by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Bloodstains With Brontë, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Katherine Bolger Hyde has penned a very entertaining series that combines a clever mystery with classic literature. First published in July 2016 with Arsenic with Austen, we are introduced to Emily Cavanaugh who has inherited a fortune from her great aunt. It includes Windy Corners, a beautiful Victorian estate, and a considerable amount of real estate in the nearby town of Stony Beach, Oregon. She discovers a delightful community of quirky residents, a sheriff perfect for romance, secrets, mayhem, and murder! All this wrapped in references and connections to the classics. First, it was Jane Austen and Persuasion, then Charlotte Brontë.
My introduction to Katherine’s work came with the second book which turned out to be very entertaining for this newbie, and adding some contemporary issues made the story very engaging. First, we find Emily Cavanaugh, after having inherited a huge estate, deciding to renovate the Victorian estate into a writer’s retreat, but the project is more demanding than she hoped. Matters become more difficult when two of the men working on the protect have become very worrisome, and friction occurs as issues of an inappropriate nature makes Katie, Emily’s young housekeeper and unmarried mother, very uncomfortable. Here comes the ‘twist,’ Emily agrees to host a murder mystery dinner as a fundraiser for a local clinic knowing Windy Corners is the perfect setting for such an event with all of its nooks and crannies and secret places. It’s a big ‘turn of events’ when the scripted murder victim turns out to be authentic. And the victim? One of the ‘jerk’ workers! And now Katie seems the obvious one to be marked as the main person of interest. Emily knows this can’t be true, and she sets out to prove wrong local law enforcement, and her rekindled love interest, Sheriff Luke Richards. That could cost Emily her romance, but no matter what, she’s going to protect Katie!
Sit back and lounge through this second book. It is not an action-packed, on the edge of your seat journey, but a carefully construction mystery with moments to ponder the environment and the people who inhabit the small town. Katherine is very talented at creating a visual image that brings the story to life, the literary references throughout the story reveal fascinating connections to the characters, and although the change in perspective from one character to another took a bit to get used to, it was a clever literary technique. I enjoyed seeing events through Luke’s eyes, then Katie’s perspective which provided a look, difficult at times, into her background.
The mystery was very clever with a few twists and definitely turns to keep me turning the page, and although some themes are dark, like a Brontë novel, they are treated lightly. It is a cozy, not a tabloid exposé. Katherine’s characters may have some flaws, but are beginning to show depth…it’s only book two. Emily is a mature woman, warm, and a bit quirky, but I see a positive strength emerging. I greatly enjoyed the quotes selected from Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights novels at the beginning of each chapter. It added for me another layer of intrigue as I tried to determine the connection between the literary quote and the events in the story. I recommend this book, and for me, I am eager to read book one and curious as to what classic Katherine may have in mind for book three…
Bloodstains With Brontë earns 5/5 Brooding Brontës…Murderous Fun!
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Facebook – Katherine Bolger Hyde –Writer
Website – KBHyde
To enter to win a copy of Bloodstains With Brontë, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “bloodstains,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 13, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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We have a winner!