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on March 28, 2007
I've just finished the second reading of this third installment, which only happens with books I truly enjoy, and it was as entertaining as a the first. This is one of my favorite mystery series' because I get so caught up in the story that I don't spend a lot of time trying to think ahead of the author's vision and simply let the story unfold naturally. The characters are so thoroughly developed that I never find myself questioning their actions, as I often do with most mystery series. I don't feel that the protagonist or sidekick is ever doing something completely out of character; instead, I find myself understanding them more clearly, which is thoroughly refreshing.

Fay's honest objectivity and Joe's quiet strength and complete loyalty makes this duo irresistible and endearing, although it's obvious to everyone but herself that no one else will ever "get" Fay the way Joe does.

Mary Anna Evans, I admire your work - keep them coming!
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on March 3, 2014
She creates a vivid archeological dig, that is both realistic in theme and nature. The characters are 3-dimensional with outside interests other than the plot, there are misleading clues as well as hidden agendas. I so wish many writers would take the time to craft such a well-written, thought-out plot.

Place is important and can be a character in and of itself. In Effigies, place is very important but doesn't overshadow the characters, rather, becomes impetus for their actions (or lack thereof). Why is the mound so important to so many? What happened out in the field? Why is the river so important? As the readers delve further into the book, more and more history of the region that Mary creates or brings forth, becomes crystal clear. Nothing written is ever wasted.

Mary also continues the friendship/close relationship between Faye and Joe. It's complicated, deep and moving. Are they a couple, unbeknownst to Faye? Does she realize she loves Joe? Mary shows how confused Joe is, about his heritage and wanting to fit in with other people. Conflicted emotions are shown and well thought out.

I loved Effigies and give a hearty 5-stars.
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on April 27, 2007
Faye Longchamp is on another archeological dig with her faithful friend Joe Wolf Mantooth in tow. I don't know why Joe tags along after her, especially when Faye starts dating a slick political lobbyist. I guess following Faye is Joe's unfortunate lot in life.

The archeology team hasn't been on site for a day before they instigate a confrontation that alienates both the local farmers and the indigenous Choctaw. Later that confrontation results in murder. As in Evan's previous books, Joe tops the list of likely murder suspects.

The story revolves around a new road, a pot field, an Indian mound, a county fair, cultural disagreements, a recent murder, and an old hate crime. Mary Anna Evans had to do a lot of complicated plotting to mix all those diverse things into one cohesive storyline. I'm not altogether sure she succeeded. Several portions of the book lagged seriously as the author tried to introduce new elements into the story. The county fair was a complete waste of time as was Evan's rewriting of old Indian legend. These old stories require a lot of detail and atmosphere, both are absent in this emotionless retelling.

The greatest flaw in the book was that the killer was obvious very early on. Sometimes knowing who the killer is doesn't matter, but in this case knowing is fatal to the enjoyment of the book. Another serious flaw; Evans has never been on an actual dig. She has Faye doing things with a trowel that a backhoe would struggle to accomplish.

The reason for the questions at the book's end escaped me. It seemed almost as though the author was trying to pass fiction off as serious research.
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VINE VOICEon February 28, 2007
In this third mystery of this series, we are in the world of archeology with Faye Longchamp and her yummy sidekick Joe Wolf Mantooth. They have, once again, left their comfort zone of Joyeuse Island in north Florida to excavate a site for a company building a highway in Neshoba County, Mississippi. The site happens to be very close to Nanih Waiya, a mound considered sacred by the Choctaws. When the archeologists, one of them local to the area, see another `mound' across the street from where they are digging, they ask for permission to excavate it, as well. The owner, Carroll Calhoun, a local man of many years, runs them off the property and then tries to destroy the mound with a bulldozer. A community uprising ensues, with many different tensions causing it. The local sheriff is able to control the crowd and protect the mound until the laws are interpreted, but that didn't stop someone from deciding that Calhoun should die. When Joe and Faye find his body, throat slit, in a grove of marijuana plants, suspicions abound, especially on Joe because of his flint-knapping abilities. As Faye is trying to protect Joe from the outside world, she is trying to work on her assignment while also attempting to save a possible effigy, not to mention her own life and the lives of her friends. While it appears like there are many characters and stories to follow, the plot is sound, as well as the research that went into the story. There is definitely a lot of character development, and some of the descriptions make you want to go out and sift through the dirt with them.
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on June 13, 2016
This series is new to me since I met the author at Poisoned Pen Bookstore. I am enjoying following Faye Longchamp as she finds out more about her heritage and finds a passion for archaeology. Her character is complex as is that of Joe, who is her protector and companion. The mysteries are interesting too.
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on July 21, 2012
I will admit that I often succumb to the offer of a free read of the first book in a series. Sometimes that works out for me, sometimes it does not.
In the case of the Faye Longchamp mystery series it has definitely been worth my while.

I so enjoyed the first Faye book 'Artifacts' that I immediately went on to the second book 'Relics'. That was also a great read...perhaps not as appealing to me personally as the first book, but still very good. I looked forward to reading the third book in the series 'Effigies'.

Effigies surpassed even Artifacts for me. It is such a great, tight little mystery. The plot flows well, the characters are very interesting, and the progression of the journey of Faye and Joe's characters is extremely appealing. The mystery itself is intriguing and the conclusion was so bittersweet.

I have read some reviews where people do not seem to care for the 'extras' that are a part of every Faye Longchamp book...in the case of Effigies it is stories handed down from generation to generation of Choctaw Native Americans and told by the mother of one of the characters.
Personally, I love this feature. I think it is quirky and fun and I look forward to seeing what the device will be with each new book.

I will definitely be reading the next Faye mystery.
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on August 24, 2014
I am really enjoying the story of Faye longchamp...makes me want to be an archeologist! I can only say this is well written and it was all I could do to stop from paging back to the end. I would have gotten more sleep, but missed the story. Mature writing for the curious mind..and you get a history lesson with each book.
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on September 10, 2012
I found her first book, ARTIFACTS, as a free download. Enjoyed it very much. And was definitely hooked.

I've been devouring the series over the past few weeks. Good stories, good characters, and I like the old stories she weaves throughout her books...especially in this volume. I have to admit to staying awake a lot longer than I should at night..."just one more chapter and I'll put it down" usually ends up being a lot more than one chapter. Definitely hard to put her books down.

I also like her "for the incurably curious" and "recommneded reading" sections at the end. It has opened a whole new world of information for me.

Looking forward to the rest of the series.
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on March 13, 2014
Probably jealousy makes me rate this lower than most of her books. I wanted to be the first one to write about Neshoba County and she beat me too it! I like all of these novels and recommend them highly. I like the main two characters and the archeology theme.
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on April 18, 2013
Effigies # 3 in the Faye Longchamp Series picks right up where # 2 ended and draws you into a great mystery filled with intrigue, deceit, history you will recognize, history that you won't recognize, twists and turns, that will keep you mesmerized. Faye keeps us cheering her on throughout her adventures and we keep hoping that sooner or later she will see as we do that Joe is her soul mate. This book is a winner !
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