But, after the initial excitement over the title evaporated, I was left with a book that I wasn’t sure I was going to love. So it sat on my review calendar for a few weeks and I was not looking forward to reviewing it but I knew the time was coming.
So I picked it up to start on a cold rainy morning (which suites anything Bronte related) and went to town. After about 3 pages I had a renewed excitement to read this book…it is set in Oregon (my state!).
And if I am being honest, I haven’t found a lot of Oregon writers that I love….let a lone books that are set here. It rains too much and people just aren’t chomping at the bit to write about anything in Oregon Basically it’s rare to find a mainstream book that is set in Oregon so I was thrilled to have something familiar to read!
Classic novels and crime solving intertwine in Katherine Bolger Hyde’s charming series. Bloodstains with Bronte is the second in a series that will puzzle and please fans of mystery and masterpieces alike.
Windy Corner is being remodeled into a writers’ retreat. Two of the young workers, Jake and Roman, are showing too much of the wrong kind of interest in Katie, Emily’s young single-mother housekeeper.
It’s a stormy autumn and Emily is reading Wuthering Heights. Roman, a dark and brooding type, reminds her of Heathcliff. At a Halloween murder mystery fundraiser at Windy Corner, someone is found stabbed to death. Windy Corner’s very own detective, Luke, is reluctantly forced to investigate Katie.
Luke digs into the background of the contractor, Jeremiah Edwards, and Emily, now reading Jane Eyre, realizes Jeremiah resembles St. John Rivers in his obsessive, tormented piety. Will Luke figure out who the murderer is before Katie ends up in jail or someone else is killed? (summary from Goodreads)
The town of Stony Beach is fictional but I know the area that inspired the fictional town well, Rockaway Beach. My family and I spend Christmas up there every few years so I know this area well. Not to mention it’s about an forty minutes north of Lincoln City where I spend a ton of time throughout the year relaxing and eating amazing sea food!
So yes, this is a great setting for a murder mystery Bronte related. The setting added a lot to the story and I loved how the Oregon coast was portrayed and used as an element all its own. However that said, because I know the area so well, I had a hard time loving Stony Beach itself. Stony Beach was nothing like Rockaway Beach or any of the other towns in the area. There is no awesome book shop or quaint antique shop that I can recall.
I read that the author create Stony Beach so that she could ‘have her way’ with the town and yes if I am an outsider looking in on Stony Beach, it sounds like an awesome beach retreat on the sea with quirky characters….almost like an English costal town. So yes if I didn’t know the area then I think the setting would have worked better for me, but as it happens I did know the area and I struggled buying into this fictional town.
The other thing that I struggled with was connecting with the heroine. On one hand I liked her and thought she was intelligent with spunk and a good heart, however I also could tell she was more mature than me be a couple of decades. I think I would have liked her better if I was older. She is in her fifties and she is kind of going through this new life change which is awesome and I think many readers will like that about her, but for me I just had a hard time identifying with a woman who was in a very different place than me with different interests.
As I said, I loved how the author showcased the Oregon coast and used that unique setting to her advantage. I also liked how the classic books played into the mystery itself. It was a unique approach that will stand out to cozy fans. In my opinion, the use of the classic books as part of the murder mystery is different and memorable. I think this will become a popular series with readers and it matures and evolves.
If you love cozy mysteries and are looking for something set in a new and unique area, with a heaping dose of charm and coziness then this is a great series to pick up, plus it’s a new series so you don’t have too many books to catch up on!
- Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 3 out of 5
Genre: Cozy mystery, mystery