House of Ashes by Loretta Marion (Pre-pub, Nov 2018, Crooked Lane Books). Review copy courtesy of NetGalley.
Summary: Battersea Bluffs at Lavender Hill is a grand old Cape Cod house in the town of Whale Rock. The weather-beaten Victorian is home to Cassie Mitchell and quite possibly the ghosts of her ancestors, Percy and Celeste Mitchell. After her soon to be ex-husband spent her sizable inheritance, Cassie is struggling to find a way to keep The Bluffs out of foreclosure.
While she’s mulling over her insufficient options, an unexpected partial solution wanders onto her property. Ashley and Vince Jacobson and their dog, Whistler, are between jobs and low on funds. They offer to renovate Cassie’s carriage house into a guest cottage in exchange for lodging. The future rent from the cottage will help offset Cassie’s debts. She enthusiastically embraces their offer.
After the couple mysteriously disappears leaving only their dog and a puzzling piece of rope behind, the local police and the FBI try to track them down. Despite their wide resources, law enforcement can’t find any trace of Ashley and Vince Jacobson. Cassie, having grown quite fond of the couple, knows that it is up to her to solve the mystery of their disappearance.
Comments: This book summoned some happy memories for me. My family vacationed on Cape Cod each summer and my grandmother lived there for a few years. Usually we rented cottages barely bigger than my bedroom, but one year we rented a larger, two-story house that came with its own name: Ferncliff. My 12-year-old imagination went into overdrive as I explored the rooms. I was sure the house had to be haunted! Alas, the only odd thing I saw during my stay was a squirrel that struggled to get a golf ball up a tree, only to be very disappointed that it wasn’t a nut.
4 books out of 5.