I am pleased to feature a review of The Vanished Bride of Northfield House by Phyllis M. Newman. This book, recently published by Cup of Tea Books, is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.
Although the book’s premise seemed promising to me, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Ms. Newman’s writing vividly captured the atmosphere of a haunted house in 1922 England. The novel reminded me of a cross between a cozy mystery and the gothic romances I enjoyed as a child by authors such as Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. I could hardly put it down.
While I suspected who was responsible for the deaths in the book, I was surprised by several twists at the end. The protagonist, Anne Chatham, is an orphan who accepts employment as a “typewriter”at the home of the Wellingtons, a rich family with a terrible secret. Anne has a secret of her own. She can sense spirits and know when there are ghosts about. Arriving at Northfield House, she immediately becomes aware of one. Will this phenomena explain what happened to Mrs. Wellington’s sister who disappeared on the night of her wedding forty years ago?
The cast of characters who occupy Northfield House include the wheelchair-bound father, Henry Wellington, whose two sons both show an interest in Anne. However, Anne is attracted to Owen, the less favored son. Together they team up to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Eleanor Granville Wellington, the young woman who married Henry before she disappeared. Henry later married Eleanor’s sister, Lavinia, who seems displeased with the hiring of Anne.
On the night of a masquerade ball, a tragic death occurs. Events hurtle toward a discovery that spells danger for Anne. Will she escape Northfield House with her life and the man she loves? Read it to find out. You won’t be disappointed. I rate this book Five Stars.