A MacKenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Title: A Mackenzie Clan Gathering
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzie & MacBrides, #8.5
Date: November 17, 2015
Ian Mackenzie is awakened at Kilmorgan Castle one night to find robbers stealing the priceless art collection of his oldest brother, Hart. Since Ian and Beth are the only ones in resident at Kilmorgan at the moment, Ian decides he must find the art and the culprits before the family shows up for Hart’s birthday gathering. With Inspector Fellows and Beth, he investigates, though Ian is somewhat worried by Beth’s late husband’s brother, a retired missionary, who decides to visit. Does John Ackerley hold the “cure” to Ian’s madness? And can Ian discover what has happened to Hart’s treasures, and who is targeting the Mackenzies before the enemy strikes again?
Return to Kilmorgan Castle to visit the Victorian branch of the Mackenzie family, and catch up on the brothers and friends, their children, and their lives.
According to the author, this was supposed to be a book about the Mackenzie clan, hence the title. Although the entire clan is well represented, this is an Ian book and I AM SO EXCITED!
I love Ian. I love Ian and Beth. I love seeing Ian cope with the world without giving up who he is. And I really love this chance to see how much he has moved forward with his ability to interact with others.
Even though this is a relatively short book (less than 200 pages), there is so much to it.
First, a new character is introduced.
Beth’s former brother-in-law John is introduced and he thinks he has a “cure” for Ian’s madness. I was not certain whether or not he was evil or just misguided. Ian does not need a cure. His “madness” is what makes him Ian. However, the scenes where he talks about his family and the things that were done to him were disturbing and enlightening. What was really heartbreaking is when Ian wondered if Beth wouldn’t be better off with a “normal” man.
And a mystery needs solving.
Someone is targeting the Mackenzies or are they really after Hart and why? It’s not like Hart doesn’t have plenty of enemies after him. Who is going to suffer in the attacks?
And it’s Christmas!
Even with “the cure”, and burglars, and physical attacks on the family, Christmas must go on.
Of course, everything works out in the end. The bad guy is caught. Ian and Beth are fine. And Christmas goes on.
The best part of the book was seeing how Ian’s mind worked. He and Beth have been married for ten years and she and the children are the center of his life. Like any human, he questions his decisions. He wonders if he is good enough for his family. He worries about the stigma is children will have because their father is mad.
His daughter Belle nails it though.
“‘Papa,’ Belle said to Ian as Beth settled Megan. “Aunt Eleanor says you’ve asked Uncle John to cure you of your madness. But you’re not mad, Papa.” Her expressive face furrowed, “Centric, certainly. Not mad.”
She goes on to explain about how she’s been reading about madness and Ian doesn’t have any of the symptoms. Ian tries to tell her it’s a different type of madness.
“There isn’t another sort,” Belle answered with conviction. “I’m going to be a doctor, you know. I’ve been studying.”
Beth and Ian have no response to that and Belle goes on to say,
“You see? You are not mad, Papa. You may cease worrying about it.”
And out of the mouths of babes, that is that.
Read this book! I’m not sure it’s not the best of the series and that’s really saying something.
This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.