The moment artist Riana Evans sees the dilapidated mansion in Wales she longs to buy it, despite its unhappy past – 20 years ago, five maids died there in mysterious circumstances. So she is delighted when the house’s elderly and eccentric owner sells it to her for a pittance. The house’s “ghosts” prove good for business – inspiring her paintings and providing welcome atmosphere for a series of successful ghost-spotting weekends. Her personal life begins to look up too, in the form of handsome American airman Tom Maybury. But the mystery of the girls’ deaths hangs over everything, and Riana soon discovers that the house holds a secret, and there’s someone – or something – which’ll do anything to make sure she never discovers it.
I love a good creepy read, listening to a creepy read is even better. House of Shadows certainly had elements of both. Yes, it was very predictable but the spooky factor was still there. It is one of those books that is not out and out blood and gore but has those subtle undertones of creepiness.
I loved the mysterious old woman whom Riana befriends. She was the highlight of the book for me. Her comings and goings, her desire to have her husband's name cleared of horrible charges all made her quite interesting. Riana was a little too over the top for my liking. She certainly had no problems speaking her mind. I love the ghost hunting weekends and the quirky people that showed up in the hopes of running into one.
The story was a bit complicated at times and didn't always flow smoothly, at least in my opinion. The narrator did a grand job of bring it to life. Not the best ghostly mystery that I have read but certainly one that is worth a listen.
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What did you love best about House of Shadows?
The setting and central character. Interesting balance between cozy and wariness.
Which scene was your favorite?
Conversations with the the old women in the blue room.
Any additional comments?
Iris Gower presents us with a novel that is part cozy, part romance, part historical and part good old ghost story. It is set in Wales just after the end of WW II and is based on an existing historic home. It is a light but enjoyable story. The characters are engaging and there are a number of mysteries. Not all loose ends are tied up but that took little away from the story and may have been because it was her last novel. I am not big on romances but I am tempted to check out more from this author as a relaxing guilty pleasure. Recommended for those who are not overly critical. Minor nit - the narration was fine but was light on good Welsh accents.