I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
Combine a book-appraising heroine, a family mystery in the English countryside, ghosts and a little romance plus a dose of astronomy and you have me hooked! In Rachel Hore's A PLACE OF SECRETS, auction house appraiser Jude gets a phone call about an unusual collection of books on astronomy and assorted astronomical devices at an estate in the countryside that could be worth a quite deal. Taking a break from her London life and her lukewarm feelings for her boyfriend, Jude heads to the estate only to find that there may be a connection to her own family. Her grandmother grew up in the gameskeeper's cottage. As Jude sorts through the collection, she finds a series of journals and gets drawn into the story she finds there. The collection belongs to amateur astronomer Anthony Wickham who built a folly on his property in order to better observe the stars. Wickham enlisted his ward's help in his endeavor's and Esther's story proves as compelling as the collection itself. While drawn in by the mysteries surrounding Esther's story as well as the folly itself, Jude discovers that her niece is being haunted by the exact same nightmare that Jude herself had years ago. Is it all connected?
There is so much going on in this book that it is difficult to summarize in any way that makes sense. I love the idea of characters delving into books and archives and discovering long hidden secrets. The connection with astronomy was especially charming. You get a love story, a ghost story and a mystery all rolled into one. Kate Morton fans will really enjoy this one. It is a quick read that is hard to put down. I only wish it had been a little longer.
BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended. A terrific read in the tradition of Kate Morton. Take this book on vacation with you because you won't want to put it down!