This is the second installment of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries, featuring Ella Bridges in a cosy mystery series with paranormal undertones.
The ghost residing in the secret dining room beyond the pantry was causing Ella some problems in that Mrs Shaw, the housekeeper-cum-cook, refused to enter the pantry. Ella’s temporary solution was to move the food stuff into the kitchen proper, but she was determined to try and solve the mystery of who the woman had been and how she died. Ella decided she needed to visit her friend, Harriet, a local historian, to see if she could research The Yellow Cottage and shed any light on who the mysterious spirit was. Harriet is the founder of the local library and that’s where Ella finds her. It seems Harriet had found a connection between the cottage and Arundel Hall, now owned by Harriet’s old friend, Sir Robert Harlow. Harriet discovered that Ella’s cottage was once The Dower House belonging to the Hall.
As Ella begins to unravel the mystery of her resident ghost she discovers solid links between the cottage and the Hall, as well as how the ghost woman died. Invited to the Hall for Robert’s engagement party to a much younger woman, the celebration comes to an abrupt end when the body of one of the guests is discovered.
Paying homage to the classic/murder mystery of the period, it reminded me a little of Miss Marple except that Ella is much younger and her input in the investigation is welcomed by Scotland Yard. The author has written a story which includes all the elements needed, and included a paranormal twist which, for me, gives it an added extra. The gathering of the characters for a social occasion, in this instance including the local doctor and a friend of the newly engaged Patty Mae, as well as Ella, Harriet and Sir Robert. Any of the assembled party, or even the butler, could be responsible for the murder. Or is it the curse of Arundel Hall?
Ella has two mysteries to solve and I enjoyed the processes of both. The plot is well crafted with believable characters, appropriate language and dialogue and descriptive prose. The atmosphere of the era is brought to life. There are plenty of twists, an ending I didn’t expect and a surprising discovery at the very end. A very entertaining read.
One ghost, one murder, one hundred years apart. But are they connected?
Ella has discovered a secret room in The Yellow Cottage, but with it comes a ghost. Who was she? And how did she die? Ella needs to find the answers before either of them can find peace. But suddenly things take a nasty turn for the worse.