In the time it takes for a villain to breathe his last, Anne and her mother, Dauphine, suddenly inherit Belrose Abbey -- a gothic castle set on a monstrous estate, complete with devious servants, mysterious forests, and the darkest of secrets. The more they settle into their new home, the more unsettling the house becomes. What do all the unmarked graves mean? Where are all the people who had arrived on the estate but then vanished? And could there really be an abandoned insane asylum on the property? Although Anne and Dauphine are determined to purge all the horrors from Belrose Abbey, this new mystery could very well be their undoing.
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Intriguing and addictive
I found the Bloodstone Vial: The Belrose Mystery Series Book 2 by Anita Higman and Hilary McMullen to be a bit of a letdown. While it is an easy listen and diverting, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the first book of the series, The Ruby Locket. As with its predecessor, The Bloodstone Vial has an appropriately creepy atmosphere and is filled with people who may or may not be what they appear. My issues are that it doesn’t seem as cohesive. There are several different plot lines that eventually converge but it takes awhile and I felt my interest wane a bit. Of the main characters, I am particularly fond of Anne, who has spunk, and I was glad to see her friendship with Wyatt continue to grow. Dauphine comes across as a bit too tentative for my tastes.
Michelle Babb did a fine job with the narration. I especially like her voicing of Anne, giving her just the right amount of snark.
Though the book is a very short listen—a bit over four hours, I did enjoy it and would read other books in the series. Two and a half stars.
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated. The opinions are solely my own.