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Follow the Author
Through a Darkening Glass: A Novel Paperback – Jan. 1 2023
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A mesmerizing World War II mystery about a Londoner who flees the city to write a novel and finds a truth stranger than fiction.
England, 1940. Literature student Ruth Gladstone evacuates Cambridge University for Martynsborough, a tiny English village with a shadowy history. For Ruth, retreating to a forgotten corner of the country is more than a safety maneuver; it’s an opportunity to end an undesirable engagement and begin writing her first novel.
But upon her arrival, Ruth learns of a ghostly wraith haunting the villagers after decades of silence. Although Ruth is enthralled by the legend, the locals are less charmed by the wraith’s return. They blame the evacuees―and among them, Ruth―for stirring up restless spirits.
Undeterred, Ruth joins forces with Malcolm, an injured soldier, to unravel the mystery of the wraith. As Ruth and Malcolm draw closer to the truth, they’ll unearth long-buried secrets that could threaten them both…even as they craft a forbidden love story of their own.
From the Publisher
“This intriguing historical with mystery, romance, and gothic overtones will keep readers thoroughly engaged while putting a surprising spin on the English village story.” ―Booklist
About the Author
Having earned an arts degree from York University many moons ago, R. S. Maxwell continues to read and study voraciously across multiple subjects that include cookery, gardening, English literature, music, art, and art history. Maxwell, who resides in Toronto, can typically be found working on another novel.
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (Jan. 1 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1662501064
- ISBN-13 : 978-1662501067
- Item weight : 318 g
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #517,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #3,278 in Ghost Mysteries
- #5,128 in Amateur Sleuths
- #36,178 in Literary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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I’m glad I took a chance on this WW2 historical fiction book because it was a unique blend of history, mystery and ghost hunting! It opens with an evacuation at Cambridge University due to unexploded ordnance and continues with Ruth’s retreat to the countryside in order to finish writing her book and provide a clean break. As more evacuees settle in fictitious Martynsborough, locals fear they have angered the ‘restless spirits’ but, for Ruth, it offers a distraction and she enlists the help of her neighbour to help investigate. She gets more than she bargained for!
So often with wartime historical fiction, the focus is on the battlefield or forces fighting against occupation. It was nice to have a homefront focus for a change. That being said, I didn’t feel the tension or suspense that I was expecting with a mystery. I would have eagerly traded the forbidden romance subplot for a nail-biting ghost appearance. Regardless, it was a well-paced, well-written cozy mystery highlighting buried secrets and offering a unique wartime fiction premise.
Congratulations on a terrific cover! This beautiful Atlas moth captured my attention and I had to know how it related to the title and the story… if you look closely, the peacock makes an appearance!
I was gifted this advance copy by Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
Top reviews from other countries
Women flit about in white dresses, apparitions flit about in white dresses, old ladies have secrets. Maybe the ‘obvious’ doesnt happen but I decided I couldn’t be bothered to read any further to find out if I was wrong.
"A plate'll be 4p" says the landlady...4p? Decimalisation didn't come in until well after 1969. 4d is the amount she would have asked for. Yes, it's pronounced four pence, but written 4d. A bit of research would've done wonders. It's a good job the book was free because it irritated me so much, I couldn't finish it. Oh, and it's highly unlikely you'd hear lots of crickets, especially that far north. Do. Your. Research.
The author has clearly taken pains both to research the background to the story and fit in a good smattering of historical happenings. Even so, occasionally the conversational English sounds forced and false as well as colloquialisms which falter towards Americanisms. For example the use of 'purse' instead of handbag and, worst of all, the repeated reference to hair 'bangs' instead of 'fringe'. These really should have been edited correctly.
Get past these mild annoyances, however, and the story has charm, deals with peoples lives in a small village remote from the war, though they are still affected by it, and gives a good idea of what life was like under wartime and contemporary social restrictions during this period. I enjoyed it but felt that, under the control of a good editor, it could have been so much better.