Find Me Again: A Rebecca Temple Mystery|
by Sylvia Maultash Warsh
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|A Review of: Find me Again
by Desmond McNally
Despite Find Me Again's cover notes I was unprepared for the
engrossing journey over two centuries on which I was to accompany
the author. This is Warsh's second novel, a sequel to the well
regarded To Die in Spring, and once again its central character is
Dr. Rebecca Temple.
Rebecca's husband has been dead eleven months, too short a time for
her to reconcile herself to this tragedy and the opening chapters
are suitably poignant and melancholy. Her relationship with Sarah,
her Mother-in-Law, is somehow stilted and mostly at arms length
emotionally. Sarah has justification for her reluctance to commit
to a warmer relationship; her experience as a Holocaust survivor
in occupied Poland makes her a victim of dark and distressing
nightmares. The horrors of the Holocaust are a necessary and integral
ingredient of this tale and this aspect is handled with great
sensitivity by Warsh.
We are are diverted from Rebecca's sadness with the arrival of
Halina, an old friend of Sarah's, who has come from Communist Poland
to Toronto in the hope of finding a cure for her daughter Natalka's
serious illness. Through these visitors we are introduced to Count
Michael Oginski, a larger than life charmer, described with affection
by Warsh and John Baron, another Polish migr, who is the martinet
owner of the mining company that the Count now works for in Toronto.
The Count tells Rebecca with great enthusiasm of the historical
novel that he is writing, which, he claims, will revise current
understanding of history and confirm his royal ancestry.
A surprising development soon follows: There is a murder and we are
introduced to two mysteries-one set in the late 1970s, the other
in the mid 1740s. While Rebecca strives to identify a murderer in
Toronto, believing that the Count's manuscript contains the answer,
Warsh transports us through history. We become witnesses to the
often-incestuous affairs and political intrigues of the royal courts
of Poland, Russia, Saxony and Prussia.
Rebecca, while searching for answers in the Count's novel, becomes
transfixed by the characters and their machinations; there's plenty
of romance, political diplomacy, and at times, plain jostling for
better status at court.
Warsh knits the two mysteries together seamlessly, writing convincingly
of Europe in the 1740s, ably capturing the nuances of the language
of those times. She handles the transition from one story to the
other deftly until Dr. Temple, through her sheer determination and
courage, presents us with satisfying and believable solutions to
The author, while raised in Toronto, was born in Germany, a child
of Holocaust survivors, and has an obvious empathy for those who
lived through those events; she has successfully put that understanding
to use in this excellent novel.