By Charlotte and Aaron Elkins (October 2016)
Alix London, the art restorer and FBI consultant renowned as the Art Whisperer, can spot a counterfeit masterpiece before the paint even dries. What she can’t see is why an elite European art dealer would offer her big money for a little mirror that’s no more than a homemade gift from her beloved uncle Tiny. Not that Alix would part with it at any price. But when the mirror is abruptly stolen from her home, she realizes that someone sees more in the looking glass than mere sentimental value.
When her uncle Tiny disappears mysteriously just after the mirror is stolen, the simple art theft becomes a personal and professional challenge Alix can’t ignore. With backup from her friends in the FBI, her game-for-anything pal Chris, and an aging-but-dogged Italian police detective, she delves into the puzzling case, only to find that there is much more to this theft than meets the eye. Once the Mafia shows up on the scene, Alix’s mission becomes a do-or-die race to find the one possible man with all the answers.
Features of Mooneys' corpus are several stories which (in hindsight) are in X-Files territory, including UFOs , crypto-zoological animals , and powerful crystals. In addition, there are numerous tales of a race of magical beings, the Nûñnë'hï, who sound uncannily like the European fairies or elves , including disguised subterranean dwellings, time slips during visits and magical boons to mortals who are kind to them. There are also several stories which are obviously borrowed from African sources , probably from escaped slaves who took refuge in the Cherokee nation. Many of the myths and legends have sophisticated humor which transcends cultural boundaries.
Initially published in NewsLinks -- the newspaper of International Schools Services these reports were derived from a study of Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs) undertaken by three sociologists / anthropologists: Dr. Ann Baker Cottrell of San Diego State University and Drs. John Useem and Ruth Hill Useem, emeritus professors of Michigan State University; and by a counseling/guidance expert, Dr. Kathleen A. Finn Jordan, currently a Consulting Educational Counselor in Washington, . They are provided here by permission of the authors. They have since been combined and published in Strangers at Home: Essays on the Effects of Living Overseas and Coming "Home" to a Strange Land , by Carolyn D. Smith, Aletheia Publications.