Harry Starke loves a cold case, but this one is really cold - more than a hundred years cold.
Family Matters is a whimsical tale, a flight of fancy. It takes place on the lonely coast of Maine, where Amanda, a true believer in the paranormal, has inherited - you guessed it - a haunted house. Or at least that's what the rumors say.
It all begins when Amanda inherits the house, substantial assets, and a large sum of money from her grandmother. The windfall comes with a request to look into the disappearance of Elizabeth, Amanda's great-great-grandmother, more than a hundred years ago.
Harry, a skeptic, a down-to-earth investigator who believes only in the facts, has a tough time dealing with Amanda's...fantasies? We all know that the imagination can play tricks on a susceptible mind, especially when that mind is under stress. But is it just their imaginations? Could it be something more?
You'll have to be the judge.
©2016 Blair Howard (P)2016 Blair Howard
I review books, mostly audiobooks, mostly mystery. That's about it!
Despite being the 6th Harry Starke book this one is a standalone read and is completely different to preceding books.
Harry and Amanda are in Maine, her grandmother has died, leaving her worldly goods to Amanda, her inheritance includes a large house, money and a mysterious small wooden box. Grandmother also requested that Amanda takes a fresh look at the unexplained disappearance of Elizabeth, her great-great-great grandmother.
Harry and Amanda discover that the house had been turned in to an hotel run by a manager, his wife and a handyman. Deciding to pay a visit, they travel to the remote and lonely part of Maine where they are the only guests at the spooky hotel.
Strange things happen in the middle of the night and Amanda is convinced that the rumours are true, the house is haunted! the more prosaic Harry dismisses it all as being nothing but hoo-ha. Amanda wants him to investigate the ghostly deeds and to also investigate the case of missing Elizabeth. Harry eventually agrees if only to placate her, Amanda gets an inheritance and Harry gets a cold, cold case.
I loved the setting, the spooky hotel in a wild and lonely area; the disturbing portrait of Elizabeth that was so much more than just a portrait; the strange hotel manager and that dark, dark cellar. I loved the mysterious box too!
As I listened to the beginning of the story I began to think I was in the wrong book, it is so different to any other "Harry", but it is a beginning that will suck you right in to the story, the mysteries, the ghosts, the funny parts and the ..... well, you will just have to listen to or read the great ending for yourself.
Another wonderful read from Tom Lennon, he certainly has the knack of getting the listener so involved in the story that you can barely drag yourself away. He does a pretty good "exasperated" tone when he can't convince Amanda that ghosts do not exist, and then his response when Amanda plays a little trick on him in the cellar, well that part is a real "serves you right" moment that Tom plays to perfection.
Audiobook provided by the narrator, author or producer in return for an unbiased review
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