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an Inquiry into Love and Death
Simone St. James

New American Library (NAL Trade)
March 4, 2013 / ISBN 978-0451239259
Paranormal Mystery/Romantic Suspense

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

It’s 1924 in England, and twenty-two year old Jillian Leigh is a student at Oxford when she is informed by the family solicitor that her Uncle Toby has died in a fall from a cliff. Her parents are out of the country and ask Jillian to travel to Devonshire to identify the body, then to Rothewell to collect Toby’s belongings. Toby was estranged from the family for almost eight years, and Jillian suspects it’s because of his profession, for Toby is a ghost hunter.

After Jillian arrives in Rothewell and identifies her uncle’s body, she stays in the cottage Toby rented, one previously owned and now supposedly haunted by John Barrow’s ghost. Jillian begins to gather her uncle’s possessions, and finds his pocket watch and book about ghostly visitations. Soon strange events occur and she fears the cottage is truly haunted.

Then Jillian meets handsome ex-RAF pilot and current Scotland Yard Inspector, Drew Merriken, who has a mystery of his own. Unraveling that mystery along with Jillian was enjoyable. As Jillian and Drew are drawn to each other, they agree that Toby’s death might be murder, and when the ghostly hauntings become terrifying, Jillian fears for her life.

An Inquiry into Love and Death is Simone St. James’ second ghostly mystery, and judging from this book, I’ll definitely read her first release. Ms. St. James is a wonderful author and has written an exciting page-turner with eerily atmospheric elements that makes for a truly suspenseful and chilling ghost story. Great characters, an outstanding plot and a solid mystery made this a winner for me. As a lover of history, mystery and romance, I couldn’t put this book down. Simone St. James’s writing is reminiscent of Agatha Christie at her best. A definite must read.

Reviewer's Note: Previous release was The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Reviewed 2013