House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery

House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery

by Loretta Marion


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A family patriarch’s dying proclamation, an enigmatic disappearance, and a century-old curse converge in the shadows of a majestic home on Cape Cod’s craggy coast.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it's by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter—but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help—until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what's happened to the young couple…even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police—as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism—Cassie can't help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family's dark curse destroys everything in its path?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683318439
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Series: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 532,876
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

A true bibliophile, Loretta Marion’s affection for the written word began in childhood and followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she crafted Award-winning marketing and advertising copy and educational brochures. When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey, and their beloved Mr. Peabody, a sweet, devoted and amusing "Corgador" (Corgi-Labrador cross).

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House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It kept me wanting to read more and gather information for the sequel. I hope to learn more about the characters and the past in the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Cape Coast setting will whisk you away on a wonderful reading vacation. The author evokes your suspicions throughout the entire mystery keeping the reader's hackles raised throughout. The reader will enjoy getting to know each well shaped character from the past and the present. The book provides many avenues and elements that weave you through Whale Rock and Cassie Mitchell's life. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
House of Ashes is a fun, entertaining mystery. The characters are enjoyable and the layout of sharing information from the past, present and future keeps the reader engaged. I really wanted to keep reading to find out what happened!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
House of Ashes is a MUST read! I could not put it down! I thoroughly enjoyed L. Marion's characters and how she developed each one as she intertwined their lives to come together on this beautiful, majestic home on Cape Cod's Coast. Marion chose each character with such precision to heighten the reader's enthusiasm as they crossed the path of Cassandra Mitchell...young painter, owner of her great grandparents home. The suspense...the mystery...the paranormal....kept my interest until the very last page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Playful characters, suspense, mystery and ghosts, what more could you want in a fun read! I loved How Loretta Marion could describe a fictional location with such reality! The house, town and personalities of the people perfectly matched my memories on the Cape during summer and its stark transition in the fall. Looking forward to see what Marion comes up with next!
Thebookclub-Amy More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this haunted mystery. From the introduction of the ancestor’s story to the movement to present day, the pace of each clue pulls the reader in and draws them forward. Whale Rock becomes the village you want to move to. The growth of the the main character, Cassie, from destitute divorcée to confident artist, lends realistic life to the supernatural forces that haunt her home. The characters were so charming and interesting, can’t wait for the next installment. Kudos, Loretta.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down! Very well written atmospheric mystery with a ghostly touch. Good character development and great setting description. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loretta Marion's House of Ashes drew me into the story right from the beginning. A tragic fire in the first pages of the book sets the scene for a curse that has haunted four generations of Cassie Mitchell's family, including her own misfortune with both love and financial success. Set in a fictional town on Cape Cod, House of Ashes is full of flawed but engaging characters like Cassie who are a pleasure to get to know. This is one of those books you hate to have end because you feel like you are saying goodbye to newly-made friends. There are plenty of complex plot twists and clues to keep the reader guessing about the story's outcome until the final pages of the book, and a touch of the supernatural literally adds a degree of warm spice to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this page-turner of a book and eagerly look forward to Marion's next novel.
DebbieR74 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading House of Ashes. I now want to live in Whale Rock! The mysterious characters and the family dynamics with a hint of romance and a lot of suspense kept me wondering what was going to happen next. The non-stop mystery made it hard to put the book down. The author took me on a journey to discover the real truth about the 80 year old curse. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not your avid book reader, in that I hardly ever finish books! This book was an exception and once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I just kept saying "one more chapter"! I was intrigued by the mystery, but even more so, by the tenacity of Cassandra, the lead character. This book has twists and turns and is probably best read as I did it; almost non-stop from the beginning. I ended up wondering what is next for Cassandra and hope to find out in a sequel! I love the setting and have always felt that the Cape has mysteries that surround it, whether seen or unseen. Kudos to Loretta Marion! I loved your first book and after this second book, I am hooked!!!
VWilliams More than 1 year ago
Cassandra Mitchell is the great-granddaughter of Percy and Celeste Mitchell who built the gorgeous Battersea Bluffs mansion in Whale Rock, Massachusetts, Cape Cod where she now lives alone. She is 37 years old and tenaciously clings to the family Victorian despite its history, local folklore, and apparent supernatural experiences. There is an apparent curse that has followed them from England affecting their male descendants. Cassie has weathered a disastrous marriage and impending divorce and is presently facing foreclosure. She refuses the idea of selling. Sinking deeper into the funk that has enveloped her in the situation, she meets a young couple, Ashley and Vince, on her property accompanied by a German Shepherd, and impressed with them and taken by the moment invite them to stay with her for a while in exchange for their work on the carriage house. The author flips the chronological timelines as she brings in further details of Cassie's family, both current and 80 years ago. Chapter headings clearly tell in which timeline the narrative is heading and it doesn't take long to get into the rhythm. The couple suddenly disappears without explanation which sets off a chain of investigations that begin with local law enforcement and extends to the FBI. There is an attraction to the FBI agent, and Cassie appears to be in full rebound mode, but is consumed with the problem of figuring out what happened to the kids. Happy with having the couple around, they had created in her the urge to paint again and she is facing a large gallery showing by a friend and local art gallery owner. The protagonist has that artist's aura about her, tormented but talented. Headstrong and smart, she seemed to make less than informed decisions while craftily planning her next move toward solving the mystery of the couple. I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for any who enjoy a mystery, supernatural or paranormal qualities, thriller and suspense, and strong women sleuths. 4.5/5
TwistedReader More than 1 year ago
2 stars for the book. 1 star for me for finishing it. I tried to enjoy this book. I really did but from the very beginning, I knew this book would not be something I would enjoy. The narration did not work for me and there was way too much going on that didn't make any sense. Full review/rant on Goodreads:
Bookaholic-mka More than 1 year ago
Suspense-filled and yet an easy read, this story set in Whale Rock on Cape Cod involves a young woman living in a historic family home on a bluff well known as Percy’s Bluff. Sometimes when we are vulnerable or maybe even desperate our judgement is not as good as it might be otherwise. Sometimes we just don’t want to see things as they might be. It doesn’t matter who warns us to be cautious. Is this the case with Cassie? Is she too dependent on staying in this beautiful old Victorian home of her descendants? Really enjoyed the storyline of this book. Of course, I always like stories of seacoast towns and Cape Cod in particular and this one has a little mystique. While putting a little taste of the paranormal here, the author added suspense without going over the top. The characters were folk in a place where only locals really fit. Just really a book I didn’t want to put down and was sad when the last page was read. An interesting book in which the only fault I can find is…write another one. ***This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are definitely my own.
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
Ghosts, suicide, curse, disappearances, unanswered questions. This story had it all. Cassie loved where she lived, ghosts and family history included. It was great watching her grow stronger through the story. There were moments of confusion as the mystery unraveled, but I loved how Cassie stuck to her beliefs. I enjoy a good ghost story, and this kept me interested. I heard about this book through Goddess Fish Promotions, and received an ARC of this story through Netgalley. This is my unsolicited review.
LisaB95 More than 1 year ago
I’m not really sure where to begin. There are parts I really liked ad parts I hated. I have to confess, I didn’t read it word for word. I found myself skipping throughout. I loved the setting and gothic feel. The disappearance was very intriguing but the main character, Cassie, not very much. She had no backbone. She was so gullible. I really liked the cop who had known her her whole life. He really looked out for her, or tried to. After seeing how dysfunctional her family was, I see why she was like she was. She has been beaten down psychologically over the years. I would’ve been a recluse also. I read one review where they didn’t get through it because of Cassie being so gullible as far as the missing couple. If the reader feels this way, be sure and read on or skip ahead as I did. The answer to the disappearance makes all the sense in the world and was ingenious. This would’ve made a big 5 star with me and would’ve been a great movie if it weren’t for the back and forth in different time frames. And also how they were written. This took my focus off the story. However, there is enough mystery to keep ones interest if you like this sort of thing. The mystery keeps getting more bizarre and hard to figure out. I would’ve never guessed it. That’s a good thing. The revelations about the past and the fire were a little much, they were great, but almost paranormal in a way it almost didn’t fit the story. If there would’ve been more ghost like stuff, this would’ve been ok. I’m sure others will love it and I think a sequel would also do great. I’d like to say congratulations to the author on the release. She has a brilliant mind. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to review this
SherryF More than 1 year ago
The location, Cape Cod, made this a must read for me. I have spent a lot of time at the Cape and I can picture Battersea Bluffs and the surrounding area easily. Cassandra’s great grandparents had owned the home and now it was hers, but she needed help financially and help fixing it up. Along comes Vince and Ashley. It doesn’t take long and they come up missing. How? Why? Whenever a house is involved, I immediately think of ghosts and goblins, and we do have a curse with smells that can be pleasant one moment and not so much the next. We also have secrets. Secrets that are going to come to light because Cassandra is a caring and persistent person, and she won’t let the mystery of their disappearance end without answers. Cassandra tells Vince and Ashley where the name of the town,Whale Rock, came from, I immediately thought of my family’s home on the Cape. When the tide goes out, there is a giant rock exposed. I love when a novel can tweak a bit of nostalgia from me. Makes it easier to relate to the story and the characters. A haunted house, a mystery with secrets…I have some suspicions and I am having a great time trying to put all the pieces together. I didn’t do so well. There is so much more to the story and Loretta leads me on a wild ride to the very end. I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of House of Ashes by Loretta Marion