Synopsis

Mina Scarletti is invited to ancient Hollow House to investigate reports of ghostly occurrences.

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?

 

My review

This book is part of the Mina Scarletti Mystery Series, one that I wish I’d discovered earlier since this novel is absolutely delightful. It works as a standalone but I’ve no doubt there will be added richness if you follow the series from the start.

The book is set in the Victorian era and that’s obvious at once from the clever use of language. Both the way the characters speak and the author’s own narrative reflect this, but never overdo it! An air of genteelness comes over well, and there’s also a hint of frustration on the part of the female characters who are rather constrained by their times. Our heroine Mina is also constrained physically by her scoliosis, but, as with the social mores of the time, this doesn’t affect her sharp mind and intelligence.

Kitty, a friend of a friend of Mina’s, has recently married and gone to live in Hollow House with her new, much older husband Mr Honeyacre. However, there are strange goings-on and whilst Kitty is largely sceptical, her servants are becoming worked up over the presence of ghosts. Mina has a track record in routing out fake spiritual mediums, and so she’s the ideal person to visit and work out what’s actually happening.

And she does, and it’s all thoroughly entertaining! Mina is also a novelist writing under the male pseudonym of Robert Neil, so we get to see not only Mina but also Robert at work. His version of events is a little different from what Mina experiences. This clever touch adds even more sparkle to this lively, interesting and very enjoyable cosy mystery. Definitely one to read.

Published by Sapere Books. Available at http://getbook.at/HollowHouse

 

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