A House of Her Own by Patricia Dusenbury

A House of Her Own by Patricia Dusenbury
Publisher: Uncial Press
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (264 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

That house in that neighborhood for that price? Claire Marshall thought she’d hit the jackpot. Her company would restore the old house to its previous glory and sell it at a huge profit. She hadn’t counted on the runaway girl hiding in the upstairs bedroom, the brutal gang chasing her, or the angry ghost who may or may not be keeping the gang at bay.

The neighbors are delighted that someone is fixing up the neighborhood eyesore and happy to share what they know about the ghost. Her name is Dorcas, and she died after falling down the stairs. How she happened to fall is a mystery. The little girl whose memory holds the key is now middle-aged, her mind irreparably damaged by a lobotomy.

Claire’s business partner wants to write off their investment and walk away, her workers don’t want to go inside, but Claire doesn’t believe in ghosts or in giving up without a fight.

Another, bigger battle she faces involves her heart. Dare she trust the man she loves? Tony is back on the Grand Prix circuit, driving in a racing season marred by fatal accidents, and, according the media, finding comfort in the arms of another woman.

Just when Claire thinks that things can’t get worse, they do.

Every old house has secrets, but most of them aren’t quite as sad as the ones lurking in Claire’s new investment property.

The pacing was incredibly well done. While this is a full-length piece, at times it reminded me of a short story because of how concisely it was written. The author chose her words carefully. Every single scene flowed seamlessly into the next one. This made it possible for her to pack an incredible amount of storytelling into two hundred and sixty four pages. I was in awe of just how many different subplots Ms. Dusenbury was able to weave together!

The only thing I would have liked to see added to this tale would have been a little more character development. Ms. Dusenbury did an excellent job of showing me who Claire was as a person. The most important supporting characters would have flourished if they’d been given more chances to display their personalities when the plot allowed for it, although this is a very minor criticism of an otherwise wonderful mystery.

Yes, I figured out what probably happened to Dorcas fairly early on. This wasn’t an issue for me, though, because there were so many other things going on with the characters simultaneously. There’s also a difference between knowing how something happened and seeing how the events of one day can ripple through the lives of so many different people. I really enjoyed watching the rest of the plot unfold regardless of how quickly I guessed what the ending might be.

This can be read as a standalone novel. I haven’t read the first two books in the series yet, but I had no trouble at all figuring out who the characters were or what was happening to them.

I’d heartily recommend A House of Her Own to anyone who is also a fan of paranormal mysteries.

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