St Johns FollySt. John’s Folly by Kathryn R. Wall is the 12th book in the “Bay Tanner” mystery series. Publisher: Bella Rosa Books, October 2013

In this twelfth installment of the award-winning series set in the South Carolina Lowcountry, Bay Tanner finds herself at the center of her own mystery when she becomes the object of a stalker. The strange, almost childish messages appear at random and quickly escalate from mildly annoying to frightening. While her apparent admirer ramps up the pressure, the inquiry agency accepts a new client. Hub Danforth wants his aging uncle, owner of a dilapidated bungalow on a beachfront property worth millions, placed under surveillance. Malcolm St. John has been acting strangely, and Hub hopes Bay and her associates can help him prove the old man incompetent, paving the way for Danforth to assume control of his assets. Although he claims he has the old man’s interests at heart, Bay begins to have her doubts, especially when she discovers a large real estate conglomerate, headed by Danforth’s ex-wife, also has designs on the valuable property.

Then Malcolm St. John is attacked and one of the principal players is found dead in a hotel room. Are the two incidents related? As Bay tries to probe the erratic memory of the old man, she becomes increasingly aware that he is living in a world long past, one in which life was far simpler, but which keeps him from a full realization of his own vulnerability. Can Bay keep him safe? And who exactly does he need to fear?

As her life seems to slide inexorably toward disaster, Bay Tanner must find the courage to face all her demons-both personal and professional–and to realize that reliving the past can be both a blessing-and a curse.

I’m so glad that Bay Tanner is back.

This was a very enjoyable read that kept me in suspense with the two cases on Bay’s plate, one of them a stalker. Both kept me turning the pages as I had to know what happens next with some surprising twists that left me with a “wow.” The drama also focus on the topic of dementia which gave us more insight into this illness. This is well-written mystery with a great cast of characters and it’s the best book yet in this fabulous series.

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