Wednesday, August 7, 2013

'The Secret of Castle Ferrara' by Caroline Farr

Published:  1970
Setting:  Spain, Modern Day


Amanda comes to Castle Ferrara as a novelist whose novel is being adapted onto the silver screen.  Arriving several days before the rest of the movie cast, Amanda is pressed for time to complete the manuscript that will transform her story into a movie.  From the beginning, she is in search of a secret passage to assist in the relevancy of parts of the story in her novel.  The first night there, she has the good fortune to work alongside the handsome Don Juan of the castle, as well as receive a rare map that foretells of a secret passage right inside her room!

With rotating leopard heads, underground passages, abandoned mills, movie stars, war criminals, and a story tracing back for decades, this book will most definitely have you guessing the culprit…and, most likely, the point at all.

Although the mystery of the book kept me turning the pages, I felt that the underlying story (mystery) was not well developed.  A huge portion of the book is wasted on the main characters traveling in an underground passage, wondering over and over again where they are going.  Way too much time and writing is allotted to this, rather than the romance, the mystery, the primary ‘meat’ to the story.

The story was quite flat until the last 30 pages or so, when we finally get a glimpse into what’s going on, by then I was bored already and merely kept reading just to finish the book and move on to the next.

This definitely was not one of the authors’ stronger works.

Rating:  3 Stars

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