Fiction · Mystery · Romance · Sadie J

An Inquiry Into Love and Death | by Simone St. James

An Inquiry Into Love and DeathAn Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St. James
(NAL Trade 2013, 368 pages)

Jillian Leigh is considered unorthodox in the 1920’s because she attends classes at Oxford instead of searching for a husband. But when she learns that her Uncle Toby died in a mysterious accident, her life gets ever more unorthodox. Jillian’s parents are too busy with their research so they send her off alone to collect his things from the small town of Rothewell where he was ghost hunting for Walking John. The longer that Jillian stays in Toby’s rented house, the more bizarre interactions she has with Walking John and the town people of Rothewell. Luckily she meets Drew Merriken who is from the Scotland Yard and he helps Jillian investigate her uncle’s death and the mystery of Walking John

There was a lot going on in this read but St. James blended everything very well together. There were seemingly three different story lines going on: solving the mystery of Uncle Toby’s death, trying to finish Uncle Toby’s work with Walking John, and of course the love story between Jillian and Drew. The combination between mystery and romance with a gothic twist kept this a fun, yet creepy, read. There were two things that really stood out to me. The first was the setting of the small town of Rothewell. The town was on the cliffs of England overlooking the ocean with surrounding forest and was beautifully described. The other thing that stood out was the ending which was smart, sweet and kept me thinking about it for days.

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