Title: The Poisoned House by Michael Ford
Length: 319 pages
The Peril: Greave Hall in 1855 is not a pleasant place for scullery maid Abigail Tamper. Her mother died almost one year ago, old Lord Greave seems to be losing his mind, his only heir is off fighting in Crimea, and Mrs. Cotton, the cruel and autocratic housekeeper, seems to be hiding her own dark secrets. There's something else disturbing this unhappy household--an otherworldly presence. Is it the spirit of Abi's mother trying to warn her, or someone much more dangerous?
My Thoughts: Abi Tamper is a great narrator. Though she's just a scullery maid at Greave Hall now, her mother taught her to read and write and she grew up reading books from the library and playing with Lord Greave's son, Samuel. She's a brave and tenacious heroine, determined to figure out what (or who) is haunting her...and why. While there are some ghostly occurrences here and there, this novel is more mystery than ghost story. And there are plenty of secrets buried within Greave Hall that give this story an added Gothic feel. I really enjoyed it. It's interesting, and not too scary, and it reads fast. I didn't even mind the first-person narration. What a great way to wrap up this year's R.I.P. challenge! I read four books in all. It's been a a lot of fun and I can't wait to do it again next year.
R.I.P. level completed: