Speaking of recipes for success, the mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O’Donnell, is a lady with a knack for locating mislaid possessions. Every now and then it points her to misplaced earrings or keys—and on occasion it tips her to murder. When Dae’s suitor Kevin’s ex-fiancée Ann (say that three times fast!) lands in Duck hoping for another go, Dae unexpectedly catches herself facing misery. Although her starry-eyed existence is in disarray, she’s further alarmed by the unforeseen deviation in her ability. After manipulating a medallion belonging to Chuck Sparks, Dae is shaken when her revelation exposes his slaying and a plea for comfort.
Dae doesn’t distinguish the dead gent’s entreaty to “Help her,” until she experiences an image of an abducted girl who turns out to be Chuck’s daughter, Betsy. With a kid missing, the FBI takes the lead trying to locate Betsy. However Dae can’t discount her forecasts of Betsy, or the point that Kevin’s intuitive ex-fiancée may turn out to be the only person who can help locate her.
As authors, the Lavenes out-rival most with their outstanding storytelling, and their paranormal “missing pieces” take is rather refreshing. Toss in their quirky band of characters and A Missing Pieces Mystery is a fun series, but A Haunted Dream is sidetracked with unenthusiastic and frustrating distractions that make it lackluster. Here’s hoping someone “finds” a jewelry cloth to clean away the sooty debris left in this volume.