A mystery, a romance and the perfect blend of gothic spookiness, what’s not to love? Linda Martin arrives at the Chateaux Valmy high in the French Alps to care for young Comte Philippe, recently orphaned and in the care of his uncle Leon and step-aunt Heloise de Valmy. When Leon’s son Raoul arrives, Linda finds herself falling in love, although things are not as they appear and Philippe begins to have several life threatening accidents. Or are they accidents? Is there something more sinister involved? Could the person behind these attempts want to set Linda up as the scapegoat? What about her beloved Raoul? Could he have a part in this deadly scheme?
That’s about all I’m going to tell, you know I’m not into book reports or spoilers. Linda was a charming Jane Eyre-ish type of heroine, and I loved the dark mysterious Raoul (ooh, that midnight “buffet”). Stewart has a lovely, subtle style of story telling and keeps the plot moving without too much in-your-face telling instead of showing and very reminiscent of Du Maurier. I also loved how she worked the mists and clouds of the high mountains (as well as that hair raising zig-zag drive to the Chateaux) to set a properly spooky atmosphere,
“Out into a patch of clear darkness, and then another cloud was on us, but this time thin, so that our yellow-dimmed lights made rainbows in it that wisped away along our wings, and we were through.”
All in all a perfect book to cuddle up with for a rainy day, my only complaint is she took a tad bit too long to wrap all the lose ends up, so I’m knocking off one star. 4/5.