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Alayne Smith

A Mystery Solved, A Prediction Fulfilled

Ellen Jones helps her aunt solve a family mystery, by author Alayne Smith

It’s 1962, and Ellen Jones is considering her future, before she returns back to her studies in broadcast journalism at Columbus University, Miami. What journalism career will she pursue? Should she get together with JoJo, following her split from Luke? But first, her Aunt Essie recruits Ellen to help her solve a mystery. She has found a carving in an antique mint julep cabinet, with the date of her great grandmothers wedding, Mary Ellen Davis marries Thaddeus Baird, May 1866. But family records also show that Mary Ellen married another man, Thomas Brown Mitchell, in December of the same year.  Aunt Essie is curious and determined to solve the mystery. Who was Thaddeus Baird and what happened to him? And why did her great grandmother marry twice in such a short space of time?

Ellen agrees to help her aunt and discovers that Mary Ellen wrote for a local newspaper, the Marshall-Times Standard. She also discovered that she volunteered at the Jericho School, where she met Thomas Brown Mitchell, a soldier who set up the school in a converted kitchen behind the old Garvey plantation house. They find a journal belonging to Mary Ellen, with declarations of her love for Thaddeus Baird.  As Ellen and Aunt Essie delve further into Mary Ellen’s past, they soon discover that their ancestor was embroiled in a scandal that nearly destroyed her reputation.  Then, when a dead body is found in a tunnel beneath the old Garvey plantation house, Ellen and Aunt Essie believe there is a connection to Mary Ellen.

A Mystery Solved, A Prediction Fulfilled is a superb mystery novel for young adult readers, by author Alayne Smith. Spanning two time periods (1962 and 1866), the book follows two young women as they come of age in different eras. The book provides a fascinating insight into the lives of women during the 1800’s and 1960’s. While their lives are very different, they experience similar challenges and dilemmas. The book moves at a gentle pace, but is packed full of intrigue, mystery and suspense. Well written, with a fascinating plot, this book will appeal to those who enjoy mystery, suspense and historical fiction.

The book is the third instalment of the Ellen Jones series. I had not read the first two books in the series, and I could easily follow the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I hope to go back to the other books, to learn more about Ellen Jones’ back-story.  

Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: Well written, with a fascinating plot that spans two time periods, this is a superb novel  packed full of intrigue, mystery and suspense.

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