Murder at Malenferby Iain McChesney
Young Irish mercenary Dermot Ward retreats to Paris at the close of World War I where he drinks to forget his experiences, especially the death of his comrade, Arthur Malenfer. But Arthur has not forgotten Dermot. Dead but
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Those in line to the Malenfer estate are succumbing to terrible ends – is a supernatural legacy at work, or something entirely more human?
Young Irish mercenary Dermot Ward retreats to Paris at the close of World War I where he drinks to forget his experiences, especially the death of his comrade, Arthur Malenfer. But Arthur has not forgotten Dermot. Dead but not departed, Arthur has unfinished business and needs the help of the living.
Upon his arrival at Malenfer Manor, Dermot finds himself embroiled in a mystery of murder, succession, and ambition. Dermot falls in love with the youngest Malenfer, the beautiful fey Simonne, but in his way are Simonne's mismatched fiancé, her own connections to the spirit world, Dermot's guilt over the circumstances of Arthur's death... and the curse.
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Meet the Author
Iain is a writer of gothic mysteries.
He was born and raised in Scotland. He studied History and Geography at the University of Glasgow.
The World Wars left Iain’s family with generations of widows. As a result, Iain has always been interested in the tangible effects of history on family dynamics and in the power of narrative to awaken those long dead. For the characters in The Curse of Malenfer Manor, he drew on childhood reminiscences and verbal family history—though he hastens to add that his family had barely a penny, far less a manor, and any ghosts dwell only in memory.
He lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his wife and two children.
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Intriguing *** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *** When this book was presented to me it was described as Downton Abbey in France with ghosts. I wish I could claim that statement as my own because it really describes this book well. I have to say that this book kept my attention from the beginning right to the end. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first from the title but I was definitely intrigued. I thought okay well ghosts and a curse maybe it will be spooky. It wasn’t at all but how everything intertwines and comes to fruition makes this book a true gem. McChesney is excellent at painting a picture with words. His characters are lively and vivid and at times even villainous. While this book does have paranormal activity it isn’t weighed down with superfluous fluff that makes it seem unrealistic. The reason this book works is because it could be true. As a side note I will say I found it entertaining how the ghost is able to change his clothes. So as to not ruin any part of the story I will leave it there. Period books are usually troublesome for me because they get so bogged down in giving a history lesson that it becomes dry. Not so here, the author wove his facts into the characters so intricately it was seamless. If you have ever read a supernatural book and was disappointed in the ending feeling as if it was a cop out then you are not alone. With that being said I will say that I loved the ending in this book and thought it very appropriate. I truly found this book enjoyable and can’t wait to see what this author has in store for us next.
Iain McChesney has a little bit of everything contained all in one mystery. There is war trauma, friendship beyond the grave, ghosts, a curse, intrigue and a mystery that had me guessing till the end. Dermot Ward and Arthur Malenfer served in the Great War together. Unfortunately Arthur dies but he comes back to convince Dermot to right a wrong that he has done to twins he had before his enlistment. In order to do this Dermot must go to Arthur's home, find the hidden birth certificates and present them to 'Madame', Arthur's mother who is the Grande Dame of the estate. There is a curse on the Malenfer family dating back a hundred years - - no one lives to old age. Michel the 16 year old son who was to inherit the estates dies of the Spanish Flu or does he? Then one of the twins after learning of his new status as a Malenfer dies a horrible death. Is it the curse? or Is there something else at play here. Arthur is not the only ghost on the estate. The ghost of the young girl who was hung 100 years before is also roaming the estate. It is said that she is seen prior to a Malenfer dying. Murder at Malenfer is a great read. The story just keeps evolving to the point I had several suspects by the middle of the book only to find out I was wrong on every count. I find that is the sign of a tremendous mystery - one the reader can't figure out. I received this book free for review purposes.
Do curses exist? Can they truly affect a person, a family as a whole? Anyone who has seen the movie Practical Magic will know that a curse can sometimes affect just one part of a family, in the case of the movie the men who marry any one of the Owens Women, it takes Sherriff Hallet to put an end to the curse when at the end of the movie he states “Curses only work when you believe in them” I have to agree in this case; however for the Malenfer’s the situation is slightly different, in that the curse was cast upon them by a young teen the family had hung for crimes against the town, where in Practical Magic it was an ancestor who cast the curse on her family. The Malenfer’s accused a neighbor child of Witchcraft, who while still breathing at the end of the noose cast a curse that stated the Malenfer line would see its end. And to that end every male heir in the line has met an early and untimely death. The book gives the reader a lot of personal history about each of the main characters, pulling in their nuances, strengths and weaknesses as needed to build the story and outlay how the curse affects each one individually. From our Matriarch, Madame, who has buried each of her male children and her husband before their time, to Simmone her Granddaughter who by some strange happenstance has the ability to speak with and see the dead – it is the witch who cast the curse that informs Simmone of the impending doom of each relative before they pass, to Dermot Ward, the Irlandais, who comes to Malenfer manor to share Arthur’s secrets and possibly unlock the curse. I found as a reader going back and forth through time to relive events tended to get a tad drawn and boring. The author does a wonderful job of developing the world of Post WWI Paris, the outlying countryside and the political climate surrounding our characters, the reader can almost close their eyes and see and feel everything our characters do. However, those same descriptions tend to slow the story down and leave the reader wondering if the characters are going to come back to the forefront. Personally, I had a hard time getting into this novel, the action does not even pick up truly until the very last three chapters of the book and I found that while the curse was mentioned and the reader told about its origins, it was not the cause of the bigger issues within the book; I’d say it was more one of the seven deadly sins that was the main issue, Greed. When I picked up this novel I had very high hopes there would be more about the curse, and witch interacting with the Malenfer's and the evil surrounding the family/curse - however, I found that simply was not the case, I found it was more of a political game vs. something super natural that was at play. Simply put this book is not something I will be re-reading and recommending.