Review: An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James

Description (from cover):

‘In 1920’s England, a young woman searches for the truth behind her uncle’s mysterious death in a town haunted by a restless ghost…

Oxford student Jillian Leigh works day and night to keep up with her studies–so to leave at the beginning of the term is next to impossible. But after her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall of a cliff, she must drive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings.

Almost immediately, unsettling incidents–a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own–escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house. Is it Walking John, the two-hundred-year-old ghost who haunts Blood Moon Bay? And who besides the ghost is roaming the local woods at night? If Toby uncovered something sinister, was his death no accident?

The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken, a former RAF pilot with mysteries of his own, leaves Jillian with more questions than answers–and with the added complication of a powerful mutual attraction. Even as she suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth, she begins to discover spine-chilling secrets that lie deep within Rothewell…and at the very heart of who she is.’

My thoughts:

This book was part murder mystery, part ghost story. It was riveting and scary at times. It was perfect for a rainy and stormy night in. At times I was seriously creeped out, but then at times the mystery was so good that I just couldn’t help but to read on. I loved the small, ghostly town of Rothewell and thought that the author did a great job of placing the book in this setting. It set the exact right tone for the novel and it sounds like someplace I would love to live in. A quaint, English countryside town, where a ghost holds the residents captive with fear. Who wouldn’t love that?

There is the mysterious element of Jillian’s uncle’s death and she knows that she is there to solve the curious incident of his death. What caused this relatively hermit-like man to fall to his death off a local cliff? When she arrives to Rothewell she learns that her uncle was a ghost hunter trying to figure out the local ghost legends, but she also soon learns that he uncle was murdered. Was he murdered by a phantom, or was it a human?

This book has so many weird and odd characters that everyone is suspect. In the small town of Rothewell everyone is wary of strangers and everyone has secrets to hide. Jillian must figure out who wanted her uncle dead and why before she becomes the next victim of a crime. I thought that this was a compelling read that had a lot to offer. I am definitely interested in reading this author again and appreciated the fact that this was something outside the norm for me, but I really enjoyed it.

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  An Inquiry into Love and Death
Author:  Simone St. James
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  NAL Trade
Publication Date:  March 5, 2013
Pages:  368
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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