The Last Will of Moira Leahy
Therese Walsh, . . Crown/Shaye Areheart, $24 (294pp) ISBN 978-0-307-46157-5
Walsh's satisfying novel follows Maeve Leahy, a brilliant young professor, in her pursuit for answers about her family and herself. When she impulsively bids on a keris—an ancient Javanese dagger—at an auction house, Maeve's orderly life spins out of control. Anonymous notes appear on her office door, with provocative hints about the origins of the keris, unleashing memories of Maeve's onetime musical ambitions and the loss of her twin, Moira. When a note urges Maeve to visit Rome, her best friend, Kit, persuades her to go. There she finds Noel, her rakish love interest, who is trying to solve his own family's mysteries. He helps Maeve navigate the bewildering questions and characters in Rome while making his romantic ambitions clear, much to Maeve's indignation and secret fascination. Walsh ably shifts between Maeve's current quest and flashbacks showing the twins as children, revealing little by little the story behind Maeve's grief. While Maeve sometimes comes across as self-involved—even for a woman on a personal quest—Walsh's pleasing blend of mystery, romance and the supernatural is enough to keep readers rooting for the heroine.
Reviewed on: 08/24/2009