Secrets of Hallstead House Paperback – 1 Jul 2014
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Top customer reviews
It's the story of Macy Stoddard who has accepted a job as the personal nurse to an elderly woman recovering from hip surgery. It's a bit of a dreary place and several of the inhabitants and frequest visitors make it known that they don't want Macy there, but she has a job to do and intends to do it. She does bond with her patient, though, as well as with the keeper of the boathouse and falls in love with the locale (as well she should!).
Before long everything Macy thought that she had known about everything gets turned upside-down. It's part gothic, part cozy mystery, and all wonderful. Well, almost all.
The only nit-picky thing I had with it was Macy's age. She's supposed to be 20 years old but seems older and that boathouse guy? She figured him to be in his mid-30s (I can't recall if we ever did get an exact age on him). Call me horribly old-fashioned, but she isn't even able to legally drink unless she crosses the border! If she had been, say, 25 and him mid-thirties I likely wouldn't have been as skeeved about it. Much. Maybe. Still, it's only a mild irritant in an otherwise wonderful book full of secrets and mystery and twists that I totally didn't see coming.
I liked the idea behind this novel. The fact that the characters were on an island rather than just at some creepy old house added an element of originality. The standoffish housekeeper and her husband and the other interesting guests that showed up throughout the book kept me wondering where the author was ultimately going. I like it when I can't completely figure the story out.
There is a sweet little bit of romance but it didn't take over the plot entirely. The mysterious happenings in Hallstead house are accompanied by the strange layout of the house itself and I thought the author did a really good job with her descriptions. You get more than just a cursory glimpse of what the house looks like inside and out.
What I didn't love about this book:
The author seems to recount every single action of her characters, especially her main character. I don't feel that I need a step-by-step announcement when the character is getting up, putting on slippers, opening a door, walking down the stairs, turning to the right, opening another door, etc. Simply telling me the character went down the stairs and entered whatever relevant room there is would be enough.
I also thought some of the dialogue felt a little forced and weird. Some of the things that Macy says just seemed out of place or strange.
Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable read and the author was great at giving sense of place and telling her story. If you enjoy books that have subtle mysteries, this would be a good choice.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley.
When Macy went to work at Hallstead House as a personal nurse to Alexandria Hallstead she was trying to come to terms with her parents death in an horrific accident which caused both of their deaths. But Macy discovered more than just being there as a nurse.
I cannot say what else she discovered or that would be giving one heck of a spoiler.
What I can say is, this book had me gripped from cover to cover and I had to stay with it until the end.
Some did not welcome Macy into the Hallstead fold and many creepy things and terrible threats were made on her person. Just who, or which was causing her to fear for her life?
She got offered another job by the agency she worked for, so now this left her in a dilemma as to, should she go? or should she stay?
Alexandria Hallstead was a sweet lovely old lady recovering from a hip operation hence why Macy was there. Or was it?
I've not heard of this author until now.
I already requested to read this from Net galley and was accepted by Kensington Books then I saw the blog tour for it, so I hopped on that too. I would love to get the word out and encourage you all to read this book, you won't regret it. It had me guessing right to the end.
Secrets of Hallstead house is almost like a Gothic cozy mystery with plenty of red-herrings and sleight of hand.
It is the perfect afternoon read with touches of Daphne Du Maurier and Mary Stewart. As well as being a kind of who done it, there is a charming romance too.
Secrets of Hallstead house is set around the Thousand Isles and the St. Lawrence river and Amy Reade describes the locations in stunning detail. This is the perfect book to curl up on the couch with on a rainy day.
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