Friday, January 10, 2014

'Ghost of Dragoncroft' by Jonni Rich

Published:  2011
Setting:  Historical

Unsatisfied with her meager life and with not much family to speak of, Vanessa Threadbolt answers an ad for a governess position at Dragoncroft Castle.

As she awaits her interview, she's befriended by another village girl who informs her of the local rumors that the rambling castle is haunted. And as if that weren't enough to send a timid girl scattering, there are also rumors that Lord Easterly also murdered his first wife.

Feeling as if she has no choice in the matter, and also finding Lord Easterly mysterious and attractive, she takes the job.  At first Vanessa enjoys the work and gets along wonderfully with her young charge.  But when she discovers a tiny island, the place where Lord Easterly's wife is said to have died tragically in an accident, she can't help but keep visiting this tiny paradise, even if it means endangering her own life.

But the island isn't the only thing Vanessa should be weary of, for the halls of the castle, themselves, are harboring a dark, deadly secret.  Are there ghosts, or is Vanessa merely caving under the weight of all the rumors?  And when a monster begins to roam the halls, will anyone be left alive at all?

This little novella was quite a treat.  I read it in one sitting as it kept my interest peaked.  I loved the descriptions of the castle and felt I got to know the main character, Vanessa, very well and could empathize with her.  This book is reminiscent of the vintage gothic and I sure hope to see more writing by Jonni Rich!

Rating:  4.5 Stars

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