A House of Ghosts

Arcade CrimeWise. Oct. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781948924719. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781948924726. M
In 1917, British armaments manufacturer Lord Highmount has lost two of his sons in World War I. He invites a number of people, including two mediums, to a gathering at Blackwater Abbey on an isolated island off the coast of Devon. He hopes to contact the ghosts of his sons. Kate Cartwright, a young woman with her own inherited ability to see ghosts, along with the mysterious Capt. Robert Donovan, attend the party at the request of the Secret Intelligence Service. The SIS suspects that a spy who stole munitions plans will be there. High seas and a dangerous storm trap everyone on the island, but it’s not a ghost that cuts the telephone line or wrecks the abbey ferry. The unconventional historical mystery combines spies, ghosts, and wartime in a riveting Agatha Christie–type story that tells of the tragedy of a lost generation.
VERDICT Already published in the UK, this haunting story was a finalist for the NBA Irish Book Awards Crime Fiction Book of the Year. Readers willing to accept the existence of ghosts will appreciate the atmospheric mystery, which seems designed for fans of Charles Todd’s “Ian Rutledge” books.

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