The Book of Beloved

The Book of Beloved

by Carolyn Haines


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As a young woman widowed by World War I, Raissa James is no stranger to ghosts. But when an invitation arrives from Caoin House, her uncle’s estate in Mobile, Alabama, she’s finally ready to cast off the shadows of her past. And what better way to do so than with a grand party in her honor? An aspiring authoress, Raissa’s eager to soak up more of life—and immerse herself in the dark history that haunts the estate.

But the revelries come to an abrupt end when one of her uncle’s guests takes a deadly plunge. And when a ghost from the property’s past, a Confederate soldier, reveals himself to Raissa, she’s more determined than ever to get to the heart of the mysterious deaths that plague Caoin House. Enlisting the help of Reginald Proctor, a self-proclaimed medium, she holds a séance to shed light on old secrets. But she discovers that some secrets, even those long dead, still have a startling hold on the living.…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503938069
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 08/09/2016
Series: Pluto's Snitch Series , #1
Pages: 316
Sales rank: 758,868
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of more than seventy books, including the popular Sarah Booth Delaney Mississippi Delta mystery series. A native of Mississippi, Haines writes in multiple genres. She’s a recipient of the 2010 Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the 2009 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. She has also been honored by Suspense Magazine and Romantic Times for best mystery series. The Book of Beloved is the first book in her new series, Pluto’s Snitch. An animal advocate, Haines founded a small 501c3 rescue, Good Fortune Farm Refuge. She cares for nine dogs, nine cats, and six horses.

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The Book of Beloved 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
SardisYS 10 months ago
The Book of Beloved by Carolyn Haines The Book of Beloved, Pluto's Snitch, Book 1, by Carolyn Haines is a winner. I love this writer’s style; she brings the ghosties to life in a deliciously creepy way. I adored this time frame too. A solid 5-star read.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
deliciously creepy THE BOOK OF BELOVED by Carolyn Haines The First Pluto's Snitch Mystery It's 1920 and Raissa James is about to take a journey which will change her life forever. The young widow has taken her Uncle Brett's offer to visit him at Caoin House. It's no secret that Caoin House is haunted, in fact it makes the perfect setting for Raissa who aspires to be a writer, a writer of ghostly tales in particular. But are the spirits a danger to the living? When Raissa's new gentleman friend falls to his death from the roof during a party it's declared an accident. But could he have been pushed? If so, by who? A person or a ghost? What is the truth behind the dark legends of the estate? Will more people die as the spirits of Caoin House try to keep their secrets hidden? THE BOOK OF BELOVED starts slowly, enveloping you in the summer heat of the south, lulling you into a sense of complacency. I began to wonder if the book was really a mystery and as I continued I felt it becoming more of a Gothic novel than a mystery. But then I found the mystery and indeed THE BOOK OF BELOVED is a multilayered set of mysteries rooted in a Gothic background. Set in the American South in 1920, the book shows both the grandeur and graciousness of the time as well as the hatred and bigotry. It holds a mirror up to today's society showing the harsh realities and vicious atrocities faced by everyone who isn't a wealthy white man. I really loved this first Pluto's Snitch mystery. The combination of mystery, Gothic novel, and historical detail create a fascinating story. While I don't read horror, I do enjoy a good Gothic and Carolyn Haines provides plenty of chills and scares without going overboard. Richly developed characters, both living and dead, inhabit the pages while the slow revelation of the truth behind the legends of Caoin House provides added intrigue and suspense. THE BOOK OF BELOVED is as deliciously creepy as the stories Raissa hopes to write. Imbued with a decadently Gothic atmosphere this novel also takes an unflinching glance at the social and political issues of the time, civil rights in particular, while delivering an intriguing mystery.
Queenbethanny More than 1 year ago
This book had me from page 1 and did not let go until the last page! A fantastic mystery with all the best goodies: scandals, passion, intrigue, and ghosts! In the south during the 1920s, shortly after WW1, Raissa, still mourning the loss of her husband, accepts her uncle's invitation to visit Mobile, AL for the summer. She's immediately captivated by his home and the hauntings within. After a seance, she decides to embark on a new career as a writer of short stories. During her welcome home party, a guest dies under mysterious circumstances. Raissa, with the help of others, jumps right in to investigate the death and the spirits residing within the home and its grounds. Old passions and secrets that could lead to today's scandals are unveiling themselves before your eyes. Great plot, dialogue and characters. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
Caltrop7 More than 1 year ago
In a new series, a WW1 widow visits her uncle's estate in Mobile. The estate has a past that includes murder, heartbreak and secrets. Young Raissa has the ability to see spirits, and this brings in mediums, descendants of slaves and a desperate struggle to keep a secret: one that, due to societal mores of the time, could ruin one's community standing. A great story that also sheds light on race, women, and moving forward. I would recommend this book, and eagerly await further books in the series.
Dmaxtownsend More than 1 year ago
I must admit, I am not a fan of creepy ghost stories. My mother’s side of the family, the Irish side, believed in spirits, ghosts and hauntings. We lived in a scary old house with a creepy old man (Grandpa) and strange things did happen. Indeed, today my younger sister is the foremost ghosthunter in Michigan. Really. So when Carolyn Haines announced her new Pluto’s Snitch series, I was torn. Love her Sarah Booth Delaney series but one involving ghosts? Actually, not a difficult decision: anything by this author is worth reading and sharing. Set in post WWI we meet Raissa, a young widow, living an ordinary life. She is grieving for her husband but is ready to rejoin the living. While visiting her uncle in Mobile, she discovers she is able to pierce the veil. She sees dead people. This is no ordinary spooky book. Raissa struggles with more than ghosts. She has lost her husband and may be ready to find love again. She is a woman in a man’s world. In the Deep South in the 1920s she is treated like an ignorant child. She cannot vote, and she should not question those in authority, meaning men. Fortunately she has men in her life who value her, but we see her frustration as she tries to break society’s strictures. This story is full of history, vivid settings and intriguing characters. It satisfies on all levels. I especially like that the epilogue portends the next story. I'm hooked!
Sobryan More than 1 year ago
Growing up in Lucedale, there weren’t many mysteries in the daily life of a young Carolyn Haines. As a child of the 1960s in rural Mississippi, she had plenty of time to ride her bike, play with her brothers and enjoy childhood. That didn’t slow her imagination, though, as she listened to her grandmother’s ghost stories and read mystery after mystery stories. That love for the unknown and unseen has stayed with Haines, resulting in a prolific writing career with more than 70 books in different genres under her belt. She is best known for the Mississippi Delta “Bones” mystery series featuring crime-solving Sarah Booth Delaney and a match-making ghost named Jitty. Haines also writes under the pseudonyms Caroline Burnes, Lizzie Hart and R.B. Chesterton. Haines is still seeing ghosts in her latest, “The Book of Beloved,” a gothic tale set in the 1920s around a Mobile, Ala., plantation following World War I. It’s a tale of what happens when past secrets can no longer stay hidden. Raissa James is a young widow invited to visit her uncle Brett Airlie’s recently purchased estate, Caoin House. She’s ready to shake off her mourning garb and start a new life, perhaps as a ghost story writer. As Raissa quickly learns, there’s plenty of inspiration in the dark history that haunts Caoin House, a pre-Confederate War mansion built as a romantic gesture. It’s a past that includes too many deaths and too few answers. The ghost of a Confederate soldier leads Raissa down winding roads of mystery, danger and misery. Despite the outwardly trappings of wealth, horseless buggies and southern manners, a darkness has its hold on Caoin House. Bringing its secrets to light is no easy matter, not even with the help of Reginald Proctor, a self-proclaimed medium. Raissa and Reginald, soon nicknamed Pluto’s Snitches, are determined to identify the estate’s ghosts and learn why they linger. Adding to the mystery is a family photo album, known as the Book of Beloved, filled with haunting images from past generations. Who are those people, and what circumstances do they represent? Everyone seems to be holding onto secrets. That includes her uncle and his fiancé Isabella Brown as well as Robert Aultman, a soon-to-be suitor Raissa meets on the train to Mobile; Winona and Travis, the estate’s housekeeper and caretaker; Pretta Paul, a local candy-maker and new friend; and her uncle’s attorney, Carlton McKay. “The Book of Beloved,” the first book in Haines’ new Pluto Snitch series, is not a typical ghostly tale. Thanks to her extensive research, the author touches on many issues of the time, including slavery, bigotry and secret societies. However, what really sets this novel apart from others in its genre are the Haines’ storytelling skills. They are smooth as an aged bourbon, but chilling as a pair of eyes glowing in the nighttime swamp. No matter what setting or cast of characters, she creates pictures with words. With “The Book of Beloved,” Haines writes with subtle, yet defined shades of black, white and gray, allowing readers to picture another time, one that’s not what it appears to be, and to feel the shock when the past and present collide.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts It has been a while since I have had an honest to goodness book induced hangover. The Book of Beloved is responsible for my latest. I started reading it after finishing another book and thought I will just read a couple of chapters and it was almost 3 a.m. when I put the book down after reading the whole thing. Main character Raissa James travels to Caoin House, her uncle’s estate, which has been said to be haunted. There have been a few mysterious deaths there over the years. She is not there long when she sees her first ghost, a Confederate soldier. Her sighting happens shortly after a man falls to his death at a party at the estate. It is ruled accidental, maybe a suicide, but Raissa thinks it was murder. Raissa uses her desire to become an author to dig deeper into the recent death and those from the past. She thinks the ghosts are key to finding out the truth. The suicide element of this story should have been a trigger for me after my son’s death and there was a lynching in part of the book as well, but after a couple of short pauses and skimming past a few lines I just kept going. Something just a few months ago that would have made me drop the book and stop reading in an instant, but I am starting to heal more every day and the story had me so enthralled that I just couldn’t stop, I had to know how this story played out. (This may not always be the case but was with this story.) Seances also play into the mystery, trying to get answers, learning more about the people that haunt Caoin House, a way to communicate with those who have passed on. This is something that has really piqued my interest since my son’s death. I truly wish I could communicate with him, maybe someday that wish will come true. So until now I have not been able to read a story with these topics, this one brought them all together in a way my mind and soul could handle. The reason I was able to read this story is because Carolyn Haines has written it with the hand of a master. She draws the reader in almost timidly. A niece visiting her uncle at an old estate after losing her husband in World War I, then a man falls to his death and the suspense builds, then ghosts begin to appear and secrets starts to be revealed, the suspense builds a little more and things start to get scary. I should have stopped reading then but knew there was no way I was going to sleep then so I kept on reading. Then Raissa makes a startling discovery and I was reading at lightning speed. I can’t say more because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep even after I finished the book. I would advise you not to read before bedtime. I will say I really like Raissa. She is an intelligent and independent woman that I can see being very involved in the causes of the time period, the 1920’s, like woman getting the right to vote. I also see her becoming a very successful author. I am interested to see where the author takes this character in the future. I rarely give a Paradise Rating to the first book in a series because usually the plot takes a lesser role as the author needs introduce us to all the characters and the setting and time period. In this case Carolyn Haines does all that and gives us a fantastic mystery too.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
When I first started reading this book, I thought Carolyn Haines and no Sarah Booth Delaney? How can that be. Very shortly into the story, I found myself intrigued and mesmerized and wasn't even thinking about poor Sarah. This was an excellent ghost story. I spent most of the time reading this with goose pimples. And all the twists and turns that went along with the ghost story. It was just crazy. I knew what happened to Robert early on, but I didn't know the whole story. I had definitely figured him for pond scum. This is definitely not a book to start around bed time. However, it is one to pick up and start reading any other time. I just want to say thanks to Carolyn for writing a really creepy book which I loved and thanks to Thomas and Mercer and Net Galley for the free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.