Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey
In all fairness, I would give this one a 3.5 if I could. I love Downton Abbey so when I noticed the byline, "If you love Downton Abbey..." Well, with a start like that, this was obviously written for me! Initially I flew through the pages, drawn in by ghost stories and mysterious burglars. Alas, the honeymoon only lasted about halfway through. Catherine Bailey does an outstanding job of setting the scene. Through extensive research and notable authorial talent Bailey tells a story that could almost be fiction. It is no fault of the author's that I lost interest. Truthfully, the mysteries in the story weren't as mysterious as I hoped they would be. Each revelation is built up with a good and proper amount of suspense and then...you find out what's behind it and it's a bit of a let down. In the beginning there are a few ghost stories, tales passed down through the housekeeping staff, that I hoped to hear more of. No such luck. There's also a gripping section about a burglar trespassing in the secret rooms but sadly, there's very little more to that story either. Despite that, I would have ended the tale with a higher opinion if the middle didn't slow the pace so dramatically. It gets lengthy and repetitive through that bit. The family's struggle over John's participation in WWI requires the imparting of a number of duplicitous maneuverings that are very similar in nature and so have the effect of the same song on repeat.
You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16046229-the-secret-rooms?from_search=true.