The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House Paperback – 28 Aug 2014
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I loved the gloriously, shamelessly old-fashioned title, with its hints of Agatha Christie and Josephine Tey . . . A fizzingly fresh story of mysteries-within-mysteries (Saga magazine)
An elegantly written debut by an author to watch out for (Random Things Through My Letterbox, blogspot)
Vivid and colourful . . . A well thought out, thorough mystery that does have you wanting to turn the next page (Lisa, Lisa Talks About)
A tale of mystery, secrets and love (Female First)
Highly absorbing (Love Reading)
A delicious new mystery . . . We started reading this over lunch yesterday, and became so engrossed, it was a struggle to get back to work (Novelicious)
About the Author
Stephanie Lam was born and raised in London. She now lives in Brighton, close to the sea. The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House is her first novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is narrated by Rosie Churchill in 1965 and Robert Carver in 1924. Rosie has left home for reasons which are only gradually revealed and is renting one of the down at heel flats into which Castaway House has been converted Robert stayed at Castaway House one hot summer with his cousin who owned the house.
Rosie is curious about Robert Carver because she finds a pencil drawing of him and finds some graffiti about him carved into a window sill. As her own life seems to be spiralling out of control trying to find out what happened in 1924 takes her mind off her own problems.
It is interesting to see how the author interweaves the two strands of the narrative and the books starts off well but for me it lost its momentum and sort of fizzled out at the end. I'm sure this author will write other, and better books but this for me was just an average sort of read. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.
This book uses the dual time line style of narrative with alternate chapters narrated by Rosie Churchill in 1965 and Robert Carver in 1924. Rosie is just 18 and has left home before finishing school to share a flat in Castaway House. When Rosie is given a picture of Robert (because they share the same initials) her interest is piqued and she determines to find out more about him. Due to the two are separated by a mere forty years she is able to meet people who were around at the same time and as expected the more she finds out the deeper the mystery becomes. This is not all though because Rosie has her own secrets as do other members of the household.
In 1924 Robert Carver spends his summer with his cousin Alec Bray and his wife Clara in the summer while convalescing from an illness in the seaside town of Helmstone; no small shared flat for Robert though at this time the house is at its best complete with servants but it soon becomes apparent that Alec and Clara are far from happily married and Robert begins to regret his decision but then he meets the next door neighbours who include the Doctor’s daughter Lizzie and Robert graduates from boy to man.
This book is a whopping 500 plus pages but at no time did I feel that any parts of the book needed editing which illustrates the power of Stephanie Lam’s writing. The period details aren’t quite as defined as I would have liked but the two time periods were defined enough to avoid any confusion between them but I felt it relied quite heavily on the readers own knowledge to pick up on some of the references.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stephanie Lam is a terrific storyteller and this is a lovely thick novel you can sink into.
It is also very clever in the way it moves between its two story-lines and periods:... Read more
I have just finished this amazing book, set in 1920's and 1960's around the same house. I'm not going to go into the plot as that has been done but I will say it's the first book... Read morePublished 12 months ago by lucky
Stephanie Lam’s The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House is an evocative, twisty narrative set across two timeframes. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Laura Wilkinson
Castaway House, over shadows the lives of Rober carver in the 1920's and Rosie Curchill in the 1960's. Read morePublished 14 months ago by ChrisH
Quick description: Mystery and romance novel, set in two different time periods, will leave you HOOKED.
Steam? Read more
I started Mysterious Affair in hospital after surgery. I needed a story easy to engage with at the outset, in manageable chunks and believable. Read morePublished 16 months ago by ear
Just finished this fabulous mystery. Haven't enjoyed a story this much in a good while. Was compelled to buy it on both Kindle and on Audible so that I could progress through it... Read morePublished 16 months ago by seeking kids books