ISBN #: 978-1401341947
Page Count: 304
Copyright: January 21, 2014
(Taken from back cover)
Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: companion to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired - and who the world believes is dead.
But when Julia arrives at Havenwood, the Sinclair's enormous estate on Lake Superior, she begins to suspect that the reason this position is "too good to be true" is that something very sinister, and very close to Julia's own family history, is quickening out of the past.
This makes the second book of Ms. Webb's that I've read. Just from these two books, I believe she has a slight obsession with old castle-like dwellings that may have potential ghosts living in them. I must confess, though ... I do, too.
When the book opens, the reader meets Julia who has just recently lost her husband to a suicide after he was caught stealing people's life insurances. All of her "friends" have abandoned her and won't return her calls. She has nobody to turn to for help; not even her lawyer, who is refusing to take her calls. When Adrian shows up on her doorstep, it's as though he's God-sent to rescue her despite her trepidations.
Meeting Amaris is almost mind-blowing for Julia. To be able to talk to her favorite author about writing and hearing her stories first-hand were glorious for her. It's the stories that are started and not finished by Adrian and Drew that play on Julia's mind. Are there ghosts at Havenwood, or something more sinister? What really happened when Seraphina was here all those years ago? Why is the east salon kept locked? Why is everyone so friendly to her as if they've known her for years instead of days?
The twists and turns in Wendy Webb's stories are genius. The books she writes are the perfect cozy mysteries for any day of the week. They have just enough intrigue to get you hooked and give you goosebumps, but not enough spookiness to scare the daylights out of you. I adore Wendy's writings and imaginations and look forward to many more stories from her.
*A paperback ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
** This book also counts as my 'Published in 2014' selection in The 2014 Eclectic Reader Challenge.