Cover Image: A House of Ghosts

A House of Ghosts

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Member Reviews

I love ghosts. Point blank period but good  ghost stories are hard to find and unfortunately this was the case of that. The story dragged and I found myself drifting while reading. It has more crime elements than haunted which also probably contributed to me not liking it as much. 

Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC.
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I am very into ghost stories. I am also very particular about them, and this author did a wonderful job with this one. Very Agatha Christie like which a paranormal twist. This book does not dance around with the fact that ghosts exist. It is very real in this story and I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed the atmosphere that W.C Ryan set up and how he kept the mystery alive in this one. 

*Thanks so much to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan, William Ryan is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This book features a haunted house and it does have plenty of ghosts but the main story is the many mysteries! The ghosts are just there and watch the show! Lol! There is an island just off the mainland and several people are invited. It's a big mansion and the year is 1917. Miss Cartwright is asked to come with her fiance but she has called off the wedding so is asked to go with Mr Donavan. They both work for C, a secret organization for the war dept.
Everyone at the house has there own reasons for being there. There is also supposed to be a famous psychic doing a seance at some point.
The author really sets the atmosphere for the year, (speach, styles, war related themes, etc), and mysterious mansion.
I love that two of the ones that arrive at the mansion can really see ghosts but one pretends not to. Also lots of many fascinating and curious mysteries happen and they just keep piling on before anyone can solve one, another happens!
I like the simple and charming romance that starts to bud between Donavan and Cartwright!
Although I hoped for a good scary haunting book when I picked this book, I am glad it is just like it is! The evil was the living and the harmless ghosts enjoyed the show
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ghosts, paranormal, war-is-hell, WW2, murder, England, fraud, military-intelligence, romantic *****     

It was a dark and stormy winter solstice in 1917 on the island off the Devon coast. 
Despite all the ghosts, it's all very business-like til the last quarter when a bit of romance wriggles in. Kate is rescued from an important but boring job in decoding by the head of a rather sketchy government department and told to rescind both her invitation regrets and her recently dropped fiance to join her parents and attend a house party/séance in hope of reassurance regarding those missing in action in France. Kate knows she can see ghosts and things but it's not spoken of. Despite the evil winter storm there are several people there for the séance as well as another undercover person. The mansion was once an abbey, and the hidden passages figure highly in this twisty plot full of red herrings. I loved it! 
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Skyhorse Publishing/Arcade via NetGalley. Thank you!
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This is a very interesting story. The style of writing is a little unusual since it feels as though it were written during world war one. The story takes place during world war one at the home of a munitions manufacturer. A group of people are gathered on the pretense that they are attempting to communicate with family members that are missing and presumed dead during the war. Some of the members at the gathering may actually be spies. The government sends in an agent along with a family member of the group that can see ghosts to infiltrate the group and attempt to find the spy. This is a spy mystery romance ghost story that takes place on an island in a house full of ghosts. Nicely written story with the possibility for a series.
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I enjoyed this book and had a difficult time putting it down. It's very Agatha Christie like in regards to the setting and the murder mystery,  but I enjoyed the added spiritual element as well. The story was sexy and smart in all the right places.  I look forward to having more Kate and Donovan in my life.
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A House Of Ghost by W.C. Ryan, is a interesting story that pulls the riveted reader in, and holds their attention to the very last page !
Great chemistry between protagonist.
4 Stars !


I received this ARC through Netgally for a honest review.
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OK, so I read a Christmas book before Christmas, and I don't care what anybody says. Ryan is always worth reading, and the ghosts have a lot to be said for themselves. I would love to hear this read by a good actor. 

Ryan is also the author of a series of Russian settings. He has a great gift for making readers remember who said what to whom, and where, and why. Come November I'm going to read it again and see what I've missed.
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My favorite aspect of this book is the assumption that ghosts do exist. There is no dancing around whether what the characters are experiencing could indeed be ghosts or not.  It is understood that they are surrounded by ghosts, and it is both exciting and terrifying. I found the two main characters extremely likable, and I was rooting for them until the end. While I felt that some conversations were repetitive and the pace could have been a bit faster, the story was full of surprises and I enjoyed the book overall.
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If the blurb doesn’t get you itching to take a sneak peek at the first chapter then I hope this review will.

Firstly, it’s a brilliant murder mystery with a lot of emphasis on mystery – and to top it off with ghosts, well, don’t put too much expectation into the latter bit. Being biased and having read way too many Cliff Barker novels, I often make the mistake of putting unnecessary hype on a name and not really paying that much attention to the blurb the authors write up.

Even if the ghosts merely act as decoration in the novel and serve convenient plot points by enhancing certain moments or situations, I would really commend Ryan for putting so much focus on the gravitas of the story’s setting and the ominous atmosphere which heavily occupies almost every chapter. This is a perfect example of a character study as he expertly acquaints the reader with every characters inner thoughts and intentions, especially when he keeps concealing every idea I had of who the final culprit of this intricate puzzle might be.

If I was surprised in not reading about malicious ghosts actively getting involved with the living (Jonathan Janz does this in a fantastic way) or poltergeists not making in appearance in a house with such a deep history, then I’m absolutely pleased to declare that Ryan more than made up for this slight absence.

After all, I don’t think a writer of his skill would try and copy a current idea in the vain hope of rewriting it to resemble something original when in fact ripping off others is such a common thing in the creative industry.

Ryan also keeps us well-informed about all of the subplots and the affairs of the outside world as (I became so riveted in this book that I actually forgot about it at times) the setting of the story is still in the thick of things with various war efforts, espionage, and double agents. Using clever dialogue and dropping tidbits of information here and there, this is an author who doesn’t leave his reader in the dark.

That said, you can add A House of Ghosts to your mental list of you’re looking for a great read on a cold day or, even better, if you really want to treat yourself to a fantastic book.
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This was a good mystery with supernatural elements thrown in also.  There is a large creepy house which is supposedly haunted, and atrocious weather to be had.  I loved the characters of Kate and Donovan and hope there are more adventures to come for them.  
Many thanks to Skyhorse Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel. Excellent writing and enjoyable characters with a little history and espionage. A good time.
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I enjoyed this book. It's not the type I usually read, but I was hooked from the beginning. I would definitely recommend it to others.
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One would expect that a book called "House of Ghosts" would be about, y'know, ghosts. The house is, in fact, filled with ghosts, but they actually don't matter to the story even a little bit. Instead, this is a locked-room mystery where we need to figure out which of the guests is a would-be killer and why that person has it in for several others in the house.

There's a lot of confusion and pointing fingers. The story isn't that compelling and the book drags on unnecessarily.

Via NetGalley.
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I waivered between a 4 star or 3 star review on this one. Great story telling by the author but I was not a fan of the loose ends in the final three quarters of the book. The touch of the supernatural loomed darkly over the perfect setting of isolated Blackwater Abbey. The book centered around the gathering of mediums, parents and sisters that had lost their sons or brothers to WWI (and a house full of ghosts). Along with that there are two agents working to solve some kind of spy shenanigans for the British army, the plot as a whole was intriguing. I recommend to mystery buffs that are not looking for a complex murder investigation but enjoy creepy settings with a touch of the paranormal. I settled for a 4 star rating as I would read the next installment to this story by the author. 
Thank you to Net Galley for the chance to read and review.
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Sublimely written, elegantly composed and deftly delivered, A House Of Ghosts is unlike any kind of traditional ghost story I've read. Its keenly drawn wartime backdrop, complete with an emotional retelling of the melancholy of the era, lifts it far above a mere spooky story, and provides a rich period tale that thrills, provokes and entertains.
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Nothing like a good old fashioned ghost story to get a reader's attention.  But couple that with a well done novel set in the England of 1917 still engaged in a world war raging just across the channel.  The combination of the two events in the hands of an author at the top of his game is a sure bet to capture and keep readers glued to the book.  
     On an island off the coast of Devon Lord Highmount has set up a seance in an attempt to contact his two sons who have been killed in the war.  Lord Highmount is a manufacturer of materials important to the war effort has had secret plans for an effective gas mask turn up in enemy hands in Berlin.  It is to determine if enemy agents will come to the seance that two people have been dispatched by the British intelligence service to attend the event.  The first is Kate Cartwright a young lady that is able to see the departed and possibly communicate with them.  The other is Captain Donovan recently returned from the trenches of France and a first class secret operative.
     The guests gather at the residence of Lord Highmount and we immediately learn that most of them have something to hide. The story develops as a major storm shuts down the island and prevents any travel between the mainland and the residence.  Part of the tale involves Kate and the mysterious Captain Donovan developing romantic feelings towards each other. Nice touch and probably foretelling future novels involving the two.
     Events proceed and the reader is treated to two seances with events described by Mr Ryan and allowing the plot to thicken.  A good story and coupled with a good writing style means a good book and an interest in future novels by the author.
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Title: A House Of Ghosts

Author: W.C.Ryan

Pages: 432

Genre:Historical mystery

Oct 1,2019

Shortlisted for the Irish Book Award, a classic cozy big-house mystery haunted by the specters of World War One—for readers of Agatha Christie and Simone St. James.

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives. At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, armaments manufacturer Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons, both of whom died at the front.

Among the guests, two have been secretly dispatched from the intelligence service: Kate Cartwright, a friend of the family who lost her beloved brother at the Somme and who, in the realm of the spiritual, has her own special gift; and the mysterious Captain Donovan, recently returned from Europe. Top secret plans for weapons developed by Lord Highmount’s company have turned up in Berlin, and there is reason to believe enemy spies will be in attendance. As the guests arrive, it becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends, they find themselves trapped on the island. Soon one of their number will die. For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .
An unrelenting, gripping mystery, packed with twists and turns and a kindling of romance, A House of Ghosts is the perfect cold-weather read. 


My thoughts:

Rating:5

Would I recommend it?Yes

Would I read anything else by this author? Yes

Dark and spooky with a gothic feel  to it even though the story takes place in 1917, because there is something about the  atmosphere of the story that gives you goosebumps and make you want to stay up all night and read, it's a historical mystery with a touch the paranormal . As for the setting of the story there would be no way in the world would I go there and stay , and it's because of that as well as how atmosphere of the story kept pulled.into the story as well as the different characters you meet.So if you love a story that is dark, and spooky as well as gloomy with a touch of the paranormal ,and characters who are not what they seem to be then check this one out .With that said I would like to thank Netgalley for letting me read and review it exchange for my honest opinion.
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A quick read with an interesting twist that took me a bit by surprise.  Overall, a good read - a bit contrived in a few spots.
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Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy. I took a risk this book and it wasn’t really for me. I do think it was well written.
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