After recognizing her great-grandmother’s picture on the wall of a restored bordello-turned-visitor center, Tessa Steele sets out to track down exactly how Hallie became one of Miss Fanny’s ‘ladies’. Threatening phone calls and letters warning her that Nosy little girls get into trouble become the least of her worries when she meets Sgt. Dale McCord, a state police officer investigating a series of so-called ‘hauntings’ at Miss Fanny’s.
Caught between her own curiosity about Miss Fanny’s and Dale’s disapproval, she goes ahead with her research. Each time she uncovers a new piece of information, she faces an even more sinister threat as well as Dale’s unexplained anger. She’s as determined to learn the truth as someone is to stop her. And Dale is determined to keep her alive—if he can.
Review: The Face on Miss Fanny’s Wall is an interesting and complex mystery. There is a long history told in this story of a single family and how things that happened over 150 years ago, still effect those today.
The beginning of the book, about the first 6 chapters, read like a prologue. It starts 150 years earlier and go through the following years in very short snippets of different periods of time to show what each generation goes through; leading up to 1999.
When the story reaches 1999, we meet Tessa. The rest of the story follows, in first person, Tessa’s search to find answers to her family’s past.
I really enjoyed the plot of the story, even though it seemed to drag every now and then. What I did have an issue with was the way everyone treated Tessa as if she was a child of 14 throughout the entire book.
She is ending her Junior year in collage when we meet her, but she still has to ask her parents permission on where she can go on Spring Break. She is kept from speaking freely with her own Grandmother and is controlled at every turn. When she meets a man that shares a mutual romantic interest in, he claims she is too young for him and he will wait for her to ‘grow up’ before anything can happen between them. I understand ‘why’ he says it, but it isn’t presented in a good way.
The rest of the book, either Tessa’s parents, her roommate or Dale, her romantic interest, is trying to tell her what to do. I could understand if she was doing something dangerous, but for the most part, she is tracing her family history.
There are times she should have listened to the ‘advice’ of others, but I’d ignore them too if everyone was constantly trying to control me; always being told what to do makes it hard to pick out what actually should be heeded!
I enjoyed getting to know the history of the different generations early on, and the plot and mystery were well written and intricate. I had some of the mystery figured out early on, but other parts were a surprise, which was nice!