An Inquiry into Love and Death

  • by Simone St. James
  • Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
  • 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1920s England, a young woman searches for the truth behind her uncle’s mysterious death in a town haunted by a restless ghost.
Oxford student Jillian Leigh works day and night to keep up with her studies - so to leave at the beginning of the term is next to impossible. But after her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall off a cliff, she must drive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings.
Almost immediately, unsettling incidents - a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own - escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house. Is it Walking John, the 200-year-old ghost who haunts Blood Moon Bay? And who besides the ghost is roaming the local woods at night? If Toby uncovered something sinister, was his death no accident?
The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken, a former RAF pilot with mysteries of his own, leaves Jillian with more questions than answers - and with the added complication of a powerful, mutual attraction. Even as she suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth, she begins to discover spine-chilling secrets that lie deep within Rothewell...and at the very heart of who she is.


What the Critics Say

"I thoroughly enjoyed it!…. Simone clearly relishes and is steeped in the traditions of gothic fiction - in the best way. She conjures that secretive, hushed atmosphere perfectly, and the story kept me turning pages from beginning to end. At once an intriguing mystery and an eerie ghost story, it had more than enough spine-tingling moments to keep me gripped." (Katherine Webb, author of The Unseen)
"This is a perfectly balanced combination of mystery, romance, ghost story, and history…. Conveys the lasting psychological and practical consequences of war movingly." (RT Book Reviews Top Pick for March 2013)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Haunted seaside village, creepy townsfolk, ghost hunter's mysterious death, handsome Scotland Yard inspector, feisty Oxford woman...we all know where this is going.

Stereotypical, but don't dismiss this as just another mystery/romance - those clichés happen to be the right ingredients for an eerie and entertaining read that is what it claims to be - a ghost story. James doesn't tease the listener with banging shutters and rattling chains, she delivers, but not all the ghosts are spectral. The ghost of Walking John isn't the only demon haunting the townsfolk of Rothewell since the end of WWI. There was some unevenness in the story, some obvious mispronunciations and confusing characterizations by the narrator, but I didn't feel compelled to pull out my red pencil. Not my usual genre, but I enjoyed this; it is immediately engaging with a lively pace that kept me at it clue by clue, right to the spooky conclusion and, well, I can't give up all the secrets.
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- Mel

Old Fashioned Ghost Story ----

This story provided a lot of chills and suspense, and I thought was very well done. I loved the narration of Rosalyn Landor, although her voices for the men could have been better.

Jillian Leigh, 22 years old and studying at Oxford, is called away to deal with the death of her uncle in a small town near Devonshire. Although reluctant, she has no choice but to take care of identifying his body and disposing of his belongings, as her parents are in Paris and unable, or unwilling, to do it.

When she arrives in the village of Rothewell, the coroner has already ruled her uncle's death an accident. He apparently fell off a cliff, but there really was no investigation into the death. As she gets to know his landlady and other town folks, she becomes more convinced that perhaps it wasn't an accident. Coincidentally, a Scotland Yard Inspector is also in town investigating, and when they meet, they work together to figure it out. There is some mild romance/sex between them, which wasn't really necessary for the story, but also wasn't overwhelming.

This story is set in post WWI England (1920's) and provides a vivid description of the countryside and town setting for that period.

Incorrect usage of terms at times was not enough to disrupt, and didn't bother me at all. I would recommend this one for a cold winter night, snuggled in bed with the lights on.
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- Jacqueline "."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-05-2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.