Thursday, September 28, 2006

Midnight Secrets - Jennifer St. Giles

Midnight Secrets
Jennifer St. Giles
Berkley Sensation

Historical/Paranormal Romance

Cassiopeia (Cassie), Andromeda (Andrie), and Gemini (Gemmi) are the three daughters of an Oxford professor. In 1879, that puts them very much on the fringe of polite society, particularly when their parents spend much of their time in remote and exotic locales, on digs. Cassie has always had prophetic dreams, but the dream that wakes her this spring morning is particularly disturbing. In the dream, her cousin Mary is swept away by a huge wave and drowned. When a telegram from their aunt arrives that afternoon, confirming the dream, the three sisters immediately leave Oxford for Cornwall.

Arriving in Cornwall, Cassie finds that the local constable is less than interested in the case. In his view, Mary went swimming and drowned. Cassie points out that Mary had a fear of the water, but the constable ignores this inconvenient fact. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Cassie begins to ask around the village and finds that suspicion rests on the twin sons of an earl, Alexander and Sean Killdaren, who own the estate where Mary drowned. When Cassie learns that the housekeeper is in search of a downstairs maid, she takes the job in order to further her investigation. It doesn’t take long to find out about the mysterious death of another woman, and of the fabled curse that hangs over the brothers. To complicate matters, Cassie finds herself most improperly attracted to Sean; the man she suspects may have killed her beloved cousin.

The author blends elements of mystery, paranormal, and gothic novels to great effect here. The setting, an estate on the Cornish coast, is perfect for this kind of spooky tale. Cassie and her sisters are all very different individuals, each with her own personality traits and quirks. All three are likeable and quite believable. Sean is the quintessential dark and brooding hero, and his choice of reading material is interesting, to say the least. If you enjoy a gothic mystery in a creepy setting, you won’t want to miss this one. I’m looking forward to Andrie’s story, due in December.

Rating: 7 ½
May 2006
ISBN# 0-425-20962-8 (paperback)


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