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Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot.

Currently reading

The Illumination of Ursula Flight
Anna-Marie Crowhurst
Progress: 16%
Paris: The Novel
Edward Rutherfurd
Progress: 57%
Unnatural Creatures
Maria Dahvana Headley, Neil Gaiman
Progress: 40%
Ashes of London
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Progress: 10%
Don Quixote
Roberto González Echevarría, John Rutherford, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Progress: 64%


Thornyhold - Mary Stewart

by Mary Stewart


I can see why this is considered one of Mary Stewart's best among her Mystery books. In some ways it shows its age and screams 'pulp', yet it is written with the skill I've seen used in her Merlin series and once it gets going, holds attention and really made me want to know what was going on.


Geillis Ramsay is named after her mother's cousin, who has something of magic about her. It's a quality her mother had as well, until she married a clergyman. Much of Geillis' childhood is characterized by austerity, but when she inherits the house that belonged to her namesake, everything changes.


The house itself is a mystery. Between odd neighbors and strange locked doors, hidden secrets slowly unravel while Geillis discovers just what sort of witch her cousin was. Messages from the dead and animals who behave as if they know more than their new human mistress flavor a story with some interesting and very distinctive characters.


While older stories like this can feel dated, I enjoyed it enough to want to read a couple more of Stewart's better known Mysteries.