An Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St. James
I will admit that I hit a bit of a rough patch in my Simone St. James binge with the last book I read by her…if you can count a still stellar 4 star read with massive fangirling included. Can you really, though? Anyway, I knew I had to complete my St. James binge and fill the void for good, and An Inquiry into Love and Death was the perfect way to end it!
Once upon a time…
After her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall off a cliff, Oxford student Jillian Leigh must drive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings. Almost immediately, unsettling incidents – a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own – escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house and is haunting the woods around Blood Moon Bay. If Toby discovered something sinister during his investigations, was his death no accident?
The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken leaves Jillian with more questions than answers – and with the added complication of a powerful mutual attraction. She suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth and begins to discover secrets that lie deep within Rothewell… and at the very heart of who she is. (via Goodreads)
If you’re a follower of my blog, you know I have a major author crush on Simone St. James. I love all the elements she includes in her stories – the romance, the intrigue, the 1920s era, the English countryside but also the grittiness of the city, the ghostie goodness. I love it all. All ghost stories should follow the formula that St. James sets up because it has the right amount of everything in it, and I will forever have major heart eyes over her work. An Inquiry into Love and Death was no exception.
I have to say that this was her scariest book yet. In the other books, I didn’t really feel freaked out by anything – maybe a chill here or there with the exception of The Haunting of Maddy Clare gave me a few more chills – but this book had me freaked out a few times. When the first major ghostie occurrence came, not only was I enraptured, I was scared. It didn’t help that I was reading it on the cliche dark and stormy night, but after reading a few pages of that intense passage, I made sure to quickly race to my room and hide under the blankets like the adult that I am. 😄
I also loved the setting of this story. It was back to her haunted house setting, which I always loved and perhaps the reason I wasn’t as fond as Silence for the Dead which was in the hospital setting. It wasn’t just the haunted house I enjoyed but also the small town atmosphere. It was cozy, suffocating, and it just made such a cool addition to the story. I loved the inclusion of it and all the cast of characters that came with it. Each of them played a cool part in the story, and they were each unique and distinct.
The romance was also swoony as well – as usual I should really say. Drew and Jillian were great together, and Drew was just that broody, complicated detective that just so fits a good mystery.
Some of the plot twists also got me. I’m usually pretty good at picking up on mystery novel plot twists, but there whole connection to this other character (not named for spoilers) had me thrown, and while I did see the big reveal coming, I was still shocked by some of the things that went with it. St. James got me a few times, and I had to call into question my book detective skills…do they revoke book Private Eye licenses when I fail like this? :O
St. James did it again this novel. I enjoyed it so much, but I will admit that it didn’t quite live up to the Top 3 for me: The Haunting of Maddy Clare, Lost Among the Living, and The Other Side of Midnight. It was still such an enjoyable, mysterious read, and it had me hooked the entire time. I will forever be recommending St. James’s work, and I can’t wait for her novella that comes out later this year (I think she just told me this so I would stop harassing her on Twitter with my uber fangirling XD). A Tiana rating, and five crowns for this final ghostie book!
Check it out:
What do you think? How do you feel when you finish an author binge? How do you deal with the waiting? Does anyone have any good ghost stories to recommend? I have a new ghostie void! :O