Jordan Marsh has bought a fixer upper Victorian house in Port Chatham, WA. She’s left her life in LA behind and hopefully her problems. She wants nothing more to do than renovate her house and forget about her cheating husband and his murder. Unfortunately, she’s the police’s prime suspect and they aren’t letting it drop. Among her welcoming neighbors are Darcy, the chief of police and Hattie and Charlotte.
Darcy has been contacted by the officer in charge of Jordan’s husband’s case. She wants to meet Jordan and evaluate the situation herself. She ends up inviting Jordan to the local pub to listen to jazz and tries to get her to agree to go hiking. Jordan does agree to visit the pub where she enjoys the jazz and learns a friend is playing the next evening.
Hattie and Charlotte aren’t who they represented themselves to be. They originally told Jordan that they are docents for the historical society. In reality, they are ghosts. Hattie was murdered in 1890 and she wants Jordan to figure out who did it. Jordan thinks she’s seeing things as ghosts are not real. Eventually though she is drawn into the drama of what happened over 100 years ago and is driven to find out who Hattie’s killer is.
This book is wonderful. I got so wrapped up in it that I couldn’t put it down. Forget doing anything around the house or even going to sleep, I had to know who the murders were.
I don’t know which who done it is the best, Hattie’s or Jordan’s. Both are intriguing and both have several good suspects. Hattie’s is a bit more detailed and you feel as if you are in Port Chatham in the 1890s. All the attitudes and prejudices of that time are evident bringing the era to life. Jordan’s murder mystery is a bit more sedate. We know something is going on but the action isn’t as intense as with Hattie’s. Still, you want to know what happened and who is involved.
And don’t forget the love interests. They abound within the story and cross over temporal plans as well as time. Yes, Jordan has a guy interested in her. He’s one of her new neighbors and runs the local pub. Jordan finds out quickly though that even he has secrets that he doesn’t necessarily want shared. Hattie’s dairies along with the other dairies that Jordan uses to find her killer, shows that Hattie had more than one man interested in her and even 15 year old Charlotte had her own beau! Hattie and Charlotte aren’t the only ghosts that Jordan can see. There seems to be one watching her house. Could it be one of Hattie or Charlotte’s suitors or is it the killer?
As this story wove its way back and forth between times, I fell in love with Port Chatham. Its rich history was fun and intriguing. Its current life embraced that history giving it charm but it also was making its own identity away from the shipping industry that created it.
The back of the book says that this is the first book in a series. I am so glad. I can’t wait to see what Jordan investigates next. I want to see her house come alive. I even want to visit with all the ghosts and spend some more time at the local pub. This is a fantastic book to introduce readers to a new mystery series that can satisfy the mystery reader as well as the romance reader and those that like historicals!
RITA-nominated author P. J. Alderman weaves present-day supernatural sleuthery with nineteenth-century intrigue in the first book of an enchanting new mystery series set in picturesque Port Chatham, Washington.
Jordan Marsh left L.A. for the quaint Pacific Northwest town of Port Chatham in pursuit of some much-needed R & R. As the prime suspect in her cheating husband’s murder, she had been hoping to immerse herself in the restoration of the charming Victorian she’d just bought—and put all talk of homicide investigations behind her. But as she soon discovers, the coldest of cases cry out to be solved, too.
For this old house comes fully furnished—with two garrulous ghosts who have a century-old murder of their own they’d like her to look into. Now, if Jordan can keep the L.A. police at bay, and sort through a suspect list of shady characters circa 1890, she might just clear a wrongly accused man’s name—and her own.