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An Elusive Inheritance is an e-book story of obsession and complicated family relationships. Margaret Anne Philips is a volunteer at the Writer's Space in Bethesda, Maryland and the week before she and her husband are due to leave for a vacation on the Eastern Shore, she is asked to pick up a large, valuable book donation from the home of Phoebe Skagan Van Peeples, a teacher-member.
Margaret Anne picks up ten cartons of books which she delivers to the Space but must return to the Van Peeples' for two remaining boxes. However, in the interim, the first ten boxes disappear and the Administrative Director asks Margaret Anne to hold onto the other two for safekeeping until the original ten can be found. Reluctantly she agrees, leaving the boxes in her car, thus taking them to the shore with her on her vacation.
When Phoebe Van Peeples' mother died in the thirties she specifically willed the extensive family library to her three daughters, Eileen, Phoebe and Clovis. Clovis, the youngest, was never informed of this "inheritance," learning of it years later after her guardian aunt dies. Meanwhile, Eileen and Phoebe have gone to law school, Phoebe has married and Eileen remains a spinster and IRS attorney until she retires.
Determined to get what she considers hers by right, Clovis besieges her older sisters with requests for her share of the inheritance, so angering them that when Eileen dies leaving the books to Phoebe, she in turn decides to donate the books, which are extremely valuable. Not to be deterred, Clovis determinedly tracks the books down, furious when she learns ten boxes have "disappeared." Finding Margaret Anne with the remaining two boxes, she demands them as well as the so-called "lost" others from the Writer's Space, thus alienating everyone.
Eventually the Space tracks down the ten "lost" boxes and Margaret Anne inadvertently reveals their whereabouts to Clovis, who then sets about stealing them, after talking Margaret Anne into giving her the two boxes she has in her possession.
Rare books make the world go round as greedy dealers, amateur collectors, novices and innocent books lovers get caught up in an obsessive drive for possession of valuable artifacts whose intrinsic and monetary value is all they care about. Possession here is truly nine-tenths of the law.