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The Lovegrove Hermit
Rosemary Craddock

publisher Robert Hale/
31 October 2013 (US 1 February 2013) ISBN 9780719811067
Historical Mystery / 1819 / Derbyshire, England

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Charlotte Tyler lives with her brother and his daughter following the death of her soldier fiancé. During the summer of 1819, the family is invited to stay at the spooky old home of their relative Amelia Denby. Lady Denby writes gothic novels, so it is fitting that she lives in Lovegrove Priory. She has even gone as far as to install a hermit in the grounds. When this mysterious man is murdered, it is up to Charlotte and local magistrate Colonel Hartley to investigate…

Ms Craddock wrote a series of gothic novels in the 80s and is now back with another one. If you like Regency romances and murder mysteries, this tale will be right up your dark alley, set in a rambling old house with rumors of secret passages, priest holes and even ghosts. It is told in Charlotte’s own words, the intelligent but firmly on the shelf spinster (all of twenty-eight), who is on the edge of the party and sees all. She makes for a good narrator, making wry comments about the histrionics of their hostess and keeping a cool head for investigating. It is one of those stories that leaves you wishing for another in the same series but which is exactly the right length. More, please!

Reviewed 2014