Keeper of Enchanted Rooms

47North: Amazon. (Whimbrel House, Bk. 1). Nov. 2022. 348p. ISBN 9781662500343. pap. $14.95. FANTASY
Holmberg’s (Star Father) latest work is an atmospheric gothic fantasy set in 1846. Merritt Fernsby has recently inherited a house and island on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. He thinks this will be the perfect place to work on his next novel, without neighbors or distractions. But when Merritt arrives, the house immediately locks all the doors and windows, preventing him from leaving. Enter Hulda Larkin, who informs Merritt that she has been specially trained by the Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms (BIKER) to manage magically haunted houses. First she must learn what, or who, is haunting Merritt’s home. What Hulda doesn’t know is that an evil figure from her past will complicate matters and might be even more dangerous than an enchanted house.
VERDICT Reminiscent of Mary Stewart’s period romances, but with a touch of magic and murder. Holmberg’s fantasy is enjoyable but doesn’t stand out, and the magical system is only cursorily laid out in this series launch.
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