four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
16-May-June-2005
By: 
Lisa Tuttle
user_rating: 
0

A-MysteriesAccording to an eerie Celtic myth called "The Wooing of Etain," Mider, king of the fairies, seduces a mortal woman and whisks her away into his magical Otherworld. Fact or fiction? The legend starts to consume Ian Kennedy, a London-based American private investigator, when Laura Lensky’s beautiful 21-year-old daughter Peri vanishes without a trace. Kennedy’s own father disappeared when he was a child, then his lover, and he’s determined to find the young woman. After interviewing Peri’s boyfriend, Ian finds striking parallels between Peri’s disappearance and the obscure Celtic legend. But can he enter the magical world and save Peri?
Spectra. 324 pages. $21. ISBN: 0553382969

Rocky Mountain News 4 of 5 Stars
"Tuttle is a master storyteller, and The Mysteries is a fun and addicting story. … What follows is a journey into the Highlands of Scotland, where the folklore traditions of the past still remain, despite the technology of the present. The Mysteries is an enthralling mix of fantasy and reality, an adventure not to be missed." Mark Graham

Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars
"Together, [the interrelated mysteries] illuminate the point of intersection between ancient Celtic mythology and the modern world. … Successfully balancing the miraculous and the mundane, The Mysteries offers a variety of unexpected pleasures and marks the overdue return of a stylish, distinctive storyteller." Bill Sheehan

San Francisco Chronicle 3.5 of 5 Stars
"’People are mysteries,’ Kennedy observes, and it is Tuttle’s unique exploration of that axiom that gives this novel its emotional weight. With The Mysteries, Tuttle delivers a fantasy where psychology and the supernatural, neglectful parenting and fairy abductions are equally strange and compelling." Michael Berry

Critical Summary

The award-winning Tuttle, a native Texan who now lives in Scotland, has written 15 novels for adults and children, including Lost Futures and The Pillow Friend. The Mysteries proves she’s "at the top of her craft" (Rocky Mountain News). Mixing fantastical elements into a detective tale, Tuttle weaves a fascinating story of strange disappearances set against ancient Celtic folklore. She also delves deeply into Ian Kennedy’s psychology—the emotions surrounding his long-missing lover, his father’s disappearance, and his steadfast mission to find missing persons, at all costs. The brief chapters about past disappearances sprinkled throughout the narrative add interesting, if unrelated, subplots. Yet even these barely detract from a novel that, at its core, examines how we make choices that take us far beyond our earthly existence.