Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Secret of Stonehouse

Title: The Secret of Stonehouse

Series: None

Year: 1968

Author: Lynn Hall

Summary: Heather had never known a horse like Cloudy, the silver gray mare. It was wonderful to race through the beautiful Wisconsin countryside on Cloudy's back - and to be friends with Gus Ohlander, Cloudy's young owner.

But there were dark questions in Heather's life, questions she could not answer: Why had her father abandoned her so many years ago? Why had her uncle Donald, who had raised her so tenderly, become mysterious and secretive? And what was the murky secret of the deserted mansion called Stonehouse?

As Heather became more fascinated with Stonehouse, she encountered a series of near-tragic accidents. But no "accident" could explain what happened one midnight, when someone tried to kill her... (from the back cover)

Main Characters:
~ Heather McKenna
~ Donald KcKenna
~ Gus Ohlander

Review: I picked up this book thinking it was going to be another dull, horse-related mystery. Yet, while the horse does play a big part in the tale, the mystery doesn't revolve around the animal. Truthfully, I'm not a huge fan of horse novels as they tend to be cliche; my only real enjoyment in that genre is Black Beauty, and that's saying a lot for me. However, The Secret of Stonehouse had a different feel to it, and I appreciated that. As a short mystery novel at only 151 pages, it's a nice read to pick up on a lazy afternoon.

Heather is Scottish, and I loved the way the author wove Scottish lingo into the story. It didn't feel overdone, as though Lynn Hall were trying to press the fact that Heather was Scottish, but rather flowed very nicely. The mystery was well thought-out, and the pace kept my interest in the story. I did think Lynn Hall took a bit of time getting around to the actual mystery, but as I read further, I discovered the mystery had been introduced from page one and I didn't pick up on it - a plus, in my opinion. How many authors can make *the* mystery *a* mystery? 

Advisory: As Heather uncovers secrets of Stonehouse, someone threatens her life several times, but it's just the normal suspense and action of a mystery novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Click here to buy The Secret of Stonehouse on Amazon!

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