'Are you sure Dracula doesn't live here?' Melody asked as they approached Halcyon Castle. The pretty blond musician peered nervously out the window of Sidney's Buick, like a child watching a horror movie through her fingers.
I very much enjoyed this second book in Skye Alexander's Lizzie Crane series. The time period is again the 'Roaring '20's' and the protagonist, Lizzie, and her musical group, The Troubadours, have been hired to provide music and entertainment for the 50th birthday celebration of Duncan Fox, owner of Halcyon Castle. It's the end of October and friends and family of Duncan Fox have been invited to celebrate in a variety of ways, as many of them, including the host, are somehow connected with occult practices. There is an astrologer, a tarot card reader, and even a man who dresses like a wizard. Lizzie and her friends are surprised and a bit 'spooked' by the things they see. And on the first night, a woman dies and our mystery begins.
This book had a lot more Gothic feel to it, not only because of the time of the year, but also the setting, the descriptions of the characters, and also some of the 'spooky' activities that go on at this 'castle'. Remember, it's the '20's and Prohibition is in full swing, but it's also the time that drugs that had been used for various ailments were starting to be made illegal, like heroin. Lizzie is curious about a lot of the things that happen and she and her friends are once again in the midst of a crime that needs to be solved. I will say that Lizzie is the sleuth and the police, while part of the story, are not as 'on the scene' all the time. Lots of mentions of popular music and other things contemporary to the time. The author is a good researcher and she shares her finds with us. As I said, I enjoyed this one a lot and know that #3 in the series will be on the way later this year. Skye shared a guest post here on my blog last week. Hope you'll think about reading this series before long!
In October 1925, four New York City jazz musicians known as The Troubadours travel to the neo-Gothic Halcyon Castle near Gloucester, MA, home of occultist Duncan Fox, to perform a week-long series of entertainments. Halloween is Fox’s fiftieth birthday and he’s invited twelve family members and friends––including an astrologer, a tarot card reader, and a wizard––to celebrate with him.
The activities at Halcyon Castle, however, prove to be anything but what its name suggests. On the first night a Ouija board predicts the death of Fox’s longtime friend Natalie Talbot from a heroin overdose. Her husband insists she never used drugs and suspects foul play.
Lizzie Crane, The Troubadours’ beautiful and talented chanteuse, begins snooping into the unexplained death after local police place her and her colleagues under house arrest. She learns the deceased was a medium, who swindled many grieving people by pretending to communicate with their departed loved ones on the Other Side. Natalie Talbot also made enemies among some of the guests gathered at the castle. Soon the list of suspects grows to include the medium’s lover, her cuckolded husband, and several others with vendettas to settle.
Natalie’s death isn’t the only mystery at Halcyon. The castle also has eerie voices emanating from its walls, a resident ghost, peculiar blinking lights, and secret passageways. As Lizzie pursues her quest into the strange goings-on, she discovers a plot to reap vengeance––and risks her own life in the process.