Author Aaron Paul Lazar has the knack of creating believable characters, putting them in beautifully rendered landscapes, and making their subsequent trials and tribulations seem believable too. His Tall Pines Mysteries are no exception, and Essentially Yours is the second in the series.
The title brings to mind the essential oils that form a backdrop to this tale. While Marcie’s down-to-earth attitudes give her a natural reluctance to use oils instead of medication for her headache, her honest love for her husband makes her open to try, just as in the earlier novel, For the Birds, she had to accept the inexplicable to save her mother. This willingness to look further pervades the novel, allowing the reader to see beyond the road ahead into the beautiful scenery of isolation, beyond the mechanics of big business to the humanity of people in need, and beyond archetypical assumptions to a place where innocent victims can ask for and welcome help.
Marcie’s former boyfriend Sky disappeared a long time ago. His sister Callie has become a recluse, and Marcie has married half-Indian Quinn. When a message arrives out of the blue from Sky, with bottles of essential oils, Marcie’s beautiful relationship with Quinn just might be threatened by memories of the past. But their love is as strong as their faith and as real as the Adirondack mountains where they seek for Callie. With mystical help from Callie’s dog, hope from crystals and healing from oils, Marcie and Quinn embark on a rescue mission that’s filled with danger, excitement and intrigue.
Essentially Yours is a fast-flowing mystery with great scenery, exciting action, thoughtful intrigue, and wistful hope. The Tall Pines cast of characters is growing, and there’s a heartfelt welcome to the tale that makes the reader almost feel like another assistant in the wings. A fun, easy-reading series with gentle touches of food for thought… and essential oils.
Disclosure: I met the author online and was delighted to receive a free signed copy of this novel from him.