Lizbeth Landers is spending the summer of 1972 with relatives in Ahoskie, NC. Soon after arriving, she finds herself at the Danbury Bridge, looking on in horror as Mr. Samuel and his baby girl are pulled from his submerged car. His hand clutches a penny, which mysteriously vanishes from the police evidence the next day. The two deaths are determined to be murder.
Collecting pennies is Lizbeth’s passion, and she realizes this particular penny is special. After witnessing Mr. Samuel’s widow’s grief at losing her husband and baby, Lizbeth is determined to find the missing penny and discover the murderer. There are plenty of places to search for pennies, and she won’t rest until it’s in her possession.
Mr. Samuel’s Penny is not just a clever murder mystery, but also gives the reader a glimpse of the south during a time of racial unrest. As a black girl, Lizbeth feels discriminated against by some of the white members of society. Over the summer, she discovers that not everything is exactly as it seems.
Full of interesting plot twists and side stories, Mr. Samuel’s Penny is an enjoyable read. I look forward to reading more books in this new Elizabeth Parrot Landers mystery series.
Reviewer: Alice Berger