This is a short story, the last in the traditional English holidays series (silent night, midsummer night, twelfth night and now bonfire night). At 56 pp it is not even a novella, and depends upon reading the previous stories, which are also greater appreciated if you have read the full novels, also in order. What a treat if you haven't discovered this author though! I read this as an ARC as well as purchased the ebook.
It is autumn 1890, amateur sleuth Victorian Lady Julia and her detective husband Brisbane have inherited a country property Thorncross in Narrow Wibberly. It is of course haunted but Brisbane has no difficulty solving this mystery. There is the usual witty banter, the eccentricity and mayhem we have come to appreciate and expect, and a warm family feeling completing a holiday book. This is perfect for an afternoon read, a satisfying story to occupy a train (or plane) journey or just a short break in your day.
4 stars for familiar short cosy mystery
To the Amelia Peabody series of Elizabeth Peters.
"I cursed him inwardly. Plum had only ever been third favourite amongst my brothers, and I was reminded why."
"...and besides, strange solicitors showing up at odd hours speaks to an intrigue."
"In my experience," Brisbane said seriously, "gift horses are usually the ones with the most dangerous bite."
"The house was built of grey stone in a haphazard style and betrayed a certain originality of design."
"The woman is mad enough to be related to us."
"I've only just realised. Little Jack is the first Christmas present my father has ever given me," he said. "And he has given me the only thing of his I could possibly want."