These Toxic Things

By Rachel Howzell Hall

ISBN# 9781542027472

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Mickie Lambert is a digital archaeologist creating memory banks that show a client’s memories and greatest treasures in great holographic detail. 

Her latest client is Nadia Denham, the owner of the curiosities shop, Beautiful Things.  Nadia is suffering from Alzheimer’s and wants a way to remember the things she is forgetting.  Nadia was so excited to work on her memory bank when she suddenly dies.  Her death is being ruled a suicide, but Mickie can’t believe it.  

Mickie’s boss and kind of ex-boyfriend, Christopher, tells Mickie to go ahead and complete the memory bank stating the family will want her memories more now than ever.  So, Mickie goes to Beautiful Things to work on the items that Nadia had selected to be included.  Each item coming from someone who was down on their luck that Nadia helped along the way.

Shortly after starting on the project, Mickie starts receiving odd messages slipped under her door and threatening text messages.  And, it only gets worse once she goes on a few dates with Nadia’s son, Dexter!  Who could be behind the threats?  And, could it be linked to her current project or something completely unrelated?

As Mickie gets further and further into her research she starts to question everything and everybody.  Especially when a serial killer of the past seems to be starting killing again …

I thought this book sounded interesting.  It had a lot going on (maybe too much) with the mystery surrounding Nadia’s death, the mystery of the very items Mickie was cataloging for Nadia, the secrets in Mickie’s family and the supposed stalking.  To say nothing of the businessman trying to acquire the property where Beautiful Things is located.

I found the diner owner, Anna, to be the most interesting character of the entire book and her role was rather limited.

The book was okay, but I did find it a bit too easy to put down.  All the mysteries are solved and brought to the light, in the end though, so there is no fear of a cliffhanger here.