Review: Little Eve by Catriona Ward

Little EveLittle Eve by Catriona Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Hot off the success of The Last House on Needless Street and Sundial, Catriona Ward’s 2018-novel, Little Eve was rereleased earlier this month.

I was super impressed with Ward’s most recent releases, so was very excited to check this one out as well. The synopsis sounded just as WTF as I would expect and the story itself didn’t disappoint in that regard.

This novel starts out with a bang, as the brutalized bodies of a family are discovered off the coast of Scotland, on the remote island of Altnaharra. The scene appears be ritualistic in nature.

The rest of the story fills in the pieces of the events that preceded that horrific event.

The narrative follows a few different perspectives and jumps around in the timeline as well. You mainly follow Eve and Dinah, who are two of the girls living on Altnaharra with the mysterious ‘Uncle’. Through their words you begin to understand what their life was like on the island.

There’s also the perspective of Chief Inspector Black, who becomes involved in Eve’s life. His view, from an outsider’s eyes, really helps to highlight the horrors of Altnaharra.

For the first quarter of this, I was well and truly confused. It is revealed later in the story why that might have been and I did come to understand why Ward would have written it that way. It made sense if you were seeing the world through the mind of these characters.

The tension and pace picks up at the story goes on. I had no idea who I could trust. I was loving so many of the reveals as the puzzle pieces began to fall into place.

Towards the end, it started to get a bit chaotic again and I was finding it a bit more difficult to track what was going on. In fact, I listened to a couple of the last chapters at least three times, trying to capture it all.

That is another thing, I did listen to the audiobook and I’m not sure, that could have added a bit to my confusion. The accent was a little tough for me, with my dumb foreign ears, so some names and words were hard to differentiate.

I think if I would have read a hard copy, maybe I would have had a slightly easier time keeping track of everything.

With this being said, the story itself was absolutely captivating. The atmosphere was rich and creepy as heck. I enjoyed the mystery of it all and finding out the truth.

While the ending wasn’t perfect for me, this was definitely a memorable one. Ward is unique and we love that. Each novel I have read from her is totally different from each other and also like nothing else I have read. That’s a gift.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Nightfire and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I enjoyed this one. It’s dark content and stunningly-cold atmosphere is perfect for the Spooky Season.

I cannot wait to see what Ward comes up with next!!!

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Review: Ophie’s Ghost by Justina Ireland

Ophie's GhostsOphie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


On the night that Ophelia’s father is killed, and their Georgian home burned to the ground, she sees her first ghost. She takes it in like a child would, with surprise and wonder, but then she keeps it to herself. She knows it wouldn’t be considered normal.

Fleeing Georgia, Ophie and her mother head for the city of Pittsburgh to live with some of her father’s relatives.

For Ophie, this is a big change and it’s definitely difficult living with all her cousins and aunties. Adding to this stressful situation is the ghost thing.

It seems like now that Ophie has seen one, the flood gates have opened. She’s encountering them everywhere. Sometimes it seems like they need something from her. It can be tiring.

Ophie’s Mom is stressed too. She’s doesn’t want to be relying on these relatives forever, but it’s expensive to get a place in Pittsburgh. They need to save up.

Thus, her Mom pulls Ophie from school. She needs to go to work in order for them to make enough money to get their own place.

Without a choice, Ophie does as she is told and begins attending work each day with her Mom at Daffodil Manor as domestic help.

The Caruthers family, the long-time owners of Daffodil Manor, are very wealthy and have a rich history within the walls of the house. Some of the ghosts of the past remain, all too evident to Ophie.

The ghosts learn that Ophie can see them and they begin interacting with her on a regular basis. Soon Ophie finds herself investigating an old mystery, trying to find the truth of one of their deaths.

Having read previous YA-works from Justina Ireland, I knew that I was very interested in picking up her Middle Grade debut. I’ve always enjoyed her writing style, particularly how she seamlessly blends historical fiction with other genres, like horror.

This book does exactly that. The historical piece is so well done. I was transported to the early-1920s while reading. You can tell that a lot of research goes into her work and that she really cares about accuracy.

Ophie was a great main character to follow. Her strength throughout was inspiring. It starts off with a real tragedy and doesn’t get much easier for our young heroine over the course of the story.

I also appreciated the relationship that Ophie had with her mother. Her mother is obviously a strong woman, to go through what she did and be able to move her and her daughter to a new city, a completely different world really than what they were used to, and to still work hard and push on, it shows real perseverance.

It’s no surprise that Ophie would show the same strength of character in the face of challenges. While their relationship wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, the bond felt very realistic and I liked that.

Another aspect that I really enjoyed were the short chapters about the different places. For example, The Attic, and then it will give a bit about the attic of Daffodil Manor, it’s history, what it has seen, how it feels. I love this.

I always enjoy when an author can thoughtfully create a true sense of place, making the places feel almost like characters unto themselves. Ireland definitely has a gift for that!

Overall, while this is fairly serious for a Middle Grade, there’s a ton of important topics explored and I enjoyed the characters a lot. I am definitely used to more humor in my MG, but this was a nice change of pace.

I would certainly recommend this one to all Middle Grade Readers, particularly the audiobook narrated by the always fantastic, Bahni Turpin. It’s a perfect little mystery for the Spooky Season. Get your ghost on!!

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Review: Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen

Lavender HouseLavender House by Lev AC Rosen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in 1952-San Francisco, Lavender House follows disgraced former-police officer, Evander ‘Andy’ Mills. Andy was recently fired from the SFPD after being caught in a compromising position during a raid on a gay bar.

Without steady work and shamed by former acquaintances, Andy is floundering, so when he is approached by an older woman named Pearl with a proposition, he readily accepts.

Pearl needs an experienced investigator to look into the death of her wife, soap magnate, Irene Lamontaine. Even though Irene’s death appears to be an accident, Pearl has her doubts. She needs the truth.

Thus, she invites Andy to their estate, Lavender House, to look into the incident. It seems like a simple, yet interesting assignment, and may be exactly what Andy needs to get his life back on track.

Arriving at Lavender House, Andy discovers something he has never experienced before. A safe haven filled with a found-family of Queer people.

Andy is astounded by how comfortable everyone is with just being themselves. There is no need to hide, no risk of hateful repercussions. How could any violence come to this place?

Before long, as Andy gets to know the individuals living within the gated estate, he begins to think that maybe Pearl is onto something after all. Perhaps Irene did fall at the hands of another, but was it a stranger, or someone the women consider family?

Lavender House was such a delightful change of pace for me. I’m not quite sure I have ever read a Queer Historical Murder Mystery before, but I sure would like more!!

I absolutely adored the setting and tone of this novel. Rosen brought a real film noir quality to it, which fit so perfectly with a 1950s-detective story, enhanced even more by the wonderful narration from Vikas Adam.

The themes and topics explored within were handled so tactfully and blended perfectly with the overall mystery. I liked how neither aspect was heavy-handed; they each contributed evenly to the overall course of the story.

I enjoyed all of the characters and loved the idea of this safe space set amidst a very unsafe world.

My one slight critique would be that the mystery felt almost too simple. The linear narrative and minimalist investigation left me wanting more. I do understand that there is something to be said for sticking to the basics and nailing what you do. I do get that.

I just feel like Rosen definitely has the talent to push this even further.

It sort of felt like driving a performance car on the highway. It’s comfortable and enjoyable, but you definitely miss the exciting twists and turns of a back-country road.

I just wish this could have been built out a little more. However, with this being said, can we talk about this ending!? This has to be the start of a series, right?

I mean, there could not have been a more perfect set-up for the continuation of this story. I really hope it happens, because I feel like there is a big need in the market for this type of story.

I would absolutely, 100%, no doubt in my mind, pick up the next book if there ever is one. I feel like I have so much to learn about Andy and I would love to tag along with him as he solves more mysteries!!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Forge Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that I get to see more of Andy Mills!

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Review: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Daughter of Doctor MoreauThe Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first heard about The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, this was my exact response:

What in the heck is this!?!? OMG, I’m so exicteddddddddd!!!

I hear THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU and I’m sold. We all know Moreno-Garcia can bring that toe-curling body horror to the page and we love to see it!!

That’s quite a reaction, I’ll admit. I can be dramatic.

Unfortunately, I struggled with this story from the very start. I was kindly gifted an e-ARC and started it at least a week prior to its publication date. Two weeks later I was stil at 25% with zero desire to continue.

I made the decision to put it back on the shelf and wait for an audio copy through my local library. I finally received the audiobook on August 16th and read it in three days.

It made all the difference for me. The narration by Gisela Chipe was fantastic. They brought this story to life for me and actually succeeded in keeping me engaged. With this being said, the story still wasn’t anything I was crazy about.

This is a good book, with solid character work and a wonderfully-developed historical setting, however, I was here for the SFF-Horror and I just didn’t get it.

Maybe I set myself up for disaster thinking this was going to be something that it wasn’t, but regardless, that’s the experience I had with it. I was bored and underwhelmed.

This doesn’t detract from the fact that Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an incredibly-gifted storyteller whose work I will continue to pick up from now til forevermore. This just wasn’t my favorite of her work.

I am happy that I gave this one a second chance though and that I was able to get through to the end. It is a sweet story, sad and dramatic. I think a lot of people will really love this one. Particularly people who enjoy Historical Fiction with complicated familial relationships.

Thank you to the publisher, Ballantine, for providing me with a copy to read and review. It’s always a pleasure to see what Moreno-Garcia has developed and this was no exception.

I’m looking forward to her next release!

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Review: Rise of the Snake Goddess (Samantha Knox #2) by Jenny Elder Moke

Rise of the Snake Goddess (Samantha Knox, #2)Rise of the Snake Goddess by Jenny Elder Moke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Samantha Knox and friends are back and they’re going on another 1920’s antiquities-filled adventure, this time to Crete off the coast of Greece.

After the near death drama of the first book, Curse of the Specter Queen, Sam, Bennett and Jo headed back to their normal lives. Sam and Jo now joining Bennett at college.

Sam has been looking forward to possibly being involved in a field expedition to Crete lead by her Archaeology Professor. Unfortunately, the Professor has other opinions and Sam is ultimately excluded from participating.

She’s definitely disappointed, but have no fear, you know Sam is going to get all up in it nonetheless.

After Sam, Bennett and Jo discover a letter asking for help with an ancient artifact, as luck would have it, located in Crete, the trio packs their bags and heads out.

Sam will prove to her sexist Professor one way or another that she is worthy of her position in school. As a matter of fact, she just may be the most valuable student he has.

Following a series of clues, Sam ends up discovering the artifact in question, the golden girdle of the Snake Goddess, buried deep in a tomb. Taking the girdle and proclaiming her find is not going to be easy though.

In fact, dangerous incidents begin occurring almost immediately upon the object’s retrieval. It’s even stolen from Sam and she needs to get it back; to protect it and its legacy.

The Snake Goddess has awakened and she’s not happy.

I’m happy to report there’s no second book syndrome here!

I actually enjoyed this more than the first book. To me it felt faster in pace and the writing has definitely improved. Overall, a good showing by Elder Moke.

In this installment, I felt like I got to know Sam’s character a lot more. Her motivations, aspirations and her steadfast dedication to her education and tasks.

Jo again brought such humor. I love her as a best friend and sidekick. Bennett frustrated me a little bit in this one, but I still like the idea of his relationship with Sam. I also like how their romance doesn’t overshadow the other plot points.

I also enjoyed the themes of women’s rights and power that Elder Moke brought to this story. The Snake Goddess was the perfect device for allowing that conversation to be had naturally.

I loved the growth Sam displayed in this one as well. She’s not a scared, uncertain little girl any more. She’s a woman truly coming into her own and I’m here for it.

I really hope we get to go on further adventures with Sam and her friends. I’m not sure how long this series is slated to be, but I’m truly hoping for more.

Thank you to the publisher, Disney Books and Disney Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I really enjoyed this one!

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Review: The Hacienda by Isabel Canas

The HaciendaThe Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

After her father is killed in the Mexican War of Independence, Beatriz and her mother are forced to move in with her mother’s family who had previously disowned her.

They’re cruel and haughty about Beatriz and her mother’s now tenuous situation within the community. It’s not good.

Therefore, when handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes to Beatriz, she jumps at his offer. This could be their opportunity to climb back up the social ladder.

Beatriz would be the lady of Solórzano’s countryside estate and with that will come the security she’s been craving. Many people marry for reasons other than love. It’s the 1830’s. How bad could it be anyway?

Unfortunately, after arriving at Hacienda San Isidro, Beatriz finds that it isn’t quite what she expected. Still she remains optimistic. If she pours love into the large estate hopefully she’ll be able to breathe some new life into it and then move her mother in as well.

Rodolfo swiftly returns to work in the capital, leaving Beatriz to fend for herself with just the staff and his abrasive sister, Juana, for company.

Under these circumstances, it doesn’t take long for Beatriz to realize that there’s something really off about this hacienda.

Beatriz begins hearing voices, having terribly vivid nightmares and constantly feels like she is being watched. She wouldn’t consider herself a nervous person, but this goes beyond anxiety inducing.

Beatriz fears the hacienda is haunted and she suspects that perhaps the first Dona Solórzano is to blame. How did she die exactly? No one seems willing or able to give her a straight answer on that.

Pushed to her limits, Beatriz knows she needs to figure this out and rid the hacienda of what ails it before it’s too late.

With this goal in mind, she turns to a young local priest, Padre Andrés, for help. Together the two set out to exorcise the malevolent presence from the hacienda for good.

Isabel Canas delivers heavy Gothic Horror vibes in this novel. The atmosphere is so strong. The descriptions of what Beatriz was experiencing were absolutely chilling. There were times I had difficulty reading it at night.

OMG and is this her debut full length novel!? Canas knocked it out of the park with her first swing!?

I’m seriously fangirling hard over here. Honestly, it has the exact vibe I was hoping for when I picked it up.

I actually never read the full synopsis, so Padre Andrés and the role he played in the story took me completely by surprise. I loved that element and his character in particular. Also, the dynamic between Andrés and Beatriz was built out really well.

I would consider this to be a slow burn, so I can see how some Readers may not vibe with that inital build. However, if you are willing to put in the time, it will pay off and it really doesn’t take long before the spooky stuff begins.

I would definitely recommend this to Horror fans who enjoy a historical setting, as well as to anyone who loves gothic-feeling fiction, or haunted house tales.

Thank you so very much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I really enjoyed my time with this one and cannot wait to see what Canas serves up next!!!

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Review: The Fervor by Alma Katsu

The FervorThe Fervor by Alma Katsu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

A minister takes his wife and some local kids for a picnic in the mountains. Mayhem ensues. A newspaper man and woman share a romantic interlude at cabin in the woods. An evil is unleashed.

There’s something out there and anyone who goes near it is putting themselves, and anyone they come into contact with after, at risk.

Spiders, spiders everywhere, in the trees and in my hair…

It’s the 1940s and as WWII rages on, hostility towards individuals of Japanese descent in the United States is on the rise. Internment camps have been opened with some public support.

While her husband, a military pilot, is off fighting overseas, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, get sent from their home in Seattle to such a camp in rural Idaho. With no other family to help them, Meiko and Aiko are on their own.

They keep their heads down, hoping for a day when they can be reunited with Mr. Briggs and return home. They want their old life back.

We follow Meiko and Aiko during their time at camp. There’s an illness spreading there and Meiko suspects there is more to it than meets the eye. It starts out with cold-like symptoms, but quickly escalates making the infected anxious and violent; like things weren’t bad enough already.

We also follow the minister, Archie, as he deals with the aftermath of his ill-fated picnic on the mountain, as well as the newspaper reporter, Fran. Through these multiple perspectives the whole truth of the fervor is revealed.

Katsu’s signature style is on full display throughout this tale; melding historic events with Horror and supernatural elements.

While the human-side of this story is horrifying enough, the supernatural elements involve yokai, entities from Japanese folklore, specifically the Jorogumo, a spider demon. These aspects were absolutely fascinating.

The content of this novel provides a great opportunity for exploration of topics pertinent today, such as xenophobia and aggressive nationalism.

Also, the whole idea of the illness and it’s spread, the fear related to that; obviously, that’s quite topical as well and left me with plenty to think about. I think those aspects will make this a great pick for book clubs, or just to discuss with friends. It’s nuanced. We love that.

I would describe this as a slow burn, however there are plenty of creepy elements and intrigue sprinkled throughout. This kept me compelled enough to keep going. I needed to find out what was going to happen.

My slight critiques would be that I wished the Jorogumo would have played an even larger, or maybe more overt role, and the switching amongst the multple-POVs sometimes made it feel a bit disjointed. I did enjoy how it all came together eventually though.

This novel absolutely solidified my belief that man is the most dangerous monster of all. I picked up on that same message in Katsu’s earlier release, The Hunger, as well.

Seriously, the things people are willing to do to one another when they’re afraid…

Overall, this was a strong novel. It’s smart and explores a lot of really interesting and important topics. I continue to be impressed with Katsu’s imaginative take on Historical Horror. It’s so unique and refreshing. Well done!

Thank you so much to the publisher, P.G. Putnam’s Sons, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I have been highly anticipating this one and it did not disappoint.

The Fervor releases this Tuesday, April 26th!!!

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Review: Secret Identity by Alex Segura

Secret IdentitySecret Identity by Alex Segura
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

In 1975-New York City, Carmen Valdez finds herself working for the head of Triumph Comics as his administrative assistant. Carmen dreams of becoming a writer, but for now her assistant position will have to do.

Unfortunately, it’s just the way in the industry, in the times, in the culture. Carmen has so many ideas, but good luck having them heard.

When one of her coworkers, a seemingly harmless man named Harvey, approaches her with a proposition to fulfill her dreams, she can’t refuse.

He wants her help creating a new character. Of course her involvement would need to be kept secret initially, at least according to Harvey, but he sells her on the fact that after it is a success, they could reveal the truth to their boss. Then he’ll have no choice but to take her ambitions seriously.

Carmen isn’t naive. She knows she can’t trust Harvey completely, but honestly, what choice does she have. She’s desperate for a chance and her boss has repeatedly shot her down. This could be it.

Putting her reservations aside, Carmen agrees to help Harvey and over multiple brainstorming sessions, the two create Triumph’s first female hero, The Lethal Lynx.

After their scripts have been submitted, with Carmen’s name absent from the credits per their earlier agreement, Harvey is brutally murdered. With Harvey’s death comes absence of proof that Carmen played any role in their creation.

Harvey was the only person who knew the amount Carmen contributed to The Lethal Lynx. She is completely gutted. Carmen needs to find out what happened. It doesn’t seem random, but who would want Harvey dead?

Secret Identity took me completely by surprise. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this. Being pitched as a ‘literary mystery’ made me a little nervous. That’s not really my genre.

I’ve read from Alex Segura before, however, and enjoyed his writing style. Additionally, the fact that this has the comic book industry as the backdrop was extremely interesting to me. I decided to give it a go.

I’m so glad that I gave it a shot. This is literal scientific proof that reading outside of your comfort zone can be a good thing! Just trust me on this.

This entire book is dripping with atmosphere. 1975s New York City was a thing; a character unto itself. Segura brought all of that to life within these pages.

Carmen was an extremely likable character. It was captivating getting to know her, a bit about her past, and of course getting to see behind the scenes of the comic book industry.

I was super impressed with the film noir-quality Segura was able to channel into this story. It is such a unique and enjoyable experience.

As a side note, I did listen to the audiobook and highly recommend that format. Included in the narrative are occasional excerpts from The Lethal Lynx comics, for which super fun sound effects are included in the audio version. That was really a treat!

I would definitely recommend giving this one a go. There’s so much to enjoy in this story for a vast array of Readers.

Go ahead, give it a shot!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Flatiron Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

I had such a great time listening to this book and will definitely be picking up further works from Alex Segura!!

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Review: One for All by Lillie Lainoff

One for AllOne for All by Lillie Lainoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

One for All is pitched as a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, but don’t go into it expecting an actual retelling.

I would classify this as more of a continuation of the Musketeer legends, but with female protagonists.

Our intrepid hero is Tania de Batz, who hasn’t let her chronic illness smother her dreams. That’s her mother’s job.

Tania’s father is a former Musketeer who has regaled his daughter with stories of his adventures. Tania aspires to be like him, to be a fencer and to protect the crown from harm. Her loving father supports her, until the day he is mysteriously killed.

While Tania’s mother wants nothing more than to marry her daughter off, for her own good, of course, Tania’s father’s final wish was for her to attend L’Académie des Mariées.

A finishing school! Tania can’t believe her father would wish such a thing upon her. Isn’t that just the final stop before finding a suitable husband!?

Luckily for Tania, her father had her back after all. L’Académie isn’t a finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for female Musketeers. Musketeers who will front as socialites, but are actually seeking out intel to stop attacks on the crown.

They’re like crazy secret spy ladies who never back down from a fight. We love that!

For the first time at L’Académie, Tania feels accepted. She doesn’t feel like her newfound sisters-in-arms are judging her because of her illness. They trust in her and her abilities.

Then a boy comes along. Leave it to a boy to spoil things. Etienne is Tania’s first target and he gets under her skin in all the wrong ways.

This is a fun book. I enjoyed getting to know Tania and following her journey as she finally got the chance to achieve her dream of becoming a Musketeer.

I was drawn to her struggles from the very beginning. I felt for her, the way her mother treated her. It was sad and frustrating, but I sort of got where her mother was coming from, even though I didn’t agree with her.

I loved the relationship between Tania and her father though. It was heartbreaking that he was taken from her so soon. Her ambitions to follow in his footsteps seemed like an impossibility at the time for a woman, but he found the way to make it so.

I also really loved the found-family aspect of this story. Once Tania arrives at school and meets her new sisters, that was so fantastic.

The dynamics between all the girls was strong and believable. They made a great team!

While the plot of this didn’t grab me quite as strongly as I had been hoping for, I still really enjoyed my time listening to the audiobook.

Overall, I think One for All is a great story. Sure, it helps that it’s inspired by one of my all-time favorite classics. I loved having female Musketeers!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as RB Media, for providing me with copies to read and review.

This is an impressive debut for Lillie Lainoff. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!!

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Review: A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox

A Lullaby for WitchesA Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hester Fox is back and she’s bringing her signature gothic atmosphere with her, but this time with a twist!

Fox’s previous works are all set in historic New England and this book is no exception, however, this time, we have a present day perspective as well.

I was pleasantly surprised by this change of pace and loved the alternating perspectives between past and present.

Augusta Podos grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, and as our story begins, she finds herself leading tours through the old jail there. While working in a museum is her dream, this isn’t exactly what she had in mind.

When she happens upon a job listing at Harlowe House in nearby Tynemouth, she jumps at the opportunity. Augusta can’t believe her luck when the position is offered to her. She is finally going to have the museum job of her dreams.

From the moment she sets foot at Harlowe House, Augusta feels a connection with the property. In particular, she is drawn to a portrait of a young woman that hangs in the dining room.

The portrait is said to be the mysterious, Margaret Harlowe, whose life has been lost to the sands of time. Nothing much is known about Margaret and many question if she actually existed at all. There’s no true record of her.

Augusta takes it upon herself to learn all she can about Margaret. She wants to honor her memory and keep it alive.

The past perspective follows Margaret Harlowe as she lives at Harlowe House with her family. Margaret was different and not really accepted in the town of Tynemouth. There were whisperings that she was a witch; a dangerous rumor.

It was true that Margaret dappled in herbalism and healing. In fact, many of the women who shunned her in the streets during the day would visit her under the cover of darkness, seeking help for their problems.

Margaret also had a secret relationship with a young man, Jack, that seemed doomed to end tragically. You can see it a mile away, but Margaret was blinded by love.

As Augusta digs deeper into Margaret’s story she begins to have disturbingly vivid hallucinations. Could Margaret be trying to communicate with her?

Augusta begins to lose control and as past and present come crashing together, it seems some history really should be left well enough alone. Along with her new friend, Leo, will Augusta be able to make it out of Harlowe House unscathed!?

I really enjoyed my time reading A Lullaby for Witches. It was fun to have both the present and the past timelines in this one. Learning about the two women, 150-years apart, but nonetheless connected.

Fox’s ability to bring historical settings to life is so strong. She seems to have a real passion for history; it is evident in the care with which she writes historical perspectives.

There were some subtle nods to Fox’s earlier works, family names and places, that were fun little Easter Eggs for me to discover along the way.

It was also fun to go along with Augusta on her investigation into the past. I appreciated how much Augusta grew over the course of the story. She starts out a little timid, but in the end I was so proud of her new found strength.

Overall, this is a fun and engaging historical mystery with a paranormal twist. I definitely recommend this to Readers who enjoy a lush Gothic atmosphere and New England-based stories.

I am such a fan of Hester Fox. I have read all of her novels and this one did not disappoint. In rankings, it may actually be my second favorite, just behind The Witch of Willow Hall.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Graydon House, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was really looking forward to this one and had a blast with it.

A Lullaby for Witches releases this Tuesday, February 1st!!

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