Wednesday, August 7, 2013

'Heiress to Crag Castle' by Minerva Rossetti

Published:  1973
Setting:  England, Modern Day


Helen Craig hasn’t seen Crag Castle since her early childhood, in fact, she doesn’t remember the castle or her relatives at all.  When her father died twenty some years prior, her mother cut all contact between Helen and her father’s family.  The reason behind this mystery and the gap in communication was never quite explained.  However, upon the death of her mother, Helen receives an invitation to meet a frail and dying aunt at Crag Castle.  Aside from almost being run off the road by a relative of the castle, her homecoming was rather uneventful.  Yet, upon the second day of her arrival, Helen is informed that she is to be the new heiress to Crag Castle as soon as possible and her aunt wished to relinquish all responsibility of the estate to Helen.

Then there is talk of an evil devil dwarf who roams the castle heard but always unseen.  In fact, his laughter echoes into the tower where Helen resides in her wing of the castle.  Her relatives, the hired help, and her aunt’s lawyer seem eager to over-indulge her in the old family secrets, the legends that no woman heiress of the castle shall ever marry, lest she be haunted by the devil dwarf.  But after Helen is visited by this dwarf one night and death roams the halls of the castle, claiming a victim, Helen is hell-bent on proving the dwarf is merely an imposter in costume.

Sadly, this is where the novel goes downhill.  A great portion of the novel depicts Helen roaming the secret passages, first alone, and then with her love interest (Kirk).  The culprits are quite obvious as well, so one really isn’t left with much of a mystery at all.  The romance never really blooms, only on the very last page when we are informed that ‘months later’ the couple are engaged to be married. 

I was disappointed with this read.  I guess if you’re bored on a rainy night, it would be a quick light read to cuddle up with, however, I can think of much better books on my ‘to-be-read’ shelf than this one!

Rating:  2.5 Stars

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