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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Many thanks to Blackthorn Book Tours for a copy of this ARC. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
Ha, the fun I had reading this book by Isobel Blackthorn. I am a huge fan of Jessica Fletcher’s Murder She Wrote, and Clarissa Wilkinson’s adventures in The Ghost Of Villa Winter reminded me of her. Of course, Clarissa is pricklier and quirkier than Jessica Fletcher but her character is pure delight.
The Ghost of Villa Winter is book #4 in the Canary Island Mysteries. Clarissa is following up on her niece Claire’s advice to be out and about and as such decides to do a tour to Villa Winter which is rumored to be a Nazi hideaway. Surprised with a van instead of a touristy bus and a motley crew of passengers who cannot be any more mismatched and a troubling hip, Clarissa is predisposed to the ruination of her trip. Oopsie, things are just about to get worse.
Unexplained circumstances leave her and a down on the luck author Richard Parry spending the night in the Villa wherein the discovery of a body leads them to dangers unknown. Villa Winter is not a restful place at all as bunkers, an experimental kitchen, and even a suspicious attic give credence to the secret workings inside the villa. As suspicions are flung far and wide, Clarissa must rely on her wits to keep one step ahead of the killer and thereby save herself and Richard who gives new meaning to the word ‘misery’.
What works remarkably for this suspense story is the setting of the place. The island of Fuerteventura is vividly captured that the bus ride and the calima or dust storms bother the reader as much as the characters in the story. The mystery of the killer when revealed was thoroughly surprising, as the dusty island gives off a claustrophobic vibe. The thread of the story connecting another author called Trevor and Clarissa’s attempt to free him and the deaths in Villa Winter begins to untangle leading to an unexpected climax.
The paranormal elements of the story are kept to a minimum as Clarissa’s psychic abilities pick up certain things in the villa but there’s no haunting or anything of the sort. The banter between Clarissa and Richard or rather the superb set downs by Clarissa to the endless whining by Richard was simply hilarious.
Thoroughly engrossing and entertaining, mystery lovers are so gonna love, Clarissa, for her never-ending curiosity and never say die attitude. The Ghost of Villa Winter can be read as a standalone as I never felt like missing anything by beginning with book #4 in the series.
English psychic Clarissa Wilkinson is holidaying in the Canary Islands. Hoping to have an adventure, she boards a tour bus bound for Villa Winter, a secret Nazi base on the idyllic island of Fuerteventura. Instead, she discovers a body in a chest and finds herself teamed up with hapless crime writer Richard Parry. What unfolds is an edge of seat mystery brimming with intrigue, as they try to unravel the clues together, and find the killer. Setting rich with a colorful cast of characters, The Ghost of Villa Winter is a delightfully gripping read with plenty of twists and turns that will appeal to all good mystery lovers.
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