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An Inquiry into Love and Death

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In 1920s England, a young woman searches for the truth behind her uncle’s mysterious death in a town haunted by a restless ghost.

Oxford student Jillian Leigh works day and night to keep up with her studies—so to leave at the beginning of the term is next to impossible. But after her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall off a cliff, she must drive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings.

Almost immediately, unsettling incidents—a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own—escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house. Is it Walking John, the two-hundred-year-old ghost who haunts Blood Moon Bay? And who besides the ghost is roaming the local woods at night? If Toby uncovered something sinister, was his death no accident?

The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken, a former RAF pilot with mysteries of his own, leaves Jillian with more questions than answers—and with the added complication of a powerful, mutual attraction. Even as she suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth, she begins to discover spine-chilling secrets that lie deep within Rothewell … and at the very heart of who she is.

Editorial Reviews

“This is a perfectly balanced combination of mystery, romance, ghost story, and history…Conveys the lasting psychological and practical consequences of war movingly.”

RT Book Reviews (Top Pick, 4½ stars)

“Chilling…St. James delivers a quickly paced read that will satisfy both new and old fans.”

Publishers Weekly

“Narrator Rosalyn Landor’s signature style provides the perfect blend of mystery, romance, and the supernatural. Jillian Leigh’s uncle, a specialist in ghostly phenomena, is dead. The Oxford student gets much more than she bargained for, including romance, when she travels to the village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings. Landor delivers Jillian’s words in a calm, straightforward manner, complete with the proper accent of a 1920s Oxford student…As the mystery involving ghosts and smugglers is unraveled, Landor’s reading keeps the pace even and the listener guessing.”

AudioFile

“I thoroughly enjoyed it!…Simone clearly relishes and is steeped in the traditions of gothic fiction—in the best way. She conjures that secretive, hushed atmosphere perfectly, and the story kept me turning pages from beginning to end. At once an intriguing mystery and an eerie ghost story, it had more than enough spine-tingling moments to keep me gripped.”

Katherine Webb, author of The Unseen

“Simone St. James skillfully employs all the gothic elements of traditional ghost stories as she weaves her tale, increasing suspense page by page. Narrator Rosalyn Landor helps the listener picture each character in this well done, fully-voiced reading. She is especially clever in presenting the male voices, making each one distinctly different in tone, shading, and personality. Listeners will totally enjoy sorting out the interconnections between ghost story, Scotland Yard investigation, murder mystery, and love story, all set in the quiet, picturesque fishing village of Rothewell.”

SoundCommentary.com

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    • 4/5

    This needs to be a series!

    MissSusie April 4, 2013
    This book has it all ghosts, family secrets, treason, murder and romance. I really enjoy the way Simone St. James writes she has the perfect blend of stories going on in this one.

    Jillian’s Uncle Toby, a ghost hunter, has died in a small seaside town and she must go identify his body and gather his things but as soon as she arrives she knows there are ghosts here and something isn’t right. I enjoyed the mix of ghost story and mystery , there is a lot going on in this town and Jillian has found herself smack in the middle of it. Between ghosts, a sexy Scotland Yard detective and some very odd goings on; Jillian is up to her ears in trouble of so many kinds, but Jillian is way ahead of her time she is a strong woman used to taking care of herself; I thought Jillian was a great character she is spunky and tough and knows how to stand on her own two feet. I think she should take over Toby’s ghost hunting business so we could have more books with her! It had just the right amount of romance, it didn’t take over the story. I also really liked the mystery I did not figure that one out which was refreshing.

    As always Rosalyn Landor’s narration is spot on, I just love her voice, she is great at differentiating between voices and her male voices are excellent. If Jillian makes a return appearance I hope Rosalyn Landor is available to narrate them.

    I liked this one more than I did her last book which was good but this one had a meatier story but I would recommend both books and look forward to more by this author. I think if you are a fan of Kate Morton or Susanna Kearsley, give this one a try!

    4 Stars

    Received from the Audiobookjukebox and Blackstone for a fair and honest review
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Author Biography

Simone St. James is the author of Silence for the Dead, An Inquiry into Love and Death, and The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada.

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Reader Biography

Rosalyn Landor has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.

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