With her reputation destroyed by the "lying" paintbrush of a rejected suitor, wealthy Nora Thorngoode has no choice but to agree to marry enigmatic nobleman Grayson Lowell, a man in need of funds to save his young nephew's estate-and a man who is also suspected of killing his brother. Determined to make the best of things, the couple heads for Blackheath Grange, only to find a mystery that is deeper, more complex, and possibly more sinister than either had imagined. Set along the Cornish coast, in a marvelous mansion full of secret passageways and hidden rooms, this wonderfully moody and atmospheric tale, with its brooding hero, troubled young child, unquiet spirits, and unfriendly housekeeper, has many of the accoutrements of the classic Gothic of the Sixties. In fact, except for the ramped up sensuality (those Gothics were generally sweet), it is reminiscent of early Victoria Holt. Although rarely generating true fear or terror, the book is Gothic to the core, and the solid writing, riveting opening, and clever plot twists recommend this worthy debut. First of a projected series. Chase lives in Coral Springs, FL.