11011295When celebrity biographer Phoebe Hall is accused of plagiarism, her Manhattan life starts unraveling. Needing a break and a chance for a fresh beginning, she accepts a job as an instructor at Lyle College in Pennsylvania, where her old boarding school friend Glenda Johns is the president.

But she’s barely in town for any time at all when a young girl, someone with whom she had a conversation just weeks before, washes up on the bank of the river. And a series of seemingly unconnected deaths begin to arouse suspicion in the minds of those in charge at the college, especially Glenda, suggesting other possibilities.

She asks Phoebe to informally investigate. But when the clues suggest that a secret society called The Sixes may be involved, Phoebe’s life takes on a nightmarish quality. What does this organization have to do with the odd things happening to Phoebe? And what about the bar, Cat Tails, where every deceased person spent time on the night of his/her death?

As Phoebe starts following the clues, she uncovers more and more, but how is anything connected? And why does she have a strange feeling that a secret society from her own boarding school days, a group that bullied her mercilessly, might be part of what is happening now?

The story was a page-turning thriller that had me sleeping less at night, and not just because I couldn’t it down, but because The Sixes: A Novel was one of those books that totally engaged me. I enjoyed how the author showed the reader the ordinary details of each day, along with the investigating, like a romance brewing. And it struck me as quite plausible that, when everything started to get even more mysterious, Phoebe became suspicious of even those closest to her. I even suspected numerous characters along the way, and as the answers began to unfold, I was stunned by some of them, and not so much by others. A good mix and a captivating story, with a few predictable elements. Four stars.


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