This is the first of another trilogy and an excellent beginning.
I had to chuckle at the way Olivia Moreland met Stephen, Lord St. Leger - it definitely scared the medium, Mrs Terhune.
Included in the rounding out characters is Capshaw, Stephen's cousin, who was surprised at Stephen's attack on Olivia. The one in the shadows is, Rodrick, Stephen's deceased brother whom his mother is trying to communicate with - with the help of the Russian medium, Madame Valenskaya and her daughter Irena.
St. Leger is not too happy when his mother, Lady St. Leger, when she informs her son the she has invited the Madame and her daughter and their sponsor, Mr. Babbington, to Blackhope Hall. Also attending Lady St. Leger is her daughter-in-law, Lady Pamela, the Countess St. Leger and Belinda, Stephen's sister.
Lady Pamela is also trying to get back in the good graces of St. Leger as she has her [cold] eye on the "Martyr's Treasure". Ah, that is another mystery.
Stephen approaches Olivia about joining the party along with Tom, her right hand man.
Olivia Moreland has a neat family even though they are labeled "Mad Morelands".
The reigning patriarch is her father, the Duke of Broughton and his red-haired wife - there is the oldest son Theodosius, the adventurer and his twin sister, Thisbe and her husband. Then her sister, Lady Kyria Moreland who was labled "The Goddess", who says marriage is not for her - Reed, who takes care of the finances - Olivia and the ten year old twins, Alexander and Constantine. What a great family of characters, including Great-uncle Bellard, the historian.
Many weird things start to happen when Olivia comes to Blackhope Hall - first she thinks she sees a Norman Castle that ends up blending into the Hall. Then the dreams, and the chill of evil. Then Uncle Bellard shows up along with Stephen's friend and partner from Colorado, Rafe McIntyre.
[Please pray tell, how these castles are built that there can be passages and hallways and so many rooms on the 3rd or 4th floors that it is possible to get lost.] I need a detailed drawing of these buildings.
All I am going to say is that it is a Hot Plot with Sir Raymond, his wife, Alys and Sir John. And I dearly love the resolution of the combined stories. I still don't think that the Victorian ladies would surrender that easily to their passions. They would actually live in fear of being caught.
#2 is Beyond Compare with Rafe and Kyria's story.
#3 is Winterset with Reed and Ann Holcombe's story. Hope these turn out as well as this first book.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PLUS --M - a keeper set? We shall see.