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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

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40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

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27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

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10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

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12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

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69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Surprise! You've Just Inherited a Mansion/Castle/Jewel/Shop/Cabin!

Today's TTT topic—Top Ten Books With My Favorite Trope/Theme—is a fun one, which should have prompted all kinds of ideas to bloom in my brain. Problem is, I've been blogging and TTT-ing for so long that I feel like I've talked about every single one of my favorite story subjects a bajillion times over! So, forgive me if this is a repeat, but I decided to go with one of my all-time favorite tropes—the surprise inheritance. Tons of books feature this tantalizing premise, where some down-on-their-luck MC gets the shock of their lives when they discover a random relative they never knew existed left them something incredible in their wills. Generally, it's a rotting pile mouldering away somewhere on a broody British seashore, but I've also read about estates in exotic lands, forgotten shops and theaters, mysterious momentoes, even—as you will see—a famous jewel. All of these unexpected gifts lead our intrepid MCs to make surprising discoveries about their pasts, their families, and themselves. Along the way, they also usually find friendship, healing, and love. It's an appealing, imagination-fueling trope that never fails to captures me with its many intriguing possibilities.

Before we get to that, though, be sure to jump on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our hostess, Jana, some love. If you're feeling listy today, join in the TTT fun!

Top Ten Surprise Inheritance Novels I've Read and Want to Read  

Seven I've read and loved:

1.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling—Even though this book/series is more about a surprise heritage ("You're a wizard, Harry!"), it also comes with a bank vault full of gold, which is a pretty great inheritance, I'd say. 

2.  The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson—This engrossing novel concerns a group of estranged siblings who come together for the reading of their grandmother's will. They're shocked and angry to discover the old woman has given her home to their absent, neglectful mother. Beck, always the most devoted grandchild, is completely puzzled by her inheritance: a gaudy old brooch. When a jeweler friend sees it, he is delighted to tell her that it's worth more than it seems. Like ten million dollars more. This discovery throws the family into a frantic tailspin that will reveal long-forgotten secrets, present fissures, and much more. 

3.  The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware—My favorite of Ware's thrillers, this one concerns a young woman who receives notice that she's named in the will of a wealthy woman who has just died. Obviously, they've got the wrong person, but Hal really needs the money. She's honed some pretty good BS skills from her career as a tarot reader. Can she pull off the biggest scam of her life in exchange for the largest payoff she's ever likely to get? 

4.  The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes—The first in a trilogy, this YA novel introduces Avery Grambs, a high schooler who's living in her car when she gets incredible news: she stands to inherit the entire fortune of one of the world's wealthiest men. Since she's never even heard of the guy, there's no way it can possibly be true. Except it is. All Avery has to do to get the money she desperately needs is live in the man's mansion for a year—with his very ticked off family members, each of whom is determined to make sure she doesn't receive a dime. 

5.  The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper—After a whirlwind World War II courtship with a handsome Australian soldier she hardly knows, Fleur Richards becomes a bride and a widow in short succession. His death reveals a shocking secret: Hugh was a very wealthy man and she has inherited his entire fortune. Knowing she can't possibly accept, she sets out to find his kin. In the process, she discovers that part of her inheritance is an old curiosity shop with a dark, mysterious past.

6.  The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton—Australian Cassandra Andrews is shocked when she inherits an old mansion on the Cornish coast upon her grandmother's death. How did the old woman happen to own such a grand property so far from home? And why did she never mention it? As Cassandra investigates, she learns some startling truths about her enigmatic grandparent.

7.  Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry (available May 24, 2022)—When mystery writer Tess Harrow decides to stay in the rustic log cabin she received upon her grandfather's death, she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for. Including a real-life murder to solve.

Three I want to read:

8.  The Inheritance by JoAnn Ross—When Jackson Swann dies, he leaves his Oregon vineyard to his three daughters, each of whom has a different mother. The trio reluctantly gather to deal with their father's last wishes and each other. Can they come together to save their dubious inheritance? Or will their already fractured family be torn even further apart?

9.  The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni—New Yorker Alberta "Bert" Monte receives a laughable letter claiming that she has inherited not just obscene amounts of money, but also a castle in Italy and a noble title. Clearly, it's a case of mistaken identity. Still, Bert is too intrigued to pass up the opportunity to take a luxurious vacation to Italy. What she learns there about her family and its dark past will change her life forever...

10.  The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson—I loved The Imperfects so much that I definitely want to read another novel by this author (unfortunately, she's only written two). This one also features an unexpected inheritance. This time, it's a bankrupt bookstore that hides a bevy of secrets and puzzles left by a woman's mysterious uncle.

There you are, ten books about surprise inheritances that I've either already enjoyed or expect I will enjoy. What do you think of this trope? Is it one of your favorites as well? Which books about surprise inheritances have caught your fancy? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!

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