pirate Anne Bonny. Switching to 1725, a second thread focuses on Anne, who moved in with Courtney’s ancestors after being abandoned by her crew when she went into labor. Back in the present, mysterious graffiti on the house, footsteps Courtney hears in the night, and objects that go missing lead Courtney to research the house’s past to determine whether vandals are lurking, or if ghosts are toying with her. Though the tension can rachet up when Courtney contemplates the spooky nature of the house, Schisler’s uneven pacing—quickly establishing Anne’s story, yet moving too slowly in the present—hinders the setup. Readers looking for a layered tale told across eras will find a lot to like. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 12/06/2019