Author: Carolyn Haines
Genres: Mystery| Historical fiction| Fantasy| Paranormal
Print length: 332 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication date: August 9, 2016
Author's website: http://www.carolynhaines.com/
As a young woman widowed by World War I, Raissa James is no stranger to ghosts. But when an invitation arrives from Caoin House, her uncle’s estate in Mobile, Alabama, she’s finally ready to cast off the shadows of her past. And what better way to do so than with a grand party in her honor? An aspiring authoress, Raissa’s eager to soak up more of life—and immerse herself in the dark history that haunts the estate.
But the revelries come to an abrupt end when one of her uncle’s guests takes a deadly plunge. And when a ghost from the property’s past, a Confederate soldier, reveals himself to Raissa, she’s more determined than ever to get to the heart of the mysterious deaths that plague Caoin House. Enlisting the help of Reginald Proctor, a self-proclaimed medium, she holds a séance to shed light on old secrets. But she discovers that some secrets, even those long dead, still have a startling hold on the living…GoodreadsMy Review: Historical fiction and (obviously) mysteries are two of my favorite genres, so when you combine the two and do it well, I am on board. There's just something about the genteel South and Victorian-era England that really draws me in. Probably something to do with the various social strata and all the machinations needed to survive during that time, especially as a woman.
I enjoyed the fact that Raissa, our protagonist, wasn't particularly beholden to the ideals of a woman's place, although there were times I wondered if she wasn't a little too forward-thinking for her time. As much as I agreed with her values, it occasionally felt like a modern writer imposing their ideals on a very different time.
What makes this story particularly interesting is the ghost aspect. It added just the right amount of spookiness and suspense to keep me turning the pages. While I figured out who the killer was fairly early on, the various mysteries contained within this story took so many twists and turns that I was very happy with the ending.