Another Review at MyShelf.Com

House of Ashes Title
Haunted Bluffs #1
BY Loretta Marion

Crooked Lane Books
November 13, 2018/ ISBN 978-1683318439
Mystery / Amateur Sleuth /Supernatural

Reviewed by Linda Morelli 

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell lives in the Queen Anne home built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, that rests on the majestic Bluffs of Cape Cod. Cassandra’s home has a brooding atmosphere, the result of an age-old curse: a fire that took the life of Celeste and resulted in Percy jumping off the bluffs with Celeste’s burnt body in his arms. Perhaps that’s why people believe the place is haunted. Cassandra knows it is, for it’s her great-grandparents who send her messages through scents that permeate the house.

When Cassandra becomes in financial danger of losing the house, she takes in a young couple, Vince and Ashley, who help her fix up the place so she can eventually turn part of it into a B&B. But when Vince and Ashley disappear, Cassandra is certain foul play is involved, and eventually the local police and FBI become involved. Even when the FBI stops its investigation due to lack of clues, Cassandra doesn’t give up hope of finding them. Eventually, Cassandra’s artwork – eerily similar to her dead mother’s – finally brings in money to save the house, but now danger lurks around every corner.

Loretta Marion’s outstanding first novel beautifully melds the past with the present, creating a richly textured mystery that surpasses the cozy category. House of Ashes held me entranced as Cassandra tried to figure out why the young couple mysteriously disappeared. Were they running away from danger? Filled with a wonderful setting, eerie atmosphere and outstanding characters, this highly entertaining and haunting mystery will linger long after the last page is read.

Reviewer’s Notes: Loretta’s writing bridges the genres of mystery and suspense and women’s fiction, always with hints of romance and humor, sometimes delving into the psychological and paranormal. She creates strong but flawed and struggling characters as appealing as the rich atmospheric settings in which the stories take place.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award-winning author of Fiery Surrender, Shadow of a Doubt, and Lani's Challenge.
Reviewed 2019