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The Ghosts of Mayfield Court
Saul Jackson & Herbert Bottomley Mysteries – Book IX
Norman Russell

Robert Hale
31 July 2013 (1 October 2013 US) / ISBN: 9780719810329
Historical Mystery / 1894 London and Warwickshire, England
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Young Catherine Paget tells in her own words how she and her elderly uncle, Maximilian, visited crumbling Mayfield Court after her uncle inherited it from his brother. The old place is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl that Catherine even sees, before discovering the skeleton of a girl in the garden. This find is duly investigated by DI Jackson and his trusty sidekick, DS Bottomley, leaving the Pagets to return to London. But this is only the start of Catherine's adventures…

Nobody does Victorian gothic better than Mr Russell, and this is a prime example of his writing at its best. Told part by Catherine and part in the third person (the best of both worlds), this is a tale of spooky old buildings, conspiracies, greed and evil that is full of surprises. The gothic and quasi-supernatural happenings add a fresh twist to the currently waning sub-genre of historical mystery and I couldn't stop reading. As always, this is a pacy tale with something happening on every page and even if it isn't precisely a whodunit, this only adds to its clever tweaking of what the reader expects. As always from this author, one to savor for the treat it is.

Reviewed 2013