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The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle
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The Mysteries (2005)

by Lisa Tuttle

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  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
I first came across this book in a publisher’s newsletter two years ago and was intrigued by the premise and so scooped up a copy of the book quickly. But as often happens with my books, it sat on the shelf awhile, until the right moment came to give it a whirl. I actually ended up reading another of the author’s books first, Silver Bough, earlier this year.

As with Silver Bough, Lisa Tuttle eases the reader into the more fantastical elements of The Mysteries slowly. She weaves Celtic myth into her tale seamlessly, creating an intriguing and eerie story. The Mysteries is a fantasy novel and a mystery all rolled into one. Bit by bit, the author brings the pieces of the puzzle together, never failing to leave the reader in wonder and sometimes even in awe.

The characterizations seemed somehow murky at times with even the protagonist not being quite fully fleshed out. And yet, it seemed sort of fitting given the story. The fairies and their kin always seemed to lurk just beyond the mist or in the dark, and the author, even in when writing about the “real” world, was able to capture that sort of atmosphere, as if the two were not all that different, and yet still worlds apart.

I know so little about Celtic folklore, and yet Lisa Tuttle’s novels never fail to entice me and make me wish I knew more. The Mysteries did not captivate me quite as much as Silver Bough did; however, I definitely plan to read more by this author. ( )
  LiteraryFeline | Jan 5, 2008 |
I can't express how much fun this book was to read, and how it sucked me into its pages from the first sentence. I would definitely recommend it to either readers of fantasy or to mystery readers; for the latter, I would suggest you prepare to stray off the path a little bit and let yourself relax and have fun with the plot. I absolutely LOVED this book -- and I am a picky reader!

a very brief synopsis:
The main character of The Mysteries is Ian Kennedy, who is an investigator in London specializing in vanishings and disappearances. From the time he was small he had been interested in the topic, starting with the disappearance of his father. As the novel opens he has just found out that the authorities had found the body of the daughter of a client who he was hired to find. As he muses on about feeling like a failure and his worries about his bank account, he gets a visit from Laura Lensky, a woman whose daughter has also gone missing. But Laura will not tell her story until Ian agrees to meet with one Hugh Bell-Rivers, who tells him a story fresh out of Celtic mythology. Ian becomes more than a little interested and sets off in search of finding Peri.

In between the story of finding Peri Lensky, the author has interwoven flashbacks of Ian's life along with strange stories of people who have disappeared throughout history, pretty much with all the same elements in each story. This provides a way in which the reader not only gets to know Ian and what motivates him to do what he does, but it also helps to visualize what may be in Ian's head as the search continues. I thought this strategy was excellent...at first I had a little trouble getting used to it, but as time went on, I found myself looking forward to these little stories. Without giving away the show, Ian's search takes him to the moors of Scotland and a glimpse at the Otherworld, where he is convinced he will find Peri.

The book is simply wonderful, fun and incredibly interesting, taking you away from the beaten path of the PI format and literally into another world. I highly recommend it! ( )
  bcquinnsmom | May 12, 2006 |
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Epigraph
We can see the people upon all sides,
But by no one can we be seen;
The clouds of Adam's transgression it is
That prevents them from seeing us.

Mider to Etain
They did not know her—gods are hard for mortals to recognize.

—Homeric Hymn to Demeter
mystery n. a secret doctrine;
anything very obscure;
that which is beyond human knowledge to explain;
anything artfully made difficult;
a sacrament;
a miracle play;
a shiftless, drifting girl.
Dedication
To Rob and Sarah,
dear friends and generous hosts
First words
The strangest memory of my childhood concerns my father's disappearance.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055358734X, Paperback)

From award-winning author Lisa Tuttle comes a riveting novel that combines the contemporary story of one man’s search for a missing young woman with history’s most enduring legends of the disappeared. Gripping and unforgettable, here is a spellbinding mix of the mysteries that inhabit our everyday lives–and a mind-bending exploration of what happens when someone vanishes without a trace.

Ever since his father disappeared when he was nine years old, Ian Kennedy has had a penchant for stories about missing people–and a knack for finding them. Now he’s a private investigator with an impressive track record. But when a woman enters his London office and asks him to find her lost daughter, Ian faces a case he fears he cannot solve–and one he knows he must.

Laura Lensky’s stunning twenty-one-year-old daughter, Peri, has been missing for over two years–a lifetime, under the circumstances. But when Ian learns the details of her disappearance, he discovers eerie parallels to an obscure Celtic myth–and to the haunting case that launched his career, an early success he’s never fully been able to explain. Though Ian suspects Peri may have chosen to vanish, his curiosity leads him to take on the search. Soon he finds himself drawing not only from the mysteries that have preoccupied his adulthood, but from the fables and folklore that pervaded his youth. What follows is a journey that takes Ian and those who care for Peri into the Highlands of Scotland, as the unknowns of the past and present merge in the case–and in their lives.
Rich in pathos and steeped in secrets, The Mysteries opens a thought-provoking door from one world into the heart of another, where some of our most perplexing enigmas–and their answers–are startlingly alive.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ian Kennedy takes on the most difficult case of his career when a woman asks him to find her missing daughter, and he follows a trail from London to the Scottish Highlands and discovers that the dark fables of the British Isles are all too alive.

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