Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Book of the Beloved (Pluto's Snitch #1)

Unless you have time to finish The Book of the Beloved by Carolyn Haines in one day, do not even try to read it. I finally had to put it down at 2:00 am unfinished, but rose early to finish it. This is the first book in a new series by Haines.

Raissa James, a World War I widow, visits her uncle's home, Caoin House in Mobile, Alabama, hoping to bring an end to her mourning. Raissa wants to be a writer of ghost stories and she knows her uncle's home is reportedly haunted. Just the thing an aspiring writer needs for atmosphere.

Her Uncle Brett has planned a huge gala to welcome her to his home. But tragedy strikes during the party when a young man who had shown an interest in Raissa falls to his death from the roof. Later that evening the ghost of a Confederate soldier reveals himself to her and Raissa is eager to learn the story of the house's unhappy past.

Eli Whitehouse was a Confederate general and he left his wife and young daughter to fight for the
South in the Civil War. Times were hard for those left behind and Eva was brutally murdered before he returned home, leaving their young daughter abandoned with her dead mother. It is said they both haunt Caoin House. Raissa feels other presences and asks her uncle to arrange a seance in the house. He's only too happy to oblige and Reginald Proctor, assistant to the world-famous Madame Petalungro, arrives for the seance.

While researching the history of the home, Raissa discovers Eli's daughter fell to her death on her wedding day. Many other strange incidents occurred in the house including break ins and other deaths. Raissa feels a menacing presence as she tries to uncover secrets long hidden that could damage the reputation and standing of someone in the socially-conscious city of Mobile.

This book takes place in the early 1920s when women still did not have the right to vote and Negroes (as they were called then) were treated like non-persons. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

If you enjoy a thrilled, chilling hunt, The Book of the Beloved is for you.

For a review of another Carolyn Haines book,  click here.

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