MINI REVIEW: “Legacy of Lies” by Elizabeth Chandler ✏ When the Past Comes Back to Haunt

Legacy of Lies (Dark Secrets, #1)

Title: Legacy of Lies (Dark Secrets #1)
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Pages: 182

Released: October 1 2000
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Paperback

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Goodreads Rating: 3.98 (of 3,298 ratings)


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Megan had seen Scarborough House only in her dreams. Now Megan was here, visiting the grandmother she’d never met, and her newfound cousin Matt, too handsome by far, who wanted her to disappear. Grandmother was so cold, so distant. Why did she finally reach out to Megan after all these years? And why was Matt so determined to call her his “almost” cousin? For all her prophetic dreams, nothing could have prepared Megan for Matt’s astonishment when he first saw her…or the reaction of perfect strangers who looked at her with fascination — and fear…


Mystery: Megan arrives at Scarborough house with the eerie feeling that she has walked the halls before. She feels drawn to the grave of Avril Scarborough, her great-aunt that died under mysterious circumstances fifty years ago, and recalls details she couldn’t possibly know as a newcomer to Scarborough. Soon, Megan is unable to twist her own thoughts from memories she associates to Avril’s tragic last days, and she realizes that if she doesn’t find answers soon, she may meet the same fate as her great-aunt.

This mystery was eerie and brought in some supernatural forces towards the end. I was weirded out by the events going on in Scarborough House that, equally, terrified Megan into believing someone meant her ill. I didn’t suspect the whodunit until everything was revealed.

Characters: Megan is a great main character, if a little unrealistic to the majority of sixteen-year-olds today. (Bear in mind this is written in 2000.) She is quick to befriend others and stands up for her mother and family back home against her grandmother, the narrow-minded Helen Scarborough. Helen is depicted as an antagonist from the start of the book (she sent away her daughter for marrying a man of another race and doesn’t acknowledge her grandchildren because they are adopted). Her attitude is erratic in the novel (explained in part by the mystery) but she does show character growth at the end.

Romance: It’s hardly a spoiler when the summary itself indicates Megan’s attraction for her cousin. Chandler avoids an insta-love romance narrowly, but Megan and Matt’s connection does lack any true on-page chemistry for the reader. The pair are comfortable at best.

VERDICT: Read this book if you want to be suitably creeped out and not distracted by a romance sneaking in every other page.




12 thoughts on “MINI REVIEW: “Legacy of Lies” by Elizabeth Chandler ✏ When the Past Comes Back to Haunt

      1. I remember all of the books I have read on vacations the last few years since I joined Goodreads.

        And for this book I know I was on a long bus ride with a newspaper class college trip in high school because the book kept me company.

        I was very shy and all the other girls on staff were in the upper class and sophomore year was such an awkward year in high school. I think I actually finished that book on the bus ride there and back.

        And I think I had the blue one by Elizabeth Chandler for that same trip. I don’t remember the name of the book

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Books are the best escape when you’re not in the mood to talk or you don’t feel comfortable in a situation. I liked how this book made it easy to escape into the narration but I’ll admit it was not a very memorable plot. (Good for rereads?)

        Hmm… I have another mini review next week by Elizabeth Chandler. Maybe that will be the blue book you read? I don’t remember the title at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s exactly the reasons why I always read. My stepmom and dad would always have family get togethers before they married and my brother was all about those parties but I’d bring like 3 books with me depending on how long they were.

        I’ll keep an eye out for it! I think there was a white face on the cover too…it was eerie. I usually remember the names. I’m glad you liked this author!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I should have brought books to family get togethers! It’s nice to see family but sometimes those days/nights can be sooo long and it’s such a perfect opportunity to dive into a good read.

        Those book covers were alll so eerie! Chandler nailed that part.


    1. I meaaannn yeah they are. I wasn’t crazy about it either, I agree that it’s a thing in some places but I wasn’t raised with that culture so for me it’s unusual. But in this context the author emphasizes that they aren’t “real” cousins because the main character is adopted and… and now I feel like that’s worse because it’s like saying adopted children aren’t real family members. But the author did emphasize they are. Anyway. Anyway. I was in it for the spookiness not the romance. (I can count on how hand how many books I read just for the romance ahahaha)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just realized I used the wrong they’re in my previous comment *feels shame*
        Yeah no even adopted cousins, I CAN’T.
        Just for whenever someone comes to join the family via adoption or like step-sibling they are f a m i l y thus romantically off-limits!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. O: How can it beee, bad grammar? I mean, it happens to everyone. One time can be forgiven, I think, perhaps. XD
        I just focused on the mystery aspects of the book and pretended the romance wasn’t happening. But definitely swerve around this book if the whole cousin dynamic is not for you (I would have done the same if I realized how present it was).

        Liked by 1 person

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