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Alan Cook, Mystery and Walking Writer
The second Carol Golden mystery. (Forget to Remember is the first.)
Carol Golden has recovered her identity if not her memory (lost in Forget to Remember) and she would like to find more relatives. She discovers cousins with the last name of Boyd and finds they are apparently being targeted for murder. In addition, her grandmother is developing Alzheimer's Disease and has been a victim of the "Grandparent Scam," losing a lot of money to someone in Los Angeles who is impersonating Carol's dead brother.
Carol travels to Los Angeles from her home in North Carolina to attend a memorial service for one murdered cousin and to try and determine whether the scammer and the murderer are the same person. However, she finds out soon after her arrival in L.A. that somone doesn't want her sticking her nose into any of this.
A group calling itself The Syndicate is promoting what looks suspiciously like a Ponzi scheme, and at least one of her cousins could be involved, bilking people out of their money. Is there a connection to the murderer here? Will Carol become disillusioned about her relatives? Maybe she would have been better off not finding them.
Nobody knows the value of family like the person who doesn’t have one.
I’m speaking from experience. I didn’t have any relatives for many weeks last year. That’s when I had amnesia. My name is Carol Golden. Well, it’s not my real name. It’s what I called myself when I didn’t know what my real name was. Now I like it better than my real name.
When I recovered my identity (but not my memory) I found one of my relatives—my grandmother, Elizabeth Horton. My parents and my brother, Michael, were dead. Recently, I’d learned about another line of relatives who were cousins of Grandma, which meant they were my cousins, also. I talked to one of them—Jason Boyd—on the phone, and promised to visit him in California at some nebulous future date.
Now, a few days later, I was standing in front of the counter at Raleigh-Durham Airport, checking a single suitcase and preparing to go through security and face scrutiny and possible humiliation at the hands (literally) of the TSA staff. I was on my way to California to visit Jason Boyd.
However, it wasn’t a happy occasion. The day before I’d learned his grandson—also named Jason—had been murdered. I’d found relatives and already lost one of them. Grandma told me I’d never met either Jason. It didn’t matter. Call it a compulsion to collect relatives born from my amnesia, but I couldn’t not go.