A House of Ghosts

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This was such a good read! It reminded me of an Agatha Christie style mystery with a paranormal twist. I loved Donovan and Kate, they worked well together to discover who was behind the murders and accidents happening on the island. I was a little wary of the paranormal element at first, thinking it would come off as more hokey than anything else but the ghosts were woven so nicely into the story that they ended up enhancing the narrative rather than detracting from it.
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2020 started with a great book for me. Where "A House of Ghosts" has a generic name the story contains a lot more than the name suggests. The story is about an old hall where a seance will be held. During WW1 a scary amount of people died under doubtful circumstances and many people tried to contact them. This book is all about that.

The main characters are sent to hall where a seance will be held, they are hand picked by the army for this purpose. Not because of the seance itself but because of the many agenda's the lord of the house has. He is an industrialist who made his fortune in the weapons industry and there are quite a few shady pages in his diary. On top of this the house is swarming with spiritsto spruce things up.

There is a lovely mixture of WW1 detective thriller and horror. The supernatural plays a part in the story but is never the main subject. That is the part I enjoyed most. The way the supernatural stays a sidenote through the entire book enhanced the suspense.

This is one of my favourite books recently.
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I liked in this book the suspensful and scary storyline and a lot of characters build in. 
The author is very talented in presenting the storyline to not only grab your attention but also engage in your imagination.
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This story has mentions of ghosts and a seance.  That's about as supernatural as it gets. 
The plot centers around talk of war, weapons, and espionage.  Going into it expecting a ghost story, I was really let down.  

There are far too many characters to keep up with, and many of the characters go by multiple names.  It was tiresome to try to keep them straight.  Additionally, major details were repeated over and over. 

What I did like:  
This was a clean mystery with just a hint of romance. 
The setting and characters reminded me of Downton Abbey.
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An isolated island, a manor house built from an ancient abbey, and a cast of suspicious characters makes for a perfect read on a dark and stormy night. 

The Highmount family has gathered their closest friends to Blackwater Abbey for a séance to make contact with their sons who have been lost to WW1. But there’s more than meets the eye to this gathering; someone has leaked Lord Highmount’s weapon designs to the Germans, and all of the people invited had an opportunity to do so. Code breaker Kate Cartwright and British spy Donavan are sent to Blackwater Abbey to determine who leaked the documents, but find themselves in the middle of something even more sinister…

Overall I found this to be a satisfying mystery. The clues that were slowly being revealed kept me guessing at the culprit, I enjoyed the blossoming relationship between Kate and Donovan, and the setting of Blackwater Abbey felt like a character in itself. But besides Kate and Donovan, the other characters didn’t feel fully fleshed out. Sometimes it just felt like the boardgame Clue had come to life. There was also this whole paranormal subplot that I wished played a bigger part in the story, but it never felt like it reached its full potential. Despite this, I did have a good time reading this book and I think this would be a great quick read during a winter snowstorm.
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A House of Ghosts is a paranormal murder mystery set during WWI. Originally released in 2018, this reformat was released 1st Oct 2019 by Skyhorse on their Arcade Crimewise imprint. It's 371 pages and available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

This atmospheric and very twisty country house (set on an island!) mystery has a large number of disparate threads including espionage, counter-espionage, combat fatigue (PTSD), murder, and a group of spirits betrayed to their deaths and bent on revenge which coalesce into a surprising but satisfying denouement.

The book, though written in 3rd person, follows several of the characters viewpoints in alternating chapters. It's not difficult to keep track of (the chapters are labeled clearly). The dialogue has a definite period vibe, and the different characters' accents are acceptably well done without generally being overpowering or annoying.

I absolutely love golden age country house mysteries and didn't find the plotting or tension too slow. For readers who prefer a faster pace, I can certainly understand how this one might drag a bit.

Well written and with more than a little golden age vibe.

Four stars.
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Although I did enjoy this story for the most part, overall I felt like it was just a smidgen to long.  There were parts where it dragged and others where it didn't.  For me it felt like there was just way to much tossed into this story.  I think that some of the aspects of it could have been taken out and put into a book two.  I think this one would be great for people that don't get overwhelmed with different parts of a story that has many moving parts.
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Honestly, I was sure I was going to love this book.
I love the setting: WWI Europe. I loved the idea of a ghost story set in a secluded house, isolated on an island during a storm and with a sanse schedule for the night (I mean, how can you not love it?) and a mystery. Everything right up my ally.
I really loved the first chapters of the story. The characters were so relatable. Kate and Donovan appeared to be clever, witty and sympathetic. And I liked that the fantasy element of the book didn’t interfere with the historical setting.
I was sure I was going to love it.

But then, halfway through, the story just fell apart.
The mystery was always unclear to me, and not in an intriguing way. The characters went around without never truly find clues or string them together and so deducing the mystery. The ghost element mingled with the historical setting, but I’m not sure why. Ghosts weren’t essential to the story at all, they seemed to be there just for colour. The ending seemed to be chosen because it was the most unexpected – but to me it was also unlikely. I’m not sure what the mystery was, why those people were killed and what exactly was the plot even now.

I’m so, so disappointed.
It could have been so much better.
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A twisting, turning atmospheric mystery. A story which seems to have a bit of everything - not a terrifying tale by any means but more an historical mystery with several threads, almost verging on the gothic. Well written and engrossing. It's an enjoyable read for a cold Winter's night.
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I really enjoyed reading this novel! It had a very good pace and the characters are interesting enough to keep you fully engaged into the story. There were plenty of ghosts and twists to keep you guessing until the very end. The big reveal was a bit of a let down for me, I didn't really understand the logic behind it. Overall, it's a very entertaining read.
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This was such an amazing read that I couldn’t put it down. It went everywhere with me. To the doctors office, the dentist, the eye doctor. IT WENT ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE. I was so sad when it ended that I immediately went and bought more books from this author!
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I receive this from Netgalley for honest review.

What a great thriller and suspense it was to read. What a great psychological thrill! This novel had everything in it. The thrill, the suspense, the psychological, and the twist is crazy. This novel will keep you thinking and guessing. When you think you right, well let me just say that you might be wrong. This had me all over the place. My heart beating so fast! I couldn't believe what I was reading. If had me in shock. Every page, every chapter was a page turner. I couldn't believe my eyes what I was reading. It will surprise you in every way.

The storyline was very good! 
The theme and setting was well put together. The characters was well put together in the story. 
This story will have in a rollercoaster with all the spooky and secrets. Was so well put in the story. 
Everything all in one book. 
It was just perfect!
 This had me hooked from the beginning. What a Rollercoaster! The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel would have you guess and thinking all the way to the end. What a great thrill and suspense. I love a great suspense that would have me think and guessing. This novel did just that to me. To the point that am wrong. When the ending comes am on shock. I wouldn't of never believe or guess. Like OMG! 
Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good! 
Can't wait for her next book.
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In the winter of 1917 Lord Highmount and his wife invite a selection of friends and acquaintances to their home, Blackwater Abbey, which is located on an island off the Devon coast.  The main objective of the house party is to conduct a séance in order to contact their two sons – both of whom have died in the war.

Among the guests are Kate Cartwright and her parents, two mediums, Kate’s ex-fiancée, and Captain Donovan, who has just returned from Europe.  Each guest seems to have secrets they are trying to hide.  Blackwater Abbey, with a history of ghosts and strange activities, becomes a backdrop to murder and multiple deceptions.

A House of Ghosts is a twisting and suspenseful novel, with a touch of romance.  The mystery is interesting and the characters are varied and complex. I enjoyed the interactions between the captain and Kate.  The historical aspects of the story were also quite interesting and added a great deal to the overall enjoyment of the book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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This one has a Ghost and Mrs. Muir feel about it with a bit of espionage mixed in. A young woman, new to the role of British intelligence officer, is sent to a gathering on an storm battered island off the coast of England during World War I. Her mother, father, and ex-fiance will be there as well as a second agent. The setting is during the era when spiritualism and attempting to communicate with the dead was a means of healing the loss of so many brothers, husbands and children to the war and this is why the gathering was organized. On the other hand, national security is of grave concern to the British military who are less interested in the ghosts that inhabit the home and more in who on the island is responsible for the theft of military secrets. 

My rating is 5 Stars: Highly recommended!  For reference my version of a 5 star review is “I absolutely loved it! It will stay with me for a long time and/or I would read it again in the future. Highly recommended.”

As a reviewer for NetGalley, I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I picked up A House of Ghosts based on the cover - I love a chilling gothic haunted house story - and it did not disappoint. In addition, there is a spy/espionage storyline that was as delightful as it was unexpected. A great read for those dark October nights!
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I am not usually a big reader of historical mysteries but I love gothic and this one sounded so intriguing: WW 1, set in an isolated island retreat with a touch of the supernatural.  I highly enjoyed it.  I loved the 2 main characters and if this is the first in a series with them I will definitely read the next one. The only reason I didn’t give it 4 stars is that around the 60% mark it did drag a tiny bit but overall I am glad I read it.  If you enjoy historical, cozy, and/or British mysteries then I think you will like this book.  

** thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the arc I received in an exchange for an honest review**
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House of Ghosts sounds like an Agatha Christie plot. As World War I battles a world away, a house party is gathering at a mysterious old house on an English island. The goal is to use mediums to raise the spirits of the owners’ two sons—both dead in the war. Throw in mysteries, lies, secret plans, spies, a storm cutting the island off from the mainland and of course murder and you have a plot reminiscent of the finest golden-age British mystery.

Just as with the older stories, House of Ghosts meanders quite a bit before getting to the meat of the story. Also, if you are looking for a ghost story or a spy story, this is not a good choice. But if you don’t mind a leisurely mystery where literally everyone has a motive, this is an excellent choice for a few hours of entertainment by being transported to a difficult time in humankind’s history. 4 stars!

Thanks to Arcade, Skyhorse Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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A fun mystery and suspense throughout to sit back, relax and go with the flow. I loved the detailed scenes, characters, and cover. Thank you to Skyhorse Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest rating/review.
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A not-too-spooky, Agatha Christie-like haunted house mystery with intrigue, spies, and a touch of romance.
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An enjoyable read! It is written in the agatha christie style and keeps you guessing what is going to happen . It is set at the end of WW1 with a group of people with different agendas stuck by weather at a House with ghosts and secrets. Plenty of twists to keep it interesting. A slower read but still very good.
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