Everyone knows that I am a sucker for Victorian gothic novels. I just can’t get enough of that genre and the ghost element of this book totally appealed to me.
An isolated mansion with a ghost—how was I supposed to say no to that? Especially going into fall?
The answer is, I couldn’t.
The premise sounded too intriguing and like something that was right up my alley. I don’t know that the cover was doing a whole lot for me—to me it seemed more like the cover for an adventure novel, rather than a novel with a haunted mansion, but I was open to reading it either way. Though this book is the fourth in a series, I was hoping I hadn’t missed too much by picking it up so late in the game.
Sussex, 1872 .
Mina Scarletti is invited to ancient Hollow House to investigate reports of ghostly occurrences.
The current occupants – newlyweds Mr Honeyacre and his wife, Kitty – have been plagued by unexplained noises and strange visions since moving into the property.
And now most of their servants refuse to stay at the house after dark for fear of encountering the ghostly presence of ‘the woman in white’.
A determined sceptic, Mina’s main concern is for Kitty, whose health appears to be dramatically sinking under the strain of all that is going on.
With the help of her trusted adviser, Dr Hamid, and her lively friend, Nell, Mina must get to the heart of the mystery.
Have the maids merely been frightening themselves with tales of the macabre? Is there a rational explanation for what is being reported?
Or will Mina be forced to admit to the presence of a ghost in Hollow House?
So truth be told, I thought this was going to be a lot more of a gothic ghost story rather than the cozy mystery that it was—but I can’t complain because it was good either way!
While I was worried that I would be lost in the series, I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t lost in the least! I was able to enjoy the story and the author did a nice job keeping new readers apprised of the events and history in past books without giving away details if readers wanted to go back and read the other books.
Mina was an unexpected surprise. I loved her wit and sarcasm. She isn’t your conventional heroine as she has some physical deformities, but she is exceedingly intelligent and I loved her! All you see is her intelligence and wit.
I loved how well the author incorporated the occult and supernatural angles in this book. I thought it fit very well within the historical period and I loved all the ideas about conjuring and ghosts. It was authentic and believable. This is definitely a quirky book but one that I enjoyed diving into. The historical period was well researched and fascinating and the use of the occult and ghosts was seamlessly incorporated into the story.
Mina was an absolute delight and I rather enjoyed getting to know her and solving the mystery right along side her! If you like off the beaten track historical mysteries, this is a fun one not to be missed!