Go to Homepage   Lillian Stewart Carl: Shadows in Scarlet

 

Crescent Blues Book Views Wildside Press (Hardcover), ISBN 1587153750
Lillian Stewart Carl once again presents readers with a most enjoyable and most haunting (pun intended) mystery. Corseted, crinolined and slinging 18th century lingo, graduate student Amanda Witham pays the bills by interning at Virginia's historic Melrose Hall as a character interpreter during the day and the Hall's caretaker by night. Then the archaeological team Book: Lillian stewart carl, shadows in scarletworking behind the mansion finds a skeleton. Old bones around historical sites are nothing new, but this body turns out to be Captain James Grant, a British soldier connected with the legends of Melrose Hall. But Captain Grant, rumored to have been in love with Sally Armstrong, daughter of the wealthy merchant who owned the house back in the 1770s, was supposed to have died at Greensprings Farm, in battle. So why was Grant's body buried in Melrose's backyard?

That night James Grant's ghost appears to Amanda. And, oh mama, what a ghost he proves to be. Tall, handsome and quite charming, James brings history home to Amanda in ways she never dreamt of. However, charming or not, Amanda finds her involvement with James puts her in very difficult situations indeed. How does she explain her sudden insights and knowledge or the very odd accidents that suddenly start occurring to her co-workers?

Yet, James is so studly…er, compelling. Amanda impulsively promises James that she'll reveal the truth of his death and, just as impulsively, hops a plane from Colonial Williamsburg to the Grant ancestral castle in Scotland. Amanda commits herself to uncovering James' murderer. But truth can be a tricky thing, Book: Lillian Stewart Carl, Shadow Dancersand Amanda finds that what rings true to a ghost doesn't necessarily fly with those still living.

Carl manages to pull off a tricorn hat trick by combing a mystery, ghost story and engaging romance into a coherent and completely engrossing whole. From the living Amanda to the very-much-dead-but-still-kicking James, Carl's characters bring Shadows in Scarlet to delightful life. If you like ghosts, mysterious happenings and a satisfying romance to round the whole thing out, then you'll love Shadows in Scarlet. Carl even managed to surprise me with her ending. That doesn't happen often. Brava, Lillian!

Teri Smith

Click here to read Teri Smith's interview with Lillian Stewart Carl.

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