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Publisher's Summary

In the time it takes for a villain to breathe his last, Anne and her mother, Dauphine, suddenly inherit Belrose Abbey -- a gothic castle set on a monstrous estate, complete with devious servants, mysterious forests, and the darkest of secrets. The more they settle into their new home, the more unsettling the house becomes. What do all the unmarked graves mean? Where are all the people who had arrived on the estate but then vanished? And could there really be an abandoned insane asylum on the property? Although Anne and Dauphine are determined to purge all the horrors from Belrose Abbey, this new mystery could very well be their undoing.

©2017 Anita Higman (P)2017 Anita Higman

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The bloodstone vial

Any additional comments?

This book kept me on the edge of my seat. It was suspenseful and kept me guessing what would happen next.I received a review copy for my review

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing and addictive

We left Wyatt, Anna, and and her mother Dauphine in charge of the Abbey at the end of book 1. This one just continues the story where we left it, and we witness the attempts of the two women to manage the Abbey and its surroundings. But things will get messy again. Dauphine finds the blueprints of a building that should belong to the Abbey, and she realizes that there are some missing files from what used to be Ivan’s office. The fact that the staff at the Abbey is not helping and some are even bold face lying, just adds to Dauphine’s suspicions. Who can they trust?

After finishing the previous book just two days ago, I had to start with this one almost immediately. I have a soft spot for well written cozy mysteries, and I can’t resist to Michelle Babb.

On this occasion we are up against a clear cozy mystery. There were some elements in the previous book that led me to think that there could be something paranormal, but there is nothing of the kind in this book, and some of the strange phenomena from book 1 are explained.

Our characters need to find out the truth about this supposed building belonging to the Abbey, but nothing and no one can be trusted. The authors did a wonderful job building up the suspense and describing the scenes and hard events the characters met. I am not usually scared when reading horror books, but I listened to this one with bated breath. The scenes seemed so real that I felt that I was with Anne and Dauphine, and I could not stop listening.

There are no loose ends and the story arc is complete. Nevertheless there is plenty of room for the authors to create more stories around these characters and place. I do hope they will delight us with more books.

This is a great book, but Michelle Bab’s narration made it excellent. I find impossible not to enjoy a book narrated by Michelle. She focuses on great character interpretation, making them sound natural; and her narration traps you in a way that you can’t stop listening. When I listen to a book narrated by Babb I have the feeling that somebody is telling me a story, not just reading it. And the characters are brought to life and they talk like real people.

I really enjoyed this series so far. The stories are intriguing, the characters are believable, and their length (this one just over four hours) provides almost instant gratification. I hope there will be more books in this series.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Book!!

I really enjoyed listening to this book! This book is a standalone listen, yet a continuation of the story of Ann and her mother Daphne. This mystery has lots of unexpected twists and a small amount of romance. I think that the narrator added so much to the story with her performance. She was able to add to the suspense with this engaging story. My review is not a synopsis of the book, but rather my opinion of it. I was provided with this review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily written this review. I leave the synopsis up to the professionals as they are much more eloquent in their reviews. This is a clean listen and does not end in a cliffhanger. The story was well plotted.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Suitably Creepy

Any additional comments?

I found the Bloodstone Vial: The Belrose Mystery Series Book 2 by Anita Higman and Hilary McMullen to be a bit of a letdown. While it is an easy listen and diverting, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the first book of the series, The Ruby Locket. As with its predecessor, The Bloodstone Vial has an appropriately creepy atmosphere and is filled with people who may or may not be what they appear. My issues are that it doesn’t seem as cohesive. There are several different plot lines that eventually converge but it takes awhile and I felt my interest wane a bit. Of the main characters, I am particularly fond of Anne, who has spunk, and I was glad to see her friendship with Wyatt continue to grow. Dauphine comes across as a bit too tentative for my tastes. 

Michelle Babb did a fine job with the narration. I especially like her voicing of Anne, giving her just the right amount of snark.

Though the book is a very short listen—a bit over four hours, I did enjoy it and would read other books in the series. Two and a half stars.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated. The opinions are solely my own.

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Great read

Any additional comments?

The Bloodstone Vial by Anita Higman and Hillary Mcmullen was a good read. Anne and her mother Dauphine inherit Belrose Abbey after the man she was supposed to marry died. But unfortunately they also inherited the horrors of the place. I loved this book and it has been a great series so far.

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a bit confusing at first but ended really great!!

Would you listen to The Bloodstone Vial again? Why?

I think i would if there was a next book i was going to listen to. I would listen to all of them before the new one just to get a feel of the setting again. it was hard to jump back into the strange after only a short time between the first book and the second. but well worth it

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bloodstone Vial?

I would have to say the most memorable moment is the bridge. That part kinda freaked me out since i am always scared of it happening to me on a bridge

Which scene was your favorite?

The Bridge!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, i wanted to know what else was going to happen. This series i have discovered is one that anything can and might happen

Any additional comments?

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A cozy gothic mystery!

When I finished book 1 I was unsure how the story could continue from there. But boy was I surprised by book 2. It delivered JUST as much as book 1, if not more. I love the gothic charm, the ghoulish untrustworthy characters lurking around the mansion, and how it's done in a way which still feels so much like a cozy mystery. There is nothing too scary about it, but it still gives you a spooky feel.

What sets this series apart is that each chapter is told from a different perspective. You hear a chapter narrated from the mothers perspective & the next chapter it's from the daughters perspective. This keeps it fresh & it's a touch which I really loved. There are some new characters in the mix too, and you never really know who can be trusted, and who has a secret to hide. Michelle Babb brings each character to life with unique voices & a lot of emotion. I was gifted this book and gave my honest review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Who was that face in the window?

The Bloodstone Vial by Anita Higman is second in the Belrose Abbey Mystery Series. The book is an intriguing young adult mystery. Anne and her mother Dauphine are now own Belrose Abbey and more secrets are unveiled. Why is the estate manager so cagey? What is the mysterious blueprint? People have disappeared in the past? Why? Lots of twists and turns to the plot that keep the reader's interest. I'm hoping there is a next book in the series. Michelle Babb does her usual fantastic job of narration, bringing the story and the characters to life and making the listening experience pleasurable.
I received a complimentary copy of the book and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A Creepy Castle, A Mystery, and Friendship

Have you listened to any of Michelle Babb’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, She is a natural Storyteller, this book is great as her other books.

Any additional comments?

The Bloodstone Viral: Book 2 of A Belrose Abbey Mystery Series by by Anita Higman and Hillary McMullen and Narrated by Michelle Babb. This book is great as a stand alone book but for better understanding of character development first read A Ruby Locket.

After taking ownership of Belrose Abbey Anne and her mother Dauphine have their work cut out for them. The castle is in need of repairs and cleaning and not only physically but also it’s reputation and dark history. Determined to make to settle in and make their new home feel more welcoming they offer the staff that has stayed with them extra income to help out with the cleaning and repairs and to help them find out information about certain aspects of the estate. Can Anne and her mom with the the help of Wyatt (Anne’s friend) solve the dark mysteries of Belrose Abbey?

I really enjoyed this book. The storyline and characters have continued to develop since book 1: A Ruby Locket. A Ruby Locket was an enjoyable story but you can tell with The Bloodstone Vial the authors have had more time with their characters. The characters are stronger in this book especially Dauphine, she is no longer going to fall for everything a guy tells her even when she wants to. She has developed a healthy dose of skepticism. Anne and Wyatt are quickly becoming closer, Anne is another character that has showed growth since the first book, she is showing she can let down her walls a little and trust someone else. I enjoyed both books but I’d have to say I enjoyed The Bloodstone Vial slightly more (being a mystery buff at heart) they mystery aspect of this book was a little more developed and a little bit harder to figure out.

I listened to this audiobook version of this book, Michelle Babb returned as the narrator of book 2. Mrs. Babb did another wonderful job bring the characters and the story to life. She has fantastic tone of voice, timing, accents, and a natural storytelling ability. When you listen to Mrs. Babb she will bring you into the story, you feel like you are actually there experiences the book along with Anne and Dauphine.

I would recommend this book for any Young Adult, Mystery, or Romance Readers. This book has great pace, clean (no bad language, graphic language or sex), strong characters, and great plot development.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Atmospheric and engaging

Anne and her mother, Dauphine, have gone quite suddenly from barely getting by to the new owners of Belrose Abbey and its late owner's fortune. The catch is, they have to live at Belrose Abbey...

One might think that with Ivan Helsberg safely dead, all would be well at Belrose Abbey now, but it seems there are still secrets to be uncovered. It's not just that the staff are still for the most part the staff that served Ivan; there's mounting evidence that there's someone, or something, living on the estate that they don't know about.

When Anne and Ivan's stepson Wyatt see a strange-looking person wandering the estate, and Dauphine finds blueprints that claim to be the plans for an insane asylum to be built on the estate, they start to get really alarmed.

It's all nicely atmospheric, with characters who are seemingly simple turning out to be interestingly complex.

Recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook and am reviewing it voluntarily.