By Mary Stanton
Series: Beaufort & Company Mystery #5
Publication date: November 1, 2011
Buy:Barnes & Noble /Amazon /Book Depository
Representing her Aunt Cissy's fiancé, museum curator Prosper White, in a case of fraud, attorney and celestial advocate Brianna Winston- Beaufort hopes to settle the matter out of court. But when Prosper is murdered and Cissy's arrested for the crime, Bree will have to solve the mystery of the Cross of Justinian-an artifact of interest in both Prosper's lawsuit and Bree's celestial case-to clear her aunt's name...(Synopsis from Goodreads)
Angel Condemned by Mary Stanton is the fifth in a cozy paranormal mystery series called Beaufort and Company. In this installment we have an ancient artifact that may be a key to one of the gates of hell, a murder and a case that can be linked back to Brianna’s mother Leah. This suspenseful novel was delightful and I loved re-visiting all the unique and colorful characters.
Brianna Winston-Beaufort has recently opened two law firms in Savannah, Georgia. She inherited the practices from her Uncle Frank. The first office is located in a beautiful old office building on Bay Street. She has hired a spunky secretary who works part-time while obtaining her GED. She plans to go to college to become a Para-legal. Here Brianna deals with temporal cases or cases involving living clients. Brianna’s second office is located in a house on Angelus Street. This office is surrounded by a cemetery. Here Brianna’s staff consists of angels. This is her celestial office and she deals with souls who believe they have been wrongly condemned to hell. A lot of times the two cases are connected. Since opening her doors, Brianna and her staff have solved four murders for her temporal office and reduced or eliminated the sentences for four souls. All of this occurs because she and her staff are forced to act as detectives to solve the celestial cases. Because of the nature of her work, she has been provided a lot of heavenly help. She has a loving dog named Sasha who can communicate and warn her. Vicious guard dogs, her staff and an Arch Angel who appears when she is in grave danger.
In this novel, Brianna’s Aunt Cissy wants her to represent her fiance in a lawsuit regarding a magazine. This case is anything but simple, when the fiance is murdered with Aunt Cissy’s kitchen knife. Then an old artifact surfaces with a soul condemned to spend eternity in hell. Brianna has been burning the wick at both ends, and these two cases may be more then she can handle. The tale that unfolds is interesting with twists and turns.
The characters in Stanton’s novel are delightfully southern and each unique. I always enjoy their interactions. Brianna’s family would give me a headache with their meddling ways, but they love Brianna. Stanton does a wonderful job of describing Savannah and the buildings there. The celestial court, Brianna's role and the cases are all fascinating and Stanton's attention to detail is appreciated.
I recommend Angel Condemned and the Beaufort and Company series to fans of cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. While they could be read as a standalone, I do not recommend it. There are a lot of characters and each novel reveals more about the celestial court, how Brianna was chosen for this duty and why. Stanton also has a young adult fantasy series called Unicorns of Balinor.
I gave this novel 3.5 coffee cups out of 5.