Skip to main content

Retro Reading: Cloaked in Malice by Annette Blair


If I were to run into Annette Blair in a dark alley, I don't know what I'd do. Would I discuss this installment or would I throw this installment into a puddle (providing it had rained before our "meeting")?

Before I get into the review, the idea was great, but somewhere along the way, I wasn't so sure what was going on.

In the says leading up to Dolly Sweet's 104th birthday, Paisley Skye (a made up name that even the character knows is fake) comes into Vintage Magic and by accident, shop owner Madeira "Maddie" Cutler touches a vintage child's cloak.

Paisley notices that Maddie zones out and argues with her that she can help her with her past. Maddie doesn't tell people about her psychometric abilities, but somehow, Paisley senses that Maddie has a gift.

When Paisley does come into the shop, Maddie notices a strong resemblance to Dolly and while Dolly and her daughter-in-law meet the young girl, Dolly quickly leaves the store and later "runs away" to Paris, France. This part of the story I couldn't buy.

Maddie invites Paisley to stay with her at her father's Victorian house and with the help of her best friend, Eve, they kind of help her with adjusting to life. From what they learn, Paisley grew up on an island with just her supposed parents.

Growing up, she didn't have access to anything modern and learned how to survive with her "parents." She also believes that she may have been kidnapped as a child and does admit that she's not sure if flashes from her past are dreams or if they were actual events.

Scroll to Continue

After Paisley tells her story to Maddie's current on again boyfriend, FBI agent Nick, the three of them travel to the island where Paisley grew up.

While there, she has glimpses of her past and shows them around the compound.

When Nick's gathered up enough information, they head back to the boat that he rented, but, the ropes been cut leaving them stranded.

Nick's able to figure out a way to make contact with the mainland and the troops are sent in to rescue them.

However, before they leave, Maddie reads a dress that was found in a closet which transports her into the body of a young Dolly and then into the body of another woman who's life is in danger.

And before you know it, the story suddenly turns into something different. It becomes more of a spy novel with international espionage. At this point I was done and didn't care about anything else.

I couldn't get over the fact that someone who was nearing 104 could just pick up and silently travel to Paris and the story doesn't follow Dolly's adventure.

At this point, I just wanted the story to be over.

While I wasn't too impressed with the latter half of the story, this is still a great series and I love the characters, but when it became more of a spy novel, I completely lost interest.

Related Articles